This yellow cake recipe starts with yellow cake mix but no one would know, it tastes like it’s made from scratch! Yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting comes together fast, make a 2 or 3 layer cake with all our tips!


The Best Yellow Cake Recipe
Every baker needs a yellow cake in their recipe book! 

This recipe with yellow cake mix is easy to make, moist and topped with a creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s the kind of cake you’ll want to make for birthdays, holidays and family dinners. 

Below we’ll cover:
Making yellow cake with a box mix How to Make a Box Cake Taste Homemade How to properly measure flour Recommended cake baking tools How to prepare a cake pan How to bake flat even cakes Making this cake ahead of time Total time required to make this cake How much frosting to put in between cake layers How to make gluten free yellow cake Why Start with a Box of Yellow Cake Mix?
Our yellow birthday cake starts with a box of cake mix because this recipe is all about ease! 

This box cake recipe is perfect for all of us who like the ease of a box mix, but  want to doctor up the cake mix for more of a homemade taste. Plus, this  doctored up version comes together just as quick as the box mix because you can still put everything into one bowl and beat it together.
How to Make a Box Cake Taste Homemade
It’s all about adding ingredients to the cake mix to give the cake better texture & taste. In our case, we’re adding ingredients with moisture.
Yellow Cake Ingredients yellow cake mix: the base of the recipe! Be sure to use a 15.25 oz box of yellow cake mix. Some brands have different sizes so be sure to get the correct size.  all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build the cake structure  granulated sugar: adds sweetness and flavor salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness and enhances the other flavors eggs: binds the batter together by providing structure vanilla extract: adds that classic vanilla flavor to the cake milk: adds moisture  buttermilk: adds moisture and acidity  sour cream: adds moisture and acidity 
This recipe yields about 6 & 2/3 cups of batter. I used 3 & 1/3 cups of batter in each 8 inch cake pan. 
Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients unsalted butter unsweetened natural cocoa powder powdered sugar heavy cream salt vanilla extract 
Butter, cocoa powder and powdered sugar make up the bulk of the frosting. Heavy cream is used to make the frosting extra smooth and creamy.
How to Properly Measure Flour Fluff the flour with a fork Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup
Sticking the measuring cup straight into the bag of flour will result in too much flour to be packed into the cup, which can result in dry cookies.
How to Prepare a Cake Pan
I recommend greasing your cake pan with butter or shortening, not non-stick cooking spray. Liberally butter the entire pan. I find that butter works better to grease the pan to ensure the cake doesn’t stick. 

Place your hand inside a ziplock bag or paper towel, use 1/2 tablespoon of butter or shortening and liberally butter the pan. The bag or paper towel will prevent the butter from getting all over your hands. 

For super easy cake removal, cut out a circle of parchment paper that is the same size as your pan and place it in the bottom of the pan after you buttered it. I trace the bottom of my springform pan onto the paper, then cut it out. 
Recommended Cake Baking Tools 8 inch Springform pan Bake even cake strips Cake leveler Parchment paper How To Bake Even Flat Cakes
I use bake even cake strips around the outside of my springform pans to ensure that my cakes bake with flat even tops. It works every time and a 2 pack is about $10 on Amazon! 

You can also use a cake leveler or serrated knife to level your cakes before assembling them. 
How To Make Ahead of Time
Make the cake layers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Chocolate buttercream can also be made ahead of time. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. When ready to use, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature and briefly beat with a mixer. 
How Much Frosting Between Cake Layers
 For an 8 inch 2 layer cake I recommend 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting between the cake layers. The remaining frosting will be used to frost the sides and top of the cake. 
Total Time Required 15 minutes to prep the cake batter 35-40 minutes to bake 1+ hour to cool the cake completely 5 minutes to make the frosting 10-20 minutes to assemble and frost the cake How to Make Gluten Free Yellow Layer Cake
Use a gluten free yellow cake mix in place of the regular cake mix. I recommend using the Betty Crocker one (15 oz) or the Pillsbury one (17 oz). Follow our instructions as written. 
More Cake Recipes Chocolate Bundt Cake Homemade Chocolate Cake Cherry Dump Cake Funfetti Cake
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Yellow Cake Recipe Yield: 8 INCH 2 LAYER CAKE Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Additional Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Print Ingredients Cake 1 box yellow cake mix, 15.25 oz (I prefer Duncan Hines) 1 cup all purpose flour 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 tsp salt 4 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%) 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 cup sour cream Chocolate Frosting 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder 4-5 cups powdered sugar 3-4 tbsp heavy cream 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract Instructions Cake Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 8 inch springform pans with butter (butter the sides and bottom) and line each pan with a parchment paper circle for easy cake removal. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, flour, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, milk, buttermilk, and sour cream, beat with an electric mixer until combined, 1-2 minutes. Evenly divide the batter between the 2 pans, with 3 & 1/3 cups of batter in each pan. If using bake even cake strips, secure them around the outside of the pans.  Bake both pans on the same rack in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking times will vary depending on your oven and size of pan you’re using.  Allow the cakes to cool for 20-30 minutes in the pans before removing them and allowing them to cool completely on a cooling rack.  CHOCOLATE FROSTING In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on high for 3 minutes.  Sift in the cocoa powder and 3 cups of powdered sugar. I like to sift these in because it helps break up clumps, creating a light and fluffy frosting. Beat the frosting on low speed until combined and thick. Mix in 3 tbsp of heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt.  Add in the additional powdered sugar (1-2 cups), mix on low. If the frosting is too thick, beat in an additional tablespoon of heavy cream.  ASSEMBLE If needed, level the cooled cakes using a cake leveler or serrated knife. Spread a small amount of chocolate buttercream on the bottom of your cake plate / stand, this acts as “glue” to prevent the cake from moving. Place one cake layer over the frosting. Measure 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting and evenly spread that on top of the first layer. Top with the second cake layer and spread the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake. I use about 1 cup of frosting on the top of the cake. Top with chocolate curls if desired.  Slice and serve. Cover leftover cake tightly with plastic wrap and store on the counter for up to 3 days.  Notes


For a 3 layer cake, divide the batter between 3 pans, about 2 & 1/4 cups per pan.
HOW TO MAKE AHEAD OF TIME
Make the cake layers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Chocolate buttercream can also be made ahead of time. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. When ready to use, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature and briefly beat with a mixer. 
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE Yellow CAKE
Use a gluten free yellow cake mix in place of the regular cake mix. I recommend using the Betty Crocker one (15 oz) or the Pillsbury one (17 oz). Follow our instructions as written. 


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Bake Even Cake Strips 8 inch springform pan © Beth Category: Cake
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