Classic Yellow Birthday Cake Recipe

You can add fun flavors and colors to cakes, but sometimes what a party really needs is a classic yellow birthday cake. Yellow cake, traditional for birthdays, is rich in color and flavor thanks to the use of real butter and eggs. Paired with classic chocolate frosting, this birthday cake recipe whips up a festive treat that everyone will enjoy!

Classic Yellow Cake

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake


4 large eggs
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups cake flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened


PREHEAT oven to 350° F degrees.

PREPARE 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, or 2 (12-cup) cupcake tins with liners.

COMBINE eggs, milk and vanilla and set aside.

WHISK together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

ADD pieces of butter one at a time on low speed.

BEAT on medium for 1 minute after all butter has been added.

POUR liquid mixture into butter mixture, reserving ½ cup of liquid. Mix for 1 minute.

SCRAPE side of the bowl and add remaining liquid mixture.  Mix until well incorporated.

DIVIDE batter evenly into prepared pans.

BAKE 8-inch cakes for 25 minutes, cupcakes for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

COOL completely before frosting.

Comments (8)


I would like to know if anyone else made this recipe. I always try new yellow cakes but really had a problem with this one. First it shrank way in from the sides of the pan and second it hardly raised. It tasted like there was too much egg almost like an egg nog. The consistancy was heavy. I followed it just the way it said. Strange recipe mixing the butter with the flour. Did anyone else have any success or failure?


grammy1963, I'm glad you've been adventurous to try a new recipe. I usually bake my cakes at 325, instead of 350 and have had success with this recipe at that temperature. I recommend all bakers invest in an oven thermometer too!


The secret to this recipe is this: When you add the butter to the dry mixture, mix it until it is crumbly- then add 1/3rd of your liquid mixture, beat it on medium-high speed until it is lighter in color and fluffy. then add another 1/3rd of the liquid and mix on low approx. 30 seconds- then add the final 1/3 and mix only another 30 seconds until all is mixed in. If you don't beat the first 1/3 until fluffy- the cake will not rise well and will be tough.


I made this with the reverse creaming method. I creamed the butter with the dry ingredients first. I then added the wet. It was okay tasting but dry. I was wondering what I could do to make it better. Maybe add a cup of full fatted sour cream and/or instant pudding mix?


You may get a better rise by reducing the eggs by 1, adding 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and increasing the flour to 225 grams from its current 210 gram or (1 3/4 cups) and reducing the sugar from its current 1 1/2 (300 grams) to 1 cup (200 grams). I would also use the creaming method for the butter and sugar. With these changes it would essentially be my standard yellow cake recipe I use in my business.