Myne’s Easy Yellow Cake Recipe

A slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

This easy yellow cake recipe is a foolproof moist yellow cake made even better with milk chocolate frosting.  You don’t need to be a professional baker to make this yellow cake with chocolate icing.

I don’t claim to be a pastry chef and I’m certainly not the person to call if you want a cake shaped like your Shih Tzu, but if you’re looking for a moist yellow cake  that does double duty as the best homemade birthday cake recipe, look no further. My grandmother, Myne’s, easy yellow cake recipe (with milk chocolate frosting — HELLOOOOO…) has stood the test of time. We’re talking generations, people…

mixing batter with eggs and milk.

Everyone has them.  Those time-honored recipes, passed down from a grandmother, aunt or second cousin, twice-removed.  Recipes that you can taste just by thinking of them. That’s what this yellow cake with chocolate frosting is for me.  It’s my grandmother’s recipe — and not only did I grow up eating it, so did her three kids (my Dad, Uncle Buck and Aunt Heather). Myne’s easy yellow cake recipe with chocolate frosting is universally revered by every member of the family and happily, it couldn’t be easier to make.

baking cakes in cake pans.

The Secret Ingredient For Myne’s Easy Yellow Cake Recipe:

Crisco.  There.  I said it. Crisco has been around since the early 1900’s and was long thought of as an indispensable ingredient for most home cooks in order to achieve crispier chicken, fluffier frostings and softer cakes. So, it’s no wonder that her easy yellow cake recipe, which she’s been making for 70+ years, would call for Crisco.

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combining powdered sugar and cocoa for the milk chocolate frosting.

The milk chocolate frosting, however, uses butter instead of Crisco for a classic buttercream that’s smooth, luscious and lip-smacking. I admit, this recipe is different from my grandmother’s.  Her chocolate icing called for melted butter instead of softened butter — but my real stumbling block was in the recipe itself – it was hand written by her and it didn’t include any measurements — ’cause you know, back in the day, they just intrinsically KNEW how much of this and that to add to a recipe.  They were born with those instincts.

beating the milk chocolate frosting

For this milk chocolate frosting, I mixed powdered sugar and cocoa and alternate adding the confectioners sugar blend with milk and coffee. You can mix this with a spoon, but I prefer a hand mixer to ensure no lumps and that the milk chocolate frosting is light and fluffy.  Of course, you’ll want to do a taste test — for quality control purposes.  Luckily, this recipe makes plenty of milk chocolate frosting for both layers of the easy yellow cake recipe.

easy yellow cake recipe after baking.

Let the baked cakes cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to continue cooling to room temperature.

spreading milk chocolate frosting on the moist yellow cake.

Don’t attempt to frost a hot — or even warm — cake.  It won’t go well, in fact it will melt.  So, patience is a virtue here, because once the cake has cooled, the milk chocolate buttercream will spread like silk across the tender  moist yellow cake.

rainbow colored jimmies for the best homemade birthday cake recipe ever!

Now if you’re not making this easy yellow cake recipe for a special occasion, you can certainly skip the embellishments, but come on — how can anyone resist rainbow-colored jimmies?

sprinkling rainbow jimmies on the easy yellow cake recipe with milk chocolate frosting.

If you’re looking for a good, all-purpose cake, this is probably the best homemade birthday cake recipe. I say birthday cake because we had a birthday boy in our midst, and this moist yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting and sprinkles was the exclamation point to his special day.

a frosted yellow cake decorated with sprinkles for a birthday.

Predictably, Myne’s easy yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting didn’t last long with a crowd of hungry party-goers and I’m betting you’ll have the same sure-fire results. If you’d rather go all chocolate, check out this easy chocolate cake recipe or this double chocolate layer cake.

A slice of Myne's yellow cake.

More cake recipes to try:

Myne's yellow cake with chocolate icing.
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4.39 from 31 votes

Myne’s Easy Yellow Cake Recipe with Milk Chocolate Frosting

This is my grandmother’s yellow cake recipe, one she served regularly to to my Dad as he was growing up. He still talks wistfully of Myne’s Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. It’s a simple recipe that satisfies your cake cravings.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword birthday cake, chocolate frosting, yellow cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • cups sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup shortening (Myne used Crisco)
  • 1 cup milk divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3¼- 3½ cups confectioners sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk



  • Preheat the oven to 350°.  Generously spray two 9″ round cake pans with vegetable spray. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pans.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and spray again with vegetable spray.  Set aside.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add shortening, 2/3 cup of milk and vanilla. Use a hand mixer and beat on low speed for 2 minutes until well combined.
  • Add remaining 1/3 cup of milk and eggs.  Continue beating until very smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Beat the butter in a large bowl until very fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to blend.
  • Sift the cocoa powder, salt & powdered sugar in another bowl to combine. Add about half of the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth.  Beat in the coffee and 1 tablespoon of milk. 
  • Add the remainder of the cocoa mixture and beat until smooth. If the icing seems too stiff, add more milk one tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until you have the right consistency.
  • Arrange one layer of the cake on a platter.  Scoop 1/3 of the icing into the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to coat the top of that layer.  Place the second layer on top of the first and add 1/3 of the icing to the top, spreading it around evenly.  Use the last 1/3 of the icing for the sides of the cake.


Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 322mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2.3mg

“Pin” Myne’s Easy Yellow Cake Recipe For Later!

Looking for an Easy Yellow Cake Recipe? Moist yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting is an all purpose dessert & the best homemade birthday cake recipe. #homemadecake #homemadeyellowcake #homemadebirthdaycake #yellowcakewithchocolatefrosting #milkchocolatefrosting #homemadefrosting #homemadebuttercream #milkchocolatebuttercream #birthdaycake #bestbirthdaycakerecipe #yellowcakewithchocolateicing #yellowcakenobutter

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  1. anonymous says:

    The cake tasted delicious, but was a little dry. Do you have any suggestions of why this happened also do you think this recipe could fit in 2 round 8 inch pans?

    1. Yes, you could use 8 inch pans. As far as being dry — perhaps the oven isn’t calibrated quite right. Most ovens can be off by as much as 25° and that can impact the finished product. Mine runs a bit hot because there’s a lightbulb in the back of the oven that’s ALWAYS on. Consequently, I have to monitor closely and rotate what I’m baking because the rear of the oven is hotter than the front.

  2. 5 stars
    I just ist made this and it’s still warm in the pan. Perfection! I may never use butter in yellow cake again. This is my new go-to! I did not use frosting – just a simple plain cake made in a dark metal 8 inch square pan. Let’s see how long it will last…. Ha. Thank you!

  3. Marianne Johnson says:

    I have been looking for a recipe that my Grandmother made and she called it “Mother’s yellow cake”. Can’t find any recipe with that title. The crisco makes me think this might be it. She used crisco a lot in her baking. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

    1. Crisco was “BIG” back in the day, so it’s likely that it was a key ingredient in your Grandmother’s cake. I’ve never heard of Mother’s yellow cake, per se… Was this HER mother’s cake recipe? This recipe is from my grandmother (we call her Myne).

  4. 3 stars
    Nice flavor, but too dry for my family. The frosting is really good though.

  5. Jenni Price says:

    Do you think I could make these into cupcakes?

    1. Absolutely! You’d just need to reduce the cooking time. I’d start with 15-20 minutes and then test them with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they’re done.

  6. 5 stars
    I have been needing a good easy foolproof cake recipe in my life, and this one fits the bill perfectly, especially with that milk chocolate frosting! Yum

  7. 5 stars
    I love a good yellow layer cake with chocolate frosting. It was one of my favorites as a child and kept right on being a favorite into adulthood. Your grandmother’s recipe looks like it has such a great crumb and I wouldn’t skip the sprinkles, even if we didn’t have a birthday in the house! They’re just too fun and make a slice of cake all the more festive.

  8. Marisa Franca says:

    5 stars
    What a lovely story! I wish my mamma would have written down recipes — everything was in her head. And I believe our earliest memories is with taste and smell. The yellow cake looks so tasty and I’m a firm believer in Crisco — sometimes it’s just the right shortening for the dish. This is such a great recipe I’m anxious to try it.

  9. 5 stars
    Yellow cake has been my favorite type of cake since I was a little girl! I’ve always found it so much tastier than vanilla or chocolate. Yet, I’ve never made it from scratch. And hey, if Crisco works best, Crisco it is! I think it’s great that a lot of people are trying to eat better and find healthier substitutes for certain ingredients but some ingredients, in some cases, just can’t be replaced. In those cases, I think it’s important to loosen up and embrace it.

  10. 5 stars
    I love the story of Myne’s yellow cake recipe. Handing down recipes is a precious tradition that I hope people are doing. My mother didn’t cook and how I wish I would have had some recipes from my grandmothers. It is true, it’s hared to find measurements in handed down recipes. I eve have some vintage cookbooks that are missing measurements. Thanks for sharing this recipe and your story.

  11. 5 stars
    Nothing better than a homemade cake to celebrate a birthday. Chocolate buttercream frosting? I’m in. Love the adorable, yet simple sprinkle decoration you did too. Going to copy, exactly….great upgrade from the sloppy placement I would have done.

    1. I don’t claim to be a pastry Goddess, either… But that’s the beauty of this cake/decoration — anyone can do it.

  12. 5 stars
    Recipes from grandmothers are the BEST. Test of time for sure- generations loving it CAN’T be wrong! I’m not a big baker but I do love me and great yellow cake.

  13. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I’ll have to give that secret ingredient a try 😉 I’ll never be tried of the simple but delicious yellow cake with chocolate frosting – I mean, who would ever say no to a slice of that?!

  14. 5 stars
    I’ve tried to decipher some “granny recipes”– they’re SO TRICKY to read! Who needs measurements?! Who needs directions?! Lol! I’m glad you figured it out- this sounds amazing!

  15. 5 stars
    Hmmm, I’ve really been in the mood to bake a cake lately and this pops up in front of me today. Now I’m even more in the mood! I love a classic yellow cake and the chocolate frosting sounds divine! Just pinned and adding to my cake recipe collection! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I want to eat this cake every day. Yum Yum Yum! Cannot wait to try this! Love! Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  17. 5 stars
    Isn’t it amazing how the simple basics from our childhood always stand the test of time? This classic yellow cake and chocolate frosting will ALWAYS be a hit…even years from now. I would for sure use it as a birthday cake, and cupcakes too. Our gramma’s seemed to be a whiz in the kitchen….and they were not professional chefs, but they sure could dance circles around many cooks in the kitchen with their simple, yet so delicious recipes.