Yellow Cake

Yellow Cake

Our search for the ideal yellow cake recipe has spanned many years and many attempts. By Gusto! We made it!


Let’s start with a shared understanding of what makes the ideal yellow cake. To us, the perfect cake would have these characteristics:

  • A texture that is moist but not dense; that is, the cake should have a small spring to it.
  • Despite its softness, the structure is sturdy enough to withstand even the heaviest icing.
  • Like a sour cream cake flavor but with more vanilla and butter.
  • Coloration that appears like yellow, not like a pale, boring vanilla cake. So many recipes call for a ton of egg yolks to do this, but there has to be a smarter method! Spoiler alert: “there is.”
  • Simple, easy-to-follow directions that guarantee the desired outcome each and every time.

After considerable trial and error (and flour consumption), we’ve found a cake recipe that meets all the aforementioned criteria. Hallelujah!

It’s in that category, and I’m documenting this yellow cake recipe on the blog, so we can refer to it whenever we like.


  • 1 2/3 cups of granulated sugar(360g)
  • 5 tbsp. of vegetable oil (75 ml)
  • 3 tbsp. of butter (45g at room temperature)
  • 2 room temperature large eggs
  • 2 room-temperature egg yolks
  • 4 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of room-temperature sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (370g)
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of turmeric (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cup of room temperature buttermilk


  1. The oven needs to be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bake successfully. Prepare a 13×9-inch cake pan with butter and flour.
  2. A large bowl or stand mixer with a paddle attachment should combine the sugar, oil, and butter. Blend for 1 minute on medium speed to achieve a smooth consistency.
  3. Slowly pour in the eggs and egg yolks. Scrape the sides of the basin as needed and stir in the vanilla essence until the batter is smooth and combined. Once it is done, whip in the sour cream.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and turmeric in a large bowl.
  5. Start by adding half the flour mixture and mixing it on low speed while slowly pouring half the buttermilk. Continue mixing until the flour is just starting to combine. Then, add the remaining flour and beat until smooth while slowly adding the remaining buttermilk.
  6. Mix the batter well by scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisking it from the bottom to the top.
  7. Evenly distribute the batter among the prepared baking dish(es) and bake at 350°F for 36-40 minutes, keeping a close check on the baking process in the final minutes. You will know if it’s done if you poke a toothpick in it and it comes out clean.
  8. Once it’s totally cooled, garnish it with your favorite icing.

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