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

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! //

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!

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! //

How to Make the Best Vanilla Cake!

To make my Vanilla Cake, I start by making sure that I’ve prepared my cake pans for baking. I recommend coating them butter and then lightly flouring the pans. You can also use baking spray, such as Baker’s Joy, if you like.

Once you have all of the cake batter mixed well, evenly distribute it among the prepared cake pans and bake until the cake releases from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

You’ll want to let your cake layers cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. I like to let them cool in the pans on my wire racks so that air can circulate well around the pan. Then, simply (and carefully) flip the cake layers out of their pans and let them cool completely on the wire rack.

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.

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! //

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!

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! //

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

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!
4.92 from 49 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 24 people
Course Dessert
Calories: 210kcal
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch



  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk through to combine. Set aside. 
  • Cream butter until fluffy and then add sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined. 
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Combine each addition until well combined.
  • Add vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. 
  • Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges turn loose from pan and toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire cooling racks and allow to cool completely. 

Nutrition 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
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Robyn xo

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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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311 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. What a great cake! Was easy to make & had all ingredients on hand. I used two 9″ cake pans and I used the Hershey’s Cocoa – Special Dark 100% Cacao for the icing…..Wow, if you make cakes from scratch you’ll find this recipe easy & very delicious!! It’s a total keeper!

      1. Emily, you won’t need to make any adjustments to the ingredients but will need to bake at same temp for about 35 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan. Hope you enjoy the cake.

      2. Great to hear that this recipe is working so well for everyone!

        I’m venturing into new territories, and I’m (Dad) planning to make a birthday cake for my soon to be 19-year-old son. Cooking let alone baking is a bit foreign to me. If I were to use two 9″ cake pans, can you tell me how many servings I should consider? Thanks in advance!

        Ben from Vancouver, Canada

      3. Ben, the number of servings will range from 24 to 32 based upon the thickness of the slices. Hope your son has a very happy 19th birthday.

  2. I love all your recipes! They always come out tasting delicious. If I am making this cake 4 layers in 9 in. Pans how much of your vanilla buttercream would you say I would need to make?
    Thank you for your help! (:

    1. I usually would make 2 batches of the recipe instead of doubling the recipe, Ashley. You may have a little left over but you can always freeze any leftovers. Hope this helps.

      1. I usually store my cake under a covered dome and leave on my kitchen counter, Naomi. If you do store in the refrigerator for a day, make sure it is in an airtight container to prevent the cake becoming dry.

      1. Okay so I definitely should have paid more attention because I made this in two 8 inch pans instead of 3. I was wondering why it took so much longer. Oh well. Still delicious! 5 stars

      1. Hi there! This recipe looks great and super easy! I’m planning on using it for my baby’s first birthday. If I use two 8in or 9in pans…can I use the remaining batter for cupcakes or a small cake for him to smash? Also if I use 2 round pans…will the temperature and time still be the same as you have identified in your recipe?

      2. If you use 2 8-inch pans, you will have enough batter left over to also make cupcakes or a small cake. You would use the same temperature and baking time as listed in the recipe for the 2 8-inch pans. First birthdays are so special. Happy 1st Birthday to your son.

      3. Hi there! I am fairly new at baking and it’s my dad’s birthday in a few days. I was trying to find an amazing vanilla cake recipe and that’s when I found yours! He only likes vanilla cake and I want to do the best for him.

        I have two 9 inch cake pans and I was wondering if I will be able to get two layers using this recipe (as I saw that it’s actually meant for three layers of 8 inch). Will I have to alter the batter to make enough for two 9 inch pans or is this recipe going to be correct for two 9 inch?

        Also, do you have any pointers on things I should keep in mind? I have never baked a vanilla cake before and since this is for my dad’s birthday I really don’t want to mess up!

        Thank you so much ❤️

      4. Gowrri, you can bake this cake in the 2 9-inch pans but may have a little batter left over. If so, you can make cupcakes with the leftover batter. The sides of the cake will start to pull away from the edges of the pan when it is done. Be sure to let the cake rest on a wire rack for about 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. Once the cakes have cooled, place a wire cake rack on top of the cake pan and turn the cake upside down onto the rack. Take a second rack and place over the bottom of the cake and, similar to a sandwich, turn the racks so that the bottom of the cake layer is resting on the rack. Remove the rack from the top of the cake and let the cake cool completely. Once the cakes have cooled thoroughly, you can then frost them. Also, make sure your pans are buttered and floured well to prevent the cake from sticking. I hope your dad has a very happy birthday.

      1. Please read the section As an Egg-Free Vanilla Cake Recipe for my instructions on how to use applesauce as an egg substitute for this cake. Hope this helps.

  3. I’ve never made this cake but have made the chocolate cake several times it’s always perfection, my husband’s birthday is coming up so I’ll surprise him with the vanilla cake.

      1. If I’m using 8” pans that are 1.5” deep….how much should I fill the pans with batter?

  4. Thanks Robyn. The cake turned out pretty good, made it for my husband’s bday :). I used a dark baking pan, so I decreased the temp to 325 and baked it for a little longer. One cake was a little more dry than the other. Wondering if you normally bake on a conventional setting? Or maybe I shouldn’t have altered the temperature?

    1. Vanessa, baking at a too low temperature and for a longer time will cause the cake to have a different texture and will be more dense and dry. Next time, bake the cakes at 350º F as in the recipe and you should see much better results. Hope this helps!

      1. Katie, you should be able to make 2 8×8 square layers from this recipe or you could make one layer and make cupcakes with the remaining batter.

    1. Rhonda, you can use this for a sheet cake but you may have a little batter left over if you use a half sheet 13×9-inch pan. You can use the extra batter for cupcakes if you like.

  5. I really want to make this cake but only have whole milk or heavy cream, no buttermilk. Can I swap for one or the other?

      1. Can’t wait to make this for my daughter’s 8th birthday soon. I previously made your chocolate cake and it was incredible. Every single person that tasted demanded the recipe. I’m planning to make this in two 8 inch pans so I can make some cupcakes to drop off at her friend’s houses. Do you know many cupcakes will result with the remaining batter since I won’t be making the three layers? Also, what temperature for the cupcakes and how long to bake for? You rock and keep up the awesome work! You are very much appreciated and I hope you stay healthy/safe!

      2. Reena, the full recipe should make about 36 cupcakes. I haven’t divided the cake recipe for 2 pans and cupcakes, but I think you should have about 12 cupcakes plus the 2 8-inch layers. You will need to bake the cupcakes at 325º F. for about 15 to 20 minutes. I hope this helps and hope your daughter has the happiest 8th birthday! Hope she loves her cake!

      1. A US cup equals 236.59 ml, Mon. You cannot bake this full cake recipe in one 9-inch pan, there would be too much batter. The recipe is for enough batter for 3 8-inch cakes. You could use one 9-inch pan and use the rest of the batter for cupcakes.

  6. I found your website after trying out your chocolate cake recipe. I’ve been searching for ways to
    Make my vanilla sponge more moist and will use buttermilk as I’ve previously used milk.

    I was just wondering why boiling water isn’t used in this recipe as it is in the chocolate one? I’d love to know as I’m just starting off baking and love to understand the science behind it all!

    1. Armeka, you can make a vanilla cake the same way as the chocolate cake if you prefer, simply use my Chocolate Cake Recipe and replace the cocoa powder with the same amount of flour. Some people had problems with the cake falling when they made this so I developed my Best Vanilla Cake Recipe.

  7. Can I replace the butter with oil as I don’t have enough unsalted butter. Making it for my sons first birthday smash and I need this to be perfect!

    Also, you think the classic Vanilla buttercream frosting will go well with it?

    Love all your recipes by the way!!

    1. Parul, Happy Birthday to your son. First birthdays are so precious. I have not tried this cake recipe using oil in place of the butter and am not sure how it would work. In my post, I tell how to make the vanilla cake based upon my Best Chocolate Cake. Simply use my Chocolate Cake Recipe and replace the cocoa powder with the same amount of flour. The Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is delicious on this cake.

  8. Best vanilla cake recipe iv attempted and successfully made. Made it as a special request from my daughter for her birthday and she loved it, so did everyone else! Thank you!!

    1. Do you use salted or unsalted butter for the cake?
      Also, could you make this into an orange cake? If so, how much OJ would I use, and would I decrease the amount of buttermilk?

      1. Hi I’m looking for use 8 inch cake tins, is this recipe for 2inch deep cake tins? As I want a tall cake! 🙂

  9. Hi Robyn- I made your Best Chocolate cake for my moms bday in January and have been waiting and looking forward to making the vanilla one for mine. It’s this week yay! I was hoping to put fresh strawberries on top and in the middle which would taste better (to me) with a vanilla icing. Could I use the frosting recipe and just not put in the espresso and chocolate or do you have a different recipe for vanilla frosting ? Thank you!!

  10. I literally just finished baking this cake and it is absolutely DELISHES!!!!! I substituted pineapple for vanilla because I’m making a coconut pineapple cake. I just sliced off the top to frost it and tasted the cuttings. It is moist and so good! It’s only my second cake from scratch. I followed it step-by-step. I love it. Thank you for this recipe.

  11. Best cake recipe i’ve tried so far!! i made it last week for my bf and he couldn’t put his fork down, it was good! Thank you for this recipe ^^

  12. If I make this cake using two 9 inch pans, does that change the cooking time? Looking forward to digging into this recipe!

    1. You may have a little batter left over, Mike, but you can always make a few cupcakes if you do. The 9-inch pans may take a little longer time to bake than the 8-inch pans. Hope you enjoy the cake!

  13. I could only find low fat buttermilk at my local store. Do you recommend that or just making my own buttermilk? Thanks!

  14. I tried this recipe today, oh my god it came out very good.. Thank you sooo much for the recipe. It’s not only a best vanilla cake it’s a awesome & best best best best best best best vanilla sponge cake. My husband and son enjoyed eating. Cake is so fluffy,soft & moist.. Comments is not enough to express.

    1. I haven’t tried halving the recipe, Divya, so I can’t tell you how it will turn out. Sometimes it works great to halve a recipe but for some reason, at times it just does not work out.

  15. In the recipe it says three 8 inch cake pans. In the photo it looks like there are two layers. Should it say two 8 inch cake pans?

    1. Anna, you can use two 8-inch cake pans for a thicker cake or three 8-inch pans for a thinner cake (will be normal size cake layers).
      Bake until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes for two 8 inch pans. Sorry if this was confusing. I hope you enjoy the cake! xo

  16. Hi! Feeling so silly and confused 🙂 I have never made a cake before. Why 3 8in. cake pans? It looks like there’s 2 layers? Do I let the layers cool and frost and stack on eachother? Thank you!

    1. I’m sorry for the confusion, Lauren. The recipe is for 3 8-inch pans. I had made a thicker 2 inch layer cake which is in the photo. I would recommend placing the pans on a wire rack to allow them to cool in the pans for the 10 minutes described in the instructions to get more air underneath the pan. Once the cakes have cooled, place a wire cake rack on top of the cake pan and turn the cake upside down onto the rack. Take a second rack and place over the bottom of the cake and, similar to a sandwich, turn the racks so that the bottom of the cake layer is resting on the rack. Remove the rack from the top of the cake and let the cake cool completely. Once the cake has cooled completely, frost the bottom layer, then stack the top cake layer on and frost the top and sides. Hope this helps!

  17. Hello! Are step 4 and beyond all mixing best hand or using an electric hand mixer? I ended up with a lot of bulges/bubbles and top of my came and wonder if I should have been using the electric mixer. Thanks!

  18. Hi there, wondering if it would be possible to use coconut oil instead of butter, and almond “Butter”milk rather then milk, trying to make this dairy free!


  19. I just want to say that this cake is the best vanilla cake recipe I have ever made. Thank you for this. God bless you.

    1. I haven’t added chocolate chips to this recipe, Ose, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just make sure to coat the chips with some of the flour before adding to the batter.

  20. Can I use your chocolate cake recipe (which is the absolute best) and this recipe (which I have not attempted yet) and swirl them together in a pan to make a marble cake? Both cakes bake at 350 but have different bake times… I’m open to round versus 9×13. I need to make it today!

    1. Amanda, I would not recommend trying make a marble cake with these two recipes. The batters are two very different consistencies. The batter for the vanilla cake is thick like most cake batters but the batter of the chocolate cake is very thin.

  21. Robyn,I have made your chocolate cake recipe using plant based margarine, coconut milk and a flax egg. It was delicious. My dairy, egg and peanut allergy granddaughter loved it. I was interested in making vanilla cupcakes. would these same substitutions work, or would applesauce do better? Thank you for thinking of the safety of our loved ones with food allergies. I so appreciate your adaptations.

    1. Kitty Lee, the same substitutions you made for the best vanilla cake should work for making cupcakes. I have family members who have food allergies so I know cooking for them can be a challenge.

  22. Thank you so much for this easy and wonderful recipe! My four year old wanted to bake cake but my cakes never turned out good. Always too hard. I tried your recipe and used a baking pan, muffin moulds and tiny cupcakes tray ( this is all I had as I don’t bake much) and everything turned out perfect! My husband was not in a good mood and still went for second serving lol. So thank you:-) and I am saving this recipe for whenever my son wants to bake a cake again. Also definitely going to look up your other recipes.

  23. Hi Robyn! I apologize if this was answered, I couldn’t find it, but I’d like to make this cake in 2 9in rounds instead of 3 8in rounds, is that possible? How would I adapt? Thank you!

  24. Search for perfect vanilla cake recipe ends here… thanks for putting this together. I started baking for kids and it’s amazing to make this at home. Second time I added orange juice and orange zest and it was super delicious… thanks again!

  25. Hey Robyn, if I wanted to test the recipe, can I just half all the ingredients and use 2 8″ or 1 9″ pan(s)? Sorry, I’m sure it’s a great cake. I just want to make sure my daughter loves it so I can bake the full cake for her bday.

    1. Sherry, I have made this cake in 2 8-inch pans which is in the photo with this recipe. It makes a thicker cake than the 3 pans in the recipe. You can halve the recipe and bake it in 1 8-inch pan if you wish for your daughter’s taste test. It will take just a little longer to bake than the recipe since it is thicker, maybe 30 to 40 minutes. I hope she has a happy birthday,

      1. Thanks so much Robyn! She loved the taste test – “amazing” were her words!! I didn’t realize until after I made it and read a review that you used salted butter. If I use unsalted butter, how much salt should I add. I think the taste was a tad bit off for me because of my unsalted butter.

      2. If you are using unsalted butter and want to add salt to the recipe, Sherry, I would add 1/4 teaspoon salt for each 1/2 cup of butter. Hope this helps. I’m so glad she loved the “taste test”.

  26. Hello, is there anyway to split this recipe in half and make half chocolate and half vanilla? Thank you in advance for your help!

  27. Hello, I have a question about making this into cupcakes. I tried following this recipe and replaced the egg with applesauce. The flavor was delicious but they were flat and dense. Is that because of the egg replacement? I’m new to baking from scratch so i have no idea what any changes will do to a recipe. We baked at 325 for 20 minutes. Is there a different recipe I should be following for vanilla cupcakes? I didn’t see one but maybe I missed it. I made your chocolate cupcake recipe and they were perfect!

    1. Danielle, I’m not sure why your cupcakes were flat and dense but it could be that the cupcakes were not completely done. 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 have the Easy Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe you might want to try. Hope this helps!

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