The Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing
Yesterday we celebrated my son's 11th birthday. Even though he had school, we had a great breakfast and dinner together. It's funny how he can be so excited about turning eleven and I can be so sad he's growing up. 

And while this cake looks like a chocolate feast with all the Hershey extras and chocolate icing, this is the Best Yellow Birthday Cake. It had such an amazing smell while baking and came out with the perfect texture. We loved it and I believe will become my new yellow go-to cake. I loved the icing too, such a rich flavor, however you must let it cool or it will be runny...but it's fantastic in taste. Because of how this cake was decorated, a thinner icing was not an issue. I guess it just depends what you are making.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing presents
If you follow along on Instagram, you saw our morning began with celebration cinnamon rolls. It's nice to have the kids start the day with something special and the cinnamon rolls definitely did the trick.

Two presents, but ones he wanted badly. A game for his hand held PlayStation Vita and the Kindle Fire HD (I wish I had one). Spoiled alert! But he's such a good boy, he deserves them. Needless to say he was very excited.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing side
The inspiration for this cake came from my other son's birthday cake last year. However, this guy is an absolute lover of Hershey's Bars and Hershey's Kisses. Jon has always been a very picky eater (not to mention he is allergic to so many things) and Hershey's has always been his chocolate of choice. 

So when he said he wanted a cake similar to his brother's, but with Hershey's chocolate, I had to make it happen. Needless to say, he was ecstatic when he came from school and saw his cake.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing candle
I found the recipe printed out with lots of scribbles on it in one of my dessert binders. I have no idea where it's from or who to credit for this lovely recipe. It's easy to make and fun to eat. Perfect for tweens and teenagers as it's quite dramatic in looks.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing slice
I'm glad I decided to do yellow, chocolate flavor would have been too much with all the extra candy.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing boys
I guess it's just too much to ask for one picture where everyone is smiling, looking ahead or acting normal. But I guess this is normal.

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing whole
The cake is truly handsome, don't you think?

Print Recipe

Best Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing

Recipe from: Noble Pig | Serves: Serves 8-10


  • cooking spray
  • 2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Chocolate Icing

  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch; packed
  • 7 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 7 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of two 8-inch round pans. Spray each of the pans with cooking spray and place parchment in the pans and spray the paper.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or other large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a cup glass measuring cup, then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups. (Make sure this measurement is accurate as they are very close to each other.)
  • Add the milk mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixtu3 and beat on medium-high for two minutes. Add the eggs and beat another two minutes. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake cake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the pans edge to loosen cakes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
  • For the icing, in a large 10-12" sauce pan, combine, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, 1 Tablespoon butter and salt. Pour 1-1/2 cups boiling water into pan and begin whisking.
  • Turn on med-low flame and continue to whisk until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in remaining 6 Tablespoons of butter and vanilla.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely. This icing thickens as it cools as does best in the refrigerator when firming up.
  • Ice cake and decorate if you like.

Post a Comment

31 Comments and 11 Replies

  1. debbie 1

    This looks wonderful…..your son is very lucky that you are so talented! I’m bookmarking this and definitely want to try the yellow cake recipe.

  2. What an awesome cake!! I’ve made the candy cake a few times, too, although never with ganache on the top – brilliant. Happy Birthday to your son!!

  3. leslie 3

    Ohh, Happy Birthday to your baby!!! Love the cake! The chocolate bars can serve as slicing guides. The cake looks nice and moist which is hard for a homemade yellow cake!

  4. Ashley 4

    Look at that cake! I love it! I’ve been looking around for a homemade yellow cake recipe – may have to try this for my husband’s birthday!

  5. wow! that cake is impressive! your son is very blessed! :)

  6. Jazz 6

    Love the pictures of the boys. That is normal. We usually bribe the kids by telling them they can get crazy after we take a few “normal” shots. The silly ones are always a joy!

  7. Very FUN and delicious looking cake! Happy Birthday to your son!!

  8. Coolest birthday cake ever! I know your son must have loved it. Really enjoyed seeing the photos of your handsome boys.

  9. yellow cake is one of my favorites… in college I used to make one every Sunday.

    this looks incredible – a perfect celebration cake! happy birthday lucky kid! ;)

  10. Karen A. 10

    Could you make this batter in a 9 X 13 pan? How long to bake? We love a good yellow cake.

    • Cathy 11

      I’m sure you could, you’ll just have to watch the oven, I have no idea.

    • Amy 12

      I would start checking at 20 min & probably not go past 27 min or so at 350. It will spring back to the touch in the middle when done & if it’s drawing back from the pan edges is definitely ready to come out.

  11. This cake is so pretty! Awesome job! And happy bday to your boy :)

  12. Pamela 14

    Truly handsome!!!

  13. Oooh, this is one that I would like for MY birthday! Maybe I should email this recipe to my husband to give him ideas.

  14. Ive been searching for an end-all be-all yellow cake recipe. Yours looks delish & happy bday to your ‘baby’ :)

  15. Kim in MD 17

    Happy (belated) Birthday to your son! You’ve outdone yourself with this cake, Cathy! It looks and sounds amazing!

  16. Cora G 18

    How many hershey bars did you use!?

  17. Crystal Lamb 20

    I would use chocolate cake instead of yellow. This looks awesome!

  18. dena woods 21

    love this,now all you would need is a big glass of “MILK”! yummy

  19. norma stone 22

    Great cake. Your sons are lucky. Why do you have a ribbon around it. Is it to hold the candy on? Thanks

  20. Jo Ann Johnson 24

    How do you spread the thick cold icing on the cake. Do the bars just stick to the icing without falling off. I love this idea and want to try it.

    • Cathy 25

      The icing will not be thick and cold and unspreadable…the fridge just helps firm it up and you can use any frosting you like. The bars just stick on without issue.

  21. Carol 26

    So what did you put between the two cakes? I want to make it:)

    • Cathy 27

      I iced the whole cake, including in between the layers and on top, then I added all the candy.

  22. Adele Aiken 28

    are those regular hershey bar’s around the cake? The icing on the top layer looks more like a glaze is it the same as the recipe??

    • Cathy 29

      No, they are the smaller individual bars and the icing is as the recipe is written. Enjoy.

  23. Jamie Tice 30

    Hi, Do you know how many kisses and Hershey bars it took to decorate?

    • Cathy 31

      One bag of Hershey’s Kisses will do it and maybe four packs of the small Hershey bars, I believe there are six in a pack of these types of bars. They are no the regular sized Hershey Bars.

  24. Cupcake Girl 32

    I made this for my daughters 4th birthday this weekend, I hope you don’t mind but I shamelessly copied your decorations because I thought your cake looked awesome and I love Hershey’s chocolate. I used one bag of Kisses for the top and I cut up full size Hershey bars to decorate, as mini bars are not available where I live. It still looked like your cake (although not quite as good). I ended up making a triple layer cake because my cakes didn’t rise ( I used your cake recipe but I tweaked it a little, I used a banana in place of the eggs), I guess that’s probably why it didn’t quite work out. That’s never happened to me before but there’s a first time for everything. It was still delicious however, your icing is awesome, will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing your beautiful cake with the world!

  25. Em 33

    I just made your cake recipe in cupcake form. I was testing this recipe to use for my daughters birthday party. They are a hit!! I have the icing cooling at the moment. I was wondering how long is the icing good to use. Their party is in two days. I’m planning to make a fresh batch tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  26. mary colburn 35

    Just wanted to say this cake looks wonderful. Hershey’s kisses are my favorite. I can’t wait to make.

  27. Lorrie 36

    Made this cake for my mother’s bday and it was sensational! I didn’t change a thing about the recipe. Super easy and it came out perfect! Thank you for posting, Cathy.

  28. I’ve been meaning to tell you that I tried this cake a couple weeks ago! It was GREAT! So moist and flavorful! I used it to make a baby shower cake and loved how well it help up. And at least in a big 10 inch square pan, it didn’t have a dome at all – no wasted cake! Seriously – awesome recipe Cathy. Thank you!

  29. Jacklyn 39

    Hi! I was wondering if this recipe would work for Two 10″ round pans? Thanks

  30. Kimberly 41

    OMG … this looks delicious ….. I think someone needs to make me this for my birthday .. oh and mother’s day too … I don’t think I could wait till my birthday.

  31. Ester Omaguing 42

    Amazing cake…i will make this cake in my boyfriend birthday…i really love that cake!!!


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