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A piece of three layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a blue and white plate.

Yellow Cake Recipe

A fluffy, tender, moist, melt in your mouth yellow cake covered in the best chocolate buttercream imaginable.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 674kcal


For the Cake:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 270g
  • 1/4 cup corn starch 35g
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar 250g
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature, 113g
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil 60mL
  • 3 eggs room temperature, large
  • 2 yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 15mL
  • 1 cup buttermilk 240mL

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 ¼ cup unsalted butter 1 cup room temp, ¼ cup melted
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ tsp salt You can add less if you're salt-sensitive
  • 1/2 cup milk divided
  • 1 lb powdered sugar 450g
  • cup semisweet chocolate


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour three 6 inch round pans. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, corn starch, and salt then set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer. 
  • Add the oil and vanilla, mix to combine then scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down once more and mix again. 
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter in alternating batches while mixing on low.
  • Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the centers are set and springy.
  • Allow to layers cool in pans for a few minutes then invert into a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in a microwave. Mix in the cocoa power and set aside.
  • Melt 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate with 1/4 cup milk then mix together and set aside. You can use 1/2 cup of chocolate for an extra-rich frosting if desired.
  • Beat one cup of room temperature butter in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer. 
  • Pour in the melted butter cocoa mixture, mix to combine then scrape the bowl down and mix again. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low. Pour in the melted and cooled chocolate ganache then drizzle in about 1/4 cup of milk. Scrape the bowl down and mix until smooth. Your frosting should be silky, soft and luscious.

For the Assembly

  • Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the first layer, add the next layer on top and repeat until the cake Is built. Cover the cake with buttercream then use a spatula to swirl the buttercream around for a rustic effect.



  • I specified all purpose flour and cornstarch for this recipe but you can use 2 1/2 cups of cake flour if preferred. 
  • If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans. 
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don't have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • Scrape the bowl down frequently when making the cake batter and frosting. You always want a homogenous consistency throughout.
  • To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set online or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I have a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 963IU | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg