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Nov 8, 2011 07:24 AM

GREAT yellow cake recipe...why so hard to find??

I can't seem to find a GREAT yellow cake recipe. Any suggestions?

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  1. What have you tried, and what is it that you don't like about them? I Like my James Beard's American Cookery book, Scandinavian gold cake. I will also turn to my baking book from cooking school.

    1. Restaurant Eve's birthday cake is exceptional. The only caveat is that it's quite fluffy, so if you want a dense cake, this isn't yours.

      5 Replies
      1. re: katecm

        Interesting that you think that because I think of it as a very dense yellow cake, especially with the melted butter. I love the cake--it's my go to cake.

        I think of the Cooks Illustrated yellow cake from the Best Recipe as a very light, fluffy cake. I like the one from the cookbook not the one from the magazine that's more recent (with the melted butter). This is a good comparison of CI (with melted butter), Martha Stewart and Smittenkitthen:

        1. re: chowser

          Very interesting link! Thanks, chowser!

          1. re: chowser

            I usually look for recipes that are described as "almost a pound cake," so that could be why. I've also learned when making this recipe that you can control the fluffiness a bit by how much you beat the heck out of it. Perhaps I should beat it less to make it denser when that's what I want. Thanks for the input.

            1. re: katecm

              I just made the RE cake and thought I'd like it slightly less dense. Next time, I'll do what you do--beat it more and see if I can get the texture I want. Good idea--thanks,

            2. re: chowser

              I agree, the Restaurant Eve cake is more on the dense "pound cake" end of the spectrum.

          2. This will work for you. Sour cream adds richness to classic yellow cake while whipped egg whites lighten it up.

            Yellow Cake


            Ratios: Flour 1.5 Liquid 1 Egg 1 Fat 1 Sugar 2

            • 2-1/4 (10.125 oz) cups sifted cake flour
            • 2 teaspoons baking powder
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
            • 2 (14 oz) cups sugar
            • 4 (2.67 oz) large egg yolks
            • 2 teaspoons vanilla
            • 1 cup sour cream
            • 4 (4.32 oz) large egg whites


            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and line two 8 x 3-inch baking pans with parchment.

            Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

            Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy and light.

            Add the egg yolks, one at a time, being sure each is well incorporated before adding the next one. Add the vanilla.

            Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Be sure the mixture is completely blended after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat for 1 minute.

            In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula.

            Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake in the preheated oven, 45 to 50 minutes.

            Top with Buttercream Icing.

            1. The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum has at least two great ones with great technique.

              1. what texture are you seeking? light and fluffy? more like box mix? denser like a genoise?