The classic yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for me, is like a warm hug. It takes me back to birthday celebrations, childhood memories and is comforting through and through.
Classic Yellow Cake
- 2 cups (330g) cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1–1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (220g) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter (softened and cubed)
- 2 cups (200g) sugar
- 3 eggs
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1–1/4 cups (143g) powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup (75g) dutch cocoa powder
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1–1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (328g) light corn syrup
- 10 oz (283g) melted semi-sweet chocolate (see recipe tip)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 8 inch round cake pans with butter, line with parchment paper, then coat the paper with more butter and flour to prevent sticking.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix buttermilk and vanilla, set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, about 1 minute each time.
- With the mixer on low, alternate between dry and wet ingredients, first adding half of the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixer, then half the buttermilk mixture, mixing well between each addition. Repeat, then turn the mixer to medium speed and blend for 3 more minutes.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly in the pans, then when cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes) carefully remove the cakes from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder, set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes.
- Turn mixer speed to low and slowly spoon in powdered sugar mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape down paddle and sides of the bowl, blend until well combined. (At this point the mixture will be very thick, don’t panic!).
- Add in the corn syrup and vanilla and mix until just combined.
- Slowly stream in the cooled chocolate and mix on medium speed until smooth, creamy and slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Assembling the cake:
- Once the cake is completely cooled, place one layer of the cake on a serving platter and frost the middle layer with an ample but even layer of frosting (about 1 cup).
- Place the second layer on top and using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, spread a thin even layer of frosting around the entire cake to create a crumb coat. The crumb coat helps eliminate crumbs from sticking to the final layer of frosting.
- Continue frosting the cake with the remaining frosting and top with the sprinkles of your choice.
- Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
Chocolate can be melted over low heat in a double boiler (glass or metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water) or my method of choice—the microwave. If you use the microwave, it is very important to use a glass bowl and very slowly heat the chocolate in 30 second increments. Be sure to mix well between each heating until chocolate is completely melted, which usually will take about 1-1/2-2 minutes total.