Yellow Butter Cake

It is said that if you're going to have dessert, portion-controlled servings are the way to go.
I find that logic almost interesting.

Regardless, I gave it a try. And I believe this clever strategy has the potential to work!

I can't  begin to tell you how many of these single-serving cakes I've had this week  plus the strong urge to swing from power lines was undeniable.

However, should my body start to block out the sun, I will have to forgo the experts' advice, and resort to baking mini cupcakes instead...

You'll probably think it prosaic to blog about yellow cake, when you consider the endless times I've declared my love for chocolate cake. But this humble classic takes me back to my childhood. And to all the birthdays this type of cake has made its appearance. Light in texture, not overly sweet, buttery and very comfortable sharing the spotlight with just about any buttercream.

These cupcakes were topped with some fantasy-type flowers, which I'll refer to as   'camellias' because who would gainsay me? Who?
In any case, a fancy swirled top would also be pretty. I will be sharing both, my favorite buttercream, and a  simple way to pipe flowers, in time for Valentine's Day.

Yellow Butter Cake

4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups sifted cake flour
1½ cups superfine sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into 8 pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Or, line a standard cupcake pan, with cupcake liners. Whisk together eggs, heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla. Remove 1 cup of this mixture and set aside.

Combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. While mixer is still running, add butter, one piece at a time (Make sure to cover mixer bowl with a kitchen towel for the initial mixing, to keep all the ingredients in the bowl instead of your lovely face :).

Mix until butter and flour begin to look  pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all the butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup egg mixture, mixing on lowest speed until until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Add remaining egg mixture  into batter, in slow, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat until well combined, 15 seconds longer

Divide batter equally between pans. Pick up each filled pan a few inches off the counter and drop several times to 'belch' any air bubbles to the top, as well as to evenly level the batter in the pans.

Bake until tops are light golden and wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes on wire rack 8 to 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack, peel off parchment, and reinvert cake onto parchment paper-lined rack.**  Cool completely before frosting. Adapted from The Best Recipe, by Cook's Illustrated.

*To make your own superfine sugar, process granulated sugar in a food processor or blender for about one minute.

**This cake will level off a bit once it comes out of the oven. If the cake still has a dome after a few minutes of cooling, take a piece of  parchment paper and lay it over the cake. Rest another cake pan over the warm cake, and  press it down, gently. Hold  for 15-20 seconds and release the pressure. If cake still has a dome, repeat the process. This is a  technique commonly used by cake decorators to level most cakes without the need to slice the tops off.

I hope you'll bake this wonderful cake soon. But I'm warning you, you'll need a shower afterward.

Have a good weekend, my friends.

Designs by Gollum
Romantic Home


  1. Marvelous! Those cupcakes look divine. I love the pretty flower decorations.



  2. Portion is in the eye of the beholder. My portion would be two of those amazing cupcakes! ok, I know I could eat three, but I'm exercising portion control.

  3. Tout est beau tu sais:) makes me want to bake some now..

    I like making things that are pretty.
    They are never as prom queen beautiful as yours:( But I try:) I ahve a SOL folder..:)
    I would love to practice and get "making a camelia"..Steady..set ..go:)

    Individually they are superb.
    Jacques is the dessert eater here..I am the dessert baker.Since he is the only one to eat them..I love to bake smaller portions.
    Thank you..

    I just bought some little birdie cloches w/ my daughter:) They are so chraming to me.

  4. Comfort food in a mini container.

    It doesn't get any better than that!

  5. Oh, You Are Wicked! It will be me who is blocking out the sun after I make your delicious cake. I think they should each have one of your signature butterflies as well. Talk about creative, I love that idea.


  6. I need a remedial decorating class so I'm so glad to hear you're going to be offering instructions! I must be the world's worst decorator so I am very humbled in your presence. Those are some gorgeous looking cupcakes and I do love a good yellow cake - especially when it's topped with chocolate frosting. Hmmm, is there such a thing as a brown flower?

  7. Oh my! That first picture took my breath away... so beautiful! You are so creative and talented, Marysol... and those cupcakes look delicious! I am huge yellow cake fan and I will always choose it over chocolate :) Can't wait to learn how to pipe those gorgeous flowers! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Rosa, they're not only divine, they're good—real good :)

    Carol, my dear friend, please bequeath some of your willpower in your will.

    Aww Monique, messy bird coop.
    I'm flattered that you still have a Sol folder. I just hope you're not saving 'everything' in it. Some things should be kept waaayy under wraps. Hugs in French, Spanish and English.

    Amen, mountain woman! :)

    Uh oh. Nancy, my sweet friend, I may or may not have an explanation for those projections growing out of my head, but please, have a cupcake while I think of something—I wouldn't want to mislead you... >:)

    Dear Susan, I was surprised to find that there is actually a flower that looks and smell of chocolate. Couldn't tell you their botanical name, but if memory serves, I believe they were Cosmos (?)
    In any case, if I had a green thumb like you, I'd have a garden filled with these chocolate beauties.

    Harried Cook, whether it's vanilla or chocolate, I like them both. But I have to add that your latest entry, featuring your elegant Devil's Food Cupcakes, instantly put a smile on my face.

    Thank you foodie brigade. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  9. You would be surprised at what I have saved:)..

    Grateful in QC~x

  10. ...and the plot thickens...
    I would be surprised my dear Monique, and a little worried.

  11. Marysol, that flower is just perfect! I just stared at it for a few minutes it was so lovely. Will you show us how to make those pretty please? And I am very partial to fantasy flowers! ;)

  12. You have the most beautiful and delicious looking blog :D I'm so glad I came across it! The cupcakes look so indulgent...I wish I could dig into one right now!

  13. Just left warM Naples, fl & heading to dear, but cooler home in VA, where I will bake a yellow cake tomorrow. Thanks for sharing pics and recipe

  14. Oh, Sol, you're calling my name! Yellow Cake. I am so not a chocolate person, but yellow and white cakes make me weak with desire. I am weak and swooning. And waiting for your favorite buttercream recipe.

  15. Lorraine, I'd be more than happy to share what I know; heaven knows I've learned plenty from you.

    Thank you Jenny—Your comment's as sweet as any cupcake I've ever had!

    Gail, I'm in MI. so I feel your pain. I hope baking this cake will warm you right up :)

    Annie! I'm always happy to see you, even if you do hate chocolate. Hugs.

  16. They look heavenly! Such a beautiful presentation.
    I love decorating, but only when I have plenty of time. I bought the tip for the hydrangeas, which is, my favorite bloom!
    Thanks for that eye candy!

  17. These not only look lovely but delicious as well. I suppose there is some substance to the portion-control theory...it gives us a mini way to enjoy our sweeties without feeling like we have to spend the next decade in the gym. -- Joann

  18. The cake sounds delicious, I wil give it a try! Would you consider a post on how to decorate the cupckes, they are spectacular! Sunny

  19. I'll take a cupcake in any shape or size. LOL As long as the cake is moist and the frosting is sweet but not too much so, you can't go wrong.

  20. Anonymous24/1/12

    These look sinfully delicious! Love your combination of pearls with cupcakes! So cute!
    xo E + J

  21. Loving the flowers on your cupcakes. So beautiful.

  22. Thank you Kathleen!

    Not to worry Joann. I kept the cupcakes in another fridge, downstairs. So I figured, every time I's make a cupcake run, I'd burn more calories than I took in...right?

    Sunny, that's what I intend to do; please, stay tuned.

    Carolyn, you're a gal after my own heart!

    Mr. Eddie Ross, I will keep this short and sweet, lest my emotions turn me into a bumbling idiot. Thank you very kindly for your visit and your lovely comment!

    Ahn, you're very thoughtful and kind!

    Thank you all so much for sharing your time with me!

  23. Incredible styling. Just love the cupcake in the teacup. And the frosting! How I would love to be able to decorate my mini-cakes just like that.

  24. Sol, somehow I knew when I came here that you would not be using Duncan Hines cake mix ;o) Truth be told, I found a recipe for yellow butter cake several years ago, and everyone gave it great reviews so I made it and it was a winner. However, the children I served it to were used to Duncan Hines cakes that their mommas made, and thought it tasted weird. Very unfortunate...LOL

    I needed a Sol fix this morning, and you never let me down. Have a great day!

  25. A fancy swirl is but a beautiful swirl. It will be different without that swirl ;)

  26. The camelias really make this cake - cupcake - just beautiful. I'd never turn one of these down, even though chocolate is my preference too.

  27. I do love cake, and yellow butter cake is one of my favorites. I would be no good at sticking to portion control though. The camellias look fantastic!

  28. That is such a beautiful cupcake! I am always looking for the perfect yellow cake and it looks like I may have found it...
    Thank you...

  29. Oh yum ... these are stunning and sound fabulous! You are such a fine artist and so talented, dear Marysol. The 20th was Mr. Ho-Hum's birthday ... if only he had known he would be pounding on your door!

  30. Hello there, cupcake brigade, and thank you very, very kindly!

    Speaking of cupcakes, hi Joey!
    Could you please give a belated birthday hug to Mr. Ho-hum? I'm betting his birthday was the antithesis to his name :)

  31. Incredibly beautiful! You are an artist!

  32. Dear Marysol, You have a gorgeous site! This butter cake looks beautiful and delicious!!! Blessings, Catherine xo

  33. What gorgeous photos, and your 'camellias' are glorious. This cake method is rather interesting, will keep it in mind next time I need a lovely plain cake.

  34. Dear Marysol, This cake sounds perfect. You also are an artist with your presentation. Beautiful. Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

  35. It has been a challenge to bring a romantic photo or idea a day. I needed something to push me into creativity and this was it. What will you be baking up for Valentine's Day? I wish I lived next door so I could drop by and sample one of your goodies.

    Wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day


  36. Beautiful piping!

  37. Hi guys!
    Thank you kindly for coming by to see me. Have a great weekend. And I hope Cupid has a sweet surprise for you this Valentine's Day!

  38. So sorry to see that blogger has been a nightmare. I've had my fair share of difficulties with my blog as well. I hope you're up and running soon. I will miss a sweetheart post from you.

    Happy Valentine's Day dear, Marysol!

    Kisses and hugs,

  39. I love your dessert idea, and I am in love with your blog... thanks for sharing your great memories

  40. Anonymous28/2/12

    Goregeous as always. And your cupcakes look nice too.


  41. Rob, you always know the right thing to say; I should start paying you more :)

    Have a good weekend my friends!