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Moist Yellow Cake Recipe (Old Fashioned)

Moist Yellow Cake Recipe (Old Fashioned)

Why does yellow cakes give folks such a hard time? It’s one of those cakes that if you find a great yellow cake recipe, you stick with it! I’ve been testing out yellow cake recipes off and on for awhile now.

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The problem with homemade yellow cake is:

1.) It’s hard to find a from scratch yellow cake recipe that has the texture of a fluffy box yellow cake but that buttery, homemade taste of a scratch-made yellow cake. I can’t tell you how many dry, crumbly and/or eggy tasting yellow cakes I’ve had in the past.

2.) Um…I can’t think of anything else right now.

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I’m here to tell you that YES YOU CAN have a scratch made fluffy, moist, yellow cake with a beautiful crumb texture. YES YOU CAN have that classic buttery-vanilla taste of a homemade yellow cake WITH simple ingredients. YES. YOU.CAN!!! YES. YOU. CAN!!! Sorry I’m literally sitting on the couch watching Nutty Professor  while I write this blog post. Remember that part?

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Anyways, I’ve been fortunate to come across some really good yellow cake recipes, but something in me just can’t seem to stop searching, kinda like with macaroni and cheese. Never satisfied even when you’re satisfied. Well today I want to share the homemade yellow cake recipe I’ve been making for years.

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It’s that classic, old fashioned yellow cake recipe with simple pure ingredients. No butter flavored shortening (which I normally put in cakes) or sour cream or yogurt (which I also love to put in cakes). It’s the kind of yellow cake I grew up eating, with homemade chocolate butter cream frosting, sprinkles and candles (yes yellow cake taste best with  candles. I don’t know why but it just does!)

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 This yellow cake recipe is the stuff old school birthdays were made of. You know, when most moms actually made every birthday cake from scratch. Wait, am I telling my age?? I digress…

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This yellow cake recipe bakes up super moist, fluffy and velvety soft without the eggy taste that really irks me. My grandmother occasionally adds in butter flavoring to take the buttery taste over the edge, but I never seem to have that stuff on hand so I don’t add it in. I think it taste great without it. Although, if you really like the taste of boxed yellow cake, you may want to add that butter-flavored extract to replicate the taste.

homemade yellow cake recipe

Watch me make this moist, homemade yellow cake from start to finish!

4.7 from 34 reviews
Fluffy, Moist Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  5. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
  7. Mix until batter is fluffy.
  8. Beat egg whites until foamy and thick.
  9. Fold egg whites into batter and mix until incorporated.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread into even layers.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pans until pans are warm to the touch.
  13. Carefully remove cakes from pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  14. When cakes are completely cooled frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.


  1. This cake was yummient! My family loved it! My cake did sink a little and I read that could be from over mixing or old baking powder. I think the next time I bake it I will line the pans with parchment paper & add an extra egg. Definitely a winner! :)

  2. I made this recipe and I must say the cake tasted AMAZING!!!… The cake was soo moist that it kind of fell apart while trying to remove from the pans :( ( I made the buttercream icing and used it as glue lol) All the recipes I have made from this site have been nothing short of amazing and have gotten me so many compliments!…Monique, youre gonna help me snag a man girl, thanks for all the great recipes !! :)
    P.S…Im crossing my fingers that you will post a caramel cake recipe soon !

  3. This cake was amazing! So moist and flavorful. It was perfect. Thank you so much!!!

  4. :-/ my cake fell in the center and I went back to read the comments to see if I was the only one having this problem. That’s when I realized I forgot the egg whites. Don’t forget to fold them in! On a positive note, the cake still tastes amazing. Buttery and fluffy, most successful attempt at home made cake to date. I’ll be trying this again.

  5. Hi….this cake is just as you have described! Definitely a keeper. Thks fir sharing !

  6. As a twist, I substituted about 3/4 tsp. of almond extract for one of the tsp. of vanilla and added 3 heaping tbs. of crushed pineapple with the wet ingredients. To finish it off, I iced it with coconut icing! Wow! It is so moist and fluffy! Thanks for the recipe.

    • *side note: I also used parchment paper on the bottom of the pans to make it come out “pretty”. Again, thank you so much for sharing this great recipe, Monique!

  7. Can I replace the sugar with honey in this cake? I can not have sugar but I am allowed to sweeten cakes with maple sugar, molasses or honey.

  8. Both my cakes fell in the center. What did I do wrong? I even watched and paused the video to make sure I was doing each step as it was on the video. I was sooooo looking forward to this recipe working out.

  9. Dear Diva,
    Your red velvet cake is the best cake i ever made.It was so moist and very tasty. I baked the cake for father ‘s day.All my family members thought that A bakery made this cake.Thanks a lot.Now I will try to do the carrot cake.

  10. Dear Diva,
    Your red velvet cake is the best cake i ever made.It was so moist and very tasty. I baked the cake for father ‘s day.All my family members thought that A bakery made this cake.Thanks a lot.Now I will try to do the carrot cake.

  11. This is a great recipe! I wanted to test it before I made it for my daughter’s birthday, so I made 2 recipes to make 4 layers. The layers turned out on the thin side, so I made her cake a 3-layer one and we tested the extra layer. Moist and nice crumb. I did reduce the amount of sugar to 1-1/2 cups because 2 cups seemed like a lot to me. The sweetness was perfect to my family’s (and to our daughter’s 30-something-aged friends) taste. We all loved it. I made your Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe to top it and it was delicious too! Didn’t forget the sprinkles either!

    I stored it in the refrigerator, which I know is not necessary, but it also tastes great cold. A slice you can eat right out of your hand. Sort of like Boston Cream pie without the custard. My husband likes it best that way. Me, I like it both ways!

    This is definitely a keeper that I will make over and over again! Thanks for sharing it! Five stars!

  12. The moist yellow cake recipe was a winner I finally tried it.

    • I am baking this cake right now… Its been in the oven for 40 mins (recipie says 30-35) and the batter is still wet (edges about done)… how long did you bake yours?

  13. Hi Monique!
    I used this recipe and it was so light, moist, and fluffy. I used it for my great grandmother’s birthday. Instead of chocolate frosting, I did a upside down pineapple cake and it was absolutely amazing! Thank you so much!

  14. I am on my knees praising you! This cake is UNBELIEVABLE good! After trying several recipes and all coming out not moist enough or just have a horrible blan taste, I almost gave up and then God open up the gates to baking heaven and sent me to your web page! I did do like your grandmother and I added butter flavor maybe 1/2 tablespoon and let me just say, I’m not one who rave on about something nor am I a die hard cake fan but Damn this cake has me raving and I just cut a small piece to eat with my coffee! You go Girl. This recipe deserves an award!!! It won’t let me select the star rating from my phone but definitely giving it a 5 star rating!!!!!

  15. Alexa Chukwumah

    Dear Monique, I absolutely love this recipe! When I made it the cake wouldn’t come out of the pan and it got all crumbled when I tried to get it out. Nevertheless it was absolutely DELICIOUS and MOIST. Do you know how I could get it out easier next time? I bake all the time and I have never had this problem.

  16. What A Mess!!!! I have been baking all my life and I have NEVER had layers tear up to the point that I could not make them present-able with some delicious frosting! I cut it in to pieces to save for punch bowl strawberry shortcake :( I was making this for a very special young m,an’s graduation..

  17. The most moist yellow cake ever!! Fabulous recipe, extremely delicious. I used only an 8 and a half inch pan. I topped it with a cream cheese and butter cream frosting. And I just swirled a little strawberry goo on top. The next time I’m going to make it with a chocolate butter cream frosting. *yum*

  18. I love it!!! It is super moist, but not soggy. This recipes am going to save forever. Am making cake pops,it’s perfect except I did 1 1/2 of sugar instead of 2.the taste is perfect. Nor overly sweet just right.thank you so much, look forward in making more or your recipes..also the videos do help thanks!

  19. OMG! If you haven’t tried this recipe please do. I’ve never eaten a cake or baked one that was soooooo moist and fluffy! Don’t forget about the homemade icing it’s so good it can be eaten by itself, that is if your a sweet monster! Keep those recipes and other videos coming girl. THANKS divas can cook.

  20. Hi Monique,
    Can you please make a peach cobbler?

  21. I’ve made this cake twice and both times it fell in the middle; although the buttey taste and aroma are nice, i will not make it again because of the falling. 3 STARS***

  22. I want to try this recipe but I was wondering if I could make cupcakes out of this or would it be too moist? My friend wants vanilla or yellow cupcakes and this is the only recipe I see on the website that matches.

  23. I made this cake and used a caramel buttercream frosting…. It was absolutely delicious and the texture of the cake wass brilliant!! Thank you for sharing!!

  24. Hi Y’all…First ,the TASTE of this cake can’t be beaten. The CRUMB AND TEXTURE are both fluffy and tender. The PROBLEM is with the STRUCTURE of the cake, which unfortunately fell..in my case twice. I am a Professional baker and the problem I see with this cake falling is with the amount/ ratio of sugar to flour and not enough eggs to structually sustain the cake when rising…which is why it keeps falling. I dont have the space here tonexplain everything, but for a “quick fix” you can swap out 1cup of the cake flour and substitute the other cup with SIFTED All purpose bleached flour…which will provide MORE structure to the cake without changing the rich buttery taste…remember, sift the AP flour first..then measure..

  25. Made this cake twice and both times it was a hit!!! It’s so soft and velvetly. This is a keeper. I wouldn’t be concerned about the egg whites just beat them which I did both times and my cake turned out great! Monique will you be posting the recipe for the mocha cupcakes?

  26. Hi Monique, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tried it on Saturday and it was Amazing. I’m not a big chocolate fan but after reading the chocolate buttercream recipe who wouldn’t try that! I am also going to make the red velvet cake next week for a friend and can’t wait to see the lemon cake recipe ( if you can get it from your sis.) My hat’s off to you Monique. Anyone who can video making a cake with her baby on her hip is a superwoman in my book!

  27. Just made this recipe and it is scrumptiously yummy! Super moist and flavorful! I tried to give it 5 stars, but it wouldn’t allow me to click on the 5th star, but truly, this is a 5 star recipe!

  28. My cake and cupcakes “fell”. So sad. Was really looking forward to this one. Any suggestions as to what I did wrong?

    • The same thing happened to me. I tried three times. I put a food thermometer in my oven to check if my oven was reaching the correct temp. It wasn’t. It was varying widely in degrees. I’ve since gotten it fixed and will try the cake again today. I hope all goes well.

      • I had this same issue. I bake all the time with recipes from scratch and have NEVER had this happen. It bubbled over my 9inch cake pans and was just a disaster. I know they say yellow cake is hard to make but I have definitely made others in the past without them falling or bubbling over.


  29. My cake keeps falling in the middle I did everything like you said and watch the video. I’m a good baker, and I love the taste so I want to stick with the recipe but I just wasted ingredients. What an I doing wrong? Please respond

  30. I just made this cake today. It was very tasty and had the same ingredients as a Texas Sheet Cake but in a different order for processing. I used a 9×13 cake pan and baked about 43 minutes. The cake had a very nice crumb and was very sweet. I do not like the taste of homemade cakes but that is because I grew up eating box cake mix but this was really good. Although it has the same ingredients as a Texas cake, the taste of this is like a real homemade cake whereas the other to me taste like a sweet bread. I was very scared that the cake would not be moist because so many other yellow cakes require so many eggs. You will not be disappointed by making this. The step by step photos helped a lot. Only giving it 4 stars because although I am a candy.cake.sweet.aholic, this was a little too sweet for me but still very good.

  31. I made this cake tonight and it came out awful..i could not get it out of the pan,,it crumbled everywhere. Not sure what I did wrong….:( i still give the recipe 5 stars..im sure it was my doing

  32. can you add blue food coloring to this receipt and get the same taste?

  33. This cake looks delicious. Can’t wait to try the recipe. I’ve been looking for a good lighter yellow cake. Any plans for a white cake or strawberry cake?

  34. what if u don’t make the egg whites light and fluffy?

  35. I used this recipe but I tweaked it to make a coconut cake. I have to say it is sooooooo good. Thank you for sharing your ideas. You give bakers, like me, inspiration.

  36. Super love this recipe! My Rainbow Cake was soooooo delicious, soft and fluffy. I got to try your Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe soon. Thank you Monique

  37. I am going to attempt to make gluten free version of this with cup4cup flour. My question is can I make this into a sheet cake? If so how long should it bake? Thanks!

  38. hi diva can I make cupcakes with this recipe.

  39. i just made this cake and the texture is very delicate and light but it is EXTREMELY to sweet !!!!! it almost give you a “sugar free” after taste !!! I think the sugar should be less than the flour amount not equal to it….Im disappointed because I was making this for my niece 20th birthday today …I will try another yellow cake recipe elsewhere. Thanks anyway Monique .

  40. Thanks for mentioning this step Frances! I wouldn’t have known to do this if I hadn’t read your comment. I don’t usually watch the videos because my computer is extremely slow, and it would take me an hour and and 17 minutes to get through it.
    Ill be making this cake today, I’m using a fresh strawberry buttercream for the frosting. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe Monique!

  41. Yes I finally found a homemade yellow cake recipe. Please post an old fashioned caramel icing to go with this… you know that buttery, shiny, golden brown, smooth, not crunchy, melt in the mouth sinful goodness…. Oh please

  42. I just found your site and can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks like our family favorite hand me down recipe for Grandma Cake.

    Question: Can you make cupcakes out of this recipe?


  43. Made this today and it was so yummy! Thanks for all the great recipes you share with us! P.S. Trying to give 5 stars but it wouldn’t highlight the fifth star. Def a 5 star recipe.

  44. Hi Monique,

    This is the first time I have ever rated anything. But I had to let you know that your yellow cake deserves 10 stars, but only 5 starts were available! I have been looking for a from scratch yellow cake recipe for years. My co-worker didn’t even want me to bring anymore testers. But after this one she says it’s a keeper. My sister loved it! THANK YOU! And I love your site. You are so much fun to watch. Beautiful family and wonderful spirit. God bless you!

  45. I baked this cake for a birthday party and all I have to say is damn girl! This was the best yellow cake I’ve made! Most of them are too dense or dry.. how in the world did you come up with a recipe for a light and fluffy cake?!

    Emphasis on fluffy. ;)

  46. I tried the yeast roll recipe and they were really good. I could have used a little more butter.

  47. Hello Ms Diva, i am gonna try to make this old fashion yellow cake, but im gonna use splender sugar instead of regular sugar. for my birthday cake, if you have any low calorie cake recipes please post it, for me and others who cant eat sugar thanks alot?

  48. Hi,,I would like to ask about the dry ingredients, I used to measure with grams. Would you tell me how much in gram of the butter, sugar, and the flour? Thank you.

  49. Hi diva made this recipe yesterday it was so good but one of my layers fell apart can you tell me what I might have done wrong

  50. Thank you for sharing the old fashion recipes! I love the cake recipes, especially the red velvet cake. I am not a fan of cream cheese or red velvet cakes. But when I made your recipe I nearly swallowed the cake. 25 stars!!!!! you go girl!. My friends also loved the cake! I have also been looking for a good yellow cake recipe. I can’t wait to make this cake and the chocolate cake. God Bless You for sharing your recipies.

  51. love how she’s backing her baby while baking.. #trueafrican! and her recipes are amazing!!!

  52. I made this cake on Sunday and it is still moist on Tuesday. You outdid yourself this time as you always do with your recipes. Thank you Monique for another GREAT RECIPE!!!

  53. Hey Monique! At which step do you add the butter flavor extract and how much? Thanks!

  54. Oh my word. that is all I can say! This cake is perfect, my mom is a cake girl so I am sure I will be making it for her!

  55. any changes to the recipe for making cupcakes?

  56. I made this cake yesterday and all I can say is OMG AWSOME!!!! Monique you did it again. I went online and looked for a chocolate butter cream recipe, these two a match made in heave. Can’t wait to see & use your CBC frosting. Blessings to you always. Would love to see Pineapple upside down from you.

  57. I love this recipe and a did add the butter flavor and it was delicious.
    Thank you Monique for all of your recipes. You have a great gift from God!

  58. Inspirational!!!!!!!1 and Simple I can’t wait to bake this cake!

    Thank You

  59. Hey Monique! Thanks for posting the recipe! I have one question, to add the butter flavored extract how much would you suggest along with the vanilla extract?

  60. Yay!! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!! Was going to say “hey you forgot to put in the recipe for the chocolate buttercream frosting” but you said wait till Sunday. This website is the only one I come on to look for good tasting food… IT’S THE BOMB!! Thank you for posting. Keep up the good work.

  61. Your yellow cake recipe doesn’t have the egg whites saved so you can beat them till fluffy and add to the batter. If I didn’t watch the video I would have missed this step. I’m getting ready to make this cake right now. Please add that step in.

  62. You’re awesome, I make your yams and everyone loves it

  63. This looks great! Will you be posting the frosting recipe?

  64. is this recipe enough for a half sheet cake?

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