Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Learn how to bake a cake from scratch with this well tested yellow birthday cake recipe.  We made helpful step-by-step videos to guide and assist you in making your first cake without a box mix.  A yellow cake with chocolate frosting is so cheerful and inviting.  One bite of fluffy cake with creamy chocolate frosting can transport you back to childhood.  Don’t be shy if you want to add some colorful sprinkles or go a more sophisticated route with fanciful garnishments.


6 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/3 cups of sifted cake flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon of salt
1  1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup of milk (heavy cream or whole mikl)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)


Adjust oven racks to the center.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease (or line with parchment paper and grease parchment) three 8-inch round cake pans or one 8 x 12 oblong pan or one standard bundt pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.

In a bowl, using a stand or hand mixer, add the butter chopped into large chunks.  On a low speed, beat the butter until the texture is smooth and creamy (this should take about 30 seconds).  Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Next, turn the mixer back on at medium speed and add in sugar gradually.  Let the butter and sugar be whipped together for a couple of minutes until the butter and sugar are well blended and creamy.  Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides again.

Turn the mixer back on at low speed and slowly pour in vanilla extract and oil, alternating the two until well combined.  Next, Add in egg and egg yolk one at a time and mix until batter is fluffy.  Once all the eggs are added, turn off the mixer again and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Turn on the mixer at medium speed, and alternate adding the flour mixture and milk.  Continue to let the mixer beat everything together until the batter is well blended.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then tap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.  Bake cakes until golden for about 35 to 40 minutes.

The cake is done when the internal temperature registers approximately 205 to 209 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

Thermapen Thermometer

This is the type of cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking.  I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking.  I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right.  To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in the cake pans on a wire rack.

Yellow Birthday Cake

Once the cakes are cooled, take the first baking pan and place your hand on top, then flip the pan upside down and gently slide the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand.  You are now ready to cover the 1st layer with frosting (see buttercream frosting recipe below).

Yellow Birthday Cake frosting first layer
Yellow Birthday Cake frosting spread on first layer

After each layer is frosted, repeat this step to carefully remove each cake layer from the pan and gently place on top of the frosted layer.  Continue to frost each layer until covered, then use the remaining frosting to frost the sides of the cake.

Yellow Birthday Cake frosting 2nd layer
Yellow Birthday Cake finishing frosting side

Top the frosted cake with desired garnishments such as chocolate shavings or sprinkles.

Yellow Birthday Cake ready to serve

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) package of powered sugar

Add cocoa powder to a large bowl and whisk until all lumps are removed.

Cream together the butter, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder until smooth.

Alternating between the milk and powdered sugar, slowly add to mixture.

Optional additions (sea salt, coffee, or cinnamon)

The frosting can be immediately applied to a cooled cake.

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