Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

Here's a Paula Deen update of my mom's favorite cake recipe. I remember Mom using the recipe as it was, printed on the side of the "Swans Down Cake Flour" box. A great Birthday-Cake kind of recipe, it's called "1-2-3-4 Cake" because, the ingredients, at that time, were listed: "1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups cake flour, 4 eggs" etc. Paula's recipe simplifies some steps, with nothing lost in flavor and texture.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans,.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  4. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  7. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
  8. Divide batter equally among prepared pans.
  9. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter.
  10. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake.
  11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.
  12. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes.
  13. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.
  14. Cool completely and spread cake layers with your favorite frosting to make a 3-layer cake.
Most Helpful

Wonderful recipe! Last week, I made a coconut cake with 1/2 cup coconut added to batter and I added some coconut to frosting and topped it off with a little toasted coconut. Also, today, I tried this out for a 12" marble cake. I need two 12" tiers for a wedding cake soon and one recipe is perfect for one 12" layer. I mixed as directions state and then reserved 1 1/2 cup of the mix which I added 1/4 cup cocoa to for the marbling effect.

lucy4174 September 03, 2008

This was the only cake my grandmother knew how to make, so I'm the third generation to use it. It's also delicious with some grated coconut thrown in, and with coconut icing. It will also survive being made with EggBeaters, skim milk, etc., if you worry about that. Terrific cake recipe.

Mint Chocolate Chick August 06, 2008

Good cake! Great to turn into a 6 layer cake. Either cut the three layers in half or bake 6 layers, about 15 minutes at 350. A good frosting recipe to go with this is: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup butter, 2/3 cup half-and-half, 2 tablespoon corn syrup, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus 1 cup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix sugar, cocoa, butter, half-and-half, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until thick. Remove syrup from heat, and beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer. Allow frosting to rest for a couple of minutes. At this time, if the frosting is too thick for spreading, add a bit of half-and-half, 1 tablespoon at a time, to bring frosting to proper spreading consistency.

Cooking to Perfection July 02, 2008