Some chefs spend years searching for that perfect yellow cake recipe. Thankfully, ChefTalk's community has come to your rescue!

BettyR posted a recipe, a combination of yellow cake and pound cake, that finally worked for her. “All of the yellow cakes that I had tried were the fat and sugar cream method and it was just not giving me what I wanted in a cake,” she posted. “Then I came across a pound cake recipe that dumped everything in a bowl and beat it up. It turned out moist and tender but heavier of course than a yellow cake.” Putting the two recipes together proved a winning combination for her and many other forum posters in one of ChefTalk's most popular threads.
Several posters responded with their own recipe results. Cricket4t called it “the best from scratch yellow cake I have ever made and I’ve made a few in my time. It’s moist and tender with a wonderful flavor and it’s also very easy to make.” Another poster gratefully added this message to the thread: “You have no idea what I have been through over the past several years (intensifying in the past several months) looking for the perfect "white" (okay, we all know it's yellow) cake recipe. I seriously had tears in my eyes when I took the first bite and realized this recipe was PERFECT.”

Be warned: as LuvPie put it, “I just gained 6 pounds looking at the picture.”

Here's BettyR's original recipe:


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
  • 1-tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.

Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost as desired.

A few tips from posters:
  • If you live in a high-humidity area, you may have better success making cupcakes instead of a single cake.
  • For cupcakes, use the same temperature and check after 18 minutes of baking.
  • In Canada, substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Don’t sift the dry ingredients before measuring, as this will aerate the amounts resulting in less going into the mixing bowl (and your cake).
  • To make a lemony cake, substitute 1/2 stick of softened butter and 2 tablespoons lemon juice for the oil and used lemon extract instead of vanilla. Frost with a lemon cream cheese icing.
  • If you find your cake is too crumbly, next time don’t overbeat the ingredients. Also, applying a crumb coat will help when it’s time to serve the cake.
Try the original recipe, or a posted alternative for yourself. And to complete the perfect yellow cake, try one of the posted frosting recipes, including a cooked chocolate frosting, an “especially dark” chocolate frosting, and a quick vanilla buttercream frosting.
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