Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

There are few things more satisfying to bake than a really airy and delish cake. That's because on more than one occasion I've ended up with one that is dry and dense. When my husband's birthday came around I decided that I was feeling up cake from scratch challenge. 

What did he want? A classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting.


David's Yellow Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

2. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 

3. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. 

4. Grease and flour two 8" cake pans. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

5. Spread the batter out within the pans, and then gently tap against the counter to get rid of any bubbles. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped. Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks. I tried to take mine out a few minutes too early and I ended up with some cake left in the pan when turned out - oops! That's okay, it happens. 

Now onto the best chocolate frosting! It should be no surprise that I turn to the one and only Ina Garten when it comes to anything with butter, sugar and chocolate. This woman knows her stuff. The key ingredient here is the espresso powder - it elevates the chocolatey flavor. I will never bake with chocolate without espresso now and recommend you do the same. 

Beatty's Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

2. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.

5. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

6. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Ina recommends to take care not to over mix it - try your darndest not to whip. And to not to eat this by the spoonful. 

7. Spread on the cooled cake immediately.

This classic yellow cake and chocolate frosting is deeeelish and a real crowd pleaser. Now I'm a big fan of homemade cake, but I think the star of this show is really the frosting. So if you want to save yourself some time here, grab yourself a box of your favorite boxed cake mix and spend the time and energy on the frosting. 

Happy cake eating!