Possibly the only cake recipe you will ever need and so simple you can commit it to memory! This makes two 9-inch round yellow cakes, the kind your mom might have used for your birthday cake or another celebration. We use it for our Boston Cream Pie, but you could also fill it with Double Chocolate Pudding, or place one layer in a springform pan, spread it with ice cream, top with another layer, and freeze for an ice cream cake.

Ingredients (8)

  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 cups cake flour (spooned into cup and leveled off), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cups milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

Additional Information

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 25m


Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Alternately beat the flour mixture and the milk mixture into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pans.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cakes start to pull away from the sides of the pans and a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a metal spatula around the sides to loosen the cakes and invert (right side up) onto the rack to cool completely. Pull off the paper.

This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.

by Josh and Brent

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