Basic 3-Layer Cake Recipe

Three Layer Cake
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Ratings (10)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
523 Calories
29g Fat
62g Carbs
6g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bake this cake in three layers or use a rectangular pan. It's a basic cake that can be frosted with any flavor. For a special occasion, add some confetti sprinkles to the cake when folding the egg whites into the batter.

For extra flavor, drizzle warm jam over the layers before you frost the cake.


  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups/13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (scant)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Alternatively, grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 F for layers or 350 F for the rectangular pan.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks and blend well.

Measure the milk into a cup and add the vanilla extract; set aside

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to blend.

Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture along with half of the milk and vanilla mixture; blend well. Repeat with another one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining milk and vanilla; blend well. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff; fold into the batter, mixing just until blended.

Bake the layers at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Bake the rectangular cake at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.