December 31, 2020| By

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
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Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream is a classic baked treat that will be a hit at any and every function! The yellow cake is buttery and soft and the chocolate buttercream is fluffy and delicious!

yellow cake with chocolate buttercream

Love to bake? Try these Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies and Three Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie!

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream is such a classic dessert. You have a buttery soft yellow cake coupled with a fluffy chocolate buttercream.. and honestly, it's such a great combo. What is it about chocolate and vanilla that goes together so well? It's like heaven! This cake is also super simple to make. You don't need to be a master baker to assemble this cake and best of all, it doesn't require any fancy ingredients, no long wait times. Just mix everything together, bake, ice, and eat!

yellow cake with chocolate buttercream

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Okay, so I've already mentioned to everyone that I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate. However, there's something about this yellow cake and chocolate buttercream combo that I thoroughly enjoy. Perhaps the light vanilla and buttery flavor of the cake compliments the chocolate buttercream in a way that I find to be tasty. I'm not sure what it is, but I know that it's really, really good.

Every time I make this cake, I always think of the box cake mix from the supermarket. It has the yellow cake label with the chocolate buttercream. I remember walking past those boxes while grocery shopping with my mom and always wanting to buy the mix and make cake! Luckily, my mom loves to bake too and we'd occasionally indulge and bake those together! I have such fond food memories cooking with my mom as a kid. Especially around the holidays.

yellow cake with chocolate buttercream

what's the difference between yellow cake and vanilla cake?

So, in essence, they're the same thing. A lot of people make the differentiation between a yellow cake and a white cake. Now, those are actually different. A yellow cake is a cake that has more of a custardy taste. This flavor primarily stems from the amount of eggs that are used. A white cake uses egg whites exclusively, which given that the egg yolks are excluded, allow for the cake to be white. Both yellow and white cakes contain vanilla. Hence the confusion. However, both are delicious and have their place in the kitchen. Or at the table. Or wherever it is that you're eating them I suppose. lol

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what is the flavor of yellow cake?

If I had to pin a taste to this cake, I would truly think back to the yellow box cake mix... but turn up the flavor and the texture from like a 1 to a 10. If box cake is a 1, this cake is a definite 10. Now I'm not trying to throw any shade at box cake mix. I actually thoroughly enjoy a box cake mix (from time to time), however, there's nothing like a homemade cake. It's delicious, fun to make, uses real ingredients... and c'mon, there's a true satisfaction that you get from baking your own cake. Especially when it's as easy and tasty as this one! If I had to actually describe the flavor, this yellow cake is super buttery with a vanilla flavor. The flavor is light and delicate.

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how do you make chocolate buttercream from scratch?

It's super easy! So, for this recipe, you want to start by making sure that your butter is at room temperature. You beat the butter in a stand mixer/hand mixer until it's light and fluffy - which takes about 2-3 minutes. (I like to beat the butter for thee minutes because it ensures that the buttercream gets airy!) Then you slowly begin to add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder. One all of the ingredients are added and are fully incorporated, I add a tiny bit of milk to make the buttercream light and maximize taste. It's SO good.

yellow cake with chocolate buttercream

what type of cocoa powder should I use for the chocolate buttercream?

For this chocolate buttercream, I used dutch-processed cocoa powder! This is not a necessity, however, I highly recommend it. Dutch processed cocoa powder is less acidic than the traditional cocoa powder and has a bit of a smoother taste that yields a lovely but rich chocolatey buttercream flavor. Here's the cocoa powder that I used, click here. If you don't have dutch-processed cocoa powder, you can use any natural unsweetened cocoa powder!

yellow cake with chocolate buttercream

what's the best way to store this cake?

There are several ways to store this cake! If you're going to be eating the cake throughout the week, you can store the cake on the counter of your kitchen at room temperature inside of a cake cover. You really don't need to refrigerate the cake. The cake should last up to 5 days. After that, things get a little fussy. If you would like to store the cake for a time in the future, it's best to freeze it. You want to start by refrigerating the cake for about 30 minutes, then taking the cake out of the refrigerator and wrapping it in plastic wrap and freezing it. It will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.

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Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream is a classic baked treat that will be a hit at any and every function! The yellow cake is buttery and soft and the chocolate buttercream is fluffy and delicious!
Serving: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Calories: 380kcal


  • 3 8-inch cake pans


  • ½ cup Salted Butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 box Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Butter Emulsion
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 2 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 ½ sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsps heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, oil, vanilla pudding mix, and sugar together for 3 minutes, until combined and fluffy. Then begin add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated prior to adding the next. Add butter emulsion, vanilla bean paste, and continue to mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and milk.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Then add the sour cream/milk mixture and mix together. Once fully incorporated, add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Spray 3 8-inch pans with nonstick baking spray. Divide the batter equally among the pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes over onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, allowing for sugar to become fully incorporated. Add 3-4 tbsps of heavy cream and mix until combined.
  • Once cakes have completely cooled, add one of the cakes to a cake stand and add generous layer of chocolate buttercream to the center of the cake. Add the second cake on top and ice the entirety of the cake.


Calories: 380kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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  1. Question: Do you know if I may I substitute melted butter or organic coconut oil for the vegetable oil in this recipe? Thanks in advance! : - )

  2. 5 stars
    This cake is SO good. The cake almost tastes like sugar cookies and the chocolate butter cream is what chocolate dreams are made of! The sweet flavor of the frosting and the delicate cake flavors balance perfectly. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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