Classic Butter Cake

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dessert


This basic butter cake was good, probably better than the white flour version I made last year, but there was no hiding the whole grains. People will notice, but if they’re used to whole grains at all, they won’t mind one bit.


  • Begin with all ingredients at room temperature.
  • 2 ¼ c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. plain yogurt


  1. Grease pans with butter and flour them thoroughly, or line with parchment paper or cupcake liners. (I use the butter wrapper from the recipe itself, and it’s usually the perfect amount of grease.)
  2. Mix the flours, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, likely about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.
  4. Mix the vanilla and yogurt together in a separate bowl. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs and mix until uniform. Pour in half the yogurt and beat until fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then let the mixer run on low speed and add another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the yogurt, and the last of the flour, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl.
  5. Pour the batter into your chosen pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven:
  6. 9-inch rounds or cupcakes: 25-27 minutes
  7. 9 x 13 rectangular cake: 30-34 minutes
  8. 15 x 20 sheet cake: 27-30 minutes
  9. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Cool completely before frosting. (The photo at the top is the classic yellow cake.)


Notes on ingredients: I used “natural cane sugar,”which is a less refined sugar than pure white, from Wholesome Sweeteners, as part of my test of their products. It’s funny to see how much darker the cake turns out than a boxed classic yellow: I blame the deeper yellow of my eggs, the whole grain flour, and the fact that unrefined sugar is not bleach white. It all comes through (but not in a bad way).