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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 can not 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 15 reviews
Vanilla Birthday Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 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 (6oz, 170g) 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)
Instructions
  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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394 Comments

  1. 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?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford 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. 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

    Any special adjustments for cupcakes?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford 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 🙂

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

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

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford 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 🙂

  5. Profile photo of Musarrat 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?
    Thanks.

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford 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 🙂

      • Profile photo of Musarrat 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.

        • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford 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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