Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing

December 19th, 2008 by katie

03/09 Update: I have found a yellow cake that I like better than this one.  It is moister and sweeter and can be found here.

Nothing in the world transports me back to childhood like the combination of sweet yellow cake and thick, creamy chocolate frosting. My middle child always requests strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday. There were going to be multiple baking opportunities for this particular birthday so for the obligatory classroom cupcakes (princesses for the girls and batman for the boys-my kids always require gender specific cupcakes) I went with the gender neutral, always perfect, combination of yellow cake and chocolate frosting.

Basic Yellow Cake

makes about 3 cups of batter, prep 5 min, bake 15 min, adapted from Recipezaar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • couple drops of yellow food coloring (optional, but what’s a birthday without some yellow #5)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13×9 pan or place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  2. Combine and cream butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in milk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat for 2 min.
  4. Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt, in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and food coloring, if desired, to wet ingredients and stir just to combine.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan, makes about 16-18 cupcakes depending on size. I got 16 but I tend to overfill my cupcakes.
  6. Bake for 15 min for cupcake or up to 30 min for sheet cake, or until tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

prep 5 min, adapted from Recipezaar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  1. Cream butter.
  2. Beat in milk, vanilla, and corn syrup.
  3. Beat in sugar and cocoa.
  4. Add additional cocoa by the tablespoon as needed for thicker consistency or deeper flavor.

Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge until set, then keep covered at room temperature.

So you’ll notice I have been making a lot of not-from-a-box cakes lately. I really like making cakes from scratch and it isn’t any harder than making a boxed mix. My three-year old (actually the four year old) will tell you that to make cake you need eggs, sugar, butter, and flour-and that makes me happy. But I have noticed all of the cakes come out drier than boxed mixes. No matter how diligent I am about removing them the instant the centers are set, they still seem dry. So what’s the deal internet?

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Posted in Desserts, Easy, Uncategorized

12 Responses

  1. Marie

    Thats a great photo! The frosting looks great too! Have a wonderful holiday.

  2. rayrena

    Hmm, boxed mixes seem to have a lot of vegetable 0il in them… At least yours taste much better! Plus, your kids are growing up knowing the real ingredients in food, I love that!

  3. Steph

    More butter? I find yellow cakes to be the most difficult cakes to bake. Even if the come out moist, they don’t end up fluffy. When they do end up fluffy, they turn dry within a few hours. My favourite recipe so far is billy billy’s cupcakes. I just made them a while ago and they were really fluffy, except still a bit dry hours later

  4. Steph

    Maybe it’s because we’re expecting the cakes to be cake mix like in texture, but that is really the wrong comparison to make because butter cakes are supposed to be dense?

  5. DD

    Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my all-time favorite. I ask for it every birthday and get about 3 of them. Ahh, it’s the perfect combo.

  6. Stacy

    I love the fact that you made your cake from scratch, not a box!!! Yellow cake and chocolate are such a part of my childhood memories as well. thanks for sharing this one.

  7. My First Kitchen

    That photo is truly precious. So simple and beautiful.

  8. noble pig

    Yum and that picture is just adorable.

  9. Karly

    My mother-in-law always adds about a tbsp. of mayo to box mix cakes and they are soooo moist. Maybe you could try adding a bit of mayo? Not sure if you would need to adjust the eggs/oil/butter, but it might be worth experimenting!

  10. Karly

    Oh, and I just stumbled on your blog and am enjoying looking through all of your recipes! Your pictures are gorgeous!

  11. Serena

    OMG your kid looks just like a lovely angel!! :)

    great blog :)

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