Basic 3-Layer Cake

Three Layer Cake
sf_foodphoto / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
411 Calories
17g Fat
59g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 197mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 137mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(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 (8-ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup milk

  • 13 1/2 ounces (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

  5. Add the egg yolks and blend well.

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

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.