We’ve all made a vanilla cake from the box before, right? If you ever wanted to know how to make a vanilla cake from scratch, though, here’s our tried-and-true vanilla cake recipe!
Here at Sweets and Treats, we often post about big, gorgeous events (and the accompanying food)! There’s nothing we love more than teaching you all how to easily create something extravagant, elegant, or just plain cute in the form of cakes, cookies, and more.
But sometimes…we forget the basics, you know?! Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. We get so wrapped up in majestic treats that we don’t remember to teach you all some very useful beginner info…
…like a simple cake recipe, for example. More specifically, like this vanilla cake recipe! You can use this for cakes, of course, but also for cupcakes and tasty, tasty cakesicles. When frosted and decorated with sprinkles, it stands alone by itself as a wonderful sweet treat, but it also serves as a great base for the aforementioned recipes, too.
No more box mixes needed…it’s time to make a vanilla cake from scratch!
Vanilla Cake Recipe: Ingredients & Utensils
Ready to make this recipe for vanilla cake? The ingredients for cake like this are oh-so-simple, but we’ll describe why you need them nonetheless!
- Flour: Flour is the base of any cake mix. If you don’t have any particular dietary needs, using all-purpose flour is always the best choice here.
- Baking powder: This is what’s called a “leavening agent,” which allows the cake to rise and become fluffy.
- Butter: Fats like butter also help create a fluffy cake.
- Eggs: Eggs are a “binder,” or a substance that keeps your finished baked cake together.
- Milk: Most cake batters need some kind of liquid, and we use milk in this vanilla cake recipe. Liquids like milk dissolve the dry ingredients and provide moistness to your cake.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar provides sweetness and helps stabilize cake batter.
- Vanilla extract: Just a little bit of it, to provide some vanilla flavor!
- Salt: It may seem strange to put salt into a cake, or in any sweet for that matter, but it enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Don’t leave it out!
- Frosting: Whatever frosting you’d like, although we always use our standard, fool-proof buttercream frosting recipe!
- Sprinkles: We used our Rainbow Jimmies Mix for the cake in the photos, though you can use whatever sprinkles you want!
- 8 inch round cake pan: You’ll bake your vanilla cake in this.
- Bowls: One medium, one large, for your wet ingredients and dry ingredients.
- Toothpick: An easy way to check if your cake is done. Just stick it in the center, and if it comes out with a few crumbs, your cake is ready!
After you have gathered all your ingredients and tools, let’s get baking…
Begin, as always, with preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly coating two 8 inch round cake pans with butter and dusting with flour. Be sure to tap out the excess flour.
To start, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and set
Then you will beat the butter in a large bowl until it’s light and fluffy
Now beat in the eggs until the batter is combined well. And then beat in the vanilla .
Next you will add the flour mixture one cup at a time, alternating with the milk until the batter is smooth. Be sure to not over beat the mixture or your cake will be tough.
Divide the batter into the cake pans and into the oven they go.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack
Now you are ready for frosting. Any flavor works, for this cake we used our favorite Buttercream. You could also use this Dark Chocolate Buttercream or if you have an Oreo fan, this Cookies and Cream Frosting would be perfect!
Vanilla Cake Recipe: FAQs
Answers to common questions about this recipe!
How long does it take to bake this simple cake recipe?
About an hour, or a little less than an hour. Prep should take you 10 minutes, and baking only 30-35 minutes.
How many servings does this cake recipe create?
You’ll make two 8 inch round cakes, which when cut evenly serve about 10-12 slices more or less. Of course, this will vary depending on how much cake you make, how big the slices are, etc!
What temperature should the “wet” ingredients measure when added to the batter?
You’ll want things like butter, milk, and eggs at room temperature. If they’re cold from being in the fridge, we recommend setting them out about an hour before you’re ready to put together the batter. If you don’t do this (especially with the eggs) your batter will likely curdle!
How should the cake be decorated?
There are hundreds of ways to decorate a basic layer cake. You can see some of our favorites over on Instagram. Of course, we always love adding sprinkles and using a basic frosting technique.
Ready to try this vanilla cake recipe?
Even if you think you don’t need a cake, precisely…you can still use this recipe as a base for cupcakes, cake pops, or cakesicles, as we said earlier. It’s very versatile! Comment down below with your thoughts on our simple cake recipe. Did you have any questions? Troubles with the recipe? Or did baking it go smoothly? We love hearing from you!
More tasty vanilla recipes to try at Sweets and Treats…
Chocolate can’t hog the spotlight forever! If you want more vanilla-flavored recipes, we’ve got a ton here at Sweets and Treats. Take a look at:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups milk, whole or 2%
- Frosting - Buttercream or your favorite
- Sprinkles or other decorations
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Lightly coat two 8 inch round cake pans with butter and dust with flour, tap out excess flour
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
- In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs until well combined
- Beat in vanilla extract
- Beat flour into wet mixture 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk until smooth, but don’t overbeat
- Divide batter into prepared cake pan
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Cool on wire rack
- Remove from pans and cool completely
- Place on serving plate or cake stand and frost as desired
- Add sprinkles