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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!

4.6 from 54 reviews
Fluffy, Moist Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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 but be careful not to over mix.
  8. Beat egg whites until foamy and thick.
  9. Very gently fold egg whites into batter and mix JUST 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.
 

Did This Yellow Cake Sink In the Middle?

*NOTE** Hey guys!! I see ya down there in the comments section (waving) and I see this cake is giving a lot of you a hard time with sinking in the middle (so sorry). Yellow cakes are notorious for giving folks a hard time and I was so sure this one would be a breeze for everyone. Ok let’s look into this.

I’ve tried to troubleshoot this cake so many times to see what could be causing the sinking but it comes out great for me each time. Go figure! I thought about removing the recipe and adding another in it’s place but so many have equally told me that it’s the best yellow cake recipe they’ve ever had.

It really is a GREAT cake and I’d love for you to experience it so I’ve listed some tips below that may help.

What causes a yellow cake to sink in the middle:

1.) BEAT EGG WHITES CORRECTLY AND GENTLY FOLD THEM IN THOROUGHLY. I’m not yelling at you, I just want you to understand the importance of beating those whites until they are thick AND gently folding them in completely. It’s crucial for any cake that requires this method. If not, it could cause the cake to sink in the middle.

2.) Fresh baking powder. Make sure your baking powder is not expired. No seriously go check right now, you might be surprised.

3.) Don’t open the oven while the cake it cooking. Use the oven light if you want to peek at the cake.

4.) Don’t overbeat. Once you add in the flour be very careful about mixing to long. You just want the flour incorporated. I think this is the main reason cakes tend to sink.

5.)  Increase baking time. If your cake looks like it’s still uncooked in the center let it cook a bit longer until the top springs back when touched. Keep an close eye on it.

 

124 comments

  1. Looking forward to trying this recipe. What if I use a 9×13 pan? How should I modify the recipe? Thanks!

  2. Can I substitute heavy cream or half n half for the buttermilk.

  3. Hey Monique, I tried your recipe for yellow cake and it turned out great. The only problem I has was that it didn’t turn out yellow but white instead, did I not do something right whe I added in the egg yolks? I did noticed that when I added in the yolks, both fel in at the same time and I know you said to mix after each egg. Could this be the reason my cake wasn’t yellow?

  4. Hi
    I would love to try this recipe.

    From uk so don’t have cake flour,
    Can I use plain flour or self raising flour?
    Please let me know
    Thanks in advance

  5. Beautiful and delicious! Next time I will use home made frosting for perfection.

  6. Hi, i just made this cake and it’s amazing! light, fluffy and simply delicious! i have to say this is the best yellow cake i have ever baked although i did cut back a bit on sugar and used only 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 since i prefer something not overly sweet. i think i have found the perfect yellow cake recipe. thanks a lot for sharing!

  7. Great recipe!!!! It works great and no sinking (knocks on wood)…Great flavor and very light moist and fluffy!!!!! My Favorite go to recipe for yellow cake!!!!

  8. Hello! I would like to know how long can this cake be kept for if I am to make it a few days in advance . Also, can I know the proper way that I should keep it? Thanks!

  9. I made this cake, and the frosting, today. Both turned out really good! I’ve been searching for a moist yellow cake recipe for years! Mine did NOT sink in the middle! This cake will be placed in my permanent recipe file! :-)

  10. HI guys!! I’ve added a note at the bottom of the recipes for those that have had trouble with this cake sinking in the middle!! Thanks!!
    Monique

    • This is an awesome cake! I wish I had seen the note about the sinking in the middle before I baked it, but I was working with my granddaughter (6 yrs old) and this was her first cake from scratch so I opted to add the eggs whole instead of separating. I KNEW it was wrong, but it did not take away from the enjoyment. Even with the sinking, this cake was tender, moist and ohhhh soooo flavorful.

      Thank you.

  11. I made this cake but I was disappointed because it sank in the middle. I baked this cake 6 times and had the same problem. I use these ingredients for my other cakes but never had a problem with a sinking cake. I wonder if its the lack of baking soda. I really like the taste and wanted it to be successful. What could I have done wrong?

  12. what is cake flour? can I just use all purpose flour instead? please reply ASAP!!

  13. I love your cake very much thank

  14. I have made this cake several times and it is always moist and light. I’ve tried various frostings and get compliments every time. It is especially good with lemon frosting. Easy to make and delicious

  15. I tried this recipe and my cakes fell in as well. The cake was delicious though, exactly the flavor I wanted, and I feel I may have done something wrong. After reading the other comments, I started to think maybe it had something to do with the egg whites, so I looked it up. Apparently you can beat egg white TOO much. This recipe says to beat the whites until they are foamy and thick. I think I went longer than that because mine were stiff, like meringue. Also one site said not to mix too much when folding them in and actually gave directions for folding. I am going to try again.

  16. Fantastic cake!!! Thank you!!! Easy to make, beautifully fluffy and your video is so helpful – especially the bit where you hold your kiddo ;) That gave me encouragement to try to bake this cake and voila – great success. Many thanks again!

  17. I made this receipe as cupcakes. I was very excited to see the results. The cupcakes all fell in the center. I did not open the door to the oven nor did I use flat baking powder. I’m going to give another try.

    • Hello, when I make cupcakes I add 3/4 cup self raising flour mixed with the cake flour and omit the baking powder and salt. I start off baking at 375 for 12mins and after reduce heat back to 350 until done.

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