|This classic, old fashioned, homemade from scratch 1-2-3-4 cake, gets its name from the use of 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs. It's a great homemade cake for a birthday, or for any day!|
Basic 1-2-3-4 Yellow CakeNow I gotta tell ya, while I certainly do use them like anybody else, I'm not real big on boxed cake mixes - not that there's anything wrong with them - not at all. I have a few of those recipes that specifically have always called for boxed cake mixes, and in those cases I use and love Duncan Hines brand cake mix. It was the brand Mama used and the one that I have always preferred. Generally speaking, most boxed mixes just come off far too sweet for me and homemade is always best, plus I just prefer being able to control the sugar myself. But I totally understand the convenience of box mixes for sure.
This old fashioned 1-2-3-4 cake is such a cinch to make and really not any more trouble than a box mix in my opinion. The name comes from the mix of ingredients - 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs. Simple to remember. Classic in flavor. It's really the only yellow cake recipe you'll ever need because it's the perfect flavor, texture and crumb. The quintessential classic birthday cake and the perfect vehicle for chocolate buttercream icing as I have done here, though it ain't bad with that old fashioned boiled peanut butter icing or even a caramel icing either.
Here's how to make it.
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Recipe: Basic 1-2-3-4 Yellow Cake©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 12 servings
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (not melted)
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups of sifted self-rising flour
- 1 cup of milk or buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- Old Fashioned Boiled Peanut Butter Icing (click for recipe), or Chocolate Buttercream Icing (click for recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour or spray two or three (9-inch) or a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan with Baker's Joy non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter by itself until fluffy, than add the sugar, beating on high for about 8 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mixing in well before adding the next one. Start adding the flour and alternate adding in the flour and the milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Distribute evening into the prepared baking pan(s) and place into oven with a baking pan covered with aluminum foil on the rack just underneath to catch any potential spills.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake begins to draw away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack, allowing to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Cook's Notes: I use Land O'Lakes unsalted butter and White Lily self-rising flour. Self rising flour is traditional for this cake however you may substitute cake flour or all purpose flour. Add in 3 teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt. If using a 9 x 13 inch pan and the peanut butter icing, the hot icing will go immediately on the hot cake as soon as you prepare it.
For Cupcakes: Line standard sized 12-cup cupcake pans with liners or spray with a flour enhanced baking spray like Baker's Secret. You should get about 18 cupcakes. Prepare batter as above and distribute evenly between the cups, about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, checking the center cupcakes with a toothpick to ensure they are done.
Tip: To help level the batter lift the pan several inches off of the counter top and then drop it. Do this several times; it's noisy but it really does help to spread the batter out and bring air bubbles to the surface, which helps to make the cake bake more level.
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