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Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

Vanilla Cake Recipe

The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. 

I can’t believe I haven’t shared my favorite vanilla cake recipe on Modern Honey yet! This is a classic vanilla cake with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. Don’t underestimate vanilla cake. Some may call it plain or boring but it is definitely a classic and when done right…it is perfection.

Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

I wanted to create a moist and flavorful vanilla cake recipe because so many times they end up dry and flavorless. This is achieved by using a mix of fats — butter, a touch of oil, and buttermilk. The buttermilk is a real game changer as it creates the moist texture. Butter makes everything better and it is no exception with this cake — it brings the flavor!

Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

I also love to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour as it contains less gluten and makes this homemade vanilla cake more tender.

The vanilla buttercream frosting is made with softened butter, a touch of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla beans. I use vanilla bean paste in the frosting because it has a deep vanilla flavor.

Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

How to make the Best Vanilla Cake Recipe:

  • Use both Egg Whites and Whole Eggs. It creates the perfect fluffy texture. I tried using only egg whites and the texture was very similar to angel food cake. Adding one egg yolk added the right amount of fat and created an extra moist texture.
  • Use Cake Flour. Cake flour contains 7-8% gluten while All-Purpose Flour contains 10-12%.  When cake flour is used in cakes, it creates a more tender texture.
  • Use Baking Powder. Since there is only sugar in this cake, I use baking powder and a lot of it. This helps the cake to rise and give it loft.
  • Add the Butter, in cubes, to the Flour. This recipe doesn’t call for the typical cream butter and sugar together. The butter is added to the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt mixture and beat just until coarse crumbs are formed.
  • Use Buttermilk. It creates a perfectly moist and tender texture.
  • Bake just until the cake tester comes clean.  Use two 9-inch pans or three 8-inch pans. The cooking time will depend on the depth of the cake batter. The best way to figure out if the cake is baked through enough is to place a cake tester in the center of the cake.
Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

What are some cake baking essentials?

8-inch cake pans
Angled spatula
Kitchenaid Mixer

Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

Best Homemade Cake Recipes:

Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
Love at First Sight Chocolate Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Coconut Cake

Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. www.modernhoney.com #vanillacake #cake #cakerecipe #vanillacakerecipe

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4.95 from 35 votes

Vanilla Cake Recipe

By: Modern Honey - www.modernhoney.com
Vanilla Cake Recipe. The best homemade vanilla cake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream frosting. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients  

  • 2 large Eggs
  • 3 large Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter (softened and cut into cubes)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup Butter (softened)
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Cream or Milk (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  • In a stand mixer, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one cube at a time. Continue to beat until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the 1/2 of the egg-milk mixture and beat the batter is light and fluffy. Add remaining egg-milk mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Lightly spray two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 20-24 minutes, depending on the depth of cake pans. Remove cakes from oven when toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool before removing from pans.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • In mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese for 4 minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and milk (if needed).
  • Once the cake layers have cooled, frost with vanilla buttercream frosting. 

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 262mg, Potassium: 238mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 51g, Vitamin A: 510IU, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 515
Keyword: vanilla cake recipe
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Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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60 Comments

  1. I would like to know, if I make this the night before, would it still taste good the day after? or do you recommend to make it the same day?

    1. I made it last night and it was really good today. I find that the icing sets into the cake nicely to keep it moist. I find it always better the next day. I keep mine covered with a cake platter and lid.

  2. I am looking for the perfect vanilla cake, but one that I can either bake in a half sheet and cut into 6″ rounds, or one that can be baked in 6″ round cake pans. Do you have any recommendations on adjusting this recipe for that? This cake looks glorious and I so want to show my husband that a cake needn’t always be chocolate.

  3. 3 stars
    While this is a simple recipe to follow, I would add the following changes, the cake pan should be sprayed with flour non stick spray, & not completely cooled in the pan as the sugars will settle & stick to the bottom. The cake should be removed from the pan while still slightly warm & put on a wire rack for overall cooling I was able to salvage mine, but just wanted to pass along these tips so it doesn’t happen to the next person.

  4. 5 stars
    I look forward to trying this recipe for my next cake adventure! I am just getting into baking and I have noticed buttermilk is called for in a few recipes that I have tried, and the citation is for a more moist cake. Would it work in all cake recipes? I have seen it for blue velvet and now this vanilla. Is there a method that it doesn’t work well in others? For instance chocolate or lemon?

      1. Should any of the cake ingredients be at room temp or does it not matter? Specifically the butter and eggs. Thanks!

  5. Just curious, what is another name for cream of milk? I consider myself fairly attuned to the baking language but this is new to me. LOL
    The recipe looks quite delicious and moist!

    1. I do have a vanilla cupcake recipe but you can use this cake recipe for cupcakes as well. You would need to reduce the baking time for about 14-18 minutes. 🙂

    2. Yes. It made beautiful, delicious cupcakes. I made 12 cupcakes and a single layer cake. With this recipe.

    3. I’m confused. Is it a total of 5 eggs (2 while plus 3 egg whites). Or is it 2 whole eggs plus 1 extra egg white?