What is a Yellow Cake?

Sheri Cyprus

Yellow cake gets its coloring from egg yolks. White cake uses only egg whites rather than the yolks. The other ingredients in the two cakes are often exactly the same: flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, milk and vanilla. A yellow cake may also be called a Golden Cake, a Moist Yellow Cake or a Yellow Butter Cake. The rich deep yellow of egg yolks produces the cake's color, not food coloring; yet the intensity of the coloring can vary depending on how many eggs are used.

Yellow cake mix.
Yellow cake mix.

Some yellow cakes use only two eggs, while others call for four. There are recipes for a Three Egg Cake and a Four Egg Cake, depending on the amount of eggs called for. A few recipes for yellow cake use different amounts of egg yolks and egg whites such as four yolks and three whites. Some yellow cake recipes use only a cup and a half of flour, but four eggs. Generally, yellow cakes are coarser in texture than many white cakes, yet they are often very moist.

An egg, which is used to make yellow cake.
An egg, which is used to make yellow cake.

A yellow cake may be in the form of a loaf, layer cake or cup cakes. Yellow wedding cakes are not unheard of. Chocolate frosting is the classic addition to yellow cakes, but vanilla, lemon, coconut or other flavors may work well also. The dark color of the chocolate and the rich flavor do offer a nice contrast to the light yellow cake, so maybe that's why it's the traditional frosting choice.

Chocolate frosting is typically used with a yellow cake.
Chocolate frosting is typically used with a yellow cake.

Yellow cake mix is quite a popular variety of cake mix. It's a versatile choice for many different types of quick desserts to have on hand in the cupboard. It can be made with rum, brown sugar and nut topping for an easy kind of rum cake and some people add pineapple for a tropical flavor. Yellow cake can also be used for a pineapple or peach upside-down cake. Lemon juice, zest and frosting can turn a yellow cake into a lemon cake.

Yellow cake gets its coloring from egg yolks.
Yellow cake gets its coloring from egg yolks.
Yellow cake, which traditionally has a vanilla flavor, is sometimes used in wedding cakes.
Yellow cake, which traditionally has a vanilla flavor, is sometimes used in wedding cakes.
Sugar is used in yellow cake recipes.
Sugar is used in yellow cake recipes.

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Discussion Comments

AuthorSheriC

Good tips! Thanks.

jabuka

To make the cake fluffy, it is good to separate egg whites and beat them until soft peaks form. Slowly folding egg white mixture into the batter will render the cake nice and fluffy.

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