Yellow Cake Recipe

Pin RecipeJump to Recipe

Skip the cake mix. Make a perfect Yellow Cake with Double Fudge Frosting from scratch instead! This version of the birthday cake favorite is 100% homemade. Tender, moist crumb with loads of fudgy frosting.

If you haven’t baked a cake in awhile, I highly suggest our Strawberry Layer cake. From scratch and topped with a dreamy strawberry buttercream frosting, it’s the perfect excuse to have dessert!

Two layers of yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on a cake platter.
Want to Save this Recipe?
Enter your email and get this recipe sent to your inbox to save for later! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

Why this Yellow Layer Cake is Best

When it comes to cake, what’s your favorite flavor?

Since I started this blog, I’ve been working on creating ‘from scratch’ recipes for cakes and cupcakes.

I certainly am not against using a mix, however, once you bake a cake from scratch you’ll have a hard time going back.

I’ve already got a delicious vanilla cake and chocolate cake recipe. But the yellow cake has been a struggle.

I don’t want something dry and crumbly. But I don’t want it so overly moist it can’t hold up to a good thick pile of frosting.

After trial and error you’ll want to make this yellow layer cake for the next birthday party!

  • Buttermilk in the batter which creates a lighter crumb.
  • Butter and sour cream together provides enough fat to make it fluffy and moist.
  • Combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour to create a tender crumb while still giving the cake enough structure to hold ALL THE FUDGY FROSTING!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make a yellow layer cake.
  • Buttermilk. My Buttermilk Substitute works perfectly too!
  • Cake flour. This is a finer flour with less protein than all purpose. It’s the key to that fluffy tender crumb. Using a combination of cake flour and all-purpose creates the perfect texture. Be sure to measure the flour correctly!
  • Unsalted butter. Using unsalted butter helps control the saltiness of your yellow cake. If you use salted butter, omit 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt from the cake recipe.
  • Sour cream. Plain Greek yogurt can be substituted. Along with the buttermilk, it helps the cake stay moist and soft.
  • Eggs. You’ll need 3 full eggs, plus one extra egg yolk. Save the excess egg white for a batch of meringue cookies.
  • Dark chocolate cocoa powder. The better quality your cocoa, the better your fudge frosting will taste! Ghirardelli and Hershey’s Special Dark are both good choices.

How to Make a Yellow Cake

Step by step photos showing how to make yellow cake with fudge frosting.

To make the cake:

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs followed by the sour cream.

Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in batches. Once combined, transfer the batter to 9 inch cake pans.

Bake and cool completely.

To make the frosting:

Melt chocolate morsels and butter together in the microwave. Whisk the butter and chocolate together completely.

Beat the melted chocolate mixture with the remaining frosting ingredients. The frosting should be light and fluffy!

How to assemble:

Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate. Spread fudge frosting on top. Add the second cake layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides.

Yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on a white cake platter.

Tips and Tricks

Baking pan cheat sheet for cakes.

Recipe FAQs

I don’t have cake flour. Can I use only all purpose flour instead?

You can use all regular flour if needed, but the consistency will be different. The higher gluten content of the all purpose flour will make the cake denser and less soft.

Can your freeze yellow cake?

This cake can be frozen frosted or unfrosted for up to 3 months. Wrap in foil, then place in a freezer bag to preserve freshness.

Slice of yellow layer cake on a stack of white plates.

More Cake Recipes

Easy Cake Ideas

See all Cake recipes

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Yellow Cake

4.82 from 37 votes
By: Aimee
Skip the cake mix. Make a perfect Yellow Cake with Double Fudge Frosting from scratch instead! This version of the birthday cake favorite is 100% homemade. Tender, moist crumb with loads of fudgy frosting.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


For the cake:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles optional
Save this Recipe?
Enter your email and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!


  • For the Cake, beat butter for 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla, continue beating with electric mixer. Add eggs and extra egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream.
  • Combine the flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl using a whisk. Add to mixing bowl, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat 2 minutes after all is added.
  • Pour cake batter into two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans (make sure they have 2 inch sides). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-38 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
  • For the frosting, add milk chocolate morsels and butter into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, mix and continue heating in 30 second increments (mine took one minute). Be sure to whisk the butter into the melted chocolate completely.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine sour cream, dark cocoa powder, salt and melted chocolate mixture. Mix until blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat for 3-5 minutes until well blended and fluffy.
  • To assemble cake, lay one layer of cake on a cake platter. Spread frosting over the top. Add second layer of cake. Spread frosting over sides and top of cake.
  • Add sprinkles for decoration. ENJOY.


  • To make a crumb coating with the frosting, spread a very thin layer of frosting over the cake. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Add final layer of frosting and enjoy.
  • To make cupcakes, line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Scoop batter into cupcakes until 2/3 full (makes 24 cupcakes). Bake for about 15-17 minutes. Cool before frosting.
  • Add colorful sprinkles to the frosted cake for some festive flair.
  • Make sure to use cake pans with 2-inch sides.
  • Buttermilk: use store bought or use my homemade buttermilk substitute recipe.
  • Remember to grease and flour your cake pans. Or use my Homemade Cake Release!
  • Swap out the frosting recipe! Use our chocolate sour cream frosting or perfect chocolate buttercream frosting recipes instead if you prefer!
  • Storage: Keep cake in airtight cake saver at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.



Serving: 1slice, Calories: 700kcal, Carbohydrates: 105g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 121mg, Sodium: 281mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 72g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

There’s no question about it. Baking from scratch tastes better! This Yellow Cake with double fudge frosting is a delicious centerpiece for any celebration!

Avatar photo

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

Categories: ,

Posted on September 17, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. This cake is beautiful! The chocolate frosting is making my mouth water just looking at it!

  2. Chocolate is one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to medicate.Full Melt offers a variety of fun and delicious flavors to choose from including both plain milk and dark chocolate bars for those who want to experience the true flavor of cannabis.

  3. Yellow cake is seriously my favorite! But as much as I love it, I’m so there with you loving the frosting even more….I’ll take a little cake with my frosting. 😀

  4. Ok, I feel the need to mention that yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my all time favorite. I mean, if I could (without it touching my hips) I would. Sprinkles are my favorite.. so you can probably guess how I feel about this post today…. LOVE. <3 Awesome recipe.. Gorgeous photos. <3

    1. I meant to say that If I could, I would eat it every day….but in my excitement… I totally missed that part!! 🙂

  5. Sour cream chocolate frosting is the BEST! Love this cake! I agree – once you make it, it’s hard to go back! Pinning this beauty!

  6. I love homemade cakes but have yet to find a yellow cake that I like. Can’t wait to try yours!

  7. What a gorgeous looking cake!! I must be the odd person out (don’t answer that…I know what you are thinking) because I have done the scratch cakes…and I actually prefer the box mixes over them every.single.time. Not that mine are dry or anything, I just like the box mix texture more! Call me crazy…but give me the preservatives 🙂 LOL! Now homemade frosting trumps canned every time…although I do love the canned stuff too! Chocolate frosting and animal crackers for the win!

  8. I saw this picture and in my head I went “I want this cake for my birthday.” Sooooo come February I will be making it 🙂

  9. I’m always looking for a good yellow cake recipe, so this one is joining the repertoire!
    By the way, I learned in a frosting class (I took one, yep) that if you add a little corn syrup to the frosting, it will make it harden like the stuff in the can. Because I agree. I love it when it gets more solid!

    1. Ahhh good to know!!! Using the melted chocolate helps too….once it’s given the chance, it will harden back up 🙂

  10. Every time I try to make a yellow cake from scratch, I find the recipe way too dry. I’m glad you came up with a moist version. And I agree: there is something comforting about a yellow cake with yummy chocolate frosting. Pinned!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for pinning Renee! I was having the same issues in making this. The combo of all purpose and cake flour gives it a nice crumb. The two eggs plus an extra yolk helps too!! ENJOY.

  11. I have yet to add a “from scratch” cake to my repertoire but it’s definitely something every baker should have. Yours looks fantastic! Love how this can be cake and cupcakes!

    1. It’s hard to go back to a mix once you bake from scratch. Although, admittedly, I do like mixes for certain types of recipes (poke cakes for one!!)

  12. I adore this — it’s the classic birthday cake combination I grew up with, it’s simply the ideal cake 🙂

  13. Love that this is a scratch cake and I love yellow cake with choc frosting. One of the best combos ever! I went thru exactly what you did in this post about a year ago. I made yellow/choc but in cupcakes. Took me quite awhile to get the perfect texture, for me, that I love. Chocolate is easy, white and yellow scratch cakes seem to be so much harder to nail! pinned 🙂

    1. Thanks Averie. The yellow cake was a bit harder…too many or too few eggs can ruin it! Thanks for pinning!

4.82 from 37 votes (35 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating