The BEST Yellow Cake or Chocolate Cake or whatever you want it to be: The Universal Batter Cake


My dad has never liked us eating too much, He’s a skinny and tall man who can get away wImageith eating anything and as much as he wants and not show it. My mom and I on the other hand are the opposite, so whenever we’re at the table he watches us and gives us this’ better not take that extra chicken leg’ look and we put our forks down. The only person the look doesn’t work on is my mom’s mom. The one time my Dad gave her the look she responded with ‘ Your looking at me,eh you’re looking at me, eh, let me eat NOW, I’m in my daughter’s house’. And my dad goes into a long explaination about how he wasn’t looking and my grandma continues to happily chew her meat down to the marrow. This cake is the one food my Dad doesn’t restrain us on. He’s too busy trying to have as much of it as possible than to worrry about anybody else. This cake was developed when school started again and I wanted an easy friday cake with multiple layers. I wanted a cake that whenever I needed a cake I could just whip up a batter and then turn it into whatever I felt like.In the search for the perfect yellow cake I found this, it makes a perfect yellow cake, a moist chocolate or whatever else you want. I wanted a cake that could be a yellow cake and chocolate cake or a banana cake. I know that you’re probably thinking that with one batter it’s impossible, but trust me, the yellow cake you make with this will never be confused with the red velvet cake you  make with this. It’s also super easy to whip up. This is the Universal Batter and the possibilites are endless, have it your way, folks.

The Universal BattterImage

adapted from smitten kitchen’s best birthday cake

2 9 inch layers or 3 8 inch layers, 1 9*13 cake, 24 cupcakes

4 1/4 cups of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder

2 teaspoons of baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 cup of butter ( yes 1 cup!)

2 cups of sugar (this is not diet cake)

4 eggs

2 cups buttermilk ( or 2 cups of milk with two tablespoons of vineager or lemon juice)

2 teaspoons of vanilla

A shake of cinnamon and nutmeg ( the gourmet  bakery secret, no more than a shake of each and this cake will taste better than any other cake you’ve ever had)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease three 9 inch layer pans with butter,margarine or shortening and flour or cooking spray and the place a parchment paper circle, then grease the parchment circle as well.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. In a seperate bowl ( or in your mixer bowl) cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and add your eggs( I add mine all at once, because one at a time always seems to create a crispy top. but, do whatever works for you) then mix at medium speed till creamy ( depending on how cold your eggs and butter were a, your batter may be curdled at this point). Now slowly add in a third of your flour. Mix for about 10 seconds. Then add in half your buttermilk. Mix for  about 10 seconds.Add in the second third of flour. Mix for 10 seconds and add in your milk. Mix, add the rest of your flour. Now, add your vanilla and spice. And mix for another 20 seconds or so till it all comes together. And there you have it, your universal batter! I have not developed a frosting recipe but I use a simple butter and powdered sugar icing on this cake. To make this into a yellow butter cake, just go ahead and divide the batter into well greased 9 inch cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now for the variations!

All the variations are done after the batter is prepared and just mixed in with a rubber spatula

For red velvet add one tablespoon of cocoa powder to half the batter and two teaspoons of red food coloring. or two tablespoons of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of red food coloring  to all the batter. It will taste like a realy good red velvet cake, since it already has buttermilk.Divide into pans and bake until toothpick comes out clean.

For Chocolate Cake, add a 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of fresh coffee ( I just add two teaspoons of instant coffee to cold water, and voila, no boiling necessary) to half the batter or 3/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of fresh coffee to the all of the batter. The coffee makes the chocolate flavor come out and makes it really moist. Divide and bake until toothpick comes out clean about 40 minutes. Check on it!!

For  Banana Cake

Add in two really,really, really,really, really, really overripe  good-sized bananas and an extra shake of cinnamon and nutmeg to half the batter. I mean really overripe. This ensures that the banana cake comes out really really really good and full of banana flavor. The easy way to ripen bananas is to put them in a ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer for a couple of hours and they become black and really gooey. Add four bananas to all the batter. Divide intpans and bake at 350 until brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

As of today, these are the only variations I have tried, of course being the creative genius your are you can try other variations and let me know what happens! 🙂 Here are some frosting pairings

Yellow Cake and Chocolate Fudge Icing

Yellow Cake and Vanilla Icing

Yellow Cake and Cream Cheese Icing

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Banana Cake with chocolate frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frositng

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Icing

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing.

And there you have it, the universal batter cake. Try it, it’s really good, don’t hesitate. JUST DO IT, you won’t regret it.


Every kitchen is different and every ingridient bought is not the same. If you think, your batter needs more chocolate or less or an extra banana or whatever go ahead and add it.R: Iemember to check every 10 minutes or so on your cake every oven is different..You know your kitchen and trust yourself.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the pounds you may put on eating this cake 🙂

Did you have any comments or tips for variations? Have you tried this recipe? COMMENT! 🙂


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