Homemade Yellow Cake

This recipe makes a very light and delicate-crumbed cake. Great for making plain cake with a favorite filling, then frosted to suit your family, or left as is. A very simple and easy recipe.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cups milk

Julie's Note: To make your own cake flour, measure 3 cups plain flour into a bowl, then remove 6 Tbsp. of it and put them back into the canister or flour bag. Now, add 6 Tbsp. corn starch to the remaining flour and sift it all together 5 times (at least 5 times, but if you like, you can sift it a couple more times to be sure it is very light). Now you have created your own cake flour and can proceed with your recipe.

I usually make about 12 cups of cake flour at the time, so I don't have to stop and make it every time I need cake flour. Just keep it in a big jar or even a Ziploc Freezer bag well marked so that you know what it is.


When making 12 cups at the time, I'll replace 24 Tbsp. of the flour with 24 Tbsp. of corn starch. Better to do it in 3 cup increments so that you get it all sifted together evenly. It takes a while to sift it as many times as you need to, but it's very necessary you don't skimp on this step.

Keep in mind that you are saving quite a bit of money when you make your own. I never minded doing these things as I'm very much at home in my kitchen and I enjoy all the puttering it takes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) cake pans.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk; beating until smooth after each addition.

Bake in prepared pans 30 minutes or until tests clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely on rack.


Frost as desired.

Julie's Note: This cake is delicious as a base for strawberry short cake, or filled with all sorts of pureed dried fruit with confectioner's sugar and cream cheese filling, or just add a favorite jelly between the layers while the cake is still hot (crab apple, red currant or strawberry jellies are just perfect).

My children liked it best with red currant filling, and just a light dusting of 10X confectioner's sugar on top.

Servings: 10-12
Prep Time: 20 or more if you are making your own cake flour. Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Source: This was my Mother's recipe, and her Mother's before her. I can remember my Grandmother making her famous fresh coconut cake for the last time using this recipe in 1947.

By Julia from Boca Raton, FL


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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

I don't remember ever buying cake flour in my life, so I've usually just skipped the recipes that call for it thinking it was a mixture of more ingredients.

I have just used plain flour a few times, but the cakes that call for cake flour need the finer texture that cake flour gives them. I'm going to make my own now , and see if I can tell the difference. The flour we buy today all says that we do not have to sift it, so I don't. Maybe I should.

I wonder if I could use my homemade cake flour to make biscuits. Have you ever done that? Were the biscuits lighter? Maybe that's what I need to do to get a better biscuit. I seem to have a heavy hand or something. My biscuits never turn out as light as I'd like for them to.


The recipe for your yellow cake is so simple so I'll definitely be trying that
as well. I would like to have a nice plain yellow cake to use for strawberry
shortcake. It's one of our favorite desserts. Thank you Julia.


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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

I use wheat pastry flour in cakes, DH and I are diabetic. Thanks for posting how to make cake flour. I wonder if it will work with wheat pastry? I will have to try it. :-)

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

SuziQ9, you & I are in the same boat. I always thought there was more to cake flour, so always skipped those recipes. Maybe even an inept (and blind) baker like me could do this simple recipe, including making my own cake flour. Thanks, Julia!

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

Thumbs up again Julia.

Just let me know when you make the next one.I'll bring my own fork and plate. ; )

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July 14, 20111 found this helpful

Chocolate cake is my favorite, but this sounds very good. I've never made my own cake flour either, but will now. Thank you.



Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 21, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks Julie!
Any chance of your Grandma's fresh coconut cake recipe?

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October 14, 20200 found this helpful

Could this be made in a 9x13 pan? I wast to use it to make a dump cake.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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