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Vanilla Cake Recipe (VIDEO)

An easy Vanilla Cake with a soft and moist crumb and great vanilla flavor. We used our popular Buttercream Frosting here but it’s also fantastic with a Chocolate Frosting. This Vanilla cake recipe is the perfect base for a birthday cake or any special occasion.

Vanilla cake slice on a plate

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Watch the Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe Video:

This cake really is easy and can even be made ahead. Watch the video tutorial for how to make the perfect vanilla cake and best Buttercream Frosting (which isn’t overly sweet like most American buttercreams).

Why we Love this Vanilla Cake!

Everyone needs a great vanilla cake base and I hope this becomes your new favorite! It’s made from scratch and the combination of ingredients gives it amazing texture and flavor. We used the same base as our famous Vanilla Cupcakes and made this stunning cake. You’ll love the perfectly level cake layers – there’s no need to trim them.

Perfect vanilla cake covered in frosting and topped with sprinkles

How to Make a Vanilla Cake from Scratch:

Here is a quick visual reference for homemade vanilla cake. Get the full print-friendly recipe below.

  1. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans and preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat Butter and Sugar 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time then beat in vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture in thirds alternating with buttermilk and mixing between each addition.
  6. Divide between 2 cake pans and bake at 350˚F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes then transfer cakes (we use this cake release tool) to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

step by step how to make a vanilla cake batter from scratch

How to Frost a Cake:

Frosting a cake is the fun part. Once your cake is fully at room temperature, make your Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. We love the vintage vibe of waves in the frosting like we did with our chocolate cake but you can also crumb coat the cake and pipe the frosting onto the cake.

  1. Place the first cake layer on a cake platter.
  2. Spread a generous layer of frosting over the top, going to the edges.
  3. Cover with the second cake layer with the top side down for a perfectly level cake surface.
  4. Coat the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting and use an offset spatula or spoon to create waves in the cake.

How to assemble and frost a vanilla cake

Add sprinkles if desired. Sprinkles are the easiest way to turn a plain cake into a birthday cake!

Sprinkles and vanilla frosting swirls on cake

Our Best Baking Tips:

  • Room temperature ingredients are critical so your batter blends well without separating or becoming grainy.
  • Avoid Substitutions! We always recommend trying the recipe as written before experimenting.
  • Measure Correctly – check out our post on how we measure ingredients for baking.
  • Weigh your pans – we use a digital food scale to make sure the layers are evenly divided.

Ingredients for vanilla cake with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and buttermilk

How to Keep Leftover Cake Moist:

If you have sliced your cake and want to refrigerate leftovers for later, cover the cut side of the cake with plastic wrap, placing it directly onto the cake. This will prevent moisture loss and keep your cake from drying out.

Sliced vanilla cake on cake platterf

More Top-Rated Cake Recipes:

These are the best-loved and best-reviewed cakes on our site. These are the ones we make most often.

Vanilla Cake Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Vanilla Cake Recipe with cut slice

An easy Vanilla Cake with a soft and moist crumb and great vanilla flavor. This Vanilla cake recipe is the perfect base with Vanilla Buttercream for a birthday cake or any special occasion.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Keyword: vanilla cake
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 313 kcal
Servings: 14 slices of cake

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour two 9" cake pans, tapping out excess flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set flour mixture aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes until thick and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  4. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition then scrape down the bowl. Add 4 tsp vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  5. Reduce mixer to medium speed and add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the 1 cup of room temperature buttermilk, allowing the flour and buttermilk to incorporate with each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat until just combined and smooth.
  6. Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared cake pans and spread out the batter into the pans smoothing out the tops with a spatula. Bake on the center rack at 350˚F for 28-30 minutes. Rest in pans for 10 minutes then run a knife or thin spatula around the edges to loosen and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before applying Vanilla Frosting.

Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 313 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 122mg5%
Potassium 155mg4%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 501IU10%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • christine vella
    August 6, 2020

    Can i use whole milk instead of butter milk please

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 6, 2020

      Plain kefir will also work well instead of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk at a ratio of 1 cup whole milk to 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Combine and let it sit 10 minutes to curdle then stir and use.

      Reply

  • Susie
    August 5, 2020

    I can’t wait to try this cake! Can you use jam or curd for the layer on this cake and finish it off with your buttercream frosting?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 5, 2020

      Hello Susie, I haven’t really tried that yet to advise. You might have to do an experiment to see if it will work, please share with us how it goes if you try!

      Reply

  • Victoria
    August 3, 2020

    Made 1/2 the recipe and it was the best vanilla cake and best vanilla butter cream icing I have ever had! Next time I’m going to try the chocolate icing. Your recipes are amazing! You need to publish a cookbook. I certainly would buy it. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 3, 2020

      Love it! Thank you so much for sharing your great experience with us, Victoria. I am working on a cookbook, I’ll make sure to share it with y’all when it’s ready!

      Reply

  • Melissa
    August 3, 2020

    Amazing – this was moist and delicious! I will be making it again soon!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 3, 2020

      Super! I am happy with your wonderful feedback. Thank you, Melissa!

      Reply

  • Inez Hutchison
    August 2, 2020

    Please could we have the ingredients for vanilla cake in metric

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 2, 2020

      Hi Inez, I’m sorry I missed that in this recipe. If you click “metric” in the recipe card, it will give you a conversion now. Thanks for asking!

      Reply

  • Linda
    August 2, 2020

    Can I use a 9 x 13 pan rather than 2 layer pans?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 3, 2020

      Hi Linda, I haven’t tried this recipe in a 9×13 but it may work. You may need to make more than one batch or it may result in a fairly flat cake. If you experiment, please let me know how you like that.

      Reply

  • Ron
    August 2, 2020

    Natashas,
    I am not a baker but that looks so good I think I’ll give it at try.
    Another great video from you.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2020

      Thank sounds like a good plan, Ron. I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Kim
    August 2, 2020

    Hi Natasha! I’m going to make this recipe for my sons 4th birthday. Can I use a 9×13 pan?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 3, 2020

      Hi Kim, happy birthday to your son! I haven’t tested this in a 9×13 but it should work. You will probably need to bake 5 minutes longer.

      Reply

  • Ireen
    August 1, 2020

    Hi what can we use instead of buttermilk plz ?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2020

      Plain kefir is a good substitute

      Reply

  • Terry
    August 1, 2020

    This looks wonderful. Is there a substitute for buttermilk, though?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2020

      Hi Terry, plain kefir also works.

      Reply

  • Aarya
    August 1, 2020

    Hey Natasha, I made this cake today and my family thought it was tasty. The one problem though was, when I served it to my family for dinner, the cake was rather dense and hard to cut. Is it because it was in the fridge too long? Or, do you have to let it stay at room temperature a few minutes before serving?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Hi Aarya, I haven’t had that experience to advise. Was anything altered in the recipe by chance? This post on measuring will be helpful, I would pay close attention to the measurements of the dry ingredients.

      Reply

  • Chrissy
    August 1, 2020

    Can this cake be baked in a 9 x 13 dish and for how long? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 3, 2020

      Hi Chrissy, that should work, but I haven’t tried baking it in a 9×13 so I won’t be able to give you timing instructions. It will probably be close to this bake time – maybe 5 minutes longer is my guess. If you test it out, please let me know how it goes.

      Reply

  • Dianne
    August 1, 2020

    I have never had luck with scratch cakes. They are always too dry. Is this moist?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2020

      Yes, it is moist. I hope you like this cake!

      Reply

  • Mary Lou
    August 1, 2020

    Thank You so much for a recipe for a fine cake using a hand mixer rather than mandating a stand mixer. I had a beautiful Kitchen Aid, but gave to my daughter-in-law as I have arthritis in my shoulders and hands and could no longer manage the big mixer and heavy glass bowl. This is the way real cakes were made when I made my first cake at age 8 (1948…shhhh). Will be making this one soon. Having lived in Greece and Italy for a time some years ago, I truly enjoy everything on your web site.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 2, 2020

      I hope you love this cake! Thank you for checking out this recipe and I hope you love every recipe that you will try from my website.

      Reply

  • Sasa
    August 1, 2020

    Please insert a link :
    US Customary – Metric

    Thx

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Hi Sasa, We are currently working on adding metric measurements to all of our recipes but it is taking some time as we have to add them one at a time. Thank you so much for being patient! In the meantime, check out our post on measuring which should help

      Reply

      • Cheryl
        August 3, 2020

        Hi Natasha,

        I’m from the Netherlands.
        Your recipes are great!!

        Can i use milk instead buttermilk?

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          August 3, 2020

          Thank you! Plain kefir will also work well instead of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk at a ratio of 1 cup whole milk to 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Combine and let it sit 10 minutes to curdle then stir and use.

          Reply

  • Lilli
    August 1, 2020

    Hi Natasha! I’d like to say, that your tres leches cake is my go-to dessert and the one I am always asked to make! AND I make it gluten free. I want to make this vanilla cake now, but I don’t have buttermilk or kefir. I have some plain greek yogurt. Is there anything I could use in place of the buttermilk? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Hi Lilli! We love this recipe and I hope you do too! I have not tested this with a yogurt substitute to advise. If you experiment please let me know how you like that.

      Reply

  • Celeste
    August 1, 2020

    Love your website! Is it possible to post some gluten free recipes? Several of my family members including me are gluten free and we would love to be able to also enjoy eating some of your creations! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that feedback and suggestion with us Celeste!

      Reply

  • Sue
    August 1, 2020

    Hi Natasha! can I bake this in a 9×13 pan?
    Thanks
    Sue

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 3, 2020

      Hi Sue, I haven’t tested that but it should work in a single 9×13 pan. I would probably bake about 5 minutes longer.

      Reply

  • Annah
    August 1, 2020

    why did you make this just after my birthday???!!! LOL! i could’ve used it. your chocolate cake was amazing though.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Now you can plan ahead for the next one haha. All kidding aside there’s always something to celebrate and I hope you try it soon Annah!

      Reply

  • Kimmy
    August 1, 2020

    Hi, the cake looks so lovely. Would like to try it out. However, I only have one 9-inch cake pan. Can I still bake this cake?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Hi Kimmy! I hope you love this recipe! Since you only have one cake pan you can halve the recipe or mix half of the recipe and bake one at a time. I hope that helps.

      Reply

      • Oksana
        August 1, 2020

        Hi Natasha! I have two 10 inch cake pans. Should I use both or just one? And how long should I bake it for? Thanks for another cool recipe!

        Reply

        • Natasha
          August 2, 2020

          Hi Oksana, I would use both pans since this batter would overwhelm a single cake pan. You will have to bake for a little less time. I suggest doing the toothpick test 5 minutes earlier since the cake layers won’t be as tall in 10″ pans.

          Reply

  • Valentina
    July 31, 2020

    This is the BEST vanilla cake recipe! The cake is so soft and moist and the homemade frosting completes the whole cake!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 31, 2020

      So delicate and moist! Thank you for stopping by Valentina!

      Reply

  • Erin
    July 31, 2020

    This simple recipe is wonderful for making a cake, but I’ve also used it for cupcakes. Very moist!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 31, 2020

      Yes! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Andrea
    July 31, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious. I wanna try it out for my birthday but I’d like 2 chocolate layers and 1 vanilla layer. So the question is, can this recipe be halved?
    Also I wanna layer it with dulce de leche instead of buttercream, can the buttercream recipe also be halved?
    Thanks!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 1, 2020

      Hi Andrea, halving this recipe should work great! If you experiment with the other changes I’d love to know how you like that.

      Reply

      • Cheryl
        August 3, 2020

        Hi Natasha,

        Can i use milk instead buttermilk/kefir?

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          August 3, 2020

          Plain kefir will also work well instead of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk at a ratio of 1 cup whole milk to 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Combine and let it sit 10 minutes to curdle then stir and use.

          Reply

  • Kara
    July 31, 2020

    It’s nice to have a great vanilla cake recipe that doesn’t start with with a cake mix. Can’t wait to try it with chocolate frosting!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 31, 2020

      It’s always fun to combine chocolate and vanilla. I hope this becomes a new favorite cake for you!

      Reply

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