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Yellow Cake

You will need 8 batches of batter to complete the entire Tropical Wedding Cake; make up to 2 of them at a time, and combine them in the pans.

  • Yield: Makes 11 cups batter

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2005


  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 4 cups sifted cake flour (not self rising), plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter cake pans, and line each with a parchment-paper circle cut to size. Butter and flour parchment; set pans aside. Sift together flour and baking powder 3 times; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated after each. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
  3. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Mix 1/4 of the whites into the batter, and then fold in remaining whites.
  4. Pour the batter into pans (see batter amounts and baking times, under ingredients). Bake until tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 20 minutes. Run a knife around outside of cakes. Turn out onto wire racks, remove papers, and re-invert cakes to cool, top side up. Wrap cooled cakes in plastic; refrigerate at least overnight before using.

Cook's Notes

Approximate batter amounts and baking times: Each 7-inch round cake (make 3), 4 cups batter, 65 minutes baking time; each 10-inch round cake (make 2), 7 cups, 1 hour 15 minutes; each 14-inch petal cake (make 2), 11 cups, 65 minutes; each 16-inch round cake (make 2), 18 cups, 1 hour 25 minutes. All cakes should be just over 2 inches high after baking.

Reviews Add a comment

  • chickenfarmer
    11 APR, 2012
    This is a great basic yellow cake. I have made it for a few weddings and received rave reviews. I put a simple syrup on it which helps keep it moist. I have one question though: Why does it need to be refrigerated overnight before using? I do this but I'm just not sure why :)