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Moist Yellow Cake

This makes an excellent base for a wedding cake, as it keeps well, wrapped in two layers of plastic, for several days in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • yield: Makes 3 cups batter for 1 eight-inch cake




  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter softened, plus more for parchment
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour sifted, plus more for parchment
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, and butter and flour the parchment. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt three times. Add to egg mixture in three additions, alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour.

  3. Step 3

    Pour the batter into the pan, and bake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, remove paper, and cool completely.

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 1 Winter/Spring 1995

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Reviews (6)

  • 17 Apr, 2014

    I had the same problem as another reviewer. My cake almost overran the pan and sunk in the middle. I'm going to torte it and decorate it in a Wilton class tonight so it's gonna be fine. Can you help me figure out what I did wrong? I really don't like baking 'fails'.

  • 3 Apr, 2012

    This makes a very dense, pound-like cake which is very sweet. I used it for my son's birthday cake and everyone seemed to like it. It was not the light, fluffy cake I was after but was good with ice cream.

  • 6 Jul, 2011

    This is a favorite recipe of mine. My whole family gets excited when I tell them I am making this one. It tastes great and is fairly easy to make for it to be made from scratch. I usually top it with homemade cream cheese icing and strawberries and blueberries. Yum!

  • 19 Oct, 2010

    I made this as a birthday cake for my 5-year-old son's birthday party, using white whole wheat flour which darkened the color slightly and made it a little "healthier", and I mean just a little! Topped it with whipped cream, fresh whole strawberries and blueberries, and it was a HUGE hit. No one could believe it was a simple yellow cake recipe. Will definitely use it again.

  • 5 Jun, 2008

    I 've used this cake reciepe over and over agian to make wedding cakes for friends. It taste great. I got the best review just a few weeks ago. I did a cake two years ago and the couple left shortly after the wedding to do relief work in New Orleans, not able to get the top for 1st but ate it on the 2nd annivarsery and they said it was really good and still moist. Thanks for the reciepe.

  • 4 Mar, 2008

    I chose this recipe because it was using a single 8in. pan and I only wanted a single layer of cake. I don't know wht happened but the cake overflowed in the oven and the middle sunk. Guess the real directions were to use 2 pans. You could tell that it would've been a good one though and we liked the flavor.