Our All-Time Favorite Birthday Cake Recipes

Homemade from-scratch birthday cake is the best gift out there. Here are four simple yet impressive cakes worthy of their own celebration. Top your cakes off with some of our best frosting recipes, here

5.0 from 1 reviews
White Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons (5 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) almond extract
  • 2¼ cups (281 grams) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites (120 grams), room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add extracts, beating just until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Transfer batter to a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Clean bowl of stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Yellow Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups (333 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons (12.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (147 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) canola oil
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
  • 1⅔ cups (208 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons (8.75 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) hot coffee
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cakes pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugars and oil. Add egg, egg yolk, and extracts, stirring to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Stir in hot coffee just until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (128 grams) peanut butter*
  • ½ cup (112 grams) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar, peanut butter, and oil until combined and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring just until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
Notes
*Use regular, smooth, prepackaged peanut butter.

 

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. I made the peanut butter cake. It was wonderful. We made cupcakes and then used a chocolate fudge icing. Great recipe. I would say it was one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made.!

    • Hi Kristine, thank you for reaching out! This recipe makes 2 (9-inch) cakes! You won’t need to double it to make a layer cake. You are welcome to use 8 inch pans, you will just have some batter left over and be sure to keep an eye on the cooking time- as it may not be as long. Happy Baking!

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