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Classic Yellow Cake Batter

Recipe photo courtesy of Romulo Yanes

Layer cake, cupcakes, or loaf cake? One basic batter makes all these and more. Raspberry-Cream Layer Cake, Cappuccino-Chocolate Cupcakes, and Chocolate-Vanilla Marble Cakes each use this entire batch of batter. For the Pineapple Buckle, halve the recipe -- leftover batter would deflate if stored.

Source: Everyday Food, April 2012
Total Time Prep Yield



Cook's Notes

Don't rush when mixing the butter and sugar. This important step, called creaming, aerates the batter for a light and fluffy texture.

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • MS11067964
    17 DEC, 2018
    I love this recipe - it works every time and people always request the recipe. The finished cake is light and fluffy and works for so many things. This time I am using it in a Boston Cream Trifle - I will probably reduce the sugar in the pastry cream as the cake itself is pretty sweet - I love it though. For the bakers having difficulty, I can only “assume” you aren’t following The ingredients and directions as noted. Baking is a science and must be followed exactly if you want good results. Try it again, you won’t be disappointed.
    • MS11067964
      17 DEC, 2018
      P.S. I highly recommend using real buttermilk vs the kitchen hack of adding vinegar to milk to make your own buttermilk. I personally think this makes your “buttermilk” too sour.
  • likesbikes57
    17 JAN, 2015
    I read all of the reviews and tips. I do cook, but never had luck baking cakes. I made one mistake right off the bat, I forgot to add the two extra yolks. I used milk mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar. I was very careful to keep the flour light. I beat the egg whites, and folded them in at the end. Let me tell you, my cake turned out great! I believe the fact that i used jumbo eggs saved it. I do agree, the flavor was a bit bland, but next time, will try a bit of lemon zest. Great recipe!
    • ricks96497
      9 JUN, 2018
      How can it be bland with a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • MS12197447
    2 JUN, 2018
    I use this basic recipe for just about every cake I bake. If your cake is coming out dense, you may be overmixing the batter or not using CAKE flour. I've made this cake well over a dozen times and it's always been light and fluffy. I've never had an issue.
  • BonkieB
    10 MAY, 2014
    I found the rest of the recipe in the magazine. It says to butter 2 9 in. round cake pans. Bake at 350 for about 30 min. rotating half way through. Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
    • seraphsoath
      18 MAR, 2018
      Thank you!!!
    • Anniemom
      25 JUN, 2017
      THANK YOU for this!
  • qtee64
    10 NOV, 2014
    Thank you to the poster with the time & temp. I subscribe to Living, but, did not have time and really wanted to make this yummy sounding cake! I will follow this recipe to a "T" and let you all know how it worked for me *fingers crossed*
    • jefferson.diane
      13 JAN, 2017
      What is the time and temperature for baking this cake? Thank you Classic yellow cake recipe
  • Neha
    29 OCT, 2014
    hi , sorry guys haven tried the recipe but i want to try it. I request to please give me the measurement of butter in gms, and also sugar and flour , baking powder in gms. please help me out . thank you
    • Ramona Murphy
      16 JAN, 2015
      Google it. That's what I do. Easy and quick conversion.
  • Ramona Murphy
    16 JAN, 2015
    Everybody - this is the recipe for the BATTER only. Once you decided which cake to make you go to that cake. If you are like me and want to make cupcakes try 350 for 10-12 minutes, depending on oven. I know confusing but worth making this batter. I made the raspberry-cream layer cake and it was delicious and fresh. Needs to be eaten that day though.
  • Beatrix K
    28 SEP, 2014
    Very good! I made cupcakes with this recipe and they were great. Looking forward to making a layer cake with this batter.
  • MS112583616
    26 OCT, 2013
    Where on earth is the rest of the recipe? It stops at step 4, leaving out how long to bake and at what temperature.
  • brooklynbaker66
    17 SEP, 2013
    People that write in claiming a recipe is a disaster and doesn't work often didn't follow the basic principles of baking. Make sure you add the liquid and dry ingredients in steps, exactly as outlined- and never over beat the batter. Once the final bit of dry ingredients are added, stop mixing immediately. Take the batter off and give it a final stir with a spatula or spoon. The more you mix, the less tender the cake will be.

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