Classic Yellow Cake Recipe with Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream.
This moist, richly flavorful, classic yellow cake is smothered in a thick layer of Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream and decorated with Chocolate Ganache and loads of sprinkles.
Back in August, I received the following message in an email from a reader:
Hi. I am a novice baker. A few months ago I made your white cake recipe with fresh strawberries and it was a huge hit! I received so many compliments. My daughter sent part of the cake home with a friend of my grandsons, and his parents (whom are both doctors) called back almost immediately raving about how awesome the cake was!
Now my oldest grandson wants a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday and I do not see this recipe on your website. Do you have a recipe for yellow cake and chocolate frosting that is just as good as your white cake recipe?
Dear readers. Allow me to let you in on a little secret…
Asking me for a recipe because you love another one of my recipes is the absolute, over the moon, keep me smiling for days, greatest compliment. I’m pretty much always going to respond, as I did to this request, with something along the lines of, “give me a couple of days and I’ll get that worked out.” Because I’m just so grateful that so many of you are baking, eating, and sharing recipes created in my little kitchen.
Also, requests like this are the BEST excuse to bake something about 1000 times until it is just right.
In my head, I can hear my husband saying, “Really, babe? 1000?” Ok. No. Of course not, dear. But, I did make an awful lot of yellow cake that weekend. Like… a WHOLE lot.
My daughter brought a couple of new friends home the day after I’d made about a million layers of yellow cake (Yes, dear. A million.), and I felt I had to explain myself. “You see, I’m a food blogger… Now, please, please, will you eat some cake?”
One of them was hesitant. She held back while the other dived right in. Finally she came over and ate one small fork full. Than another. Than another. Finally, she looked up and said, “I never like cake. But this is so good!”
Ah, sweet success.
There’s something about yellow cake with chocolate buttercream that screams birthday cake.
And birthday cakes need sprinkles. A lot of sprinkles. You, of course, don’t have to add sprinkles to your chocolate buttercream frosted yellow cake at all. (You don’t even have to wait for a birthday to bake one!) But, if you’re going to add sprinkles, go big or go home, I say.
This yellow cake recipe is pretty simple.
It has that buttery moist texture that every classic yellow cake should have. But, it utilizes a technique I’ve been relying on more and more in my cake recipes, which is not so common in traditional yellow cake recipes: Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Beat the yolks into the batter and whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter right before baking.
As with my favorite vanilla cake, red velvet cake, champagne cake, and caramel cake recipes, this technique produces reliably risen cake layers that don’t sink in the middle in a wide range of climates. I’ve had people from all over the world write in with their success, so I feel justified in saying so.
Yellow Cake was made for chocolate buttercream.
I mean, can you even frost a yellow cake with anything other than chocolate buttercream? Is it even allowed?
Like the sprinkles, if you’re going to make chocolate buttercream for your cake, you might as well go big and make the best darn chocolate buttercream in the world: Italian Meringue Chocolate Buttercream.
Those of you who’ve been here before know that my feelings for Italian Meringue Buttercream run deep. Because, until I tasted the stuff, I thought I hated frosting. I was a scrape-off-the-frosting-just-eat-the-cake kind of girl.
But, Italian Meringue Buttercream will make a frosting lover out of even the most determined non-frosting eater. It is just so, SO good. Silky smooth, not too sweet, rich, melt-in-your-mouth, and so easy to work with.
I’m telling you. Make it once and you’ll never want to make any other kind of buttercream again.
If you’ve never made Italian Meringue Buttercream before, please don’t run away screaming when you see how long the instructions are. It is – cross my heart and hope to die – easy. The length of the instructions are because I so badly want you to succeed and experience the amazingness that is Italian Meringue Buttercream that I’ve tried to account for everything that might go wrong.
Make it once, and you’ll see. It’s not difficult. And so good. (Did I mention that already?)
Used in this recipe:
You might also like:
- The Best Vanilla Cake
- Carrot Cake with Caramel Rum Sauce
- Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream
- The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #ofbatteranddough. I love to see what you bake!Print
This moist, richly flavorful classic yellow cake is smothered in a thick layer of Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream and decorated with Chocolate Ganache and loads of sprinkles.
- 4 large whole eggs, at room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
- 3 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
TO FROST AND DECORATE THE CAKE:
- 1 Recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream, with 10 oz melted (and cooled) bittersweet chocolate beaten in after adding the butter[/I]
- Chocolate Ganache, for piping borders (optional), recipe follows
- Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper that is also slathered with a bit of butter or shortening.
- Separate the whole eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when you lift the whisk from the beaten egg whites. Scrape the egg whites into another bowl. Rinse and dry the standing mixer bowl.
- Fit the standing mixer with the paddle attachment and cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a time or two.
- Add 3 egg yolks to the butter/ sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Add 2 more egg yolks, beating again until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Repeat with remaining 2 egg yolks.
- Add the flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowl and mix with a wire whisk to combine.
- In a large measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.
- Beating on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the liquid, in 4 additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on low to medium speed, just long enough to incorporate each new addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter just until incorporated, to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites very gently, just until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 min. The cake will be golden brown, be pulling away from the sides of the pan, and will not jiggle in the center when you shake the pan slightly. To check for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of one of the layers. Remove the toothpick and look for signs of raw batter. If only cake crumbs stick to the toothpick, the cake is done.
- Let the cakes cool on wire racks for 5 minutes in the pan, then gently turn them out of the pans onto the wire racks to cool completely. If you don’t plan on frosting the layers immediately, wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. The layers can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (at least 60% cocoa)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- Add the chocolate to a medium size bowl.
- Heat the cream over medium high heat just until it barely begins to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is blended and smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until it’s thickened to a spreadable consistency, similar to Nutella.
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