There are a lot of yellow cakes out there claiming to be “moist and tender,” but this one actually comes equipped with a recipe that can back it up. Not only will this delicious Homemade Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting deliver delectable results, but it also comes equipped with baking tips and ingredient explanations preventing any room for error!
If you’ve been on the hunt for a moist Yellow Cake Recipe, look no further. Not only is the texture on point, so is the flavor. This cake bakes up rich and buttery, with a fluffy, pillowy soft, moist interior (like, for real this time), and a decadently rich, fudgy chocolate frosting that comes together in just 5 minutes on the stovetop! Say goodbye to disappointing, dry yellow cake. This is the recipe we’ve all been waiting for.
Love classic desserts? Add our seriously chocolatey, seriously moist Texas Sheet Cake to your baking lineup!
HOW TO MAKE YELLOW CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- Sift the dry ingredients
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients and buttermilk to wet mix.
- Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
- Make the chocolate frosting.
- Ice the cake and then let it cool!
First things first, preheat the oven to 350°F and have a 9×13″ pan greased and ready to rock. Line the pan with parchment paper if you plan to serve the cake on a platter, rather than from the pan. A nonstick metal pan will work best for this cake recipe, but more on that below!
1. SIFT THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Sure, you can get by with a whisk, but taking the time to sift the dry ingredients actually makes a difference in how light and tender your Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting turns out. Sift the dry ingredients over a medium-sized mixing bowl, give it a whisk, and then set it aside.
2. CREAM THE BUTTER AND SUGAR
The most important thing when it comes to creaming butter and sugar is that your butter is room temperature! To do this, add the butter and sugar to a large bowl, and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 3-5 minutes.
3. ADD OIL, EGGS, SOUR CREAM, AND VANILLA
Add the oil and mix until well-blended. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated before adding the next one in! Then, add the sour cream and the vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more.
4. ALTERNATE ADDING DRY INGREDIENTS WITH BUTTERMILK
Now, with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 rounds, alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and mix again.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth over the top and bake for 28-32 minutes. Be sure to check the cake at the 28-minute mark so you do not risk overcooking it! Then, set it aside and make the frosting.
6. MAKE THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, it’s time to make that gooey chocolate frosting! This frosting comes together on the stovetop, and you’ll need a medium-sized saucepan to whip it up.
Butter, milk cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt are added to a saucepan over medium heat and stirred occasionally. Once the mixture is melted and begins to simmer, remove it from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir again! That’s it!
7. FROST AND COOL
Unlike most cake recipes, when it comes to this frosting, you don’t have to wait until the cake is completely cooled to ice it.
Simply pour the chocolate frosting evenly across the surface over the baked yellow cake and then you’ll set it aside to cool, just until the frosting sets up. This will typically take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your environment.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: SUPPLIES AND INGREDIENTS
It’s best to avoid any surprises when it comes to baking a cake. Have your tools and ingredients out and ready for use! The tools you will need for making this cake are as follows:
- 9×13″ baking or casserole dish (preferably light-colored aluminum or steel)
- Mesh sieve or flour sifter
- Handheld or stand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring pitcher
- Silicone spatula
- Medium-sized saucepan
- Parchment paper (optional)
This recipe was tested over and over again until we landed on an easy Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting that not only yielded a perfectly soft, moist texture, but also incomparable flavor! Every ingredient matters and you should take care to follow their indicated quantities to a “T”.
Not all flours were created equal, and when a recipe calls for cake flour, you should use only cake flour. Cake flour is lower in protein than all-purpose flour, which makes for a softer and more delicate crumb. It is also better structured for baked goods with a high sugar-to-flour ratio. Like, let’s say….a cake?
Baking soda and baking powder are both chemical leaveners and they are no joke, especially when it comes to cake.
You really want to pay attention when you are adding these ingredients, as they are not interchangeable. Baking soda is much stronger than baking powder and if the two quantities are mixed up, it will likely cause your cake to sink in the middle.
The most prominent fat in this cake recipe is unsalted butter, and it is supreme for adding flavor to cakes. If you accidentally purchased salted butter, you would need to leave the salt called for in the recipe out entirely and hope for the best.
Remember, the butter is that it really needs to be at room temperature so that it can properly cream with the sugar.
You’ll also find oil in the ingredient list. This extra little bit of fat ensures the cake bakes up perfectly moist. You can use any type of flavorless oil: canola, avocado, or vegetable oil would all work fine.
We’ll be using oil for two reasons:
- Oil remains liquid at room temperature. This equals moisture.
- It has zero water content, meaning it is pure fat, meaning it doesn’t form gluten when it meets the flour, which ultimately means it is a tenderness regulator. Yes, please.
BUTTERMILK AND SOUR CREAM
Speaking of moist and tender, there are two more ingredients incorporated into the cake to ensure you don’t end up with a dry and disappointing crumb: Sour cream and buttermilk. The acid in both sour cream and buttermilk have an amazing tenderizing effect on baked goods. Not to mention, they amp up the flavor tremendously.
You might find that this batter tastes a bit tangy, however, it will not carry over the same tanginess once it is baked.
Sugar does more than just add sweetness! It is also a tenderizer.
Ah, the incredible egg. Eggs are a lot of things when it comes to baking. They are structure builders, bingers, tenderizers, and even flavor-adders. It’s best if you can have them at room temperature when adding them to the batter, but to be quite honest, ours were not and the cake turned out just fine. You’ll need 3 large eggs for this recipe.
VANILLA AND SALT
You don’t know how important vanilla extract is for adding flavor to baked goods…until you forget it. Vanilla and salt, while seemingly unimportant, make a huge difference when it comes to the flavor of this Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
This recipe calls for fine sea salt and it what we always use in our baked goods. If you only have standard, iodized table salt, cut the quantity back to 1 teaspoon and proceed with the recipe.
DO YOUR CAKES TURN OUT DRY? IT MIGHT BE THE PAN.
The type of pan you use has a direct effect on how long your cake takes to bake. For a perfectly tender, decadently moist Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting, a stainless steel or aluminum pan is your best option! But, why?
Think about the walls of the pan and how thick a ceramic pan or glass dish is in comparison to a metal pan. The thicker the material, the longer it takes to heat through.
A metal cake pan heats through quickly. When it comes to cakes, this is a good thing, allowing for and promoting even cooking!
Another thing to keep in mind is the color of your pan. Darker pans cook hotter and may cause over-browning along the perimeter of baked goods. It’s best to use a light-colored pan for baking!
ARE YOU SERVING FROM THE PAN OR ON A PLATTER?
If you are planning to serve straight out of the pan, there’s no need to mess with parchment paper. However, if you are planning to transfer your cake out onto a platter, you’ll want to first grease the pan and then line it with parchment paper.
WHAT FLAVOR IS YELLOW CAKE?
Yellow Cake is vanilla in flavor and gets its color from the yolks of the eggs. White cakes use mostly just egg white, while Yellow Cake uses all the egg.
5 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Tiramisu Sheet Cake
- Kentucky Butter Cake
- Chocolate Kit Kat Cake
- Homemade Funfetti Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
This easy Homemade Yellow Cake bakes up rich and buttery, with a fluffy, pillowy soft, moist interior. It's topped off with a decadently rich, warm and fudgy chocolate frosting that comes together in just 5 minutes on the stovetop. It's a delicious combo that makes for one heavenly slice of cake!
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready a greased 9x13" baking dish, preferably light-colored steel or aluminum.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color (about 3-5 minutes). You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
Add the oil and mix until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and the vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 rounds, alternating with the buttermilk (adding it in 2 rounds). Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and mix once more.
Bake for 28-32 minutes (checking at the 28-minute mark). Set the cake aside to cool completely on a wire rack before icing. If you are using a ceramic or glass baking dish, your cake will take about 3-6 minutes longer to finish baking.
Add the butter and the milk to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and allow the butter to melt, stirring occasionally.
As soon as the butter has melted, add the vanilla, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt. Whisk until smooth and pour evenly over the cake. Allow the icing to set, about 2-3 hours.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE CAKE IS DONE:
The cake is ready when the center of it springs back ever so slightly after a gentle poke or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.