Looking for the BEST Vanilla Cake recipe? This vanilla layer cake is moist with a tender crumb and lots of vanilla flavor. Just add your favorite frosting and serve!
Why this Recipe Works
What’s the deal with white cake vs. vanilla cake?
The answer depends on who you ask.
For my recipes, the biggest differences are the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
My white cake recipe is made without any egg yolks at all. Using egg whites only makes the batter ultra light and airy.
This Vanilla Cake includes both full eggs (both yolks and whites), along with extra egg whites, and buttermilk. Result is a cake that is the best of both worlds! Plush, soft and perfectly moist.
With a full tablespoon of vanilla extract, this cake does not shy away from its name! The vanilla flavor is front and center.
My vanilla cake recipe is best because:
- Soft, tender crumb that is moist!
- Stays fresh for days
- Full vanilla flavor
After lots of trial and error, I can tell you that this cake is one of the best there is. No need to sift flour, but be sure to learn how to measure flour correctly so that you don’t have a dense cake!
- Cake flour. With a finer texture and less protein than all purpose flour, cake flour gives this cake the perfect consistency.
- Vanilla extract. Use my homemade vanilla extract recipe for best flavor.
- Buttermilk. Store bought or homemade buttermilk can be used. I love the extra rich flavor added by the buttermilk, but whole milk makes a fine substitute.
- Eggs and egg whites. You’ll need 3 full eggs plus the whites of two more eggs.
How to Frost a Cake
Frost layer cakes with a large frosting spatula for a smooth and even layer.
First, place one cake on a cake plate or flat serving platter. Cover the top with frosting. Then add the second layer on top and smooth frosting over the top and sides.
From here, you can add more frosting to piping bags and pipe onto the cake as desired, for an extra impressive touch! Or just slice and serve as is for a simple but impressive dessert.
Vanilla Birthday Cake
That’s up to you!
Today’s recipe is featured with our new vanilla sour cream frosting. It’s lightly sweetened and super creamy! Our tangy chocolate sour cream frosting is also a delicious addition to this vanilla cake.
And it’s hard to beat the rich taste of vanilla cake topped with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Or think outside the box with some of these delicious ideas:
- Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting
- Double Fudge Frosting
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Buttercream Frosting
Tips and Tricks
- Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients. This incorporates more air into the batter, making the cake more airy and light.
- Grease and flour cake pans or use my homemade cake release for easy removal.
- Room temperature butter and eggs- They will incorporate air faster and fluff up the cake batter to the perfect texture.
- Bake the cake layers the night before. Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap. Assemble and frost the day of serving.
- Level the cakes. Use a serrated knife and carefully slice off the domed tops of the cake layers. This provides a sturdy layer cake and the layers won’t slide with frosting between them!
- Spread about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of frosting between the layers, which leaves plenty for the outside!
If you don’t have cake flour, make a homemade cake flour substitute for this recipe. For each cup of cake flour called for in the recipe, measure out 1 cup of all purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour from each cup. Replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
Yes, these layers can be frozen before frosting. Once cooled, wrap cake layers in plastic wrap or foil, and then place in a large freezer bag. Thaw, frost and enjoy within 3 months.
Yes, you can bake this in a 9 x 13 inch pan for a single layer sheet cake. See my full instructions for Vanilla Sheet Cake here.
And for those of you asking, be sure to try our Wedding Cake Cupcakes recipe!
Gorgeous vanilla flavor is the star of this perfect Vanilla Cake recipe. Two layers of soft and sweet cake are the perfect vehicle for creamy sweet frosting. A slice of vanilla cake makes any day better!