Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Great Yellow Cake

Paige Green © 2012

Yield: Yields 2 8-inch round cakes or 24 cupcakes

This versatile cake can be baked as cupcakes, as a base for ice cream cakes, or in a traditional layer cake with buttercream for a birthday or any other occasion.

This recipe is excerpted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. Read our review here.


  • Nonstick cooking spray or unsalted butter, for the pans
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups (9 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven if making cakes; if making cupcakes, position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. If making cakes, spray or butter two round cake pans, each 8 inches in diameter and 2-inches deep, and line the bottoms with parchment; if making cupcakes, line two standard muffin pans with paper or foil liners.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, mix the oil, water, and apple juice and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set that aside as well.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick, has tripled in volume, and makes a fat ribbon that holds its shape for a few seconds on top of the batter when you lift the whisk, about 4 minutes.
  • With the motor running on medium speed, add the liquid in a slow, steady stream. (The trick here is to incorporate and emulsify the liquid into the eggs without causing the eggs to deflate. Adding the liquid slowly in a constant stream is the name of the game.)
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth and lump-free, about 30 seconds. (Be careful not to overbeat, which will make the cake tough.)
  • Divide the batter between the cake pans or among the muffin cups. Bake until the cakes are golden, spring back to a light touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes for cake and about 20 minutes for cupcakes.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 40 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment and let cool completely. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack, then let cool completely.

    sweet cream and sugar cones cookbook


Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker,  and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-426834 | 04/08/2018

    I meant to say I used almond flakes to cover entire surface of my apricot jam filled and covered “great yellow cake.”

  • user-426834 | 04/08/2018

    Wow. This is indeed a great layer cake. Light and very moist. I love the use of oil in yellow cake because it makes cake more moist, texture more spongy (which I like) and does not harden (unlike butter based cakes) if refrigerated. Of course, butter wins in terms of the flavor
    it imparts to cakes but adding a bit more vanilla and/or some citrusy zest to oil based cakes helps. This cake combined with icecream or a buttercream is divine. I also once filled and covered it with apricot jam (and almonds); and it was delicious.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.