This is our go-to yellow cake recipe. It’s buttery, tender and moist and we developed this version with all-purpose flour because it’s a pantry staple. No need for a box mix when you have such a fast and easy recipe at hand. This cake is a great start if you are new to baking from scratch.
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- Position the rack in the center of your oven. Preheat to 350˚ F. Coat the insides of two 9-inch by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds, then spray parchment. (Or coat the inside of 9-inch by 13-inch pan, line bottom with parchment, then spray parchment.)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to combine and aerate; set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition, allowing each egg to be absorbed before continuing. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Divide batter evenly in pans (or pour into 9x13).
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes for the 9-inch rounds (30 to 35 minutes for the 9 by 13-inch pan) or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs. The cake will have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Unmold, peel off parchment, and place directly on rack to cool completely. The cake is now ready to fill and frost. Alternatively, place layers on cardboard rounds and double wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature if assembling within 24 hours. (If you are baking the 9 by 13-inch cake a day ahead, simply leave in the pan, cover with plastic wrap once it has cooled completely and store at room temperature overnight before frosting.)
- Note that the recipe will make two round layers for a tall, filled and frosted layer cake or will make a rectangular sheet cake, which is perfect for bake sales or when you need to feed a crowd.
- This yellow cake recipe is a true basic and will support pretty much any flavor frosting or buttercream you might want to use.