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1-2-3-4 Layer Cake (“Back of the Box Cake”)

Prep Time:

25 mins.

Cook Time:

25 mins.


1 Layer Cake

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 extracts, 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.

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