Simply Delicious Yellow Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes



  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 Tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 large eggs

Sweet Pink Buttercream:

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1⅓ cups butter, slightly softened
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Red food coloring (1 drop)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray the cake pans with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray and then line the bottoms with rounds of baking parchment, lightly spray the parchment paper.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk them gently for even distribution. In another bowl combine the milk and vanilla.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
  3. Lower the mixing speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture to the butter in 3 parts, alternating with 2 parts of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until it is evenly incorporated. This is a thick, fluffy batter, resembling whipped cream. (There should not be any lumps or dry pockets of flour remaining. If the batter has a curdled appearance it has not been mixed enough. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another minute or until it is thick and fluffy.)

  4. Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared cake pans. Weighing the batter into the pans is the most accurate way to do this. This ensures that both layers are uniform in size, and finish baking at the same time. You’ll have approximately 930 g/32.8 oz. of batter per pan. The pans should be about ⅔ full. Smooth the batter so it fills the pans evenly. Place the pans on the center rack in the preheated oven. Bake them for about 35 to 40 minutes (40-45 min), or until the cake is almost ready to pull away from the side of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Rotate the layers carefully from front to back after 20 minutes, for even baking if pans are unable to bake side by side.
  5. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack that has been sprayed with cooking spray and lift off the pans. To prevent cracking, carefully right each layer so the top side is up and the parchment-lined bottom is down. This is where I use the wrap and freeze method. Wrap all layers in saran wrap and freeze immediately. When cakes are completely frozen, remove from refrigerator, and frost. Cool them on the rack completely. Before frosting, be sure to remove the parchment from the bottom of each layer. While the layers are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Sweet Pink Buttercream:

  1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 5½ cups of the confectioner’s sugar, the butter, milk, vanilla, and salt in the bowl until they are smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes; start out at low speed and increase the speed to medium when the powder sugar has been moistened. Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until the frosting is of good spreading consistency, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often. You may not need to use all of the sugar. 
  2. The frosting should be stiff enough to hold its shape but not so stiff that you’ll be unable to spread it easily on the cake. Add 1 or 2 small drops of red food coloring and continue beating the frosting on medium-low speed until you have a uniform pale pink color. This frosting is heavy but it should still have a fluffy quality.

Assembling the cake:

  1. Place one layer, top side down, on a flat serving plate. Using a thin metal spatula, spread the top of this cake round with a ½-inch thick layer of frosting, leaving a ¼-inch unfrosted border around the edge. Place the second layer top side up on the first, aligning the layers evenly. Spread a generous layer of frosting around the sides of the cake, rotating the plate as you work so you’re not reaching around the cake to frost the other side. Try not to let any loose crumbs get caught in the frosting. Let the frosting extend about ¼ inch above the top of the cake.

  2. Starting in the center of the cake, cover the top with a generous layer of frosting, taking it all the way to the edge and merging it with the frosting on the sides. Try to use a forward-moving, circular motion, not a back-and forth motion to avoid lifting the top skin of the cake. Rotate the plate as necessary. Use the spatula or a spoon to make decorative swirls. Store the cake at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

1. This recipe called for 35-40 minutes of cooking time, but I ended up cooking my cakes about 50 minutes. It will just depend on your oven and your elevation so just watch your cakes carefully.
[/i]2. This cake is extremely delicate so be extra careful while you are getting them out of the pans and make sure they are cool enough. Once I removed the cake from the pan I wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in the fridge overnight. They were much easier to frost and even the spots that had started to crack, stayed together when I frosted it.
3. I had one cake pan overflow a little bit, so don't be alarmed if that happens. I think next time I will use my deeper 9-inch cake pans (which I would have used, but I completely forgot I even had them) because this cake does raise quite a bit during the baking time.