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Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe

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Hi Bold Bakers! 

Bigger Bolder Baking is 2 years old today so we are celebrating with this impressive Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe. Every Bold Baker needs a Master Recipe for Vanilla Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It is a must have in your repertoire. I promise you this cake recipe will never fail you and you will have it for years to come.

I know my strengths as a baker and cake decorating is not one of them. So what I do is use the simplest technique to get over-the-top results like this beautiful Birthday Cake covered in sprinkles. 

This cake is a classic with a lovely vanilla flavor. It is soft and light and the buttercream helps make it a simple, big slice of heaven.

 Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

Don’t worry if you are not a great cake decorator. Adding Sprinkles covers a multitude of sins. Your cake will look flawless with my method.

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

You cannot beat a classic Vanilla Cake, it’s one of my favorite. The sprinkles on this cake make it over-the-top amazing!

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

When making your next celebration cake remember you cannot go wrong with Sprinkles!!! Just when you think you added enough, add MORE!

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

Once decorated, this cake keeps well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

This Vanilla Cake freezes really well and can be kept for 4 weeks in the freezer.

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

This Birthday Cake is best served at room temperature. The flavors and texture will be much better.

Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe): An incredible cake recipe that you will use for years to come.

Find my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe here. And you can use this cake to make my Lemon Meringue Cake recipe.

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4.8 from 18 reviews
Vanilla Birthday Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 3 cups (450g/15oz) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 cups (480g/16oz) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8floz/240ml) whole milk or full fat buttermilk
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (170g, 6oz) unsalted butter, cold
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe Here)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large jug combine and whisk together the egg whites, whole egg, milk, and the vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 1 minute. (You can also do it by hand)
  4. Add the cold butter and continue to mix on low until the mixture is a fine crumbly texture.
  5. Add the liquid mixture into your dry ingredients in 2 separate batches making sure to scrape the sides and bottom before and after each batch, mixing until light, fluffy, homogenous and well incorporated. Fold once or twice to ensure the batter at bottom of bowl is incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center, about 25-35 minutes. Be very careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 25 minutes to see how it is doing and judge the timing from there.
  8. Once Bake let the cake cool on racks for 20 minutes before removing them from the tins.
  9. When the cake is completely cold you can start to decorate. If you are not using it straight away wrap the cake tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.
  10. To Assemble the Cake: With a serrated knife cut off the top of the cake layers to give them even, level surfaces to frost on.
  11. Place bottom cake layer on the table or cake turntable.
  12. Spread your chilled butter cream frosting on top with a small offset spatula. Gently place 2nd cake layer face down on top. Place more frosting on top of this layer and spread out.
  13. Gently add the 3rd cake layer. Add a generous scoop of frosting and spread evenly with a small offset spatula working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. This is called the “Crumb layer” . Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
  14. Remove from refrigerator and apply a final “coat” of frosting. Decorate all over with sprinkles. Just keep on applying them until they stick all over.
  15. Store in the fridge for upto 3 days. Before serving let it at room temperature for 30 minute and then enjoy!

“A party without cake is just a meeting” ― Julia Child


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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Jeannie Huang on November 14, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Hey Gemma! I tend to have terrible luck making cakes. I’ve tried many recipes similar to this one, and the batter consistancy always ends up watery. Is that normal?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 15, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Hi Jeannie,
      No, it is not normal. The secret is to follow the recipe. If you are changing the ingredients you need to do it in an organized and thoughtful way. For instance if you are substituting eggs in a batter which has a lot of buttermilk, you will not use buttermilk as the egg substitute.
      The best advice I can give you is to stick to the recipe and the measurements. I hope this is of help. give me more detail if you want more help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • jeanniehuang101 on November 15, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        Thank you! I read online that you can substitute cake flour for all purpose flour mixed with corn starch. Is that true?

      • Fatima on November 17, 2017 at 9:24 am

        Hi Emma I am sorry I am writing here about cookie cake as there wasn’t any option there . I have 10 inches moulds so what do you suggest should make three cookie layer or 4 like you have done .if I make 3 layers should I keep it in oven for same timeorbaking time will change

        • Gemma Stafford on November 18, 2017 at 10:27 am

          Hi Fatima,
          A 10 inch cake is a big cake!
          I presume you mean this cake (
          You can make 4 layers if you wish, they will be a bit flatter, and the time will be different, but it will work.
          If you like deeper layers you can bake 3 layers.
          You need to judge when these cakes are baked! They will be browned, and slightly firmt to the touch when ready.
          I hope this is of help,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Fatima on November 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            Thanks dear

  2. Natalie on November 13, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Hello! I use this recipe a lot and it always turns out amazing. My question is, can I swap the normal flour for gluten free, do I need to add anything extra? Sorry if this is a ridiculous question. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

      Hi Natalie,
      I think you can make this with an all purpose GF flour. This type of cake does not rely on gluten to any great extent. All purpose gf flours are formulated for this type of recipe. I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Jasmine on November 9, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Mam I’ve tried this recipe.. The cake tastes adorable but the top part of the cake is very sticky. Just the top area only. I’ve followed all your instructions correctly. I’ve bake the cake in two 8.5″ cake tin and baked for around 35-40mts and I take it out after testing with a toothpick and it came clean.. Then what happened for that stickiness.. Please reply mam

    • Gemma Stafford on November 10, 2017 at 1:39 am

      Hi Jasmine,
      I do not know! This cake, given the correct recipe, should always be dry on top.
      Any change of ingredients can change that. Do take a look back at the recipe here, double check it, any change will change the results.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Jasmine on November 8, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Madam can I add butterscotch sauce above the frosting… Is it taste good.. Please give reply. And what are the other flavours for the frosting for vanilla cakes..

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Hi Jasmine,
      I am not sure what it is you wish to to with the sauce?
      You can of course use it as a sauce with this cake, but not as a frosting, it would not work.
      ( here is a simple chocolate frosting. There is a cream cheese frosting here.
      Do take a look through the website for lots of other ideas,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Kim on November 7, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I’m baking this cake this week but my problem is that your cups measure 1 cup to be 240ml while mine measures it to be 250ml, and I don’t have a scale or the money to invest in one as all my recipes are in cups. So if I go ahead with the amount of cups you posted but with my metric cups, do you think it will work out? The conversion charts i saw online don’t convert to metric cups. Pls any help will be appreciated. God bless you

    • Gemma Stafford on November 7, 2017 at 3:31 am

      Hi Kim,
      Cup measurements are based on an informal system of measurement, prior to home weighing scales. People would share recipes based on their kitchen cups, it did not matter the weight of the ingredients, or the size of the cup, as long as the same cup was used to measure all of the ingredients, in any one kitchen. It a measure of volume. Once the balance is right, then all will be well. Different ingredients have different equivalent weights too, so rice will be different to sugar, cocoa to flour, and different flours will have a different weight too. So, the rule is simple, fill your cups in the same way, scoop/level/compress, however you choose, and the balance in the recipe will be good. It is not a good idea to mix cup measurements with another method, it is unnecessary, and will not be good for your recipes. You have to trust this system, if not, get a digital scales, it will be the most accurate of all!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Kim on November 7, 2017 at 7:31 am

        Wow! That was fast. Thanks so much.
        If it’s not much trouble, I plan to use butter cream on the cake, but it will stay in the car till after church before I can give it to my church member ( the client) do you think it will melt? Or will it hold? Tnx in advance

        • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm

          Hi Kim,
          It really depends on the temperature of your car/place.
          You can make a cool box, you can do this in a number of ways. You can freeze a wet towel/tea cloth in a sealed plastic bag and place it over the cake box to keep it cool. Think about it, there are ways to do this. A bed of freezer blocks under newspapers too, I can think of plenty solutions,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Kim on November 9, 2017 at 5:21 pm

            Thank you so much for helping me out

  6. Anne Marie on November 4, 2017 at 7:40 am

    One of my favourite recipes, so easy to make. It takes about 45 minutes to bake though. I use this recipe for my vanilla- chocolate and orange – caramel cake

    • Kelly on November 5, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Sorry, I replied to your comment because I didn’t see where to write my own comment.

      Has anyone tried making this with all purpose flour? If so, what was the outcome?

      • Gemma Stafford on November 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        Hi Kelly,
        You can make this with all purpose flour. All purpose is plain flour, cake flour has less gluten, but only fractionally. Do not over mix, that will give you a lovely tender cake. thank you for being in touch,
        Gemma 🙂

  7. honeyleecious on October 24, 2017 at 6:54 am

    hi Gemma,
    tried the birthday cake recipe but i used oil instead of butter. it came out nice but it wasnt as fluffy as what i hoped for. could you please give me the recipe for a soft butterless cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2017 at 2:44 am

      Hi there,
      It is not a great idea to substitute an ingredient in a recipe without knowing how it will affect the results.
      If you can get a hard/baking margarine, which will be a hydrogenated vegetable oil, then this should work well in most recipes for you.
      Alternatively, if you use eggs, you can make a butter free sponge, just using eggs, flour, sugar.
      So, try this: 3 eggs, 3ozs sugar,3ozs self raising flour, a little vanilla if liked.
      Using an electric beater/stand mixer, whip up the room temperature eggs. When they loosen/foam, add the caster sugar, and vanilla and continue to whip until you get a really thick foam, almost like a meringue. Then you sieve in the flour, and gently, barely fold it into the foam, do not beat it, just folding, until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix or you will knock the air out.
      divide between sandwich pans, or use on 8 inch spring form pan, bake! 180C/350F for about 25 mins, watch it!
      If you butter and flour your pans this should fall out easily, it will shrink away from the sides of the pan a little when baked. Try it!
      This is a proportional recipe, so you can take it up, or down as in 4 + 4 + 4, etc.
      Gemma 🙂

      • honeyleecious on October 25, 2017 at 5:08 am

        thanks a bunch Gemma, will try this recipe

  8. Teen Jacob on October 24, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Hi Gemma,
    This is the first time ever I am trying something to bake and it turned out really good. I gained confidence from this vanilla cake and tried your yellow cake, Nutella truffles and buttermilk pancakes. Everything turned out to be amazing 😃In addition I would also like to let you know that your video presentation is fabulous. Great job Gemma and Kevin. Wishing you guys all the very best for future. 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2017 at 2:46 am

      How lovely, thank you so much, I appreciate your kind comments Jacob.
      Kevin and I, and team BBB work hard at getting things right here, so I am always happy when you let me know that you are getting on well with the recipes, and the videos too, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Maciel Villeda on October 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Gemma, tomorrow I’m going to try your recipe, I really want to now if… Is it really necessary to use only whites? I saw a comment saying that they changed the whites with 4 eggs, Does it really change a lot the cake? What do you recommend? Is that I really don’t know what to do with the yolks Help me.
    PD: I love your recipe and I really see you love sprinkles a lot haha 😀 thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Maciel,

      I haven’t fried it but yes you can use whole eggs, however I would use 3 and not 4. 4 is too much.

      It won’t change the cake much at all.


      • Maciel Villeda on October 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm

        Hi Gemma.
        I already made the cake and all good with the taste, but the texture… Mmm, I didn’t like it, when I took it out and wait for it to cool the top was too sticky and I couldn’t do a movement when it stated to fall apart D: And it didn’t end up like yours, it is like a little to moisty….

        • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2017 at 3:16 am

          Hi there,
          I am not sure why this would be too moist, unless you changed the recipe. It does not sound right, that is is too moist but falls apart. Was it under-baked?
          I am a little lost,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Maciel Villeda on October 23, 2017 at 5:41 pm

            The taste was really good and the boarders were gold (I mean the color) and the bread was good but it was just too sticky 🙁

          • Gemma Stafford on October 24, 2017 at 1:28 am

            Hi there,
            I am still not sure if you changed the recipe in some way! Can you clarify this for me,
            Gemma 🙂

        • Anne Marie on November 4, 2017 at 7:48 am

          Mine was like this but I just left it in the oven for another ten minutes and it ended up fine. Don’t be fooled by a golden edge, always check that if you skewer it it comes out clean.

          • Gemma Stafford on November 5, 2017 at 2:45 am

            Hi Anne Marie,
            Thank you for your input here, and advice too. You are right of course, it is always important to test your bake. Ovens vary and an indicated time is just that, indicated! Checking the bake is really important.
            Thank you also for your kind comments, good that you are baking with us,
            Gemma 🙂

      • Fatima on November 12, 2017 at 1:48 am

        Gemma you have mentioned 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg….. we can use 3 whole eggs in place of all those eggs (whites And whole)???

        • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2017 at 2:26 am

          Hi Fatima,
          Yes, you can. Then it will be a yellow cake, but it will be good.
          Gemma 🙂

  10. Joan on October 18, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Hi Gemma! Would it be ok if I use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Joan,

      Yes all purpose flour will work great.


  11. Alison on October 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Is this cake a firm cake? I am looking for a receipe for a firm cake (without having to make a pound cake) for my sons 3d train cake lols. If this wouldn’t work do you have a suggestion?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Hi Alison,
      This is a firm cake, which will take a buttercream, or fondant icing easily.
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Rhiannon on October 8, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Hello, I was wondering if using smart balance (a butter substitute) would work?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, sure you can use that. It will work the same 🙂

  13. AayushiM on October 3, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Hey Gemma!! I know from your egg substitute chart that how can I replace egg. But what about egg yolks?? What could be the substitution for that?!.. Waiting for your reply… Thanks!

    • AayushiM on October 3, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Sorry it was a mistake.. Not egg yolks, but actually egg whites

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2017 at 2:28 am

      Hi there again Aayushi,
      If you do not know about aqua faba, then you need to. This is made with the water in which pulses, such as chick peas are cooked. The water in a can of chick peas too!
      This can be whipped up like egg white, and used in lots of recipes. I mean to show you this on BBB, but in the meantime do google this, you need it!
      Gemma 🙂

      • AayushiM on October 7, 2017 at 6:39 am

        Thanks again Gemma☺️.. Yeah Ik about aqua faba… I’ll try that, but please make a video on that asap..
        Thank u so much!!

  14. Becca bakes on September 29, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Gemma, pls I’d like to know if I can use fondant with dis cake ( pls say yes!),Tnx

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2017 at 4:48 am

      Yes you can Becca. It will work great 🙂

  15. Heather on September 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Hi, Would I double this recipe to make a 2 layer 9 x 13 cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 28, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Hi Heather,
      I think this recipe will not be sufficient for this. I would double this recipe, and use any excess in cup cakes. It is better to be looking at it, than for it!
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Anna on September 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Hi, when I made this the cake was not light and was more of a caramel colour. Still tasted ok though.

    I am guessing that I maybe used the wrong sugar, I used raw sugar. We don’t use the term granulated sugar in NZ so can you please let me know which one you use.


    • Gemma Stafford on September 24, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Anna,

      yup raw sugar is not great for baking. The size and flavor is wrong and it doesn’t dissolve well. Do you have caster sugar in NZ? if so use that.

      P.s icing sugar/ confectioners sugar is not the same sugar and only used in icings.

  17. Anna on September 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Hi, I would love to know if you melt the butter, then chill it or just use straight out of the fridge?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 23, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      I melt it and set it aside so it is not hot. Hope this helps 🙂

      • Lori on October 21, 2017 at 7:20 am

        Here you say you melt the butter? In the recipe it calls for COLD butter. I’m confused.

        • Lori on October 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

          Room temperature??

        • Gemma Stafford on October 22, 2017 at 10:39 am

          I see what you mean. Melt the butter. I’ll remove cold from the recipe. 🙂

  18. Sam on September 17, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Urgent help needed! The frosting is thin like liquid. I can’t start again as have no ingredients and have to leave in an hour! How am I thicken it?

  19. Jaslif on September 16, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Hi.madam.I calculated the cake is about 1.500 kg.
    I don’t know if it is correct or not..madam are you using US measurements for cake baking?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Hi there Jaslif,
      Metric measurements are the same the world over. Cup measurements are a connundrum, so if you have a metric scales stick to that, it is the most accurate of all of the measuring methods,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Jaslif on September 15, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Hi..madam..can you please tell me this recipe makes how much kg of cake approximately.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 15, 2017 at 2:52 am

      Hi there jaslif,
      If you add the ingredients in the recipe you will find the answer to this. as it cooks, and as moisture evaporates, the weight will reduce, but you get a good indication from the recipe quantities. The weight loss in the baking will be about 20% of the ingredient weight. So, go back to the recipe, write it out, add it up, and subtract 20%. I hope this helps, i would do this for you, but i am under a time pressure today,
      Gemma 🙂

      • carmella Alexander on September 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

        Hi, I was wondering if I could use salted butter instead, because that’s all I have and how much salt do I need to add!! Thanks Im using this recipe to make a caramel cake

        • Gemma Stafford on September 16, 2017 at 8:32 am

          Hi there Carmella,
          If you use salted butter, than do not add further salt, it will be sufficient.
          I do hope this works well for you, it sounds delicious,
          Gemma 🙂

  21. Tarax26972 on September 14, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Gemma, if I use a combination of butter and shortening do you think it would work for this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      yes you can do that, no problem 🙂

  22. Sam on September 12, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Hi Gemma, this looks amazing and I can’t wait to try for my daughter’s first birthday cake! I have converted the ingredients online as using 8″ tins. For a couple of the ingredients I have had to google as they aren’t familiar to me in UK. E.g. Confectioner’s sugar – Icing Sugar in UK. Cake flour is causing a few issues though, some websites say use plain flour and some say either and some say do not use self raising . . . Am going to buy a new bag of flour with the rest of the ingredients so which would you recommend – plain or self raising?
    Also, final question 🙂 – we have medium and large eggs in UK and I have been told when making cakes it really matters which size you use. So .. . is this recipe medium or large eggs?!


    • Gemma Stafford on September 14, 2017 at 3:04 am

      Hi Sam,
      Yes, it is confusing. Self raising flour is great if you are baking all of the time. The issue with it is that the reaising agent can be spent if the flour gets stale. Plain flour, with the addition of baking powder is the way to go. Baking powder is usually contained in a good airtight pack, so it lasts a long time. Pay attention to the date on the pack. The same for flour really, just watch the date and all will be well, bake more!
      You can convert plain flour to cake flour using cornflour/cornstarch (another one to confuse). This has the effect of reducing the gluten in the flour, by a little. It is not necessary to do it though, just remember not to overwork the batter, to prevent the gluten developing.
      FYI: Cake flour will be about 9% gluten content, plain/all purpose flour is about 12% and bread flour is about 13% gluten content. I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Gemma Stafford on September 17, 2017 at 2:49 am

        Hi Sam,
        I have no idea why this would be like liquid. This is a buttercream frosting, if the ingredients were right it could not be like liquid. I can only think of adding a touch of cornstarch/cornflour to this at this point. I do not have sufficient information to help any further. If what you are saying is that it has melted, then refrigerating it will fix it too. I am sorry Sam, not much help, i know,
        Gemma 🙂

  23. Tarax26972 on September 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Gemma, I am very excited to try this new recipe. What flour do you think would work best, Cake down flour or, regular all purpose flour. Also were the cake pans you used 6 inches wide & 2 inches deep because I’m going to order my pans onlinej.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 11, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Hi there,
      The milk is there to enrich and soften the dough. The fat content will not matter too much. Full fat milk is 3.5% fat- so the difference is small enough.
      Yes, 6 x 2 will serve you well. Order loose bottom pans if you can, they will be useful for lots of things,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Tarax26972 on September 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Hi Gemma what flour works best ? All purpose flour or fine cake flour?

      • Gemma Stafford on September 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

        for this recipe cake flour is better. if gives you a softer cake. 🙂

  24. Sarena on August 31, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Your recipe doesn’t say if you use plain flour or self raising flour ?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2017 at 3:32 am

      Hi there Sarena,
      Yes, you are right, i will add this to the recipe.

      3 cups (450g/15oz) all purpose/Plain cake flour, sifted
      2 cups (480g/16oz) granulated sugar
      4 teaspoons baking powder
      ½ teaspoon salt
      5 large egg whites, at room temperature
      1 whole egg, at room temperature
      1 cup (8floz/240ml) whole milk or full fat buttermilk
      2-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      ¾ cup (170g, 6oz) unsalted butter, cold
      when you see baking powder in a recipe, you can presume it is plain/all purpose flour. Self raising has the raising gent included.
      hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Anngelena on August 30, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Hi Gemma I would like to know if I can use self-raising flour for this recipe and for the best ever chocolate cake.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Hi Angelena,
      Yes! really what matters is that the flour is fresh, and stored in a cool dry place. This prevents the raising agents being spent, and keeps the flour fresh. Than, all will be well. Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Mansi Maniar on August 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Gemma can this recipe work without using eggs
    Or can thr b any substitution for the same

    • Gemma Stafford on August 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      yes it sure can, replace it with any of my substitutes, like banana or apple sauce.

      Do you have my chart? click here and this will help you. 🙂

      • Mansi Maniar on August 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

        Thank u Gemma will surely try this recipe for my sons 1st birthday

  27. Sara on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Hi I would like to make this cake using 3-8×3 round pans. What will I have to adjust? I’d like them to be a little taller.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 am

      Hi Sara,
      I think you will need to double this recipe to be safe, though 1 1/2 would probably do it. Do write out the recipe, and make the changes to avoid errors, I have to do this too!
      Fill the pans to about 3/4 full to allow for an even rise. You can make a few cupcakes with any remaining batter, I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Minal on August 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Gemma, i want to to know if this would fit in a 8 inch cake pan. If so how many?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2017 at 1:24 am

      Hi there,
      Two 8 inch pans to be safe. You will need to increase the recipe if you wish to make more than two,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Minal on August 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

        Thank You so much Gemma!!

  29. Lovely Queen on August 14, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Gemma, i want to halve this recipe but at the moment i only have 2 eggs

    • Gemma Stafford on August 15, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Hi there,
      If I had only two eggs, I would look for a way to use all of both of them!
      This cake is really more of a white cake, and changing the recipe will change this.
      There is a basic sponge cake, a bit like a pound cake, and it is a great recipe to have in your head. It is proportional, so you can base it on the number of eggs you have. It will work well with two eggs.
      2 eggs
      4 oz (114g) caster sugar
      4 oz (114g) butter
      4 oz (114g) flour
      1 teaspoon of baking powder.
      a little milk to soften the batter if you need it.
      Now oyu can see, if you had 3 eggs, it would be 6oz of each of the other ingredients. You can make this as an all in one method, or cream the butter and sugar, slowly add the beaten egg, and fold in the flour. this will take additional flavors like cocoa, coffee etc.
      So, now you have a way to make a really nice cake, with what you have to hand.
      I do hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Lovely Queen on August 20, 2017 at 1:56 am

        Thank you so much Gemma, the cake was delicious <3

        Also did you have tips how to bake with 2 or 3 cake tins but the oven can only bake 1 tin, is it save for the batter to wait while i bake the first tin?

        • Gemma Stafford on August 20, 2017 at 3:02 am

          Hi there,
          Yes! It is good that you worked your cake well, good job!
          I presume you are using a table top toaster type oven. Have the oven preheated in order to get the first pan into the oven as soon as possible.
          Bake, and get on with the second one, and on to third.
          What you need to know is that the raising agent will begin to activate as soon as it is wet, so it will not suffer too much for a short time, but it is best to get it baked as quickly as you can manage. An hour or so will not hurt,
          Gemma 🙂

  30. Jessica on August 5, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Hi Gemma, I plan on using this cake recipe for my daughters birthday cake. The cake pan I am using is 6in wide and 3in deep. How long should I bake it and how much batter should I fill it with? I don’t bake often.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2017 at 3:56 am

      Hi Jessica,
      You should always fill a pan to about 3/4 full to allow for the rise of the cake. You can bake any additional batter in muffin cases, as cupcakes, and freeze them too for later, or you can cut the recipe in 1/2, this should be sufficient for one cake in this deeper pan. Your baking time will not go too much further off mine, you will need to keep an eye on it after 25 mins or so, I cann be too precise here as it is not how I baked it, but I think It should be perfect at 40 mins.
      If you are halving the recipe, write it out! It is easier to get this right if you do this,
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Kate on August 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Would this recipe work as a sheet cake (9×13 pan)? Any ideas on oven temperature and cooking time?

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 2, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      it would. Same temp and possible the same time too. you will have to judge. check it after 20 minutes of baking 🙂

  32. Vidya on August 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Hi gemma I want to ask you about 1 cup for whole milk. How about 1cup whole milk to ml ? cause im so confused with your baking conversion chart, 1 cups for liquid = 240ml/8floz but in your recipe 1 cups whole milk = 170g/6oz. Which recipe I can use to whole milk? please tell me, thank you Gemma.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Hi Vidya,

      Sorry that is my bad. It is a mistake in the recipe, the conversion chart is correct.

      You want to use 1 cup/240ml/8floz.

      I’ll change the recipe now. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  33. Natasha on August 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Hi Gamma,
    I am trying out this recipe this week and was wondering if it would turn out the same if I made them into cupcakes? Should I change the temperature or anything else or keep it the same? I wouldn’t know what to do with egg yolks if I use the whites so can I use eggs instead and how many? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Natasha,

      Yup absolutely use these for cupcakes. Bake them at the same temp but they will only take around 12-15 minutes 🙂

      If you want to use just whole eggs use 3 large eggs.

      Happy Baking!!

  34. Jaclyn on July 24, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Gemma, if I want to halve this recipe for a smaller cake, how should I do It?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2017 at 2:59 am

      This is relatively easy to do Jaclyn, write down the recipe, then carefully divide the ingredients. the biggest fault in cutting down a recipe is not being careful enough. Eggs can be divided by beating, and dividing as required,
      Gemma 🙂

  35. Daiana on July 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Hello! I made the recipe many times and every time I take it out of the oven the cake is lowered and reduced from the sides 1 “.The temperature is correct, do not replace any ingredient.I made the recipe as is.
    If shrinking from 15 “to 13”

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2017 at 3:03 am

      Hi there,
      This is very strange! Something is off. It sounds like it is not actually rising at all, as though there is no raising agent. ( do go back to the recipe, read it through carefully, you may find the problem.
      Other than that it may be an issue with your oven thermostat. Let me know!
      Gemma 🙂

  36. Marie on July 15, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Hello, I would like to know if the sugar is considered as a wet ingridient so I can mix it with eggs in your recipe? Also, have you used some pasteurized egg whites in the recipe? Do you think it would work? Thank you so much!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 16, 2017 at 3:16 am

      Hi Marie,
      Sugar is regarded as a dry ingredient, unless it is honey/agave, a liquid sugar.
      You can mix sugar with eggs, it will dissolve in the liquid, but it depends on your purpose.
      Pasteurized egg whites are a good ingredient to have to hand and they will work, in any recipe really!
      Hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  37. White on July 11, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Hello Gemma,

    Please i am just trying out your recipe as i’m typing. The mixture came out thick. The cake is in the oven at the moment so i await the final result. Also can i add lemon zest to the mixture? Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2017 at 2:34 am

      Hi there,
      It sounds like it will be good, it is a thick enough batter. Yes, you can add lemon zest to the batter, and juice to the frosting, carefully, too. Experiment a little,
      Gemma 🙂

  38. Ainin Sofiya on July 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Gemma, I wanted to ask. I only have remaining 3 eggs… but the recipe requires 5 egg whites and 3 egg yolks. Can I use 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg instead? What can I do?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 6:29 am

      Hi there,
      This is about the color of the cake really. I would use the three eggs, and add a little yogurt/milled flax seeds or applesauce.
      ( you need the equivalent of 4 whole eggs really. The cake will be a little more yellow, but it will be good 🙂

  39. Porshbaby on July 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Hello Gemma,
    i live in China but from Ghana. i love your recipes and i am constantly following you on your youtube channel as well as your website. i am very new to baking and i must say that your recipes have made baking very easy for me.
    i made this vanilla cake last week. but i realized they were breaking and had a lot of crumbs. any idea why this was so, because as far as i can remember, i used the measurement you gave.

    hoping to hear from you. thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Hi there,
      Did you change something in the recipe? This is a moist cake usually. What could change that is a change of ingredients, like adjusting the eggs/butter etc.
      Do let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Porshbaby on July 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

        No Gemma,
        i did not change anything. as far as i remember, i used the same measurements you gave. the only thing i did was, i made the cake flour myself. however according to your cake flour recipe, the ratio of flour and corn starch is 1cup: 2 tablespoons. but because the recipe for the vanilla cake is 3 cups, i used 3 cups of flour and 6 tablespoons of cornstarch for my cake flour. so in the end, i took out 6 tablespoons of the flour and replaced with 6 tablespoons of corn starch. then continued with the rest.

        • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 7:55 am

          Hi there,
          OK, I think next time use all purpose flour/plain flour. This may be low enough in gluten where you live. This may be best for you. Do not over mix either, this will keep the cake tender,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Porshbaby on July 11, 2017 at 2:39 am

            Okay. Thanks for the tip. I wi’l definately try again and give you feedback

  40. Dana Al Mansour on July 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I tried so many vanilla cake recipes. This one was by far the best one I made so far. I just used 4 whole eggs coz I usually do not know what to do with yolks ( I dont like the French buttercream). The thing is although I live in a very hot country ( Kuwait) the butter took a long time to crumble and mix with the flour. So my question is, is there any other way to do it and still get the same texture?? And is it possible to replace butter with vegetable oil?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 10, 2017 at 7:28 am

      Hi Dana,
      If you leave the butter at room temperature for about 30 mins before mixing it will cream up really fast for you. I prefer butter for this recipe, but you can try a flavorless oil if you wish. Yes, that was a good balance too of eggs, pretty perfect really! I do hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  41. Hajra on June 30, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Hi Gemma, I want to use this recipe for a 10 inch square cake. Would it be enough if i just doubled the recipe? and how long would I have to bake it for and at what temperature?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 2, 2017 at 2:58 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, this should be sufficient for a 10 inch cake.
      The baking temperature will be 180C/350F. I cannot tell you the baking time as I did not test this. you will need to check it after 40 mins or so, but do not keep on opening the oven as it will cause a drop in temperature and the cake will fall. Take a little peek into the oven, if it looks brown on top you can test it, press your finger to the top of the cake, if it feels firm, it will be cooked. Then you can test it with a skewer, it should come out clean. Good luck with this!
      Gemma 🙂

  42. Caroline on June 26, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Gemma, I wanted to know if I can make the batter ahead of time and bake the next day. Will the cake bake the same and have the same texture? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 27, 2017 at 9:30 am

      yes you can do that. Yes the texture might be heavier.

      Why don’t you just bake it off and let it sit for that day. It will keep well for 2-3 days 🙂

  43. Amanda on June 22, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Hi Gemma, I am wanting to add sprinkles into the cake batter. Will any type of sprinkles work?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 22, 2017 at 8:24 am

      yes any type at all. Just make sure you add them in and don’t stir too much after as the color will bleed. 🙂

      • Kelly on October 25, 2017 at 4:25 am

        Hi, I want to make this in a 5 inch tin, how do I down size it?

        • Gemma Stafford on October 26, 2017 at 8:02 am

          Hi Kelly,
          I do not know what you mean, is this one 5inch pan, or three, and how deep? I used 6 inch pans for this recipe.
          This is a very small pan, I am not sure if I have this size here.
          If you mean three of these pans make the whole recipe. You will have very little left over, and you can make a cupcake with it! It would be very difficult to adjust the recipe by such a small amount,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Kelly on October 29, 2017 at 11:37 am

            Hi, I meant just one 5 inch pan, 3 inches deep, I’ve decided to just make the whole mix and make a few different size ones. Thank you for your reply!

          • Gemma Stafford on October 30, 2017 at 6:00 am

            Good plan Kelly, I never knew a cake to go to waste!
            Gemma 🙂

  44. Prynsess on June 22, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Do i have to use full fat milk? I only have 2%

    • Gemma Stafford on June 22, 2017 at 8:29 am

      2% milk will work great. I just never use fat free milk.

  45. Brooke Moore on June 14, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Any special adjustments for cupcakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 14, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Hi Brooke,
      thank you for being in touch.
      the most important adjustment is time! These will bake at 180C/350F in 20 mins or so, check after 15 mins,
      Gemma 🙂

  46. Karla on June 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Gemma i was wondering if this cake can used for a two tier cake

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2017 at 4:30 am

      Hi Karla,
      Yes, it certainly can, I would use a 9 inch pan, or two sandwich pans, it should be good,
      Gemma 🙂

  47. Musarrat on June 9, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Hi Gemma.
    There’s a festival coming up and I want to bake an 8 inch four layer ombre cake to serve approx. 16 people. The filling and top will be buttercream with a loaded deco.
    My questions are:
    Which of your cake batters would you recommend? I need to bake the cakes atleast 2 days prior to frosting and dont want dried out ones.
    How much of your buttercream recipe would I need to fill and cover the cake generously?
    I will keep the frosted cake at room temperature. Can I wrap it loosely with foil?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2017 at 4:19 am

      Hi there,
      The Vanilla cake recipe will work for you, but I think 8 inch may be a little small for 16 people, unless it is an 8 inch square cake.
      I think I would double the frosting recipe, as I cannot tell what you mean by generous, or how you intend to finish the cake.
      Be sure that you use real butter, tub butters are too soft for this, and will not hold up well at room temperature. You will need to chill the cake when it is frosted to set the frosting, then it should hold up well for you. A Swiss buttercream would be better! I cannot tell what you mean by room temperature, anything above 18C will affect the frosting, so keep it chilled as long as you can.
      The best ever chocolate cake would be good for this too, and would hold up well when stored, in a cold place, well wrapped.
      If you chill the cake before covering it lightly it should hold up, make a cage for it!
      Hope all goes well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Musarrat on June 10, 2017 at 4:36 am

        Here in Mauritius it’s winter but room temperature still means warm here so I better chill it for as long as I can. Thank you for the prompt response and tips Gemma! Will post up a picture when done.
        Really looking forward to the bread bakkng series.

        • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2017 at 3:12 am

          Yes, that will be best! Room temperature where I grew up in Ireland hardly ever goes over 20C, and that is really rare. Here in California I need to be really careful, it gets hot in Summer!
          Gemma 🙂

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