Yellow Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting

This is the best yellow cake recipe I've tried! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Official long weekend starts RIGHT HERE!

Not only is this my favorite weekend of the year (oh hey, summer!), it’s also my birthday today. So this is like a double whammy of awesomeness right now. My plans for the day include:

This is the best yellow cake recipe I've tried! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Absolutely nothing at all.

After a year of seriously kicking my own butt, falling on my butt (I’m the worst skier, ever), traveling the country east to west north to south, hiring a marketing assistant, buying a home, and basically 365 days of NOT having my ducks in a row– I’m ready to close the chapter on 30 years old and begin putting my feet up at age 31.

Pass me a glass of champagne, will ya? Make it a bottle!

How to make yellow sheet cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m finally feeling like myself again. Remember when I talked about being in a rut? I needed a break. Several, actually. The pressure of being your own boss and having zero boundaries between work and real life is scary. It feels like I need to climb a mountain every single day, but you know what? I’ve learned the fix to it all is to take care of myself. Maybe you can relate? Solutions: Schedule breaks. Close the office door. Go on a walk. Get some rest. Eat healthy. Get back into yoga. Sleep the heck in. Turn off the phone. Take the day off. Like really off. Outsource tasks because I can’t do everything. This is totally not the direction I wanted this yellow cake post to go in, but I’m almost done I swear!

I had the most exciting, crazy, hectic, blessed year yet and I can only imagine what age 31 will bring me. All I know is that I’m starting it with a fresh mind, a new place to call our home, a grateful heart, and two sweet dogs. I’m feeling on top again.

Rainbow Sprinkles on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And with that, let’s eat cake!!

I’ve read many questions and comments about a basic yellow birthday cake recipe lately. And I’m just like “you’re reading my MIND” because is there truly a better birthday cake? Buttery yellow cake topped with smooth, rich, and creamy chocolate frosting that can only be comparable to fudge… this is a birthday essential. And this is how it’s going down because what I’m about to share is truly the best yellow cake I’ve ever made.

All super basic ingredients like eggs, flour, sugar, and milk. Sour cream balances out some sweet flavor and oh-my-heavens! The tender crumb it leaves! Sour cream is the little trick to a super moist, super rich cake– and it really makes a difference here. Make sure you use the full-fat stuff. The fat is what makes it taste good– and that’s what birthday cake is really all about, right? Nonfat sour cream is not invited.

You know the super moist cakes that stick to the fork? That’s what this is!

Perfect chocolate fudge frosting recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Will ya just check out this frosting? It’s the same frosting I use for my piñata cake. (Who I’d invite to any birthday shindig.) What I love most about this particular frosting is that it’s dense and smooth, not whipped or fluffy like I usually make it.

Just pure, glossy, fudgy frosting.

I love sheet cakes because they feed an army, bake up fast, and cool pretty quickly. I use a 12×17 half sheet pan, but this yellow cake batter will fit into a 9×13 too– just bake it longer.

This is the best yellow cake recipe I've tried! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Guys, it’s party time!

Seriously, where’s the champagne.

Print

Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 25-30
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The ultimate birthday cake is right here! This yellow sheet cake with chocolate fudge frosting is the only yellow cake recipe you’ll ever need.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (285g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature*
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, at room temperature*

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (540g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously grease and lightly flour a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 3 full minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition until both are mixed in. On high speed, beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with the milk. Mix each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix this batter. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
  4. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Smooth it out into a thin, even layer. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Make sure you rotate the cake pan once or twice during bake time if your oven has hot spots. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan placed on a wire rack. As the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until pale, smooth, and creamy – about 4 full minutes. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together. On low speed, gradually add the sugar/cocoa mixture, followed by the milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Beat for 1 minute. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. If the frosting is too thick, add a splash more of milk.
  6. Frost cooled cake and top with sprinkles. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cake can be made 1 day in advance, covered tightly at room temperature, and then frosted before serving. Frosting can also be made 1 day ahead of time– cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator. Frosted or unfrosted cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Sour Cream: Full-fat sour cream lends the best flavor! You can use plain yogurt instead. I suggest a full-fat variety.
  3. Milk: Whole milk is best– the fat is what gives this cake it’s wonderfully rich texture. You can use 2% instead– or even buttermilk!
  4. Corn Syrup: This tiny bit of corn syrup makes the frosting uniquely glossy and shiny. You can leave it out if you’d like.
  5. Different Size Cakes & Cupcakes: you can use this recipe to make a 9×13 cake. Same oven temperature, just bake for about 35-40 minutes. You can also use this recipe to make about 18-20 cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners halfway. About 20 minutes bake time, same oven temperature. For a yellow layer cake, I suggest a similar recipe: zebra cake. (Skip the chocolate batter/marbling part.)
  6. Special Tools: 12×17 half sheet pan (I love these pans!)

Keywords: yellow sheet cake, yellow cake with chocolate frosting

And another Franklin picture just because you asked or just because I’m too obsessed with him. You decide.

Franklin

What I love most about this perfect yellow cake is that it's EASY! Quick, simple, buttery, and rich! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

292 Comments

  1. have been loving your blog for months and months and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it! Your posts are always so fun to read and your pictures and recipes inspire me everyday! Hope you have a great day and enjoy lots of cake and of course champagne 😉
    Happy Birthday Sally! 
    Ps: This cake looks too amazing!

    1. Well, I’ve been around a lot longer than just a few months but you know how much I love your blog Sally!!! Happy Birthday Sally…..31 is a fun age, you’re the same age as my sister actually. I hope you have a fabulous day doing nothing!! You deserve a break ~ blog work is fun, rewarding but a ton of work for sure that that’s not something everyone can appreciate.

      And of course this cake looks stupendous….that goes without saying =) 

  2. Happy Birthday Sally! I absolutely love you and your blog! You are truly amazing and all the best with year ahead! I know it is going to a pretty “sweet” one 🙂 Have a fabulous day and this cake is gorgeous! That frosting? DAMN..

  3. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY. Wishing you sprinkles of love and everything your heart desires.
    This is the perfect cake to celebrate your special day and you have truly done so well for yourself, at the age of 31 to have done 2 cookbooks, travelled almost everywhere, having your own place and a beautiful family of 4 🙂 Well-Done to you xx

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Of course there had to be sprinkles. And this is my husband’s favorite kind of cake! 
    You’ve had a great year, Sally. Another book, another dog, another skiing mishap. And it must be scary running your own business, but you’re doing great. Couldn’t see the rut at all! So sometimes we’re our own worst critics. Love your work!

  5. Happy birthday, Sally! I hope this is your best year yet, and I’m so happy for you that you are feeling better, rested, and ready to go. I can’t imagine how stressful it was to travel and do all the stuff you did recently! You deserve a break, however long you want, doing whatever you want 😀 I pray for happiness and peace today and every day!! Also, I LOVE that picture of the sprinkles. Phone wallpaper, computer wallpaper…room wallpaper… 😉

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY!!!! <3 You are the baking QUEEN and I hope you have an absolutely amazing day. Especially with little Franklin! 🙂 This looks like the best birthday cake ever. Gotta have the sprinkles.

  7. First of all, I hope your day is as special as you are! I LOVED my 30’s and I hope you will as well.
    Secondly, I must say that Franklin is very sweet-he has such expressive eyes! What a lovely addition to your family. 
    Finally, you have answered what I will bring to a back yard party on Sunday. I was wanting a good yellow cake and this one looks yummy and perfect to start the summer. At 2PM today my summer officially starts-one of the best parts about being a school nurse!
    Enjoy your day, enjoy your new puppy and enjoy the weekend!

  8. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Saaaaaaaally!!! Happy Birthday to you! Yay!

  9. I just made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting last week. I made a 2-layer cake using your yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting recipe https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/08/24/moist-yellow-cupcakes-with-milk-chocolate-frosting/.
    It’s my favourite!! I have a chronic cake craving, most days I can stifle it, but other days, it just gets the better of me (it doesn’t help that I regularly check your blog – so dangerous for this sweet tooth).  Happy Birthday weekend! I always like to celebrate my birthday for about a week, especially when the celebration involves eating cake, champagne sounds fantastic too!

  10. HAPPY 31ST!  What a year your first year in your 30’s brought you!  Lots of great things!  You have so much to reflect on!  Great things!  So glad you are REALLY taking off!  You all deserve it.  It’s a BEAUTIFUL day….go to a park with that bottle of Champagne & your cake!  OMG…take in this wonderful beautiful Birthday with Kevin, Jude & Franklin!  Happy Birthday, Sally!

    1. P.S. – My Dad’s Birthday is being celebrated at my BBQ Sunday and I’m going to make him this cake! I’ll be thinking of you on every bite! Enjoy your weekend.

      1. Hi Sally, I know you responded on Instagram, but yep! Sure did! OMG…spectacular texture to this cake! WOW! It was dense like a pound cake but the icing was HEAVEN on this. Unfortunately, everyone took pieces home so we were left with like 1 additional piece each, so guess what I’ll be making again tonight? 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday, Sally!! Have the best kind of day, girl!! We had our long weekend in Canada last weekend. Long weekends are the best, aren’t they? Love this classic cake! Can’t beat it 🙂 Have an extra special weekend 🙂

  12. This cake looks delicious and I’m glad I’m not the only one who bakes their own birthday cake! Happy Birthday, Sally! Have a fabulous weekend celebrating!

  13. Happy birthday sweet Sally! Relax and enjoy. You’ve worked your butt off and totally deserve it. 
    And man, who can resist a simple cake to celebrate. Love it!

  14. Happy birthday Sally! Hope it is a great one!! Can’t wait to see how you decide to celebrate with your dogs!! 

    1. Thanks Emily! I just posted about our weekend. We went to a winery today– wine, food, dogs, live music. Amazing!

  15. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SALLY! You definitely deserve a day of NOTHING after absolutely killing it all year 🙂 So glad to hear you are finally back in your groove. I have a feeling 31 is going to be one of your best years yet. Keep up the awesomeness, girlfriend, and DO YOU today! 

  16. Happy Birthday Sally!!! Congrats on the most adorable puppy!

    Quick question: can the sheet cake be made into cupcakes? Any adjustments you suggest? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Maryann! And yes, this can be made into cupcakes. I’d say 20 minutes bake time. No changes to the batter. 350F temp.

  17. First of all: Happy Birthday!! What a great cake for your birthday! And…kudos to you for figuring out some of those truths, like: turn off the phone, close the office door, go outside, take care of yourself. A lot of people don’t learn those lessons until well into their 50’s & 60’s and many times it is too late. The health is compromised, they’ve missed out on many milestones and family times, and they are just plain stressed out. For what?? No one ever says on their death bed, ” I wished I had worked longer hours!” So, you are doing great! And you are very blessed and it sounds like you are thankful for the blessings! Keep up the good work because WE are all being BLESSED by you and your amazing recipes!!

  18. Happy birthday, Sally! It’s been inspiring watching your success this year, so thank you for taking us along on that journey! Looking forward to hearing about your relaxation during year 31 🙂 PS – this cake. Yes. Just yes.

  19. Happy Birthday! It is such a blessing to read your blog, always a bright spot in my day. Your hard work shows, your blog is amazing! Thank you for such a wonderful blog and beautiful pictures and recipes. 

  20. Happy birthday! This yellow cake looks like my husband’s perfect cake. He doesn’t like super-sweet, but he loves yellow cake and fudge. Will have to try!

      1. Well the plain cake was apparently still too sweet (European vs American taste war!), but when topped with some fairly bitter chocolate frosting it was declared a success! Now I know what to make for his birthday next year 🙂 Thanks!

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