Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting — Carole Walter Inspired

I was happy with the Magnolia yellow cake, but interested in trying a few other recipes recommended by people on food forums.   One popular and highly rated cake was Carole Walter’s “Best Yellow Cake”.  I tried the recipe yesterday so I could compare it with Magnolia’s.

The Carol Walter cake was similar to Magnolia’s cake, but it called for cake flour, baking powder and salt rather than the self-rising/ all purpose combo. Plus, it used a different amount of vanilla and called for superfine sugar instead of regular. 

I should have noticed this right away and if I baked cakes more often I would have, but both cakes were just variations on the old 1-2-3-4 cake made with 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups sifted cake flour, 4 eggs, 4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of milk.  It’s a basic template for yellow cake which bakers like to adjust.

As for this 1-2-3-4 cake variation, I liked it and Todd preferred it over Magnolia’s.  Of the two, I liked Magnolia’s a little better because it had a cleaner flavor (no baking powder taste) and didn’t crumble as much when I put a fork in it.  So the self-rising/all purpose combo was my favorite, but if I had cake flour on hand I’d happily bake and serve this one.

But I’m not stopping with these two!  Yesterday I found a recipe by Paula Deen which is almost the same as these, but calls for 3 cups self-rising flour.  I’m off to bake it right now.

One final note before I head to the kitchen. Rather than halve the recipe and make two 8 inch layers as I did with the Magnolia cake, I halved the cake and baked it in 1 9-inch pan so it would be tallker and the ratio of cake to frosting would be higher. That worked out well, so for the rest of the yellow cake experiments, I’ll be halving recipes that call for 3 9 inch layers and using 1 9 inch round pan.

Slice of Cake

The Best Yellow Cake — Adapted from a Carole Walter recipe

3 cups sifted cake flour (11.25 oz)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

Preheat to 350 F. Spray 2 or 3-9 inch round pans with flour-added cooking spray.  Line pan bottoms with a round of parchment paper if you have some.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, taking about 8 to 10 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes if you’ve used 3 pans, or 30-35 minutes if you’ve used 2 pans. Cake should be golden brown on top and come away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then turn from pan and let finish cooling on a rack.

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  1. Louise says

    What I do when I half a recipe is to cut the single layer in half before I frost it and then build a half of a two layer cake. I just like to see a two layer cake. 🙂

  2. says

    It’s my friends birthday on Friday, so I want to make a fun cake to take to our Thursday night Survivor nights for her. Hurry up and do all your experiments and let me know which is best! 😉 You’re really making me want that old familiar taste of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. But, hmm, I also just found a bunch of shredded zucchini in the freezer (need to clean it out!) so now I’m thinking I might make chocolate zucchini cake.

  3. Sarah says

    What do you do with all of your baking results? Does your family eat everything? I love your blog and fascinated that you make something everyday!!

  4. Patricia says

    Have you tried Shirley Corriher’s yellow cake from Bakewise? Hands down my favorite yellow/golden cake yet.

  5. Terri says

    If your wanting to make a good yellow cake this is NOT the one… It taste more like cornbread than a cake….

  6. says

    Before I became a more experienced baker, my yellow cakes were more like cornbread too. You have to use the precise amount of flour, cream the butter and sugar properly and have all ingredients at the right temperature. Still, some recipes are better than others. You should try Shirley Corriher’s or CI’s is you didn’t like the texture of this one.

  7. Emi says

    Hi!,, I tried to bake the ” best yellow cake “by Carole Walter and I couldn’t. I used all the ingredients properly and the result was a disaster. Both pans were not made inside and burned outside.
    what happened?
    I Made twice and no results….can you help me??


  8. says

    Hi Emi,

    Were you cake pans black? If you use very dark cake pans, the edges may cook faster than the centers. Another problem could be your oven is running hot. To fix the problem, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and cook until done. Don’t remove from the oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Email me if you want more tips or a new recipe. I’ve found a few I like even better.

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