Yellow Cake with American Buttercream

This is a dense, sturdy cake, making it ideal for special cake projects that involve sculpting.

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
20 min
20 min
35 min

10 to 12 servings

  • Yellow Cake:
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • Basic American Buttercream:
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 to 6 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream, plus more if needed
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Special equipment: two 8-inch round cake pans

  • For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper.

  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, then set aside. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream the granulated sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Alternate adding the flour and the milk, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for 1 minute. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

  • Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on the wire rack.

  • For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the butter with the vanilla and salt. Mix in 5 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the milk a little at a time and whip until smooth, adding more milk or up to 1 cup more confectioners' sugar if needed.

  • Frost the top of one cake and place the second cake on top. Then spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Serve at room temperature.

Cook's Note: Use the buttercream immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Holiday Baking Championship