Move over, boxed mix! There’s a new cake in town and it is the BEST VANILLA CAKE EVER! Not even an exaggeration, this vanilla cake is AMAZING. Super soft, ultra moist, deeply flavorful and SO simple. You ONLY need THIS recipe from now on!
There is a very fine line between confidence and cockiness, and today I am toeing that line with the following declaration: this is THE BEST VANILLA CAKE EVER! Yes, I shouted it from the rooftops. No, my neighbors did not care. (Their loss).
I’ve been trying to perfect vanilla cake for awhile. A cross between yellow and white cake, vanilla cake is a mixture of both, with the lightness and airy crumb of a white cake with the moisture and tenderness of a yellow cake. The best of both worlds.
Of course, with a name like ‘vanilla cake’ it HAS to be vanilla-y enough to make a difference. Using both vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract lends a superb, richly vanilla flavor and those tell-tale specks of vanilla bean swirled throughout.
This cake tastes like a moist, fancy bakery-style cake with ingredients you can pronounce and that you probably already have in your pantry right now. Below I have a few tips to ensure your vanilla cake comes out perfectly:
- Room temperature ingredients ensure that your cake is baked to perfection. But is it necessary, you ask? YES! I promise I’m not adding an extra step for fun. When a recipe calls for room temperature dairy and eggs, it is to create the best possible outcome for your baked good. Room temperature ingredients cream and blend together better than cold ingredients do, and when you use room temperature ingredients, they create an emulsion which traps air inside. The trapped air expands when baking and creates light and fluffy cakes. Trust me, you need to use room temperature dairy and eggs for this recipe for the BEST outcome.
- Butter and oil are both used, and you can’t omit one. Butter is used for flavor, of course, but the oil is what gives the cake ample moisture and richness. You cannot substitute more butter for the oil as this will result in a drier cake recipe. Both butter and oil together create the perfect texture for this cake.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. This ensures that your frosting doesn’t melt into a gooey mess once you frost your cakes! And when it comes to frosting, any flavor of frosting will do! For this recipe I used vanilla buttercream, but I would adore this with chocolate buttercream, too!
- This recipe can be adapted for different pans. For three layers, simply divide the batter among three 8 or 9″ round baking pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until done. For cupcakes simply divide among 24 muffin cups and bake for 15-18 minutes or until done. For a 9×13 rectangular cake pan, bake for about 30-35 minutes or until done.
Whatever you do, MAKE THIS CAKE! It is seriously amazing. I love how moist and fluffy it is and how it is sturdy enough to hold a thick slathering of buttercream icing. The vanilla flavor is potent and delicious and this is a fantastic cake base for any and all frostings and accouterments.
The VERY BEST Homemade Vanilla Cake
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste optional but recommended
- 3 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/4 cups buttermilk at room temperature
- FOR VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or milk
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar
- Sprinkles for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray. Add a parchment paper round to the bottom of the pans, then spray the pans and the sides of the pans once more with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract and paste, if using. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl if needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add in the flour mixture to the cake batter, mixing well after each addition while alternating with the buttermilk. Alternate adding in the flour and buttermilk until a smooth cake batter comes together.
- Divide the cake batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with moist but not wet crumbs. Cool the cakes on wire racks completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, about one cup at a time, alternating with some of the heavy cream until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Frost the cakes with your vanilla buttercream and garnish with sprinkles, if desired. For best results, store cake covered airtight at room temperature or in the fridge.
- NOTE: For a 9x13 rectangular cake pan, bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. For cupcakes, bake for approximately 15-18 minutes. For three layers, bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Supremely moist, ultra flavorful and totally decadent, this BEST EVER VANILLA CAKE hits the spot!
Love cake? Me too! Check out these other cake recipes!
Have a super sweet day!