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This is the Best Vanilla Cake Recipe I’ve ever tasted! So delicious, it’s quick and easy to make! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion!

If you have been looking for a fluffy, moist and delicious – not to mention quick and easy – vanilla cake, here it is…The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe! It’s the recipe that many of you requested by emailing, commenting, and messaging me for some time. As promised, here is the recipe that I think is the very best vanilla cake I’ve ever tasted!

And topped with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Oh my word! It is perfection!

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe - A one bowl vanilla cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion! // addapinch.com

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe!

One of the many things that I love about this recipe is that it is versatile as any cake could ever be! It is perfect served with a thick coating of my chocolate buttercream, my vanilla buttercream, made into cupcakes or cut into pieces and served as part of a trifle and so much more!

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe - A one bowl vanilla cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion! // addapinch.com

How to Make the Best Vanilla Cake!

This delicious cake is so simple and easy to make and uses ingredients that you most likely have on hand!

Ingredients

  • Flour – I use a soft, light all-purpose flour for this cake recipe. I like to use White Lily that is made of soft winter wheat. You can also use cake flour for this cake to make sure that it is light and fluffy.
  • Baking Powder – I prefer to use an aluminum-free baking powder in my baking.
  • Baking Soda – Since this cake includes buttermilk in the ingredients, you will also use baking soda.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt is also needed
  • Butter – I generally use salted butter, but if you prefer you can absolutely use unsalted. You will want to make sure that your butter is softened to room temperature.
    [Resource: How to Soften Butter]
  • Sugar – I use granulated white sugar. You can also use a sugar alternative made for baking such as Splenda for Baking.
  • Eggs – Make sure that your eggs have reached room temperature for the best mixing and final cake.
  • Buttermilk – This cake uses buttermilk. If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can easily make your own buttermilk substitute with any of the easy methods I share in this guide.
    [Resource: How to Make Buttermilk]
  • Vanilla Extract – I love to use my own homemade vanilla extract, but in baked goods such as cakes, you can also substitute with imitation vanilla flavoring if that is what you have on hand. The taste difference is most noticeable between vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring in unbaked goods such as whipped cream, frostings, icing, and no-bake cookies. For those, definitely use vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – The combination of chocolate frosting and this cake is just a classic. You can also use Strawberry Buttercream, Caramel Frosting, and any of your other favorite frosting flavors!

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Preheat. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Prep Pans. Prepare three 8 or 9-inch cake pans for baking by coating them with softened butter, lining with a piece of parchment fitted to the cake pan, brushing the top of the parchment with more softened butter and then lightly flouring the pans and parchment. You can also use baking spray, such as Baker’s Joy, if you like.
  • Whisk dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Cream the butter with an electric mixer. Then add the sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes.
  • Add eggs. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined.
  • Alternate wet and dry. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until well combined. Repeat with another one-third of the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk and then ending with the remaining flour mixture, making sure to mix each addition until well combined.
  • Add vanilla. Mix in vanilla until well combined.
  • Distribute and bake. Divide cake batter among the cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the cake turn loose from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then, carefully turn out the cake onto wire cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
  • Frost. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or your desired frosting.

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe Options

Like my Chocolate Cake Recipe, this Vanilla Cake Recipe works well if with a few modifications as well:

As a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Recipe:

To make the cake as a gluten-free vanilla cake recipe, I’ve successfully used an equal amount of Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour listed in the recipe.

As an Egg-Free Vanilla Cake Recipe:

To make the cake an egg-free vanilla cake recipe, I’ve used 2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of 2 large eggs in the recipe. You will note that you may have to bake the cake just a few minutes more. Be sure to check with the skewer for doneness.

Update Notes:

Some people were having issues with the cake falling after baking, so I went back to the kitchen with the recipe and found that this variation of my vanilla cake tested perfectly for me as well as other recipe testers that I asked to test the recipe. The original vanilla cake recipe that I published was based off of my very popular chocolate cake recipe, but I found that using my butter cake as a base produced the most successful results by a wider range of recipe testers. If you preferred the original vanilla cake recipe that I shared, simply use my Chocolate Cake Recipe and replace the cocoa powder with the same amount of flour.

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe - A one bowl vanilla cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion! // addapinch.com

How to Make Ahead and Store the Homemade Vanilla Cake:

Both the cake and the chocolate frosting can be made ahead. Allow the cakes to cool completely, wrap them well in plastic wrap and place each layer into a zip top freezer bag. Freeze the cake layers for up to one month.

To frost the cake, simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator with wrapping intact. Then, frost the cake once it has completely thawed.

Store the cake at room temperature on the counter. I like to store under a cake dome to keep the cake fresh.

Other Favorite Cakes

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} – decadent, rich, delicious and loved by so many of you!

The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever} – delicious favorite that’s tender, yet more of a sturdy cake! It’s perfect for birthdays and more – many have even used as a wedding cake!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake – such an easy pound cake, this has been a family favorite for years!

Here’s my The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe! I hope you love it as much as we do!

4.93 from 55 votes

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

Dessert 45 mins

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe - A one bowl vanilla cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 24 people
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe – A vanilla cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious! Made from scratch, this cake is perfect for every occasion!

Ingredients  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Instructions 

  • Preheat. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Prep Pans. Prepare three 8 or 9-inch cake pans for baking by coating them with softened butter, lining with a piece of parchment fitted to the cake pan, brushing the top of the parchment with more softened butter and then lightly flouring the pans and parchment. You can also use baking spray, such as Baker's Joy, if you like. 
  • Whisk dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  • Cream butter and sugar. Cream the butter with an electric mixer. Then add the sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes. 
  • Add eggs. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined. 
  • Alternate wet and dry. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until well combined. Repeat with another one-third of the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk and then ending with the remaining flour mixture, making sure to mix each addition until well combined. 
  • Add vanilla. Mix in vanilla until well combined. 
  • Distribute and bake. Divide cake batter among the cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the cake turn loose from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
  • Cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then, carefully turn out the cake onto wire cooling racks and allow to cool completely. 
  • Frost. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or your desired frosting.

Notes

Nutrition information does not include frosting. 
 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Cake Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. I love your recipes, the best chocolate one is my go-to!!
    Can this recipe be used for cupcakes, or is it best to use the vanilla cupcake one you have? I noticed the cupcake one doesn’t include butter?
    Thank you!!!

    1. Emilie, you can use this recipe to make cupcakes. The full recipe should make about 36 cupcakes. You will need to bake the cupcakes at 325º F. for about 15 to 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy!

  2. Hi!
    I love your 9×13 chocolate cake recipe. Its the best chocolate cake recipe ever. So thanks for that. Can you give a 9×13 recipe for vanilla cake (this cake) as well? I would really help. Thanks

    1. Prerna, you should be able to make this cake recipe in a 9×13 pan. I hope you enjoy!

  3. I notice that the photo with the recipe is a 2 layer cake, however the recipe says to prepare 3 layer cake pans. Can I make a 2 layer cake with this recipe or do you suggest a different recipe? Thank you for your help. P.S. I have made your Best Chocolate Cake. It is delicious!

    1. Sharon, this recipe is for a 3 layer 8-inch cake. I revised the recipe after the original photo and post was released. You can bake this cake in 2 9-inch pans but may have a little batter left over. If so, you can make cupcakes with the leftover batter. I hope you like this cake as much as you did the chocolate one.

  4. I was looking for a basic cake recipe to try, something quick & easy but also good. I ran across this one earlier & thought I’d give it a try. It sounded great on paper but one can never tell so I only made half the recipe & added a tad more than half the amount of vanilla extract. Everything else was the same. It was perfect!

    Even though I made it by hand, it was quick, easy &, most importantly, delicious! What’s more, the half recipe yielded quite a bit, more than enough for what I needed. We’re not big fans of frosting so I omitted that part completely. For something more formal I’d probably make a smaller portion of frosting &/or just glace the cake. Today we had it with just some ice cream on the side. It was a big hit. The cake was moist & flavorful on its own but it paired well with the ice cream too.

    It looked like I was going to have some dipping in the middle but it didn’t happen. It just went down a little to even out the top, no hump. I did bake it a bit longer but I was using a single round deep 9 inch pan. I only buttered the pan, no flour, no parchment paper & still it didn’t stick. I can’t say enough about how good this recipe is.

    Thank you so much Robyn! I look forward to trying some of your other recipes soon.

    1. Thank you, MJ. I’m so happy this recipe worked so well for you. Sometimes, I just like cake without frosting as well. I hope you find many more recipes here you enjoy.

  5. Hi.i make your chocolate cake alot.but i wonder if i can use vanilla cake and your.chocolate cake to make a zebra cake to make a two tier cake???i will make 8inch and 6 inch cakes.how much will i need ??

    1. I think the batter for the chocolate cake would be too thin to use with the vanilla cake batter, Demi.

    2. I tried doing that, and chocolate cake ended up in the bottom, even though I put it on top ( lol).

  6. I make this cake every now and then, since the first time I tried it was a big yes!
    I also pop some blueberries in and it’s great like that too

  7. Hi I am interested in making this into cupcakes and I noticed you said unsweetened apple sauce is a good replacement for eggs. Does that mean 2/3C per 2 eggs or 2/3C applesauce in total? Thanks so much I love your chocolate cake and buttercream icing recipes 😍

    1. Ashleigh, I would use 2/3 cup of applesauce in the recipe for the cupcakes. You don’t want to use more than a cup of applesauce to replace eggs in a cake recipe. Any time you substitute eggs with applesauce, the cake or cupcakes will need to cook longer to be done, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. I hope you enjoy!

  8. Can this recipe be used for a 10” cake? I’ve haven’t tried this yellow cake recipe and I need to make a 10” cake. Your chocolate cake recipe is our favorite cake! 🙂

    1. Maria, there would be too much batter for one layer 10-inch cake. You could make cupcakes with the remaining batter.

  9. This is a very delicious cake. I made it with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flour, and it got rave reviews. I made it into a three-layer 9″ cake by adding half a recipe to the original. I got lots of requests for the recipe! Thanks for making me look like a star!

    1. Thanks, Marianne. Thanks for the tips. I’m so happy this cake turned out so well for you and everyone loved it.

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