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3 Layer Yellow Cake Recipe

    The perfect 3 layer Yellow Cake recipe made from scratch. Great for the classic Birthday Cake covered in chocolate frosting or a fun Big Mac Cake.

    Easy and delicious 3 layer yellow cake recipe. The perfect Birthday cake recipe!
    3 Layer Yellow Cake Recipe

    Father’s Day is quickly approaching so I thought I would do a themed dessert just for the man in my life. I love all the hamburger mini desserts, like the cupcake burgers and cake pop burgers. I’ve seen many full-sized cake burgers as well, so I figured that I would take it to the next level with a Big Mac Cake! To start off you need to make the bun and this 3 layer Yellow Cake recipe is the perfect one for the job! It’s a pretty straight forward butter cake that stands up to thick buttercream icings.


    Basic Yellow Cake Recipe. It's just waiting for some chocolate frosting and some birthday candles!

    Do you do anything special for Father’s Day? Let Dad sleep in? Go golfing or fishing? Enjoy a relaxing day with family?

    I’m not sure what we’ll be doing yet. Heck, I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow…

    This golden-yellow cake was a bit dense and held up well with the weight of the brownies added to it. If you want to just make the cake, it would be wonderful with a chocolate frosting or even try your hand at an Orange Icing. Not too adventurous? Simply sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream and fruit.

    Even if you don’t use this 3 layer yellow cake recipe to make a Big Mac Cake, this whipped ganache frosting would make an amazing Birthday Cake! YUM!

    This recipe is part one of a three part series for a Big Mac Cake with Fudgy Brownies.

    Give your Big Boy a Big Mac Cake for his next birthday! With Yellow Cake and brownie layers, this cake is sure to be a big hit!!

    Yield: 1 cake

    3 Layer Yellow Cake Recipe

    Easy and delicious 3 layer yellow cake recipe. The perfect Birthday cake recipe!

    The perfect 3 layer Yellow Cake recipe made from scratch. Great for the classic Birthday Cake covered in chocolate frosting or a fun Big Mac Cake.

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Additional Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


    • 2 1/2 cups Cake Flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 12 tablespoons Butter
    • 1 1/4 cups Sugar
    • 8 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup milk


      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare three 9 inch round cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
      2. Combine dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
      3. Beat butter with a paddle attachment in a mixer. Gradually add in sugar.
      4. In a separate bowl and hand mixer, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon juice until pale yellow and frothy. Add to butter.
      5. Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture then 1/2 the milk. Blend until combined.
      6. Beat in 1/3 of the flour and remaining milk and blend until combined.
      7. Beat in remaining flour and mix only until combined. Do not over beat.
      8. Divide the batter into three pans and bake for 20 minutes.
      9. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes then cool in a cooling rack.


      I made one cake slightly larger to be the top “bun” of my Big Mac cake. This resulted in a skinnier center “bun”.

      Save at least 4 of those egg whites in a plastic container. We’ll use them for the Meringue Frosting. Use the remaining whites to make meringue cookies.

      From “Joy of Cooking” Simon and Schuster 1997

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      Images, text and all other content Copyrighted©Karyn Granrud, Susanne Queck and Wunderlander Verlag LLC, or ©Pro Stock Media via Unlicensed republishing permitted. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn on qualified purchases.

      Karyn Granrud

      Karyn Granrud

      I'm Karyn, a mom and wife, and I founded this little baking blog. Baking and making desserts have been my passion since I was a kid. I love experimenting with different flavors and sharing delicious recipes with all of you. Read more.

      9 thoughts on “3 Layer Yellow Cake Recipe”

      1. Hi! Let me start off by saying this cake looks beautiful! I want to make it but I was wondering if I could use all purpose flour in this cake instead of cake flour. Also, is there a way I can use while and less eggs? Thanks 🙂

        1. There is a difference between cake flour and all purpose flour. The simple answer is yes, but it won’t result is the same texture. To make cake flour at home take 1 cup AP flour and remove 2 Tablespoons AP flour, replace that with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. That’s it. Easy peasy!

      2. Never have I been so disappointed in a cake recipe. This “three layer cake” barely covered two pans. It was so thick that I had to add twice as much milk just to make it managable. The taste was very nice, but my original plan for the three layers had to be changed and not for the better. I have been making and baking for many years and followed the recipe exactly.

        1. Sorry this recipe that I used right from the Joy of Cooking cookbook was not to your liking. The layers are skinny, but if you beat those egg yolks they should provide a lot of air to the batter to create a fluffy cake texture.

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