yellow cake chocolate frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a classic combination featuring a light and moist cake and a rich and sweet frosting – the perfect pairing!

yellow cake chocolate frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting was originally posted on on May 8, 2011. The recipe has been revised as of May 2019. 

I have been meaning to participate in a recipe redo for SO LONG! There are  a ton of recipes that need updating on here and I keep running into them but just haven’t managed to get anything actually remade yet. Tom’s favorite cake is a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It can be homemade, it can come from a box and a can, he doesn’t care.

yellow cake chocolate frosting

He also puts the cake in a bowl and drenches it in milk, so I’m not really sure what that says about him…

Anyway, way back in 2011 Tom had requested that I make a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday so I did and shared that original recipe with you. A few weeks ago, his parents were visiting and since I hadn’t made him a cake for his actual birthday (about a week before) I figured it was the perfect time to make this cake again and get it all prettied up for people to see.


Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a classic combination featuring a light and moist cake and a rich and sweet frosting – the perfect pairing!

  • Author: NicholeL
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 10-12 slices 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking


For the Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or canola/vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

For the Frosting:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 68 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk or cream, or more as needed


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of each.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and beat for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add in the applesauce, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add in the flour and mix just until the batter forms and no flour lumps remain.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 pans, filling each not more than halfway full.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. Add in the sugar 1 cup at a time, stopping at 6 cups. Add in the sugar and milk, and mix until combined. If the frosting is not sweet enough for you, add in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar. (You may need another tablespoon of milk to reach the right consistency)

To Assemble:

  1. Use a serrated knife to shave off the tops of your cakes if they are not flat or even.
  2. Place one cake onto a cake stand and add about a cups worth of frosting to the center. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting around in an even layer, adding more as needed.
  3. Repeat with the remaining cakes.
  4. Add frosting to the third layer of the cake and spread down the sides, covering the surface of the cake.
  5. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Keywords: Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting, yellow cake, homemade cake. chocolate frosting

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I debated on whether or not to add the sprinkles at first, but in the end decided that everything is better with sprinkles. We, along with his parents enjoyed this cake as a late birthday celebration and a “the deck is almost complete” celebration.
Being a food blogger, I tend to gravitate towards recipes that will photograph nicely. For me, cake just isn’t one of those recipes. I still haven’t mastered the art of getting them completely flat (even with shaving off the tops) and my ratio of frosting in between each layer always looks like enough until I slice into it. Anyway, the point is, a simple cake like this can be hard to photograph because there aren’t varying layers of texture or color to it. This cake reminded me that while not every recipe looks great in pictures, that really means nothing for the taste.
The cake is light and moist while the chocolate cream cheese buttercream is perfectly sweet and rich. It has a fudge like quality to it tghat keeps you going back to eat more and more.

Original Photos – yikes!



  1. I love a good yellow cake and with chocolate frosting AND Sprinkles…it’s a homerun for us!

  2. Yum! I’m not a huge chocolate fan but I love chocolate frosting on yellow cake!

  3. Everyone in my family loves yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles! I usually use a cake mix but will try this next time!

  4. Oh my goodness, I am already in love with this recipe. It looks so moist and SO amazing!

  5. Yellow cake and chocolate frosting was my birthday cake request for a fair number of years during my childhood. I think my mom used storebought frosting, this looks much better!! I wish I had a slice now!

  6. I love these opportunities to re-do my favorite recipes.This cake sounds amazing.

  7. Love that you made a classic cake from scratch, and gotta have those sprinkles! Glad you were able to participate this month!

  8. Love those chocolate frosting layers! And those cake layers look so fluffy. Sprinkles really make every cake so fun!

  9. Terri Singer-Little

    I had this cake it was very moist, but the real surprise was the chocolate icing. Most icings are so sugary and cover the taste of chocolate—but this icing is perfectly light & it tastes so chocolatey.

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