1-2-3-4 Layer Cake (“Back of the Box Cake”)
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This classic layer cake is light, airy and so popular we put the recipe on the back of Swans Down Cake Flour boxes! Frost and decorate to taste; it's the cake for any occasion.
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, whole or low fat
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
  2. BUTTER and lightly flour 3 (9-inch) layer pans.
  3. SIFT flour and then lightly spoon 3 cups of the flour into large measuring cup.
  4. CREAM butter in large bowl. Gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Sift the already-sifted cake flour with baking powder and salt. Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings, blending after each addition until smooth. (Do not over beat as this will yield a dry cake.)
  5. POUR into prepared pans.
  6. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until tester inserted into cake comes out clean.
  7. COOL in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.
  • Siri Anne Gomes says:

    I only make my scratch cakes using Swan’s Cake Flour. The cake is always rich and moist with any flour you make! Love it! My children and grandchildren love them!!

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Siri Anne, we’re so happy to hear that your children and grandchildren love cakes baked with Swans Down. Thank you!

  • Amy says:

    Hi! Do you have the weight of sifted flour used in this recipe? Thanks!

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Amy, the weight of sifted cake flour can vary depending on how (and how much) it’s sifted, but in general, each cup of sifted cake flour weighs about 3.5 ounces.

  • Jo says:

    Can I make this cake in a sheet cake 9×13

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Jo,
      Yes, you can make this cake in a 9×13 sheet cake pan. In general, a three-layer cake recipe such as this one will have enough batter to fill two 19×13 sheet pans. You might need to make extra frosting as the surface area will be a bit larger. Also, test the center of your sheet cakes before turning off the oven, as they might need a bit more baking time. Happy baking!

  • Jennie Bowden says:

    What can be substituted for butter as my granddaughter has an allergy.

  • Idalia Perales says:

    I need the recipe for an 8″ round pan using swans down cake flour.
    Can you help ASAP?
    Thank you

  • Donna says:

    I live this flour been using it for many years

  • andrea clark says:

    Can you make this cake with liquor such as Rum or Brandy. If so how much

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