I find myself in a conundrum when I bake cakes from scratch. I love the flavor of a cake made with butter, but I prefer the light, springy and moist texture of a cake made with oil.
Cakes made with oil are also a bit more forgiving. If you mess up one little part of the process of baking a butter cake, it can spell disaster. Using ingredients that are too cold, not thoroughly creaming the butter and sugar, overmixing the batter once the dry ingredients are added, overbaking by even a minute or two... any of those things can ruin the delicate texture of a cake.
So when I want to bake up a delicious cake for a weekend treat and don't want any fuss, I'll reach for an oil-based recipe. My secret ingredient is the bit of butter flavoring added to the batter. This yellow cake is so wonderfully moist and flavorful, you'll never miss the butter.
This recipe will make one perfect little 8-inch square cake - ideal for a weekend treat when you don't want a ton of extra cake sitting around in your kitchen at the start of the week.Print
Perfect Weekend Yellow Cake
- Total Time: 33 mins
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp butter flavoring*
- ⅓ cup oil, vegetable or canola
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square light metal baking pan and set aside. Dark metal or glass pans not recommended.
- With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and butter flavoring until it begins to thicken, 1-2 minutes. Add the oil and milk and mix until just combined.
- In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet in 2 additions, mixing until just combined - do not overmix.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake on center rack until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25-30 minutes. I recommend checking the cake early to make sure you don't overbake it.
- Frost cake with Not Too Sweet Chocolate Buttercream
* I like McCormick or Watson's brand. I do not like Wilton brand.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 28 mins
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I like it! Perfect!
Yay! Thanks for sharing!
just not moist - keep looking
I'm sorry the recipe didn't work out for you! I've made it several times and I promise you it is a very moist cake. Some things that may have caused your cake to dry out: unintentionally mismeasuring the flour (I use spoon and level, never dunking the measuring cup into the container), using a dark pan, making ingredient substitutions, and/or unintentionally baking the cake for too long.
Hope you'll give it another try! 🙂
I substituted almond flavoring for the butter flavoring and used it topped with strawberries. Instead of the frosting. I would also cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup. It was a bit too sweet for me.
Yum! Thanks for sharing your revisions!
Would this kind of cake freeze well? Thinking of prepping for a bday. I’d freeze it the week before.
It absolutely will! Freeze it without frosting - wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Let thaw on counter before frosting and serving.
Can i make this cake without butter flavouring. OR substitute the oil with butter. And if i substitute the oil with butter should i ise the butter melter or in a bit solid form?
You can definitely leave out the butter flavoring. If you replace the oil with butter, the texture of the cake will be completely altered so I would recommend looking up a butter-based yellow cake recipe just so you get the best outcome! Thanks for commenting!
I’ve been experimenting with homemade yellow cake recipes that require butter and find they are drier and require more work to mix. This recipe is the easiest and best tasting cake I’ve tried. It even taste better on the second day. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
I totally agree. I love this recipe SO much and I'm thrilled that it worked out so well for you, too!!
Home Cake Baking
I really loved your post. I read your blog quite often and I just shared it on Twitter.
Keep up the good work.
Great recipe! Loved how light and fluffy it was. This is definitely a keeper.
Perfect for an 8x8 pineapple upside down.
I made this for a friend's birthday at work. Even though he said he didn't want cake! Who doesn't want cake especially on your birthday?! At any rate he and several other friends had cake. He said it was really good and everyone else said the same .
I baked mine for 25 minutes and made the chocolate buttercream frosting as well. I've never heard of frosting with honey in it before but it was really good as well. I didn't have to add any milk to the frosting.
Thanks for the great cake and frosting recipe!
I'm so glad everyone enjoyed it!! I LOVE this recipe so much!
Hi! Can I leave out the butter flavoring ?
Sure! You won't have that flavor, but the cake should still turn out fine.
I needed to use some left over crushed pineapple, so I needed a recipe for a small yellow cake for the base of a pineapple upside down cake. This cake is wonderful! I was out of granulated sugar, only had about 1/4 cup, so I used 1/2 cup of light brown sugar. I was also out of vanilla, so I used almond extract and it was tasty!! Thank you for this "perfect" recipe! 🙂
That sounds like a yummy adaptation - thank you for sharing!
thanx for sharing
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You really felt the need to share this on a recipe site? Maybe you need a hobby to keep you busy.
I have a big Church Homecoming and I do not want to make a lot of different cakes. I like this because it's simple and easy. Would I have to make this cake mix 3 times or 4 to get the sheet cake size I would to feed maybe 50+ people? I like the frosting but I want to try different flavors also, what do you think?
I would double the recipe for a 9x13 sheet cake. Then if you made two of them, that should get you close to 50 servings depending on how you slice the cake (try googling some cake slicing guides for 9x13) This is such a great basic cake that it'll go well with lots of different frosting flavors! 🙂
This cake is adorable, and you have decorated it in such unique way.
It's such a simple cake!
Could you bake these in a muffin tin? If so, it can probably fit into six holders. How long would I bake this for?
I haven't tried this particular recipe as cupcakes but it should work fine - I would bake at the same temperature but start checking them around 13-15 minutes. 🙂
Thanks for the quick reply 🙂 I might try these heart-shaped muffin tins for Valentine's Day!
Mmmm, looks so tasty and like the perfect little personal sized cake. >_<
Yeah, I feel like I'm being generous with that whole "9 servings" thing. I guess if someone who really likes sharing made this cake...