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featured yellow cake with milk chocolate buttercream

Best Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 1085kcal
Author: Becky Hardin
This homemade yellow cake recipe will have you feeling like a professional baker. Paired with a delicious milk chocolate buttercream frosting, you can make the perfect layered cake completely from scratch!
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For the Yellow Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 360 grams
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 8 grams
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
  • 4 large eggs 200 grams, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk 227 grams, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 grams

For the Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (4-5 cups)

  • 2 cups unsalted butter 452 grams, room temperature (4 sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 339 grams
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips 340 grams, melted and cooled a little
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk 28 grams, only if needed


For the Yellow Cake

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour (or spray with baking spray) 3 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, light, and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition.
    4 large eggs
  • With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (beat just until each addition is incorporated).
    1 cup buttermilk
  • Stir in the vanilla.
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Divide the batter, equally, between the three cake pans (about 477 grams per pan) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. The cakes should be golden brown, and spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
  • Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack for 10 minutes then remove the cakes from the pans. Return the cakes to the cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, on low, until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the bowl as needed.
    2 cups unsalted butter
  • Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the sugar. Beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
    3 cups powdered sugar
  • Turn off the mixer and add the melted chocolate. Be careful NOT to let the chocolate come into contact with the sides of the bowl or the paddle so it doesn’t seize up. Mix on low speed, scraping down the bowl, until incorporated.
    2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed, add the salt, and mix an additional 4 minutes then scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Mix on low 1 minute or until no butter streaks remain.
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Scrape down the bowl, the beater and the bottom of the bowl and mix the frosting by hand until it is smooth and homogenous.
  • If the buttercream is too thick, add the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, and mix well. The frosting should be the perfect consistency to use at this point.
    1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
  • Frost the cake, slice, and serve.



  • Grease and flour the cake pans to keep the cake from sticking.
  • Alternate adding buttermilk and flour into the mixer. This helps create a batter that will stay moist when baked.
  • Don’t overmix, as that will lead to a dry cake. Mix ingredients only as much as necessary.
  • To see if it's done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean (no batter on the toothpick), then it’s done.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them.
  • When adding the chocolate into the frosting, don't let it touch the sides of the mixing bowl.
  • If the buttercream frosting is too thick, mix in small amounts of milk until it becomes the desired consistency.
  • The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored at room temperature up to 3 days.
Storage: Store yellow cake with milk chocolate buttercream in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 1085kcal | Carbohydrates: 121g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 557mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 90g | Vitamin A: 1859IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 2mg