Moist Golden Chocolate Cake (Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting)

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"Golden chocolate please!! never got the hype of yellow cake with chocolate icing, until I had yours!! Oh my gosh. What dreams are made of!"--Casey

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In the baking world, there’s nothing more comforting than a classic yellow cake, just as moist and soft as Grandma used to make. It’s a perfect pairing with creamy and fluffy chocolate buttercream. At Amycakes Bakery we called this classic combination “Golden Chocolate” cake, and it was one of our favorite flavors.

What is Yellow Cake?

Yellow cake is a moist and fluffy cake that uses egg yolks and butter, which give it a rich and buttery flavor. Unlike my most popular Vanilla Almond Cake, which uses a combination of egg and egg whites, this Golden Chocolate Cake recipe uses a combination of egg and egg yolks. The extra egg yolk provides the classic yellow color and enhances the richness of the cake.

Golden Chocolate Cake Ingredients

Like all of my cakes, this cake recipe includes classic cake ingredients plus my favorite secret bakery ingredients for making moist cake:

  • Flour & Sugar
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda
  • Instant Clearjel (a type of cornstarch that creates a soft and moist cake texture)
  • Salted Butter
  • 2 Eggs (divided) plus an extra egg yolk
  • Buttermilk (I use Braum’s A2 buttermilk)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Light Corn Syrup (enhances the texture and rise)
Instant Clearjel: the Secret Bakery Ingredient

The Secret Bakery Ingredient in this Recipe

This bakery recipe uses Instant ClearJel, a type of cornstarch that serves as both a thickener and a binder. It’s tasteless and has no artificial ingredients. It’s often used by professional bakers because it produces a smoother and glossier consistency than cornstarch, tapioca, or other starches. Even better, it enhances moisture and texture in cakes and thickens and stabilizes frostings.

Although it’s not often available in grocery stores, it’s sold in a variety of online stores. I use Hoosier Hill Farm Instant Clearjel. When using Instant Clearjel in baking, please make sure it is labeled as “INSTANT,” and always thoroughly whisk it with dry ingredients as described within the recipe.

5 steps to layer cakes like a pro

Layer this Cake using the Cut and Stack Method

I bake all my cakes in sheet pans and cut them out with cake rings. I talk about this in detail in 5 Easy Steps to Baking and Layering Cakes Like a Pro, but here’s a quick rundown:

1. Bake the Cake in a Sheet Pan
2. Cut Desired Cake Size with Cake Rings then Freeze
3. Layer the Cake from Frozen
4. Crumb Coat the Cake
5. Decorate and Serve

How to Make a Golden Chocolate Layer Cake

All my cake recipes are small-batch recipes, and this 6″ cake feeds 7-8 generous servings. By baking the cake in a 1/4 sheet pan using the Cut and Stack Method, we can get 3 layers of cake with 1/4 inch of fluffy chocolate buttercream between the layers. Double the recipe by pressing the “2x” within the recipe card if you’d like to make an 8″ cake baked in a 1/2 sheet pan, or check out my other cake pan recommendations.

Use the Golden Cake with other Flavor Variations

The Golden Vanilla (yellow) cake used to make this Golden Chocolate combination is delicious with other fillings and frostings, too, Pair it with my House Vanilla Buttercream Frosting for a classic yellow cake, or fill it with one of my fruit compotes–The golden cake with vanilla frosting and my strawberry compote filling was one of my most popular wedding cake flavors at Amycakes Bakery!

Easy strawberry compote with frozen strawberries
Serving and Storing Amycakes Bakes Cakes ⭐ 
Nearly all of my cakes are best at room temperature! They’ll still taste yummy out of the fridge, but will be firm and a different texture due to all the yummy butter in the cake and buttercream.  I want to make sure you enjoy the soft and moist cake texture that is intended by eating the cake at room temperature cake.  You can refrigerate the cake after decorating it, but allow it to come back to room temperature 2-3 hours before serving. (Keep in mind the buttercream can melt in warm conditions). I keep my leftover cake out of the fridge for up to 24 hours, but I’ll refrigerate or freeze anything that won’t get eaten within that time.  

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Golden Chocolate Cake! It’s a super-moist, old-fashioned cake from scratch, with a rich and decadent chocolate buttercream. It’s perfect for any occasion! I look forward to hearing what you think of this recipe!

Thanks for Reading. ❤️

Amy's Signature

View or Print the Golden Chocolate Cake Recipe:

5 from 10 votes

Golden Chocolate Cake (Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream)

Classic yellow cake, just as moist and soft as Grandma used to make. It’s a perfect pairing with creamy and fluffy chocolate buttercream. At Amycakes Bakery we called this classic combination "Golden Chocolate" cake, and it was one of our favorite flavors.
Bake it in a sheet pan using the Cut and Stack Method and cut out the cake in cake rings for a more even-bake and no dark edge. Or choose a different pan size by visiting my Cake Pan Chart.
1x batch Yields: 1 6" three-layer cake cut out with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method.
2x batch Yields: 1 8" three-layer cake cut out with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method.I
If you have a kitchen scale, please use it for the grams (g) listed in parenthesis next to each dry ingredient. If you don’t have a scale, no worries!–just be sure to “spoon and level” your dry ingredients.
Yields 7 servings
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 24 mins
You may double the recipe by selecting 2x.
Select “grams” if you have a kitchen scale for more accurate baking.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour (I use Gold Medal)
  • 2 Tablespoons Instant Clearjel (See Note #1)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon(s) + 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Creamed Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) Sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) Salted Butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 3 Egg YOLKS

Whipped Ingredients

  • 2 Egg WHITES
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Instant Clearjel
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) Salted Butter
  • ¼ cup Shortening
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Dark or Light Corn Syrup enhances the texture and adds a glossy shine

Instructions

Turn Instruction images ON or OFF

Make the Golden Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Line 1/4 sheet pan with parchment paper, and then spray bottom (on top of the parchment) and sides of the sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Sift Dry Ingredients in a bowl and then whisk until well blended.
  • Combine and stir Wet Ingredients in a separate bowl or pitcher.
  • With a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer, cream sugar and salted butter together just until creamy and fluffy. Add oil and corn syrup and beat until incorporated. Add 3 egg yolks and cream until well blended, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Avoid over-creaming at each step.
  • On low speed, alternate adding Dry ingredients and Wet ingredients to the Creamed Ingredients, a little at a time. I do 1/3 Dry, 1/3 Wet, and so on, adding one-third at a time and blending on low after each addition. Continue to mix just until the batter looks well blended and smooth (avoid overbeating). Scrape sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Using a whip attachment and a clean bowl, whip the 2 egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. (Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and free from grease so that the whites will whip).
  • Carefully fold the Whipped Whites into the cake batter, one-half of the whites at a time. The batter is ready when no egg white streaks remain and it should look smooth and uniform.
  • Spread into prepared pan and make sure the batter is evenly distributed. An offset spatula works well for this.
  • Bake on the middle or top rack (avoid bottom rack) of preheated 325-degree oven for 18 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Set the timer for an additional 8-10 minutes. Check the cake at this point. If it is jiggly at all when lightly touching the top of the cake, continue baking for 1-6 more minutes. The cake is done when a paring knife or toothpick comes out mostly clean when stuck quickly in the cake. A couple moist crumbs on your knife are fine, but they shouldn't look wet. Allow to cool completely. Brush lightly with simple syrup (optional, Note #3).
  • Wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap and freeze cake in the pan for 2 hours or overnight. (You can even bake the cake up to a week ahead of time and freeze). The cake will be much easier to layer if it is cold or frozen. To wrap the cake, place another sheet of parchment on top of the cake (this will prevent the plastic wrap from sticking to the cake), and wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap. (I pull the plastic wrap out and place the pan on top of it. Then I wrap 2-3 ways horizontally and one way vertically so that there are two layers of wrap on all sides of the pan including the bottom).

Make the Chocolate Buttercream

  • Whisk the powdered sugar, Instant Clearjel, and Cocoa Powder together until well-blended. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until broken up and softened. Add the room temperature salted butter and continue to beat until there are no lumps, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the shortening and beat and scrape the sides until the mixture is smooth without lumps.
  • While the mixer is on low, slowly add the powdered sugar mixture.
  • Add the corn syrup, and pure vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat the buttercream on high for two-three minutes. This will add air into the buttercream and make it light and fluffy. The Instant Clearjel will cause the buttercream to thicken slightly during the next 10 minutes as it sits (See Note #2).
  • This buttercream is best served at room temperature. If you aren't serving it within 24 hours, refrigerate it, but remove it from the fridge a couple of hours before using so that it may come back to room temperature before frosting cakes, cupcakes, or serving.

Layer, Decorate and Serve the Cake

  • The easiest way to layer the cake is to layer the cake from frozen the day before you plan to serve it. If serving the cake the same day you are layering it, use refrigerated cake layers instead of frozen.
  • Cut out your desired cake size with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method–leave the cake in the sheet pan, and using a slight sawing motion, cut the frozen cake into your desired cake size with cake rings (You can use a knife and the cake rings as a guide for any halve pieces that you cut.) In a 1x batch, I typically cut 3 layers with a 6" cake rings for a 6" cake–two full layers and one layer made from two halves (as seen in the recipe video). The crispest layers are cut from frozen cake, but you can let it thaw slightly before cutting your cake rounds if needed.
  • Use your two half-circles of cake to make the bottom cake layer (fill in with scraps if needed to make a level surface). Fill your cake layers with a little over 1/4 inch of frosting. An offset icing spatula (I use the small and medium-size on all my cakes) helps with this. I recommend frosting a thin crumb coat of buttercream on the outside of the cake which will catch all the crumby edges, then allow it to set up in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the buttercream is firm. Read more in my article: How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro: 5 Easy Steps. The Remaining cake scraps can be used for cake truffles if desired.
  • Spread a final layer of buttercream over your set-up crumbed cake, and decorate as desired. I drizzled mine with a 0.5x batch of my Easy Chocolate Ganache Drizzle and added gold crystal sprinkles. I used an 822 Star tip to add extra-tall rosettes to the top of the cake.
    You can let the cake set up in the fridge, but remove it from the fridge 2-3 hours before serving so it can come back to room temperature (avoid warm temperatures). This cake has the best texture at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes for 2x batches:

1 + 1/2 tsp=1/2 Tbsp
3 tsp= 1 Tbsp
  1. Read my article Instant Clearjel: a Magical Little-Known Bakery Ingredient to see why I think this ingredient is worth having in your pantry.  Instant Clearjel must always be whisked thoroughly with other dry ingredients before added to wet ingredients to avoid clumping.  I have tested this recipe with the following Instant Clearjel brands: Prepared PantryHoosier Hill Farm, and Ingredion. Make sure what you purchase is labeled as “Instant.”  Cooktyle Clearjel is a different product that does not work the same in cakes.  
  2. When baking cakes in a sheet pan, the cake bakes more evenly (flatter on top and with no dark edges), and you get to choose your cake size after baking by cutting the cake out with cake rings.
  3. Simple Syrup is optional, but I use it to seal in the moisture for cakes that will be refrigerated or frozen.  While the cake cools, make a simple syrup by combining 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the sugar is dissolved after whisking, about 20-30 seconds.  You can also make a larger batch of this (1 part sugar to 1 part water) and keep it in the fridge if you’re doing a lot of cake baking.  Always cut the cake with cake rings before brushing the cake brush simple syrup, to avoid the cake being too sticky when cut.
Tried this recipe?Mention @amycakesbakes and tag #amycakesbakes!
Author: Amycakes Bakes | amycakesbakes.com
Calories: 503kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond cake, almond extract, bakery cake, Bakery Wedding Cake, bakery-style, mix and match, moist cake, Vanilla Almond Cake, Vanilla Cake, Wedding Cake
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Melissa
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Melissa
2 days ago

5 stars
This is the one I’ve been waiting on. Nine years ago we had the most delicious wedding cake made by Amy and this weekend I got to make it for our family. I used the strawberry compote recipe for the filling and vanilla buttercream. It was so easy and fun to follow the recipe. What an absolute joy to share these cakes with loved ones again. AmyCakes was a part of many family celebrations. Thank you so much for sharing!

Serena
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Serena
18 days ago

5 stars
I love a great yellow cake!

Abby
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Abby
21 days ago

I do not have a sheet pan or cake rings. Can I bake this in 2-8inch round pans or maybe a muffin pan?

Cassy
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Cassy
22 days ago

Oh, my very favorite! I’m so excited to make it!!

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