My Favorite Classic Yellow Cake Recipe (Makes fab cupcakes too!)

When it comes to recipes you see shared on the internet these days, it is common to see super trendy things circulating, and also some really different recipes too (not always in a good way). I think with how many food bloggers there are in the world people are trying desperately to stand out, which I think can be too bad since there is loss of focus on the good-old classics.

In my kitchen, a basic yellow cake recipe is a year-round stand-by. First of all, is is super easy to whip up. If I get surprised with an event I don’t have lots of time to plan for, these are incredibly fast and easy. Also, it can easily be customized! Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is one of my favorites, but you can easily sub out the vanilla and sub in some lemon extract for a summery citrus flavor. You can also keep the yellow cake but play around with different icing ideas for variation… think coconut, lemon, vanilla with sprinkles.

You can make this recipe as a layer cake using two 9-inch cake pans, or the cupcake version as I did. Bake for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes, and 30-35 minutes if using cake pans.


  • 10T Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4C Granulated sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1t Vanilla extract (can be replaced by lemon or almond)
  • 1/4t Almond extract
  • 2C All-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2t Baking powder
  • 1/4t Salt
  • 3/4C Milk


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners, or butter your cake pan and dust with flour.

With your mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each combination. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir the dry into the wet 1/3 at a time, alternating with the milk.

For cupcakes, divide the batter evenly amongst the 12 cupcake tins. The batter will come almost to the top of the liner, but not flow over. For cake pans, simply divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake 20-25 minutes for cupcakes and 30-35 minutes for a layer cake, until a knife can be inserted and comes out clean.


8T Butter softened to room temp
4C Confectioners sugar
6T Cream or milk
2t Vanilla extract

VARIATIONS – sub out vanilla and sub in 2t lemon juice. Or, add 4oz of melted, cooled unsweetened baking chocolate (what I did in pictures above!)

Wait until your cake has cooled to mix your frosting.

With an electric mixer, whip your butter until creamy. Add your confectioners sugar a little at a time, alternating with milk and vanilla. Frost and serve immediately!


The original recipe was adapted from one of my go-to cookbooks, “How to Cook Everything”. I have used this book for at least a decade and find it is a great place to find recipes for well, everything! Click links below if you are interested in getting more information or purchasing! (Amazon Affiliate)

How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Affiliates program… I am not sponsored by any of these products, I just really like them! I do however get a little kick-back if you purchase anything through the links provided. Prices are no different than if you were just shopping on your own 🙂

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