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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

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

  • Flour – I use soft, light all-purpose flour for this cake recipe. I like to use White Lily, which 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 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 your favorite sugar alternative made 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 them 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 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 the vanilla extract 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. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
  • 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 it to cool completely.
  • Frost. Frost the 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 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 instead 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 for 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 on my very popular chocolate cake recipe. Still, I found that using my butter cake as a base produced the most successful results by a wider range of recipe testers. If you prefer the original vanilla cake recipe that I shared, 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, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator with the wrapping intact. Then, frost the cake once it has completely thawed.

Store the cake at room temperature on the counter. I like to store it 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} – a delicious favorite that’s tender yet more of a sturdy cake! It’s perfect for birthdays and more – many have even used it 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!

4.97 from 60 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 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

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review




Comments

    1. I haven’t used oil when making this cake, Roland, but you could substitute 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup oil. The texture will be a little different.

  1. Hi there. My daughter used your chocolate cake recipe years ago and I wanted to do one from scratch. I have made it several times and everybody who has eaten it loves it. Will the yellow cake recipe above make 12 or 24 cupcakes?

    1. 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!

    1. Pat, I would only use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of the 4 eggs. The cake will need to bake a little longer with the applesauce substitution. Hope you enjoy the cake.

  2. Thank you for your delicious recipes which I use often! Can I add 1/2 cup of sprinkles to make this a funfetti cake?

    1. Hi Aarti, I haven’t made this as a funfetti cake but I don’t see any reason that this would not work.

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