Old Fashioned Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Here is another recipe from Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. I’ve probably made this cake about 5 times. According to Reeni, this recipe was originally published in 1910 (McCall’s Book of Cakes and Pies). I can tell you it is still phenomenal today. I’ve only made a few tiny changes. First, I cut the sugar back from 1 1/4 cups, to 3/4 cups. I tend to load up on the icing a bit, so I needed to balance it out. The other change I made was to beat the batter just a bit longer. Probably an extra 2 minutes or so. If you don’t beat it for 2 minutes or longer then it makes a very crumbly cake, almost like a cornbread (still delicious, by the way). If you mix it for several minutes, it creates a dense cake, which holds together better. It isn’t as dense as a pound cake though, for example. So depending on what texture you’re looking for, you can adjust the time accordingly. Also, it doesn’t rise very much, which I love because it creates a beautiful flat surface that doesn’t need to be leveled.
The buttercream frosting is pretty straight forward: butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Easy-peasy. You could also use shortening, but I tend to stay away from that as much as possible. Cream cheese frosting is good with this as well. And I haven’t tried this yet, because if I did I would be the only one in my house that would eat it, but I think a layer of jam in the middle would taste and look great.
The batter 
Pour in cake pans (2) 
Remove from oven and let cool 
In the meantime, make the buttercream frosting 
This is the middle of the cake


Top it with the other cake and finish frosting (I find it easiest to pile the frosting on the top and then frost down the sides)
Inside view 
Close up, minutes before my toddler ate it 🙂


Old Fashioned Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Original Recipe: Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Serving Size = 2 8-inch cakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add to a large bowl, or to your mixer bowl (I used my Kitchenaid mixer). Add the milk and butter. Beat together for 2 minutes (I beat it together for at least 3 or 4) on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla. Beat for another 2 minutes (again, I beat it together for 3 or 4 minutes) on medium speed.
  4. Pour into two greased 8-inch round pans (I used 9-inch round pans). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pans, on wire racks, for 10 minutes. Carefully flip out of the pans and let them finish cooling on wire racks.
  6. When completely cool, add the frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened but not melted (room temperature)
  • 4 – 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. With a mixer, beat the butter until creamed. Add the milk and vanilla, mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it reaches desired consistency.