The Best Yellow Cake ever. A soft and tender vanilla cake, topped with fudgy chocolate frosting and homemade cookie crumbs. It’s the ultimate birthday cake!
Welcome to the wonderful world of yellow cake.
I’ve got an ah-mazing treat for you today. We’re talking about the softest vanilla cake (ever), a seriously fudgy chocolate frosting, and a shower of homemade funfetti cookie crumbs.
If it’s not your birthday, you’ll be really wishing it was because this is the ultimate party cake 🎉
This is, hands down, one of my favourite cakes to make. I LOVE it. For all three wonderful layers, but especially for that cake.
So what is yellow cake?
That’s a great question, and to be honest, growing up in Australia, I had never even heard of yellow cake. It’s not a staple here like it is in America.
But essentially, it’s just a really good vanilla cake. It’s typically made with whole eggs – egg yolks AND egg whites and plenty of butter. My recipe also has sour cream because that simple ingredient takes a regular vanilla cake and makes it the best cake on the planet. You’re welcome.
There’s nothing special about how this cake is made – which means anyone can make it (do it, do it). It starts by creaming the butter, sugar and vanilla. My best tip here is to make sure you give the butter and sugar a really good whipping.
Sometimes I feel tempted to stop once the butter and sugar are combined but if you keep going for another minute or two, you’ll be rewarded. You’ll see the butter mixture change colour. It’ll turn pale and go extra creamy – almost whipped. And this is the foundation for a beautiful yellow cake.
Next we add an egg, yolk and all, which gives the cake it’s signature yellow colour. And then the flour and baking powder, alternating with the milk and sour cream. And you’ll end up with the creamiest looking cake batter – try not to face plant!
What can I use instead of sour cream?
If you can, please make this cake using full fat sour cream for maximum taste and texture. If you can’t find sour cream where you live, opt for a full fat Greek or natural style yogurt. It will work JUST as well.
And then there’s that frosting. Can we chat about this for a second? Now I’m VERY partial to a rich chocolate buttercream that uses real chocolate (see my favourite choc frosting recipe). BUT for this cake, we sort of want to mimic canned or packet frosting but make it taste better right?
So we’re making a cocoa based buttercream but then adding sour cream to it. I know, I know. But trust me on this one. It will give you the most wonderful, fluffy, fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth frosting. And it pairs perfect with this light and tender yellow cake.
So just when you’re thinking this cake can’t get any better, IT DOES. Enter homemade cookie crumbs. These buttery cookies are heaven sent.
They’re little shortbread cookies that you make using only a handful of ingredients. They’re crunchy and sweet and add a lovely textural element to the cake. Plus there’s sprinkles – so you know! #winning
MORE CAKE RECIPES TO TRY
The best Yellow Cake complete with sour cream chocolate frosting AND homemade funfetti cookie crumbs.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 210 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat or whole milk, room temperature
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat sour cream*, room temperature
Chocolate sour cream frosting
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 435 grams (3 and 1/2 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 40 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat sour cream*
- 105 grams (3/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour or corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons funfetti sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line and grease an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy. Add egg, beat briefly until combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour and baking powder.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter, along with all the milk and sour cream and slowly mix together on a low speed. Add the remaining flour mixture and continue to mix until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the cake batter into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before gently removing from the tin and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted sugar, one cup at a time, continue to beat. Add cocoa powder and sour cream and beat until thick and creamy. Frost the top of your cake using a small spatula.
- Next make the funfetti crumbs. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar and cornflour. Whisk together. Pour over melted butter, along with the vanilla, stir briefly. Add sprinkles and then stir until it forms wet crumbs that look like wet sand.
- Pour onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread out into one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then leave to cool completely. Decorate the top of your cake with the crumbs.
*Sour cream: If you don’t have sour cream, a thick full fat Greek yogurt or natural yogurt will work as well.
This recipe was first published on Sweetest Menu in January 2017.