This tried-and-true Classic Yellow Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting tutorial will make any novice baker shine. A simple homemade cake that’s perfect for birthdays or any other celebration. Baking for beginners made easy!
Baking a classic yellow cake is easier than you think!
Cakes are my thing. I love making cakes, decorating cakes and then, obviously, eating cakes. One of my favorite cakes to make is this Classic Yellow Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting and sprinkles because I think of it as the ultimate birthday cake. It’s the cake I associate with childhood birthday parties, so each slice comes with a spoonful of 90’s nostalgia. Plus, to be honest, it’s just a great cake that anyone will enjoy! It ticks all the boxes and pleases everyone at a party.
Learn how to make the quintessential birthday cake!
Yellow cake is essentially a vanilla cake made with egg yolks in addition to whole eggs, which can give it a yellower color. However, it won’t be the intense yellow color you achieve with a boxed yellow cake mix. The egg yolks also give the yellow cake a custard-like flavor and texture compared to a white cake that maintains a light, airy taste and texture from egg whites. Nonetheless, both are versions of vanilla cake.
The perfect fudgy chocolate frosting!
Something about that light custard-ness makes yellow cake go really well with chocolate frosting! Not to brag, but this fudgy chocolate frosting recipe is THE BEST. It’s rich and fudge-like because of the addition of melted chocolate, so it perfectly balances a fluffy vanilla cake like this one. Then you add sprinkles and it’s a match made in heaven. I used a sprinkle mix called Candyfetti, which is a brand of sprinkles that has more of a candy-like taste and texture. They’re also flavored, so you’ll want to eat them by the handful! That’s probably not recommended though.
Tips for the novice baker:
As far as decorating your cake, don’t skip the leveling step! If you’re new to making layer cakes, a cake leveler by Wilton is a great tool for creating even layers. The even layers will help keep your cake straight, which is a must if you want to achieve smooth sides. Use an angled spatula or a scraping tool to smooth out the frosting around the sides of your cake, or go for a more rustic look by adding waves to the buttercream and allowing the outside to maintain texture. Either way, it’s going to be a beautiful cake!
Of course, you can also adapt this recipe to make about 24 cupcakes if you don’t want to go through the trouble of assembling a layer cake! In that case, adjust the baking time because they will cook faster.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs + 2 yolks
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkles, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray three 8-inch round pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and yolks, beating well between each addition. Then mix in vanilla.
- Mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and alternate with buttermilk, scraping the bowl as you go, until all ingredients are just mixed. Do not over mix.
- Distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool on a wire rack, and when cool enough to move, remove the cake from the pans to cool completely.
- First, melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove, and set aside to cool for several minutes.
- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.
- With a paddle attachment, beat the butter. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
- Slowly add the cocoa and sugar mixture, scraping the bowl occasionally, until completely mixed. Add vanilla and then the cream, one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Level each layer as needed so they are flat and even
- Layer the three cakes with chocolate frosting, then crumb coat the entire cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake once the crumb coat has set and frost with a thicker layer of frosting, smoothing it with a spatula. Decorate with sprinkles and decorative piping with the extra frosting.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. For best results, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Home Chef Tip: If you don't have baking chocolate for the frosting, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips and reduce the amount of powdered sugar to balance out the sweetness!
We hope you love this Classic Yellow Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Holly from Club Crafted. If you enjoyed this simple recipe, you can find more like it by visiting our dessert section. For weekly recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!