Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 22 mins

I saw this on America's Test Kitchen. I have made several yellow cakes from recipezaar, and while most of them were good, none of them had that light and fluffy "box cake" texture without the boxed mix taste (ewwww). This is a wonderful cake. I won't post a pic of my cake, because I was practicing with a new cake decorating tool I bought and it looks a little funny! NOTE: I forgot to put "melted" after the butter.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in large bowl.
  4. In 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.
  5. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds.
  6. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks just form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear moist). Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  7. Add flour mixture to now-empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
  8. Stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain.
  9. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
  10. Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
  11. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack and peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
Most Helpful

5 5

This cake recipe is total PERFECTION! I used it to make cupcakes...made exactly 24 for me. It has the perfect box mix texture with a great scratch taste! I'm so glad I took a chance on it...I'll never need another yellow cake or cupcake recipe again!!

5 5

I have made this cake several times. It always gets rave reviews. I have also found it to be very adaptable (i.e. switching to lemon extract or one time I used walnut oil for the oil and coconut milk instead of buttermilk, etc). No matter what crazy substitutions I make, if I keep your ratios and steps it comes out delicious. Thanks for a great recipe.

5 5

I loved this recipe. It is exactly what it says - a fluffy yellow layer cake. It has the flavor of a cake from scratch with a boxed cake mix texture, which I happen to love. It's lighter, fluffy, and so flavorful. I used whole milk with a spoonful of white vinegar stirred in instead of buttermilk as I did not have any on hand. My two 9" layers took longer to bake than specified, one taking about 23 minutes and the other taking about 26 minutes. A very good recipe that I will use from here on out.