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Apr 23, 2013 11:43 PM

Favorite Yellow Cake/Cupcake Recipe

I've been searching for a good yellow cake recipe to make cupcakes. I would like to replicate the moist texture of a box cake mix, however, most recipes I've used come out too dense (Flour's yellow cake and "the perfect yellow cake recipe" on Food network were both dissapointments). Any suggestions for recipes to make a delicious and moist yellow cake? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Comparison of yellow cakes by cooks illustrated, Martha Stewart, and smitten kitchen

    This link includes the recipes for all 3 as well as the bloggers opinions on the 3 cakes. Blogger preferred cook's illustrated cake.

    The cakes include somewhat different ingredients and the CI cake employs chiffon method which may be fun for you.

    My first instinct was to direct you to the CI cake but this link gives you that option and 2 others. Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: youareabunny

      Thanks! I'll have to look into these soon!

      1. re: youareabunny

        Just tried the Cook's Illustrated yellow cake. It had a pretty good flavor and light, fluffy texture. Definitely better than previous versions I've made but still not quite exactly what I'm looking for. I'll have to try the other two sometime!

        1. re: AnjLM

          Glad you tried it, at least you know it's not what you wanted. It's subjective eventually. CI generally provides explanations, so maybe you can figure out what exactly resulted in your dislike of it and find a recipe you prefer.

          At least it is still a tasty disappointment

      2. i took a cupcake class years ago. the vanilla cupcakes are moist and delicious. if you'd like the recipe, i'm happy to dig it out.

        12 Replies
        1. re: eLizard

          Would love to have the recipe, thanks eLizard!

          1. re: AnjLM

            2 1/2 C flour
            1 tsp baking powder
            1/2 tsp baking soda
            1/2 tsp salt
            3 large eggs
            2 C sugar
            1 C veg oil
            2 tsp vanilla
            1 C sour cream

            preheat oven to 350
            sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl and set aside

            in mixer on medium beat eggs and sugar till thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes scraping bowl as needed. on low speed mix in oil and vanilla till blended. mix in sour cream. mix in flour mix till incorporated and batter is smooth. pour into prepared cups and bake 18-23 minutes till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. let pan sit for 10 minutes then remove from pan. cool completely before frosting.

            1. re: eLizard

              Those sound delicious- thanks! I wonder if using plain Greek yogurt would work OK.

              (Not because I'm afraid of sour cream, but because I usually have yogurt on hand more readily, along with the rest of the ingredients.... and that would make putting these cupcakes together on a moment's notice a snap!)

              1. re: 4Snisl

                yes it does. i've subbed it in a pinch. works great.

                1. re: eLizard

                  Thanks for letting me know! Friend's birthday is coming up this weekend....unless she wants cake from a local bakery, I think this recipe is on deck to try. :)

                2. re: 4Snisl

                  I use full fat yogurt instead of sour cream when I can. It makes a moister, richer cake/bread.

                  1. re: chowser

                    that being said, in a pinch i've subbed in low or no fat greek, and i've had results that i'd consider more than acceptable.

                    1. re: eLizard

                      I might try using this recipe to make lemon raspberry cupcakes this weekend. I'm guessing I could add lemon zest and juice with tasty results! Going to fill with lemon curd after and top with raspberry buttercream.

                      1. re: AnjLM

                        i use this recipe for lemon meringue cupcakes. fill with curd. top with meringue and torch. huge hit.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          Lemon Raspberry cupcakes with lemon curd were delicious and a huge hit at work. Thanks for the recipe eLizard! Here's my blog post with full recipe: http://aspoonfulofsugarbaking.wordpre...

                          1. re: AnjLM

                            yay! so did you like the cake??

                            btw, i make filled cupcakes all the time, and i never cut out a cone....i just use a piping bag with a big round tip and basically inject each cupcake. way easier for me.

                            1. re: eLizard

                              Loved the cake! Had a great texture.

                              Thanks for the tip for the filled cupcakes. I'll have to try that next time...I also work at a hospital so I could probably get some syringes to inject the cupcakes with.

          2. The "Best Recipe" cookbook has a nice fluffy yellow cake that isn't dense at all.


            This might be a helpful comparison of three popular recipes:


            Adding on, my favorite is the rich and tender yellow cake from the Best Recipe. Unusual technique but nice fluffy cake.


            1. I love the Smitten Kitchen yellow cake in youareabunny's post.

              2 Replies
              1. re: soccermom13

                i have made this cake also with fantastic receptions every time.

                1. re: soccermom13

                  i second the smitten kitchen best birthday cake recipe. the sour cream chocolate frosting is good as well.

                2. this is a fun read and a lot of pages to get through. it certainly caught my attention *years* ago.