December 31, 2020| By

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 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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how long does it taste to bake this cake?

It takes about 45 minutes to bake this cake in the oven with about 10-15 minutes prep work. (i.e. measuring out the ingredients, mixing everything together, prepping the pans for baking). Once the cakes have finished baking, you want to give them adequate time to cool before frosting, about 30 minutes. So, from start to finish, about 2 hours total time. I recommend making the frosting while the cake is baking. This makes it so that when the cake is finished cooling, you can ice it immediately and dive right in!

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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: 40 minutes
Calories: 380kcal


  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 box French Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tbsps Corn Starch
  • ¼ 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 large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter, french vanilla pudding mix, and sugar together for 2 minutes, until combined. Add 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks, oil, and water. Continue to mix until all ingredients are mixed together. Scrape down the edges of the bowl where needed and continue to mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and corn starch. Fold into wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  • Add oil to two equally sized cake pans and sprinkle with flour, tapping off any excess flour. (If you have parchment rounds, you can use these as well) Divide batter between both pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 2-3 minutes and then turn over onto a cool rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer and add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. Continue to mix for another minute, starting on low and gradually increasing to medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  • 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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