Yellow Velvet Cake

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This amazing scratch Yellow Velvet Cake is the latest of our “velvet cake” series of recipes, which are named for their velvety soft texture. (Some other popular velvet cake recipes of ours are: Vanilla Velvet Cake, White Velvet Cake, and Lemon Velvet Cake!)

The secret ingredient is the cream cheese in the cake batter. This, along with the buttermilk makes for an extra tender and rich layer cake.

Sliced Yellow Velvet Cake with Chocolate Frosting on pedestal.

What does Cream Cheese Do for Cake Batter?

Most of our cakes have either buttermilk, sour cream, or cream cheese in the cake batter. The boost of acidity that these ingredients add to the cake batter softens the strands of gluten in the flour, making the cake's texture softer and more tender.

We only recently started experimenting with using cream cheese in our layer cakes, and we love the added richness, finer crumb, and velvety texture.

So far, we've made a Vanilla Velvet Cake, White Velvet Cake, Chocolate Velvet Cake, and Lemon Velvet Cake . Make sure to put these on your list, and check out our full collection of favorite velvet cake recipes!

How to Make Yellow Velvet Cake

This fluffy yellow layer cake is a flavorful vanilla cake with additional egg yolks in the cake batter to give it a golden hue.

You can find the full, printable recipe card further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps for this delicious homemade yellow cake!

  • Preheat: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans, adding a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of each pan (we do this to make sure that nothing sticks!)
  • Flour Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
  • Buttermilk Mixture: In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • Butter & Cream Cheese: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  • Add the Sugar: Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the Eggs: Add the room temperature eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
  • Alternating Dry and Wet Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet). Mix the batter just until well combined- be careful not to over-mix.
  • Fill the Prepared Pans: Divide the batter between the three pans.
Yellow Velvet Cake Pans
  • Time to Bake! Bake at 325 degrees F for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
Yellow Velvet Cake Layers
  • This recipe makes 7 ½ cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This moist yellow cake pairs perfectly with all sorts of fillings and frostings.

Today, we chose an easy and delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting, but our chocolate buttercream and classic vanilla buttercream recipes as well as pineapple and cream filling, lemon curd filling, or sweetened whipped cream filling are all great choices.

We LOVE cream cheese frostings and have used them as a filling or frosting for many of our cakes. This chocolate version couldn't be easier to make! You'll find the full recipe further down in this post but here is a quick look at our steps.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Mix the Butter: Cut the softened butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  2. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Add cocoa and mix until blended.
  3. Add the Cream Cheese: Cut the softened cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
  5. Time to Mix! Increase mixing speed to medium and beat until fluffy, don't over beat. If beaten too long it will become very soft. If this happens, just refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. This frosting will pipe best if used while still very cool. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it warm closer to room temperature.

Assemble & Decorate the Cake

Decorate the cake however you like! We kept things very simple. To assemble, we placed the first cake layer on our cake pedestal.

Spread with a layer of chocolate frosting and repeat. Top with the third cake layer and crumb coat the cake. (A crumb coat is a very thinly applied layer of frosting).

Applying frosting to Yellow Velvet Cake

At this point, I like to chill the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm things up. Then, apply the second layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides.

I created a spiral on top of the cake using a small offset spatula (as we did in our Ridged Buttercream Cake Tutorial). Starting with the center top of the cake, I rotated the cake on a turntable as I gradually spiraled outward with each rotation.

Using a large 1M star tip, I piped shells and rosettes around the top edge of the cake, and a shell border around the base. (Check out our tutorial on Star Tip Piping!)

Refrigeration and Serving

Because of the cream cheese frosting, this cake needs to be refrigerated.

For best taste and texture, bring the cake out of the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving so that it has plenty of time to soften and warm closer to room temperature.

Yellow Velvet Cake

More Classic Cake Recipes to Try

Everybody needs a go-to yellow cake recipe! We hope that you enjoy this cake as much as we have.

Did you know that we have other Yellow Cakes as well? Check out our Yellow Birthday Cake and Yellow Cake from Scratch also!

Here are just a few more favorite classic cake recipes for you to check out!

Some of our most popular are Italian Cream Cake, Hummingbird Cake, Pineapple Cake and Carrot Cake, but there are so many more to try!

Yellow Velvet Cake Slice

Enjoy the Recipe!

Thanks so much for stopping by. We hope that you enjoy the recipe! Don't miss our other delicious cakes from scratch!

Yellow Velvet Cake

Yellow Velvet Cake

This moist Yellow Velvet Cake is so moist, tender, and delicious with a fine crumb.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ sticks (168g) unsalted butter, sotened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temperature (If in a hurry, place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.)
  • 3 Additional Egg Yolks room temperature
  • 3 cups (342g) cake flour- see Notes for substitution
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 cup (242g) buttermilk (See notes for substitution)
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil (we use canola oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar Adjust amount up or down to your liking.
  • ¼ cup (20g )cocoa lightly spoon into cup and level
  • 16 oz cream cheese (total weight 452g), softened (We used two 8 oz packages, full fat.)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans, adding a circle of parchment or wax paper to the bottom of each pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the room temperature eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet)
  • Mix the batter just until well combined- be careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter between the three pans.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
  • This recipe makes 7 ½ cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Add cocoa and mix until blended.
  • Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
  • Increase mixing speed to medium and beat until fluffy, don't over beat. If beaten too long it will become very soft. If this happens, just refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still very cool. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.

Notes

Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
Substitution for Buttermilk: Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Add milk to the 1 cup mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
4.50 from 85 votes (84 ratings without comment)

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31 Comments

    1. Hi Laurie, Yes, the recipe can be used for cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes for standard size cupcakes. As most scratch recipes, they will bake up with a very low dome.

  1. Hello! Beautiful cake!

    Can this be made in a 9x13 pan by chance?

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can't wait to try it!

  2. Hi Lucy, Yes, the recipe can be made in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

  3. Can u tell me, is the baked ck. Heavy like a Bundt…since the addition of cream cheese. I need a 2 layer and have many recipes. Love to make this but I want it to be light like a layer cake. Not dense like a pound cake. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tanya, We do not find it to be like a bundt or pound cake. The crumb of the cake is somewhat tight with a velvet texture. I hope you will enjoy the recipe.

    2. I made it today.. I left my review. It is magnificent.. Not heavy, but a fine crumb. Moist… Read mt review of it.. I did use 1 tbs. Vanilla bean paste added to butter…then 1 Tbs. Baking vanilla to the liquid. Cream the fats well..add sugar slowly scrape well. O as the recipe states.. mix the eggs separately in one at a time for 10-15 seconds each. Stir flour in at first with rubber spatula..then mix on low for 10 seconds. I did 2- 9” cakes at 330f…took 30-40 min. It is one of best Zive tasted.

  4. Hi… just wanted to let u know..Imade the yellow cake with cream cheese.. I was doubtful of the density of the cake. In fact I sent a question asking about it. I have the same basic recipe without the cr. Cheese and less leavening. Oh I’m so glad I tried it..it is soooo moist and the flavor is beyond good! I did add vanilla paste to the butter and baking vanilla to the liquid.. 2 Tbs total…I was a ck. Maker and decorator for yrs in a high end bakery..Now I do them at home..I am extremely pleased with this cake.. delicious is not enough to describe. My customers will love this addition to the cake menu. Thank You!

    1. Hi Tanya, We are so happy you gave the recipe a try and enjoyed cake!! Thanks so much for taking
      the time to post your review