Today, I’m celebrating the 1-year anniversary of this blog (!!) with my favorite yellow cake recipe. It’s 3 layers tall, moist and fluffy, and covered in the most creamy chocolate frosting. Happy Birthday Blue Bowl!
Thank you for being here over the past year! This blog wouldn’t exist without your support and I am SO grateful for each and every one of you!
Now – on to the yummy part!
Making the Cake Layers
This part is easy! Mix ingredients together, and pour them into your prepared pans! A few tips:
- Add the ingredients in the order the directions state. It can affect the outcome of your cake
- My no-fail way to prepare cake pans is the grease + flour method! Grease them liberally with shortening, then add flour to the inside of the pan and shake it around until it’s 100% coated. Dump the excess into the next pan!
- Weigh your batter to make sure it’s evenly divided among your three pans. Eyeballing it works too, if you’re pretty comfortable making a layer cake
- Don’t over bake your cake! Start on the lower end of the time range given. When a toothpick comes out clean (or without wet batter) it’s done.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans, on cooling racks for 10 minutes before trying to remove them from the pans.
Next up – we frost the cake. You do NOT have to be a fancy-schmancy professional cake decorator to make a cake like this. If there is anything I am not – it is a cake decorator. Here are my tips to pull it off without fancy skills!
Making Perfect Frosting + How to Frost a Cake
- Make sure you have smooth frosting to start with – sifting your powdered sugar is an extra step BUT it’s quick and so worth it!
- Mix up the frosting in your stand mixer (if you have one) – makes things so much easier!
- Put down strips of wax paper on your cake stand/plate (one going in each direction, forming a square with an opening in the middle). This will keep your cake stand clean while frosting the cake. Just gently pull the wax paper strips out when finished!
- Use an offset spatula – it’s easier and faster than using a butter knife, especially when working with something that’s larger than a cupcake
- Pile a big dollop of frosting in the middle of a cake layer, and work outwards. Keep adding frosting as needed
- Use a cake scraper to get smooth sides on your cake (also doubles as a handy dough scraper!)
- Use a spoon to create swirls and peaks in the frosting (see – not fancy!
All those tips will have you on your way to beautiful cakes in no time! And then we can get to the fun part – eating the cake! Did I mention that this isn’t any old chocolate frosting? It’s cream cheese chocolate frosting! SO creamy and delicious – and not overwhelmingly sweet like a traditional buttercream frosting can be!
Make this for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays – this is the perfect celebration cake.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Best Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
The Best Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting - This is our favorite yellow cake! It's 3 layers tall, light and fluffy, and covered in the most creamy chocolate frosting. Perfect for any celebration!
For the Cake
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 7 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tbsp corn or tapioca starch
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup full-fat greek yogurt
For the Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted Important for getting creamy, smooth frosting!
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 1 and 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
Prep: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (NOT 350!). Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans (method outlined above in the post). Set aside.
Make the cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, soften the butter. Cream well with electric mixer. Add the sugar and cream well. Add 4 eggs and mix until just combined. Add the remaining 3 eggs and the vanilla, and mix until just combined.
Add the flour, corn or tapioca starch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Add the oil and greek yogurt and mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure there aren't any chunks of un-mixed ingredients hiding in the bottom of the bowl.
Bake: Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans. (Eyeball it or use a scale.) Bake 24 minutes. Test with a toothpick - if it comes out clean (or with some crumbs, but no wet batter) it's done. If there's still wet batter, add 1-3 more minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans, on cooling racks, for 10 minutes. Then, run a butter knife around the edge to gently loosen the cake layers. Invert onto a cooling rack or plates. Let cool COMPLETELY before frosting, or the frosting will melt and slide off the cake.
Make the frosting: While the cake bakes, make the frosting.
Soften the cream cheese and butter, and cream together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream in a few batches, mixing between each. (If you add the powdered sugar all at once it will fly everywhere when you try to mix it!).
Add the cocoa powder and vanilla last and mix well. If the frosting is a little too thin, add more powdered sugar or cocoa powder. If it's too thick, add a splash of heavy cream.
Assemble the cake: Lay down strips of wax paper on your cake plate/stand. (Use 4 strips - form a square with the pieces overlapping, and a hole in the middle. This will keep the cake stand clean and you can pull them away gently after frosting the cake.)
Add the first layer of cake (use a cake lifter or a large pancake flipper). Put a large dollop of frosting on top and spread it out evenly using an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining layers. Make sure to reserve enough frosting for the outside and top of the cake.
Frost the outside and top of the cake. A cake scraper is helpful to smooth the sides. Create swirls in the top of the cake using the back of a spoon.
Serve + Store: Slice and serve immediately! Store leftovers at room temp, covered well with plastic wrap so the frosting doesn't dry out. Keeps for up to 4 days.
Make ahead: The cake layers and frosting can be made a day in advance! Follow all directions as written above, skipping the cake assembly. Place each completely cooled cake layer onto its own plate, and cover well with plastic wrap. Store at room temp for a day before using. Cover the frosting tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for a day or two before using. Assemble the cake the next day! Frosting should sit out for a little bit so it's spreadable.
NOTE: If you want to use cake flour, use 3 cups of cake flour and omit the 2 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour and the 6 TBSP of cornstarch.
NOTE: I usually bake 2 cake pans, side by side, and then the 3rd one separately. If you bake all 3 at once, rotate the pans halfway through to help them bake evenly.
NOTE: If you need to cover and/or transport the cake and don't want the frosting to get smooshed from the plastic wrap - stick a few toothpicks on the top and sides of the cake to hold the plastic wrap away from the frosting. No smooshed frosting!
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