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Celebration Yellow Cake

Recipes From the RanchMaybe because it’s Easter weekend, cake postings seem popular today. They are certainly the go-to dessert for celebrations on the ranch. And my all-time favorite is yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

It might sound like a crazy cowgirl idea, but I think yellow cake with chocolate frosting is more chocolatey than chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Maybe the yellow cake accentuates the chocolate. Who knows? But it’s definitely a bright cake, rich for celebrating.

A California variation is to heavily sprinkle walnut pieces across the top. Walnuts are not found in this ranch pantry because they make my husband’s tongue tingle and swell. Tree nut allergies are serious, so this California-born buckaroo has gone without walnuts for 26 years.

Cakes are easy to make from scratch. Seriously. Ditch the boxed mixes and you will find that scratch-made cakes taste so much better, and are not any harder to make than the boxed kind.

Yellow Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (my favorite is from Montana Wheat)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Pre-heat your oven to 350. Take a smidgeon of oil and coat the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ cake pan. I use a paper towel to keep the coating light. Then sprinkle a little flour and pat and turn the pan until it dusts the oiled bottom. I use a Kitchen Aid mixer and toss in all the ingredients and blend on medium speed for about three minutes. If you only have a wooden spoon, mix your wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls then add the flour slowly to the wet ingredients. Once you have batter, smooth and creamy, pour evenly into your cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until you can lightly press on the top with a finger and not make an indentation. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat butter until it’s creamy and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and cocoa one cup at a time, beating well for a smooth frosting. Slowly beat in milk and vanilla. You can add tiny bits of more milk if you want a thinner consistency. I frost my cake in the pan, which is informal. If it’s a celebration that calls for polishing up your cowboy boots, then remove the cake onto a platter or foil-wrapped cardboard before frosting. Make sure your cake is cool before frosting or it might tear as you frost.

Happy Easter, everyone! Be reminded that there is hope!

Yellow Cake


  1. Norah says:

    This sounds delicious. I haven’t made a cake from scratch for ages. Do make other desserts from scratch though, e.g. pavlova. Happy Easter to you also.

    • Charli Mills says:

      I love pavlova! A friend taught me to make it because my eldest daughter was in ballet and the dessert was made in honor of Anna Pavlova…visiting Australia, I believe. We’ve even made it with fresh strawberries and kiwi! Happy Easter!

  2. What I need if I’m going to make a cake ‘from scratch’ is some of your ‘farm fresh eggs’ please! Happy Easter.

  3. sylvestermouse says:

    Oh, yeah! You are singing my song here for sure! I do love a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Thank you for sharing your recipes too.

  4. I’m more partial to brownies, but yellow cake and chocolate frosting is quite nice too… especially with a nice cold glass of milk.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Oh, yeah! Last time I made brownies I used walnuts because the sensitive hubby was off-pond. But the dog ate them before I could! All I had was milk.

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