Basic 3-Layer Yellow Cake

Recipe slightly adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson. Published with permission.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Essential Ingredient Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 9-inch layer cake
Calories 300kcal
Author Joy the Baker


  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk


  • Put oven racks in the centre and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans. (Aimee's note: I used two 9-inch and three 5-inch pans)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3, to 4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add half of the flour mixture, and beat well.
  • Add the buttermilk in a slow stream and beat well. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake until golden brown on top and a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.


1. Baking the cakes at a lower temperature helps them rise evenly, without peaks in the centre. This is better when preparing a naked cake. I still trimmed my top, but not by much
2. If you’re not using right away, double-wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 7 days. When ready to frost, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and frost frozen.


Calories: 300kcal