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5 from 2 votes
triple layer yellow cake slice with chocolate frosting and sprinkles
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
This homemade Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a fluffy yellow cake recipe from scratch topped with a rich and creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s a classic cake recipe perfect for birthday cakes, holidays, or a midnight snack.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: yellow cake with chocolate frosting
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Michelle
Yellow Cake
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 2/3 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
  • 4-5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream.
Yellow Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (9”) circular cake pans well. Set aside.
  2. Beat unsalted butter and oil together, until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes).
  3. Add in granulated sugar, and beat again until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until *just* combined after each addition (I add 1/3 flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until *just* combined. Next I add 1/2 of the buttermilk, and mix until just combined, etc.).
  7. Add in vanilla extract, almond extract, and sour cream. Mix until just combined (overmixing the ingredients can lead to a dry cake).
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Spread batter in an even layer, then tap the cake pans on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  9. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool for about 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Chocolate Frosting (Chocolate Buttercream)
  1. With a mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Next, add in cocoa powder and 2 2/3 cups of powdered sugar, and mix until well combined.
  3. Add in salt and espresso powder, and mix until combined.
  4. Add in 4 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream, and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. If the frosting feels too thin, add in the remaining powdered sugar. If it feels too thick, add in the remaining heavy whipping cream.
  1. Place one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand and top with 1/3 of the chocolate frosting. Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cake, spreading the frosting all the way to the edge of the cake (let some of the frosting spill over the sides of the cake).
  2. Top with the middle layer, and repeat with frosting.
  3. Finally, add the top layer and use the remaining frosting to top the cake and sides (the frosting from the bottom and middle layers that spilled out over the sides make it much easier to frost the sides of the cake).
  4. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
  5. Slice and serve. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

*You can make this with 2 (9”) cake pans, but it will bake a little longer.
*If you don’t have cake flour, you can use a combination of all purpose flour and cornstarch. For this recipe the measurements would be: 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour + 1/3 cup cornstarch. Sift the flour and cornstarch together.