A classic yellow cake recipe makes an essential cake recipe for any kitchen. Made of simple ingredients, this makes the best yellow cake for every occasion.

Classic Yellow Cake Recipe from addapinch.com

There’s just something about a freshly baked cake topped with swirls of chocolate frosting that brings a smile to my face. Usually, it signals a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, a party of some sort, a celebration. But then, there are times that I think that by the end of a hectic week of my son’s classes and long hours studying, my husband working, and all that goes in and out of a week for any family, the weekend is reason enough to celebrate! Those are the times that I pull out this classic yellow cake recipe that is incredibly moist, tender, and perfect every single time. It’s like the little black dress of cakes – but the favorite one in your closet. You know the one? The one that makes you look slimmer, is the most comfortable and you always get compliments when you wear it out? Yes, that’s like this cake. 

Classic Yellow Cake Recipe from addapinch.com

Made of simple ingredients, this classic yellow cake recipe is easily one of the easiest cakes to make. This one bowl cake can easily be mixed by hand, hand mixer or even a stand mixer, making it a perfect go-to cake recipe. I love that it is also one that my family calls “the best”!

Classic Yellow Cake Recipe from addapinch.com

Here’s my Classic Yellow Cake recipe. I hope you love it as much as my family does!

Classic Yellow Cake Recipe

4.84 from 62 votes
A classic yellow cake recipe makes an essential cake recipe for any kitchen. Made of simple ingredients, this makes the best yellow cake for every occasion.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, , softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two or three 9-inch round baking pans or a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick baking spray or by coating with butter and lightly flouring, shaking away any excess flour and discarding.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until a light yellow in color, about 2-3 minutes. Incorporate eggs one at a time, being sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next. Then, incorporate egg yolks the same.
  • Whisk together salt, baking powder, and all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Spoon half of the mixture into the butter, sugar and egg mixture and stir until combined. Add half of buttermilk, then add the remainder of the flour mixture followed by the remainder of the buttermilk. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Divide the cake batter between the baking pans or pour into the 9×13 baking sheet pan.
  • Bake until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes for two 8-inch pans, 30 minutes for two 9-inch pans, and 35 minutes for a 9×13 baking pan. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 8-10 minutes in the pan placed on a wire cooling rack. Then, turn the cakes out on the cooling rack to cool completely.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. I used this recipe to make a coffee cake for the restaurant where I work. Cake was moist and flavorful. As a matter of fact I’m getting ready to make another batch right now! Our customers are loving it!

  2. Very good cake! I’ve been doing cakes for all occasions for more than 30 years and this recipe is perfect! Made cupcakes because I needed a recipe that would adapt to a lemon lavender flavor for my daughters up coming wedding. Just needed to add dried lavender w a bit of lemon zest. Fantastic!! Can’t wait to try w a lemon buttercream frosting. I’m definitely using your recipe for the wedding cupcakes. Thank you for your fabulous recipe!

  3. This cake looks delicious! Can this recipe be baked into 2 9inch cake pans instead of 3? If so how long would you bake them for? Thank you!

    1. Marie, you can bake this recipe in 2 9-inch pans. I would bake about 30 minutes for the 2 pans.

  4. This cake is dense, but it is fantastic!!!! I made it the first time but swapped the buttermilk because I hate buttermilk. Don’t swap it. Make it exactly as she tells you. I did a Chantilly whipped cream filling one layer of this. One layer of the chocolate cake. And milk chocolate butter cream. It was SO GOOD. I’ve made a lot of cakes and nothing ever will come this clsoe to perfect!

    1. Thanks so much, Lauren. The Chantilly whipped cream sounds delicious with this cake.

  5. Hello! I want to make a three layer cake. What do you suggest? I have 8in and 9in cake pans. Could I do a recipe and a half and make three 9in cake pans?

    1. Macie, make 1 1/2 times this recipe for 3 9-inch round cake pans. Hope you enjoy the cake.

    1. Emmi, you could use either a 9×2-inch round pan or an 8×8 square pan. Hope you enjoy.