Classic Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Just pretend it's your birthday

Everyone has a favorite birthday cake, but in our opinion, one that's hard to argue with is yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So we've developed a recipe that embodies everything we love about boxed cake mix in a beautiful, made-from-scratch layer cake. Consider it a carte blanche to go crazy with sprinkles and candles, even if it isn't your birthday.

If you aren't very confident in your cake-building skills, here's a tip: Start at the top with the frosting and work it over the sides to cover the cake. Use a bench scraper to even out the frosting, and then take an offset spatula wiped with a warm, wet rag to smooth the edges for a perfectly polished look. And just remember, you can never have too many sprinkles.

To learn more, read "Culinary Institute: Birthday Cake."

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Classic Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting
4.7 from 62 ratings
Yellow cake is layered with a rich chocolate-and-sour cream frosting for a moist and picture-perfect layer cake good for any day, birthday or not.
Prep Time
Cook Time
to 10 servings
Total time: 90 minutes
  • :::For the Cake: :::
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 (½ cup) egg yolks
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • For the Frosting
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and dust each with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and baking powders, salt and baking soda.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. With the motor running, add the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, to form a smooth, thick batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans, using an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before inverting on a wire rack and letting them cool completely. Trim ¼ inch off the top of each cake to make a flat surface.
  4. Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a heatproof, microwavable bowl, combine the milk and semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir in the sour cream and let cool completely.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the remaining frosting ingredients and cream until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix to incorporate.
  6. Place 1 cake, cut-side up, on a cake stand. Spread 1¼ cups of frosting over the surface of the cake. Place the other cake, cut-side down, on top. Using a bench scraper and a large offset spatula to smooth the edges, cover the cake completely with the remaining frosting. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, then slice and serve.
Calories per Serving 1,112
Total Fat 71.2 g
Saturated Fat 43.7 g
Trans Fat 2.3 g
Cholesterol 276.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 114.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 80.0 g
Sodium 609.6 mg
Protein 9.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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