Blog Recipes/ Desserts and Sweets

Yellow Cake Recipe from Scratch


Super delicious yellow cake recipe from scratch! No box mix needed to make a moist vanilla cake, just this recipe on

Three years ago tomorrow, I put up the very first recipe on the Goodie Godmother blog. That means that three years ago today, I was setting up a website, picking out the garish pink polka dot background I used for ages, worrying about broken links in the menu, and probably wondering what in the world I was going to share first. I was so clueless.

Since that day, the blog has grown from being an afterthought to my home bakery to my primary focus and full-time occupation. I love the creative process in the kitchen, I’m really getting into the food photography and staging, but most of all, I enjoy sharing with you. Food brings people together, so even though Google analytics tells me we’re all over the world, we’re really here together, sharing an experience in the kitchen. Thank you for that.

I couldn’t imagine a better recipe to share today than my yellow cake from scratch. This recipe is memorized because I’ve made it so many times over the past three years, so much so that for a few of the ingredients I can eyeball the amount to know if it’s right, and it takes me less than 10 minutes to mix and put into the oven. This is a birthday cake, wedding cake, party cake, just because cake, the “I can’t go back to a box” yellow cake recipe. Some also claim it’s the best cake they’ve ever eaten, but I’ll let you decide for yourself after you bake it. πŸ˜‰

The perfect yellow cake recipe from scratch.

I think this is the perfect way to celebrate. The cake is filled with Nutella and fresh banana slices, and frosted with my Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue ButtercreamΒ colored in a Godmother-perfect pink and topped with purple edible glitter and heart sprinkles. For all the elaborate cakes I love and aspire to one day making to perfection, the simplicity in this cake made me happy. I think it expresses the spirit of Goodie Godmother – real food, made well, presented beautifully – and the rustic chic vibe reminds me of my friend Julie at {Jules} Jewelry and I wanted the cake to be inspired by the gorgeous custom Goodie Godmother bracelets she made for me! You can win one below and be fabulous and sparkly too. The entry form is below the recipe.

The perfect yellow cake recipe from scratch.

Thank you for cooking with me! Happy (almost) birthday, Goodie Godmother blog! Time to make a wish…

The perfect yellow cake recipe from scratch.

Yellow Cake Recipe from Scratch
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A perfect yellow cake recipe from scratch
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 8"x4" cake, or approx 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • ⅓ c sour cream
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 2 8" cake pans or place liners in 2 dozen cupcake wells. Set aside.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add about ⅔ c buttermilk to the egg mixture, then stir in half the flour mixture, add another ⅔ cup buttermilk and the sour cream, add the rest of the flour, then finish with the remaining buttermilk. The batter should be smooth, it is a little thick.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter between the pans. This is important because this recipe makes enough batter to bake so the cake domes slightly over the 8" round (2" height). This is convenient because you can level right in the pan, but not so convenient if you have too much batter and it bakes over, spilling in your oven. Alternatively, you can use a 9" pan, or two 8x3" pans. If you are making cupcakes, fill the cups about ⅔ full.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes for cupcakes, 40-45 minutes for cake.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before turning cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.


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  • Reply
    Anita Perry
    May 30, 2018 at 6:09 am

    What is the best time in advance to bake the cake? The night before or is a few days in advance too long? I.e. cake needed for Saturday lunchtime, is it best to make it on Friday night or Thursday night?

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      June 2, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      You can absolutely bake it on a Thursday night! Just wrap in plastic while still slightly warm and refrigerate until you’re ready to decorate. If you need to bake even further in advance (i.e. – a week or even up to 2 months), you can freeze it (just double wrap!) and then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The cake will still taste great!

  • Reply
    Zoey M
    May 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Would using regular, salted, butter affect the taste or consistency?

  • Reply
    September 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Happy Birthday to your fabulous blog!! 3 years is big stuff. Also thanks for the awesome giveaway! Such beautiful jewelry.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Congratulations for your 3rd year with this beautiful blog. I love that your heart comes out in your words and the gorgeous cake you chose to celebrate with. I’ve only just started my 2nd year blogging, what surprised me so much is how friendly the food blogging community is and simply how much I’ve enjoyed creating, baking, photographing, even learning a bit about computers – I know!!! The last being the biggest surprise ?. May you continue to cherish Goodie Godmother and enjoy many more years baking delicious Goodies to share. Sammie x

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      September 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I think the food blogging community can be a really wonderful place, and very supporting. It’s amazing what blogging encourages us to learn, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.
    September 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    What a beautiful bracelet! And that cake has me drooling. Bring me a piece in November lol

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      September 25, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Thank you! Julie is super talented, isn’t she?

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