This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This Vanilla Cake Recipe will become your new favorite. A simple, 1-bowl recipe with a tender and moist crumb and just the right amount of sweetness. Delicious with buttercream or cream cheese frosting!
If you want to pick out a good baker, ask them to make Vanilla Cake. You can always tell the good from the bad because with any Vanilla Cake Recipe, there is no where to hide. Because it’s a such a simply flavored cake, it’s easier to pick out the flaws. Which is exactly why I’m sharing this recipe with you today!
Finding a good Vanilla Cake Recipe
Being a true vanilla lover, I’ve tried my fair share of homemade vanilla cake, cupcakes, sheet cakes, you name it. It’s my go-to flavor and much to my husband’s horror, I like it more than chocolate cake. It took me several weeks to develop this particular vanilla cake recipe, yielding an end result that is moist and lightly sweet. I’m confident that if you don’t like vanilla cake, you haven’t truly had GOOD vanilla cake. So, friends, meet my vanilla cake recipe.
Below are a few photos of the cake making process. If you’d prefer to make a rectangular 9×13 cake or cupcakes, see the notes section within the recipe card for baking times, located at the bottom of this post.
Homemade Vanilla Cake Ingredients
This recipe is a simple one with even simpler ingredients. There are a lot of pantry staples with no surprises.
Dry Ingredients – The dry ingredients include flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Flour is the base of almost all baking treats while salt helps bring out other flavors. This recipe using both baking powder and baking soda. The reason for this is to add extra lift without affecting the flavor too much.
Wet Ingredients – The wet mixture includes sugar, real vanilla extract for a great tasting cake, butter for flavor, milk, vegetable oil for moisture, and eggs plus egg white for a little extra volume. I told you this cake is moist! You won’t have to worry about a dry cake with this recipe. 🙂
How to make this Vanilla Cake Recipe
Making a scratch vanilla cake is easier than you think! Just make sure you don’t over bake! Dry vanilla cake is NOT delicious. For full recipe with exact measurements and baking times see the recipe card below.
- Preheat oven. Line baking pan with parchment paper and/or spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together to combine (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Set aside.
- Measure Milk and Vanilla separately and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, mix butter, oil, and sugar together until combined.
- Mix in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until the mixture becomes very light and fluffy.
- Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour.
- Divide between baking pans as evenly as possible and bake.
- Cool and decorate as desired.
Baking Flat Cakes
Here’s a little trick for getting flat cake tops! The tops of my cakes actually weren’t all that flat, but when I flipped them out of their cake pans, the bottoms certainly were! So that’s why they look so flat. You’re seeing the bottoms of the cakes! So when I frost them, I place them all upside down to have flat “tops” to my cake.
If you over mix your batter, you will tend to have more of a peaked top. If you are wanting to frost a two or three layer cake, use a serrated knife to cut off the tops to achieve that flat, level cake.
Frosting your Vanilla Cake
The purist in me would recommend making this cake with this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe but this chocolate frosting would be equally delicious. Both frostings will make you fall in love with vanilla cake, possibly more than you’ve ever loved it before.
Homemade Vanilla Cake Success
After lots of trial and error, here are my best tips and tricks for making a delicious vanilla cake the first time around.
- Follow the recipe. Use the listed ingredients in the recipe card below.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Believe it or not, using butter, eggs, egg whites and milk all at room temperature yields you a smoother, better incorporated cake batter and thus a better cake.
- Do not over bake. Moist vanilla cake comes with the right ingredients and just the right amount of time in the lower two-thirds of the oven.
- Line baking pans with parchment paper. Parchment paper is my favorite kitchen tool. Your cakes will come out with ease!
- Cool completely before frosting. Frosting is primarily made up of butter and the butter will melt if your cakes are not cooled completely.
You really don’t need a reason to make this vanilla cake but it goes without saying this would be the perfect Birthday, Anniversary or Holiday cake. Maybe you had a rough day. Someone else had a rough day. You had a good day and want to celebrate. Basically, this recipe is perfect for any occasion.
Printable recipe card with directions and increments is below! Happy baking, friends!
Like this Vanilla Cake Recipe? Try these family favorites:
- Perfect Carrot Cake Recipe
- The Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Ultimate Banana Cake Recipe
- Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Vegan Cupcakes
- Favorite Coconut Cake
Vanilla Cake Recipe
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper and/or spray well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. (See notes)
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together to combine. Set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, mix butter, oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until mixture becomes very light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.
- Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter. Divide evenly between baking pans and smooth the top. Bake 30-40 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. Cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool 15-20 minutes in cake pans before trying to invert on cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.
- 1- 9x13 cake (bake for 30-45 minutes)
- 2- 8 or 9-inch round cakes (30-40 minutes)
- 24 cupcakes (bake for 18-20 minutes)