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Keeping it Simple: Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Crystal P.
Posted by Crystal P. on Jun 24, 2019


I was recently invited to a lavish potluck. The host requested that guests bring our best decadent dish along with a card describing the dish. As I read the invitation, my mind started working. What is my best dish? What would be pleasing to the eye and tasty on the palate? I decided to stick with what I know best: desserts! My go-to dessert is simple and a classic in my household: Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. It was the first cake that I ever made and baking this cake is like riding a bike, once you get the hang of it, you never forget.


The yellow cake recipe is an easy cake that when done correctly is light, fluffy, moist and is complementary to just about any flavor of frosting. The cake takes about 15 minutes of preparation time and 20 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven) to bake.

I have made this cake more times than I can count. The majority of the time I have great results but a few times the cake has been an epic fail because I was rushing and didn’t measure properly. Or I left the mixer go too long after incorporating the flour. Or I didn’t remove the cake from the oven when it was done baking. Knowing all of the mistakes I've made in the past with this cake, I made sure that this time I blocked out enough time in my day so I wouldn’t have to rush and make my common baking mistakes. After all, I had to make sure that my dessert fit the theme of lavish and decadent and that meant no room for error.


Classic Yellow Cake

2 sticks of unsalted butter – room temperature

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs – room temperature

1 cup of milk (whole milk) – room temperature

3 cups flour (sifted)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Note: It is important to keep wet ingredients and dairy at the same temperature (typically room temperature). Room temperature ingredients incorporate better and create a smoother texture – in this case batter.

  1. Cream butter, gradually adding sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time. Combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Add in dry ingredients alternating with milk.
  4. Beat well for 2 minutes on low speed.
  5. Pour batter into greased and floured pan, bake on 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

In an effort to keep my stride and not waste any time, I made the chocolate frosting and set it to the side while the cake was baking.

Chocolate Frosting

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 ½ cup confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 -8 tablespoons condensed milk

  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add confectionary sugar ½ cup at a time
  3. Add one tablespoon of condensed milk at time until desired consistency is reached

I pulled the cake out of the oven and let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes. After that, I flipped the cake out of the pan, placed it on a cooling rack and let it cool an additional 15 – 20 minutes until it was cool to touch.  The cooling process is just as important as using room temperature dairy. Just like cold dairy will not incorporate into the batter, frosting a warm cake with will cause the frosting to run and create a lopsided finished product.

Thankfully I learned from my past mistakes and didn’t have a single issue making the cake for the potluck. I took my time, read my recipe twice, measured once, used good time management and the finish product was indeed a decadent dish. I took the cake to the party and described it as Simply Decadent Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting, the perfect dessert for any gathering.


If you are struggling to find that perfect dish to take to your next outing, check out The Chopping Block's featured recipe for inspiration or sign up for a cooking class and bring all your “What do you do when” questions. Our chef instructors are happy to show you new techniques and talk you through making a fabulous dish.


Topics: frosting, chocolate, baking, cake, Recipes, cake decorating

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