This is the best Yellow Cake Recipe I ever had. It is a never-fail recipe indeed, bursting with butter flavor and stays moist for days. You can not resist the tender crumbs that will melt in your mouth! Plus, I have included all the simple tips to make this yellow cake a hit every time you bake it. You can make yellow cupcakes, yellow sheets cakes and turn this recipe into the best layered Birthday cake! If you have a gas oven or electric oven, in this post, you will find all the details to bake this cake in both ovens with fantastic results, and there is a video to show you the technique I use in making the best yellow cake ever!
My Yellow Cake Recipe
- Moist with tender melt in your mouth crumbs.
- Rich with butter flavor yet not dense nor greasy.
- Perfect as a layered cake and releases fewer crumbs, so frosting the cake will be a breeze.
- No air pockets.
- Tastes even better the next day.
- It can be baked as a sheet cake, cupcakes, layer cake, and a loaf pan.
- Maintains the texture whether baked in a gas oven or electric.
- It rises nicely; that’s why I made it in a loaf pan to prove that having a thick batter didn’t stop it from rising and having tender crumbs.
- Delicious without frosting and a great companion to your coffee.
Why my Yellow Cake Recipe is foolproof?
When it comes to baking cakes, I don’t joke. Some fail to make a yellow cake without it sinking, coming out dense, or overbaked. I am not going to lie, I did run through few failed yellow cakes while testing the recipe, but practice makes perfect, and it is true in this case.
Just like my Red Velvet Cake, I perfected this yellow cake recipe and enhanced the flavor so you can enjoy it without frosting.
Let me share with you why this recipe will not fail you!
- All the ingredients were at room temperature, especially the eggs. If your eggs are cold, then the fastest way to bring them to room temperature is by placing them in a bowl filled with warm water for few minutes.
- I have used melted unsalted butter. I melted the butter to reduce the amount of water and intensify the flavor of butter.
- Using large eggs. If you have medium eggs, then use 3 egg yolks and two whole eggs.
- Instead of room-temperature milk, I added warm milk to the batter.
- Preheating the oven for at least 20 minutes before placing the cake in it.
- Baking the cake on the middle shelf.
- When using a gas oven, mostly the heat is not evenly distributed, and a lot of heat is located at the top part of the oven. Hence the cakes turn brown from the top, and the edges are darker. So instead of baking at 180C/350F, bake it at 165C/329F. If the top of the cake is still getting dark, cover it loosely with aluminum foil to stop it from browning further.
- I am not opening the oven door while the cake is baking.
- Beating the eggs until double in size and lighter in color.
- I am using parchment paper instead of greasing and dusting the baking pan.
- Not overbeating the batter after adding the flour.
Baking Yellow Cake in Gas oven Vs. Electric oven
I get a common question regarding baking cakes is “Why my cake looks browner than your cake?”. My cakes do not always come out light brown and golden because they depend on the oven I am using that day.
I have baked this yellow cake in two different ovens; one was a gas oven with a long vertical flame in the middle and baked it in an electric oven. Both cakes came out great; however, when baking in a gas oven, the baking time will change, and the cake will come out a little browner.
The cake shown in the images was baked in an electric oven. The cake in the video was baked in a gas oven. The yellow cake came out moist and delicious both times!
Baking a cake in an electric oven:
- It takes a longer time to bake the cake.
- Heat is mostly evenly distributed.
- The top of the cake comes out light in color, and the texture of the cake is moist (if not overbaked).
- The oven takes a little longer to preheat.
Baking a cake in a gas oven:
- The cake bakes faster than an electric oven by almost 15 minutes if baking a cake in a loaf pan.
- Heat is not evenly distributed because the flame is in the middle of the oven in most brands.
- The top and the edge of the cake get darker faster.
- To preheat the gas oven takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Ingredients in my yellow cake recipe
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this amazing cake. You might be surprised not seeing buttermilk here, but honestly, the warm milk works much better than buttermilk and keeps the cake moist for a longer time. Although Yellow cake is made with cake flour, I have used the substitute (which I will mention below) in the video, and as you can tell, the crumbs came out tender, even, and with no holes or air pockets!
Cake flour – You get more tender crumbs when using cake flour, but I have used a substitute to test it, and it came out perfect. To make the substitute, take two and a half tablespoons from the accurately measured one and quarter cup of all-purpose flour, replace it with two and a half tablespoons of cornstarch to have homemade cake flour. This recipe does not work with gluten-free flour.
Baking powder helps the cake rise well, and a small amount of one teaspoon is enough.
Unsalted melted butter – I have melted the butter to remove as much water possible from it to add intense buttery flavor. By now, you have guessed it; we will not cream butter and sugar in this yellow cake recipe!
Salt – Enhances the flavor.
Eggs – Large egg yolks and large whole egg whipped until doubled in size to give a light cake texture and get rid of the eggy taste.
Vanilla – It’s the only flavor that goes well in this cake.
Sugar – Use fine sugar; it dissolves quickly. If you have granulated sugar, place it in the grinder and pulse a few times, then use it in the recipe.
Milk – Whole milk is the best, do not use low-fat milk or almond and soy milk. The cake will not rise and will come out greasy and a little crumbly.
How to make my amazing Yellow Cake
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk or, even better, sift the dry ingredients and keep them aside.
- Add the egg yolks and the whole egg to the bowl, make sure it’s at room temperature. Beat the eggs for 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar while beating the eggs and continue beating until the color of the eggs turn lighter and its volume almost doubles.
- While still beating the egg and sugar, add the vanilla.
- Add the melted butter slowly and keep on beating the mixture.
- Heat the milk in the microwave until warm, do not let it boil. You should not see steam coming out of the milk. Warm milk, when added to the room temperature beaten eggs, will help it rise. The same happens when you make cream caramel; although you don’t beat the eggs until fluffy, adding warm milk helps the cream caramel rise.
- At a low speed, gradually add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the warm milk. Start with the flour and end with it. Beat until combined, do not overbeat.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, beat again on low speed for 5 seconds.
- You may see some small lumps in the batter, which is fine, and the lumps will bake evenly in the oven. Resist the urge to beat the batter more.
- Pour the batter in a 9" x 5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper, you can also grease and dust the pan, but I highly recommend using parchment paper.
- Since we were beating the eggs for a while, there will be bubbles in the batter. To avoid air pockets and large bubbles coming to the surface while baking, I ran a butter knife gently through the batter in a zig-zag pattern, horizontally and vertically. You can also fold a towel under the cake pan and gently tap the pan on the towel two times. I try to avoid this method because I usually make a mess!
- Bake the cake in a preheated oven. If you are using an electric oven, this cake might take 50 to 55 minutes. When using a gas oven, the cake will take around 40 minutes or a little less. The cake is fully baked when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Like most cakes, this yellow cake will have a dome, but it will flatten slightly after it cools completely. If you are decorating it, flip it to use an even surface for decoration.
- You can use chocolate frosting or buttercream frosting.
How to store yellow cake safely
Unfrosted cake in a cool place – place the cake in an airtight container and leave it in a cool place for up to 4 days.
Unfrosted cake refrigerated – Wrap tightly in a plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. Keep in mind that the fridge will make this yellow cake a little dry with time.
Unfrosted cake frozen – Cut the cake into slices and wrap each slice with plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices in a freezer-friendly bag on a plastic container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then, thaw the slices by placing them out on the kitchen counter for at least an hour.
Frosted cake in a cool place – The frosting protects the cake from going stale or dry, do not use plastic wrap, but cover the frosted cake with a cake keeper, and it can last for up to 4 days in a cool place.
Frosted cake refrigerated – Some cakes are frosted with fruit or frosting that has raw white eggs. In that case, it’s best to refrigerate the cake. Wrap the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 7 days.
Frosted cake frozen – It’s not advisable to freeze cakes with frosting consisting of fruit or raw eggs. Better use this step on buttercream frosting and ganache. Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes uncovered. Next, wrap the cake with plastic wrap and then wrap with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, place it on the kitchen counter for a minimum of an hour.
Tips for making a fail-proof Yellow Cake.
Substituting cake flour – You can use all-purpose flour mixed with cornstarch to make homemade cake flour, and it will work wonderfully in this recipe. Measure 1 ¼ cup flour, remove 2 ½ tablespoons from flour and replace it with cornstarch.
Less baking powder but more rise – The creaming method of butter and sugar takes a long time because the sugar doesn’t dissolve as fast in fat. Hence, in this recipe, beating the eggs until double in size helps the cake rise and reduces baking powder. Some recipes ask for 2 teaspoon baking powder, which leads the cake to sink in the middle. Instead, we are playing it safe and incorporating air naturally through the eggs.
Use room temperature eggs – If the eggs are cold, place them in warm water for 5 to 7 minutes. Room temperature eggs fluff faster and get more volume when beaten for few minutes. Cold eggs take a longer time.
Use good quality unsalted butter – Some brands add a lot of salt to their salted butter. Hence, it’s best to stick with unsalted butter. Also, if you melt salted butter, the amount of salt will be more noticeable in the cake.
Warm the milk – don’t warm the milk, start beating the eggs and mix other ingredients; the milk will cool. Instead, warm it just before adding it to the batter.
Don’t stop whisking the eggs – If you stop for a few seconds, the air accumulated in the eggs will escape, and you will get a dense cake.
Baking in the Gas oven – It will take a lesser time to bake the cake in a gas oven, so keep an eye on the cake. Usually, it is done 15 minutes before the time mentioned in most recipes, including this yellow cake recipe.
Do not open the oven door – Give the cake 20 minutes to bake before opening the oven door. The cake won’t be ready within 20 minutes. Opening the oven door will allow hot air to escape and expose the cake to cooler air, leading the cake to sink.
Baking Yellow Cake in different pans:
- To make a two-layer cake in an 8” pan, double the recipe and the baking time in a gas oven will be 20 to 24 minutes, and in an electric oven might go up to 30 minutes.
- To make one small Bundt pan, the cake will take 20 to 22 minutes in a gas oven and 27 minutes in an electric oven.
- This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, which will bake within 20 minutes in an electric oven but 16 to 17 minutes in a gas oven.
Yellow Cake Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 cup fine sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup warm milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Or grease the pan with butter and dust with flour and keep aside.
- In a bowl, mix the cake flour, salt, and baking powder. Keep aside.
- In a mixing bowl of a standing mixer (you can use a hand mixer too). Use the whisk attachment. Add the egg yolks, and the whole egg beat for 2 minutes.
- While still beating the eggs, add the sugar and keep on beating for 5 to 7 minutes until the eggs are lighter in color and double in size.
- Add the vanilla, then slowly add the melted butter, and keep on beating until well combined.
- Scrap the sides of the bowl and beat for a few seconds.
- Add the flour to the butter and egg mixture in three additions. Alternate with the warm milk. Start with the flour and end with flour.
- Keep the speed low and do not overbeat. You might see a few small lumps in the batter, but that’s fine.
- Pour the batter into the previously prepared pan. Run a butter knife through the batter in a zig-zag pattern to remove air bubbles trapped in the batter.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes in the electric oven and around 40 minutes in a gas oven. Or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Keep the cake in the pan for 5 to 7 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- This cake is delicious, and you can enjoy it without frosting.