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!

Looking for more delicious dessert recipes? I think you’ll love my chewy sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and peach cobbler.

Photo of homemade vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream frosting on a white cake stand.

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.

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 as versatile as any cake could ever be! It is perfect served with a thick coating of my chocolate buttercream my vanilla buttercream, as vanilla 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 Recipe!

This delicious recipe 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 recipe. You can also use cake flour 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 recipe 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 in this recipe.
  • 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, 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 is just a classic in this recipe. 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 the cake batter among the 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 onto wire cooling racks and allow it to cool completely.
  • Frost. Frost with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or your desired frosting.

Recipe Variations

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

Gluten-Free Recipe:

To make a gluten-free recipe, I’ve successfully used an equal amount of gluten-free flour instead of the all-purpose flour listed in the recipe.

Egg-Free Recipe:

To make an egg-free 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 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 cake tested perfectly for me as well as other recipe testers that I asked to test the recipe. The original 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 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

Storage Tips

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 layers for up to one month.

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

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

The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

4.98 from 72 votes
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!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24 people

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour, or cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • 1 pinch (0.3 g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (396 g) sugar
  • 4 large (200 g) eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (227 g) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (11.6 g) 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. 
 

Nutrition

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

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

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




455 Comments

  1. I absolutely love love love your chocolate cake and decided to try your vanilla cake recipe. I found the batter to be very thick, is this how it is meant to be or have I stuffed something up?

    1. Dianna, the batter for the vanilla cake will not be thin like the chocolate cake. The batter should be thick. Hope you enjoy the cake.

  2. How much strawberry puree would I use to make this a strawberry cake? Would I use all of the other amounts for ingredients if I did so?

    1. Blake, I haven’t made this cake as a strawberry cake. You might want to try my Strawberry Cake Recipe that uses strawberry puree.

  3. Hi there, thanks a lot for your amazing recipes!
    I tried your chocolate cake for my friends and they were amazed! My question is; If I want to use the same recipe for the vanilla cake; should I add the boiling water at the end as well or it’s just for the chocolate one?
    Thanks

    1. Mohammed, you would add the cup of boiling water if you are basing your vanilla cake on the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe. Just follow the Chocolate Cake Recipe, omitting the espresso powder and replacing the cocoa powder with the same amount of flour.

  4. Made this today as well as your best chocolate cake ever recipe and they are really really good. These will definitely be my go-to recipes. The chocolate cake is nice and rich and moist and the vanilla has a nice buttery flavour (I used Kerry Gold unsalted) and very moist. I baked the vanilla in 2 x 8”x3” pans to match the height of the chocolate cakes for layering. Baking time was a bit longer and I reduced the temperature to 335 F for the last 10mins of baking and they came out perfectly. Thank you for 2 fantastic recipes. One question I have is can I wrap these in cling wrap and store in fridge for about 3 days before frosting or would I have to put in freezer? Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Gillian, I would advise freezing the cakes. Let the baked cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight with wrapping intact. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost. I hope this helps.

  5. Hi Robyn, I just made your chocolate cake last bnight, as it’s a family favorite. I want to try this vanilla cake but have a question on the amount of flour. I’ve seen comments on how much to use. Is the 3 cups of flour correct for this cake?

    1. I make this cake just as the recipe lists, Janet. I use 3 cups all-purpose flour. I hope you enjoy!

  6. I love your chocolate cake. BEST EVER!! just tried your vanilla yesterday, I hope it will be okay because I used normal milk

  7. Could I make this best vanilla cake a with oat milk? I used oat milk in the chocolate cake and it did fine, but I did use just under 1/4 cup of regular milk.(additional) (I’m trying to make it as dairy free as possible without losing flavor) …..everyone always requests the chocolate, but this time my son asked for vanilla but I bet you have to use the buttermilk for this one, correct? Dairy is not my sons friend, but he’s not allergic.

    1. Sandy, I haven’t made this cake with oat milk but you can make oat milk buttermilk which should work in this cake. My How to Make Buttermilk Substitute recipe will tell you how to make it. I hope your son loves his cake!

    2. 5 stars
      Hey just to let you know I make this whole cake dairy free using almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice (you can look up ways to make vegan buttermilk kr dairy free buttermilk). I LOVE this cake dairy free and I have made this cake and almost every single other vanilla cake recipe there is and I can tell you this is the ONLY vanilla cake I will spend my time and ingredients on. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a good vanilla cake recipe. Even other bakers I love disappointed me with their vanilla cake recipes. I’m a die hard fan of vanilla cake and the only time I’ll make something else is if my husband wants something for his birthday treat. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this recipe and that it makes so much cake!!!

  8. Hi there, I’ve recently made your chocolate cake recipe and it was fantastic! Thank you. Just a question with regards to the note you made on this page, that you can use the chocolate cake recipe and substitute the cocoa for flour to make it a vanilla cake. I’d like to try that, but I’m assuming that I should omit the espresso powder if making the vanilla version as it is used to enhance the chocolate flavor, correct?
    Thanks in advance.

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made both this and the best chocolate cake a few times each and theyre so great as written! I know I’ve read to not marble your best chocolate cake recipe with this vanilla one as the consistency of the chocolate is to thin. Do you have any suggestions on how I make this vanilla recipe chocolate so I can marble a cake for my son’s birthday?

    1. You should be able to add 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the vanilla cake recipe and use that to make the marble cake, Lola. Hope your son has a very happy birthday!