Tag Archives: yellow cake

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting​

My birthday is coming up this weekend, so this week is all about birthday cakes!

I have made a lot of birthday cakes—a lot!—and they have all been highly personal. I’ve had requests for everything from mousse cakes to Funfetti to Neapolitan to Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut, but Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is the favorite by far. For whatever reason, it just screams “birthday” to a lot of people. And while I am inclined to rebel against anything that everyone seems to love (hello, I am a Gemini), I can’t say I’d be anything but delighted to blow out candles on a Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting​

I mean, what’s not to love about an egg-yellow vanilla butter cake with rich chocolate frosting? Nothing, that’s what. This cake is a classic for a reason.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting​

That said, not all yellow cakes are created equal. Yes, they’re all made rich and yellow from lots of eggs, yolks and butter, and they all have some amount of vanilla, but that is frequently where the similarities end. Some are too dense, others too light. Some taste vaguely like cornbread despite containing zero cornmeal (so weird). Even the really good ones vary wildly in terms of flavor and texture. I can say that from experience—I’ve tried a lot of them.

This Yellow Cake though? I like to think it strikes a balance. Yellow, buttery, vanilla-scented, not too dense, and not a hint of cornbread flavor to be found (seriously, it’s a thing). It’s made using the reverse creaming method I use for white cake. You mix the butter into the dry ingredients, then add loads of eggs and a mix of milk and sour cream. It feels wrong, but it’s so simple and produces tender results every time.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting​

I haven’t even mentioned the Chocolate Frosting, but as you can hopefully tell from the pictures, it’s absurdly good. Made with cocoa, melted dark chocolate and just enough confectioner’s sugar, it’s pure luxury. I like to frost this cake simply for a homemade look with lots of swoops, but feel free to increase the batch size if you want to pipe. Birthday person’s prerogative, you know.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting​
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
makes one two-layer 9” round cake

Yellow Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream

Chocolate Frosting:
3 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
rainbow sprinkles, for garnish (optional)

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Combine flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together (I like to do this by running my mixer on its lowest speed for about a minute).

Add butter to dry ingredients. Gradually turn the mixer from low up to medium, to mix in the butter until there are no large pieces and the texture is sort of rubbly. This will take a few minutes.

With the mixer running, add eggs and yolks one at a time, followed by vanilla. Mix until combined.

In a measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together milk and sour cream. Running the mixer on medium, add the milk mixture in two installments and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl well to ensure even mixing.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Tap each full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake layers on the center rack for 31-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let let layers cool in their pans for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the layer before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

Make the Chocolate Frosting. Place chopped dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring just until melted. Cool to room temperature (this can be done quickly by putting it into the fridge for 5-8 minutes, then whisking with a fork).

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until very light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Beat in confectioner's sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix in melted chocolate, followed by vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.

Fill and frost the layers as desired. Garnish with rainbow sprinkles, if desired. Serve.

Layer cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamI bake for a lot of people. During any given month, I make and deliver upwards of twenty cakes (a lot for one person with one oven and a day job). I love getting texts and emails letting me know how much they were enjoyed–it really makes all of the effort worthwhile and keeps me motivated. But there is one person whose opinion truly means everything to me: my sweet little sister, Eliot (E3).

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamBefore I went up to Boston last weekend to celebrate her birthday, I sent her a series of text messages about her birthday cake. I knew it would involve chocolate, but everything else was up in the air. I’m sure five text messages about how I could make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting or a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting weren’t disruptive to her studying *at all.* We went back and forth with ideas until she settled on a chocolate cake with Nutella Buttercream. Obviously, it was a hit with the birthday girl and her friends. I mean, hello! Nutella! Eliot loved it so much that she had some for breakfast on Sunday.

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamBefore I headed back to New York, Eliot asked me to put her cake on my blog. I thought about it all the way home. I already have a great chocolate layer cake on here that is fantastic with this frosting, but being the vanilla person I am (sorry), I decided instead to pair that fluffy, chocolate-hazelnut buttercream with yellow cupcakes.

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella ButtercreamY’all, these cupcakes are ridiculous. Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream take the classic combination of yellow cake and chocolate frosting and turn it on its head. The cake itself is a classic: super moist and buttery. But then there’s the Nutella Buttercream. It’s billowy and beautiful and basically tastes like pure Nutella…but better, because it’s frosting. Full of chocolate-hazelnut flavor and unbelievably rich and fluffy–you won’t be able to resist it!

Seriously, after biting into one of these cupcakes, you may wonder why yellow cake and Nutella Buttercream aren’t a classic yet. I sure am.Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Yellow Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
makes 15-16 cupcakes*

Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Nutella Buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

For Topping:
chopped milk chocolate-hazelnut candy bar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes. In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in sugar until combined. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Mix in vanilla and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in two installments, combining completely after each addition.

Fill muffin cups 2/3-3/4 full of batter. Tap pan on the counter five times before baking for 19-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with remaining batter, filling any unused muffin cups part-way with water.

Make the buttercream. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in Nutella. Add confectioner’s sugar and salt in two installments, mixing until completely incorporated. Mix in vanilla and heavy cream until the desired consistency has been reached.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Top with chopped candy bar pieces, if desired. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Note:


If you don’t have a muffin pan, this recipe will make a one-layer frosted cake. Pour prepared batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan and bake for 32-35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.