The BEST Homemade Vanilla Cake
This All-Purpose Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe is the BEST Birthday Cake Recipe we’ve ever tasted! Learn How to Make Vanilla Cake from Scratch… The easy way!
The Perfect Vanilla Cake Recipe for All Occasions!
Even if you consider yourself a cook, rather than a baker, every good cook needs a few go-to desserts in their arsenal.
A soft fluffy vanilla recipe cake is the perfect classic treat to make for work events, potlucks, and of course, birthday parties!
We love this vanilla cake because it is so versatile. You can make it as a layer cake, a sheet cake, or even cupcakes. You can frost it with any sort of frosting you like, because what doesn’t go with vanilla.
It stays moist when made in advance. It freezes well. And it rakes in the compliments like nothing else!
Our Best Birthday Cake Recipe
We love classic vanilla cake as a “birthday cake” because it’s such a crowd-pleaser.
This particular birthday cake recipe is slathered with our Homemade Funfetti Frosting so it’s perfect for your special day!
The vanilla cake is ultra moist, with a bold vanilla flavor. Therefore it’s important to use pure vanilla extract.
It has a delicate crumb with small pores and is very tender and fluffy. Honestly, it’s about as perfect as a vanilla cake can be.
Whether dressed up for elegant events or served sheet-pan casual, you will absolutely love this easy vanilla birthday cake recipe!
Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe Ingredients
Get your grocery list out. Here’s what you will need…
- Cake Flour – You can substitute all-purpose flour + a little cornstarch if needed.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Unsalted Butter – For quality control, it’s always better to use unsalted butter and add your own salt.
- Granulated Sugar
- Eggs – 2 large eggs + 1 egg white
- Buttermilk – Buy it or make it yourself!
- Vanilla Extract – Pure, not imitation.
- Homemade Funfetti Frosting – Check out our recipe!
How To Make Vanilla Cake
- Cream – It’s very important to cream the butter and sugar together on high speed, to break the sugar crystals down into the butter. Doing this right takes about 3-5 minutes. Don’t skip this step! It creates the light fluffy cake texture.
- Measure – Measure the ingredients carefully. Then combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in a separate measuring pitcher.
- Combine – Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter until both are well incorporated.
- Bake – Pour the batter into the pan and bake!
Get the Full (Printable) Homemade Birthday Cake Recipe Below
Vanilla Cake from Scratch – Pro Tips
The most important things you can do to ensure a perfect bake are:
- Buy fresh ingredients (eggs, butter, baking powder…)
- Measure accurately.
- Make sure your oven thermostat is accurate.
It’s a fact. Most baking failures come down to these three things. Over time, ingredients lose their moisture and lifting power. And ovens often start running too hot or too cool.
Buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to get an accurate read on your oven. Then adjust the temperature as needed.
BONUS: Cakes taste best at room temperature. If you refrigerate your cake, make sure to set the cake out one hour before serving.
Easy Vanilla Cake FAQ
Can I Use Gluten-Free Baking Flour in this Recipe?
Yes! This recipe actually converts to gluten-free very well. Use 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour mix, instead of wheat flour.
How Far In Advance Can I Make This Cake?
You can make this cake up to three days in advance. Cover it well with plastic and leave at room temperature.
How Long Does It Last?
After serving, cover the cake well. Then you can leave it out at room temperature for 4-5 days, or refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.
Can I Freeze Homemade Cake?
Yes! Wrap the cake very well with plastic, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
More Amazing Cake Recipes
- The Ultimate Texas Sheet Cake
- Best Ever Carrot Cake
- Gooey Butter Cake
- Apple Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
- Lemon Buttermilk Cake
- Homemade Strawberry Cake
- Easy Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake
The Best Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour (or 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Funfetti Frosting Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set out two 9-inch cake pans or one 9X13-inch baking dish. Grease and flour the pans. (If you plan to flip the cake out of the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper before greasing the pan. Trace the bottom of the pans onto parchment paper and cut the pieces out to fit exactly.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed, until ultra light and fluffy. (about 3-5 minutes) Then scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour the buttermilk in a large measuring pitcher. Then whisk in the eggs, egg white, and vanilla extract.
- Turn the mixer on low and alternate adding in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, until all is combined. Scrape the bowl again. Then beat again for 15-30 seconds, just until the batter is smooth. Do not over-mix the batter.
- Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan(s) and place on the center rack in the oven. Bake 9-inch pans for 22-25 minutes, or a 9X13-inch pan for 30-35 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, remove from the oven.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully flip out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Once cooled, frost the cake with Homemade Funfetti Frosting. Then cut and serve!