vanilla cake

VANILLA CAKE RECIPE

A homemade vanilla cake recipe that is easy and delicious.

super moist vanilla cake

This easy homemade vanilla cake recipe is just as delicious as it is simple. It makes a perfectly soft and moist cake that is full of vanilla flavor.

easy cake recipe vanilla

It’s always good to have a good go-to vanilla cake recipe that will always come out great. This is that cake. There are a few tips and tricks for success.  I have been making vanilla cakes for years and to be honest, they don’t always come out the same.

There are also so many variations out there that can be classified as vanilla cake. White cake, yellow cake, vanilla with almond, or just plain vanilla. If you are trying to make a white cake, you would use egg whites, whereas a yellow cake uses whole eggs and sometimes even extra yolks. Some vanilla cakes are flavored with additional orange and lemon flavors. It can be overwhelming to decide which is the best.

sprinkles on cake

WHAT MAKES A GOOD VANILLA CAKE recipe?

Everyone has their own opinion and preferences. To me, a vanilla cake should be light, fluffy, and have a slightly rich vanilla flavor. With all my attempts, I actually came up with two recipes. This vanilla cake recipe and a white fluffy cloud cake will be coming soon. Yes, I keep saying coming soon…I have a lot to do.

With this recipe, I also used a different method of blending. I used a reverse mixing method that blends the flour, sugar, and all dry ingredients together first, then add butter, then the wet ingredients.

This method was hard for me at first. I’m used to the creaming method for cakes where you mix sugar and butter, then alternate dry and wet ingredients. It was really hard to place the butter with the flour for the first time. I’m glad I gave it a try because it really makes a difference to the texture. I also tried folding whipped egg whites at the end. The result is an amazingly soft cake.

vanilla cake bite

I made this recipe into cupcakes and tested it on people without frosting. Everyone absolutely loved it. When a few friends that I hadn’t asked for feedback texted me soon after they ate them to say how good they were, I felt like I was on to something. Even after the 7th batch of vanilla cake, my kids were still not tired of it.

It can be hard to get an honest opinion. Most people wouldn’t want to tell you if something you made tasted bad. When you cook for friends or bring something to a gathering, it’s polite to thank the person who made it as a way to show your appreciation. If someone took the time to make something for you, isn’t it polite to at least give a compliment?? Compliments are always nice but honesty helps get it perfect.

THE TRUE TEST OF A RECIPE

To me, the true test of a recipe isn’t if people say they like it. It’s when they eat all of it and look for more, maybe even fight over the last piece. I often get that kind of reaction with this recipe.

cake recipe

This recipe makes a great-tasting and soft-textured cake. It’s so light and fluffy it was hard not to keep eating it. As you can see from the photo, this batter makes enough for three thin 8″ layers or two thick 9″ layers. It can also make a 9 x 12 rectangular cake.

recipe for cake

TIPS FOR the best RESULTS

1. Use room temperature ingredients. Take out butter and eggs ahead of time to bring them to room temperature before mixing. The eggs are easy to crack and separate when cold, once you separate the yolks let them sit out for a few minutes.

2. Use REAL unsalted butter, no substitutions.

3. For a soft and light cake use cake flour instead of all-purpose if you can.

4. When adding the first 2/3 of the wet ingredients to the flour and butter mixture, blend on medium for at least 2 minutes. You will see the batter get a little lighter in color.

I usually top a vanilla cake with cream cheese or lemon frosting to cut the sweetness. Even just a little cream cheese or a splash of lemon can help balance out the flavor.

How to store this vanilla cake recipe

This cake can be baked and stored airtight at room temperature if it is unfrosted for 3-4 days. You can make it ahead and frost it before serving.

If this cake needs to be stored after it is frosted I would recommend storing it airtight and keeping it refrigerated. The frosting should remain refrigerated.

If you make the frosting ahead along with the cake simply keep it airtight in the refrigerator and take it out and let it warm to room temperature before you frost the cake.

Tips for frosting a vanilla cake

how to frost a vanilla cake

Anytime you want a smooth and neatly frosted cake you can frost the cake with a quick crumb coat first. A crumb coat of frosting is when you frost a cake as you would in the center slices and apply a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides.

With this quick coat of frosting, you will catch and seal all the loose crumbs. Once the crumb coat is on chill the cake for about 15-20 in the refrigerator to set the frosting. Chilling this first frosting layer will help apply the top layer smoothly and cleanly without any crumbs showing.

cake recipe

VANILLA CAKE RECIPE

Print Recipe
This an easy recipe for a homemade vanilla cake that is soft, moist, and full of vanilla flavor.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the Frosting:
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 4 oz 1/2 a block of cream cheese
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract *optional, may make the frosting taste sweeter
  • 3-4 cups or more confectioners sugar
  •  

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Cake:

  • In a large bowl or measuring cup add milk, heavy cream, eggs, vanilla, almond, and vegetable oil, whisk well and set aside.
  • In a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, (or a large bowl if using a handheld beater) add flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Give a quick whisk.
  • Add the two sticks of butter cut into slices into the dry ingredients and beat/blend on medium until the mixture appears sandlike. 
  • Add 2/3 of the milk mixture and blend on medium-high speed for 2 full minutes.
  • Add the remaining milk mixture and mix for about another 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Place batter in prepped cake pan and place in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. 
  • The cake is done when the top appears golden brown and when a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out clean. 
  • When done remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting:

  • Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a mixer bow and blend ingredients until combined.
  • Slowly add small amounts of milk and confectioners sugar 1/2 a cup at a time blending in between. 
  • Blend until the frosting is at desired consistency and holds its shape. You may need to add more or less of the confectioner’s sugar. 
  • Frost the cake when it is completely cooled. Keep stored airtight in the refrigerator if you added cream cheese to the frosting. The cake is good if refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Notes

To prep pans, I spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray and place a piece of parchment pre-cut to fit on the bottom, spray the top of the parchment with additional cooking spray, and then fill with batter.
Servings: 1 – 3 layer cake
Author: Amy
cake recipe

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Amy,
    Your cake looks delicious and I would love to give it a try. However, I’m concerned about the amount of baking soda. Should it be tablespoon baking powder? I think the general rule is 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per 1 cup of flour… Thanks🙂

  2. Hello Bridget,

    That was a typo!! I have updated the recipe card, and it should now read 1 tbsp baking powder. Thank you for catching that error and letting me know. 🙂 If you try this recipe, please let me know how it comes out!

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