Golden Layer Cake

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
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Golden Layer Cake

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

If you don't make yellow cakes much, but sometimes have to for a vanilla-type person, and you've never really hit upon a recipe you're satisfied with, this is it. This tender, moist cake is especially good when paired with whipped cream and fruit, or our Fudge Frosting.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
2 1/2 cups (10 5/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) yogurt, regular, low-fat or nonfat, plain or vanilla
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Make sure the butter, eggs and yogurt are at cool room temperature (68°F to 72°F). Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until light. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, beating all the while, and beat till light colored. This will take a total of 5 minutes at the medium speed of a stand mixer, or the high speed of a hand mixer. Be sure to stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. Whisk together the yogurt, vanilla and almond extract in a cup; set aside.

Using a spatula or large spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in the bowl alternately with the yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir by hand only until the batter is completely mixed.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake the cake layers in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes, or until until they spring back when lightly touched in the center, and the edge begins to pull away from the pan.

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a w rack for 15 minutes. Working with one layer at a time, run a knife around the sides of the cake to make sure it's not sticking to the pan, center a plate or flat pan over the cake, and tilt it upside down. Remove the pan from the cake, center the cooling rack over the cake, and flip once more to cool completely. Yield: Two 8-inch cake layers.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 1/16 of cake, 75g): 240 cal, 10.2g fat, 4 g protein, 15g complex carbohydrates, 18g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 77mg cholesterol, 203mg sodium, 70mg potassium, 102RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 81mg calcium, 61mg phosphorus


  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Carole from Easton, Pa
  • Followed the recipe to a T, with the exception of omitting the almond extract, and it came out bread-like. I expected a light cake with a fine crumb and got a dense cake with large crumb. When I put it in the pan it looked more like dough than a batter. Bummer, especially sine I made it for Christmas Eve. 😱 It sounds as if the wrong flour may have been the culprit! You can always adjust the texture of the batter at the end with a bit of milk. Call us at the Baker's Hotline and we'll help you out next time: 1-855-371-2253. Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 12/25/2014
  • Carole from Easton, Pa
  • Followed the recipe to a T, with the exception of omitting the almond extract, and it came out bread-like. I expected a light cake with a fine crumb and got a dense cake with large crumb. When I put it in the pan it looked more like dough than a batter. Bummer, especially sine I made it for Christmas Eve. 😱
    I'm so sorry this recipe did not meet your expectations. We'd love to help you troubleshoot this recipe at the Baker's Hotline: 855-371-2253. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 09/27/2014
  • Tina from South Hero, VT
  • This is my favorite yellow cake recipe. It makes a nice, tall cake and the almond flavor makes it special. I've been making it exactly according to the recipe for years, and it is always a hit!
  • star rating 05/23/2011
  • Brenda Costello from KAF Community
  • This is a great recipe. Probably the best one on here for a true vanilla cake. Have made this for cupcakes 3 times already- both regulars and mini's. I only will use the whole milk yogurt (full fat) and I added a little bit more baking powder and a bit more vanilla and omitted the almond extract. I like to use AE sparingly and in IMBC frosting only. Can't wait to get my shipment in and use a bit of princess flavoring and cake enhancer next time.
  • star rating 05/29/2010
  • Lil' from CA
  • I wanted to use my new Bundt Pan from KArthur and decided to try this recipe. I refused to go to the store for yogurt and butter, used what I had on hand and last rating....DELICIOUS! *Only used 1 stick of butter and 1 C sugar. *After adding the egg, kept beating until pale and creamy. *1 C sour cream was blended with 1 Tb vanilla and 4 Tb Canola Oil *It took some patience to fold all that flour in stages with the Sour Cream mixture, at the end I thought 'this is pound cake' it filled much less than half the bundt pan but it rose so much! When cake was done it looked pale, I placed it under the broiler for 15 seconds while I'm watching with the oven door open B E A U T I F U L we served with whipped cream and blueberries. Yum, yum, yum.
  • star rating 05/26/2010
  • Dorie from NY
  • BTW, I used a Full Tablespoon of Vanilla and omitted the almond flavoring.
  • star rating 05/26/2010
  • Dorie from NY
  • Too sweet/dry the first time. WONDERFUL second time around! I only used 1C+1Tb of sugar, 1/2C sour cream+1/2C VanYogurt [all I had] The key on this cake is using room temperature ingredients and incorporating the flour with a folding motion [not beating] to avoid gluten development, as an avid baker I had a hard time adjusting to APflour instead Cake flour for the same reason, but it worked! Yields 21 cupcakes, baked for about 21 minutes @350* don't wait until they are 'golden' to test for doneness, try inserting a toothpick @ 2/3 of the baking time. I purposely left one cupcake for 2 extra minutes, it was gorgeous in color but deff dryer then the rest.
  • star rating 11/12/2009
  • Two Sisters from Chicago
  • This recipe was quick, easy to follow and produced great results. It required about 20 minutes prep and 30 minutes in the oven. We used a stand mixer and followed the timing/speed suggestions exactly. We used low-fat vanilla yogurt because we had it on hand, but it would have been even better with whole milk yogurt. The one issue we had was with cooking time, as another reviewer mentioned. The cakes were completely done (and slightly dry) after 30 minutes. Next time we will either lower the temperature to 325 and bake for 30-35 minutes or bake at 350 but for 25-27 minutes... unless KAF has a better suggestion. ;-) But overall, a yummy yellow cake recipe!
    Every oven is just a bit different so it is good to check to see if your cake is baked before the entire time has elapsed. So bake at the indicated temperature and shorten the time if needed. Joan @bakershotline
  • star rating 09/23/2009
  • Maggie from Salt Lake City, UT
  • This cake was ok, but not as good as I was hoping. It was drier than I wanted. The cake layers were also slightly sunken in the middle, but not too bad. I reduced the b. soda to 1/2 tsp since I'm at 4500ft (with the b. powder the recipe seemed like a lot of leavening to me), and perhaps this led to the less than perfect results. Or it still needs additional tweaks for my altitude. I was careful with the creaming times. I checked the cake 5min early at 30 min and it was completely done. Perhaps this was still too long to retain good moisture. I also confess that I made the cake layers 2 days in advance and wrapped them in plastic wrap once cooled, keeping them at room temp. I know this is not the ideal condition for judging a cake recipe and probably contributed to the dryness. I will say my family enjoyed it (they don't get cake very often). I guess I'm still looking for that perfect yellow cake recipe, though. Maggie, Yes, adjusting for altitude can be an ongoing challenge. We do have a conversion table on our site: At altitude, all leaveners will need to altered. As well as liquid, baking time and temperature. If you need assistance, please call one of our bakers on the hot line: 800-827-6836. Frank @ KAF.