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Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe

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Learn how to make my classic Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting and I’ll show you how to make the best vanilla cake recipe and decorate it simply and impressively!

Hi Bold Bakers! 

Every Bold Baker needs a Master Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. A vanilla cake recipe 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.


How to Make the Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

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.

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. 

 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. I really hope you give my recipe a go and enjoy the best vanilla cake recipe!

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4.9 from 27 reviews
Vanilla Birthday Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 3 cups (425g/15oz) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 cups (453g/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/227ml) whole milk or full fat buttermilk
  • 2¼ 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 up to 3 days. Before serving let it at room temperature for 30 minute and then enjoy!
I scoop cup measurements, so flour will come in as 5ozs.

“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. RibicaNina on June 15, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Hi Gemma,
    At first I am really impressed about all the recipes here at this page (cup cakes frozings are the best ever)
    Second, I have a question about the amount of ingridients for 28cm (around 11inch i guess) pan diameter. Do i need double the ingridients for 3 layer cake?

    P.s.: so sorry about bad english 😀

    • Gemma Stafford on June 16, 2018 at 5:24 am

      Hi there,
      There is nothing wrong with your English!
      3 x 6 inch pans will be 108 sq inches combined and the bake will be about 1 1/2 inches deep.
      11 x 11 pan is 121 sq inches, there is little enough difference, but in an 11 inch pan you may want a deeper bake. If you double the recipe you will get about a 3 inch bake, a big cake! You can then slice this through and fill it, frost it etc.
      If you want a smaller cake make one layer, cut it in two, place one 1/2 on top of the other and you will have a nice two layer cake.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • RibicaNina on June 18, 2018 at 1:54 am

        cake was a big success! At the end I stuck with original amount of ingredients – beautiful delicious 2-layer cake. Instead of Vanilla Buttercream Frosting I made super fresh cottage-chees filling. Perfect together!

        • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2018 at 2:30 am

          Hi there,
          Well done you. I am happy this worked out well for you, and that filling sounds very delicious too.
          Thank you for this kind review, I am delighted to get it,
          Gemma 🙂

  2. Adelina Hernandez on June 12, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Hi Gemma
    Would i be able to make this cake the day before, so that when I frost it the day of, it is completely cool?
    Also do you know of any place online where I can find 3 8 inch cake pan set

    • Gemma Stafford on June 13, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Adelina,

      yes definitely make it the day before. It will be easier to frost.

      Check on amazon for the tins. otherwise use 2 (9 inch) tins.


  3. Carla on June 11, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Hello. I live in Colorado and struggle with baking at high-altitude. Do you have any recommendations for the baking this cake? My cakes always end up with a slightly collapsed top when I pull them out of the oven.

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on June 12, 2018 at 3:41 am

      Hi Carla,
      This was a revelation to me when I was interning in a bakery in Tahoe! It makes a difference. For people who do not understand this it means that water for instance boils at a lower temperature at high altitude, this is true then of all of your baking.
      Reduce baking powder: for each teaspoon, decrease 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
      Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 0 to 2 tablespoons.
      Increase liquid: for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons.
      Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
      A cake nail will help too, this distributes the heat more evenly.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Len25 on June 10, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Gemma, l only have all purpose flour. Will this be okay to use too? What will be the outcome? I will be using your recipe for my niece’s birthday unicorn cake this Saturday. Your buttercream frosting recipe.. Is it enough to cover tgis cake? Thanks in advance.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 1:48 am

      Hi Len,
      Yes! Cake flour is flour which is a little lower in gluten that all purpose flour. All purpose flour is widely used in cakes, so go for it.
      The reason we say over and over ‘DO NOT OVER MIX’ is that this is what develops the gluten, and toughens the cake, so follow this rule and all will be well.
      I hope you have a great celebration, and that the unicorn cake is much appreciated. Let us see the results,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Kiran Syed on June 5, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I substitute all of part of the sugar to make this recipe healthier? If yes, can you recommend appropriate substitutes?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Kiran,
      If you are subbing out the sugar here with stevia, you will need to replace the bulk of the sugar. This is usually done with applesauce.
      I am not sure what you can get as a sugar substitute where you live. There are a number on the market. Generally you have to consider how the sugar is incorporated into a recipe when you are going to substitute it. My sugar substitute chart will help you too (
      Gemma 🙂

  6. rachna227 on June 1, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I made the vanilla birthday cake and it was a huge success. This was the first time I baked a cake from scratch. However, I felt that the buttercream icing was too sweet for my taste( I added 6 cups of powdered sugar as mentioned in the recipe). Can I reduce the amount of sugar to my taste in the recipe? I really don’t know what role sugar plays in forming the buttercream icing.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 2, 2018 at 3:23 am

      Hi there,
      I am really happy to hear that you baked a good cake, well done you.
      Without the sugar it will be just butter!
      Buttercream is sweet, and I suppose it is about how much you use, a little goes a long way. Swiss meringue buttercream ( will be less sweet, but it is tricky to do, it takes a bit of practice. Fresh dairy cream too, but it must be high fat, and kept refrigerated. It works best with a light fat free sponge.
      Meringue makes a good frosting in some applications, and there are fudge frostings which are less sweet. You will find all of my frosting recipes here ((
      I hope this helps you,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Amola Darekar on May 31, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Gemma,

    I would like to make this cake as Piñatas cake. Will the cake be strong enough to stand it?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Yes that should be fine. This is a pretty firm cake 🙂


  8. Ashu on May 25, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Hi gemma, can I use honey instead of sugar? Will there be any major change in texture or taste of the cake.


    • Gemma Stafford on May 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Ashu,
      Yes, this is a liquid sugar, and it will change the texture and the taste of the cake. You can try it though, it should not be a fail,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Courtnie T on May 25, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Hello from Canada!
    I am in LOVE with your videos so i thought it was time to try out this with swiss buttercream frosting!
    I have a few questions
    1) I used to use just box mix we find this is much dryer compared is there a way to make it more moist?
    2) I used artificial vanilla ( all I had) if I wanted more of a vanilla punch would buying the real stuff give it more or would just adding some vanilla beans work better?
    3) for the frosting ( I hope its ok to ask this here) I froze it, re whipped it and when I went to pipe it my tip kept getting clogged with clear hard chunks! is that possibly un dissolved sugar?

    Other wise I loved this! I can not wait to try more your instructions are simple and i love the videos thank you so much!!!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 25, 2018 at 4:29 am

      Hi Courtnie,
      The frosting one first. It sounds like there were frozen pieces remaining, so beat it really well, and allow it to stand at room temperature too.
      Box mix is always dry -ish! Why not make your own cake? Try this really classic mix ( it is easy! This is the recipes used in Crazy Cupcakes too, worth getting to know.
      You can make your own vanilla extract too, The recipe is here ( This even works with spent pods!
      Happy you are baking with us, now be brave, get to grips with a freshly made cake, it is worth it!
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Kiran on May 22, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I have 3 questions. I want to make this cake in an 8 oz mason jar ( may be 3 mason jars will fill with the amount of batter made for your cake). Do you think it will work?
    Also, can I sub whole milk with 2 % milk?
    What should be the baking temp and baking time ?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2018 at 3:27 am

      Hi Kiran,
      I think it would work. I cannot be sure about the baking time, this will need to be monitored carefully, but you will know, it is easy to see with the glassware.
      Baking temperature is the usual, 180C/350F.
      I do not know how this will fill the jar, but I think it should not be more than 1/2 full, to allow for rising, and to ensure a good bake, it will be an odd shape. You may need to run an experiment with this. Perhaps try 1/2 the recipe first time.
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Kiran on May 23, 2018 at 8:26 am

        Hi Gemma,
        Thank you so much for replying so promptly ! I’ll do a practice run and let you know how it turned out.

  11. honeyleecious on May 21, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Hi Gemma,
    what happens if i leave my mixed batter for about 30minutes before baking the cake?
    I have a small oven and will like to bake two-three layers of the cake without having to mix in separately.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2018 at 10:32 am


      it’s totally fine . They will be fine until you are ready to bake them.


  12. Jenny on May 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve made this cake and it’s delicious and perfectly done. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 20, 2018 at 7:53 am

      I’m thrilled to hear that. Thanks for trying out my recipe.


  13. Ahmed on May 19, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Hello Gemma,
    Can I use 4 egg yolks rather than 2 eggs to turn this cake into a yellow cake.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 20, 2018 at 7:50 am


      Unfortunately it is best that you follow the recipe and use 2 full eggs. Otherwise you won’t get the same results as me.


      • Paula Bonesteel on May 20, 2018 at 9:20 am

        I don’t see where the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. I see 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg at room temperature! Please advise asap as I’m getting ready to make this for my Mothers birthday (party)! Thank you!!

        • Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2018 at 7:36 am

          Hi there,
          here is the ingredient list:
          3 cups (425g/15oz) cake flour, sifted
          2 cups (453g/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/227ml) whole milk or full fat buttermilk
          2¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
          ¾ cup (170g, 6oz) unsalted butter, cold
          I apologize if I put you off, not sure how that happened,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Hector Savage on May 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm

            I just have a question about the flour and sugar quantities for the vanilla birthday cake recipe. How can 3 cups (flour) be 15oz. and 2 cups (sugar) be 16oz. ? 2cups weighing more than 3 cups ???? I am just checking because I don’t want to mess up this recipe.. Thanx in advance for your help.

          • Gemma Stafford on May 25, 2018 at 2:03 am

            Hi Hector,
            This is a great question, and one which confused people. I take a cup of flour as being 5ozs because I scoop the flour.
            Think Rocks and feathers, a cup of each would be a totally different weight. 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!
            I hope this is of help to you,
            Gemma 🙂

  14. Nafisa on May 15, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Hey Gemma I just love baking with ur recipes
    Dear Gemma,
    what if I need only single layer sponge cake? What will b the measurements?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2018 at 3:42 am

      Hi Nafisa,

      If you want just one layer divide the recipe by 3.


      • Nafisa on May 22, 2018 at 12:28 am

        Thank u Gemma!

  15. Shruthi Achut on May 15, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Greetings! I was wondering if I could use this kind of a sponge for a pineapple cake. Also, could I substitute the milk in the recipe with coconut milk ? Would that work out ? I would also like to ask you if I could whip up the egg whites to a medium peak and then fold it in at the end to get a fluffier sponge.
    Do let me know,
    Thanks and regards,

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Hi Shruthi,

      Yes you absolutely can use this for pineapple cake. And yes you can use coconut milk, that is a great idea.

      You could whip the egg whips, however if might work and it might not. I would just leave the eggs the same or try a different cake where the whites are whipped, like a genoise sponge.


      • Shruthi Achut on May 19, 2018 at 9:37 am

        Hi Gemma,
        I made 2/3rd of this recipe today. I used applesauce in place of egg and flaxseed gel in place of egg whites. But I don’t know why, the cake turned out very bitter. I have used 2½ teaspoons of baking powder for two cups of flour. Could you please throw some light on it?

        • Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2018 at 8:02 am

          Hi Shruthi,
          I really do not know why, but it is clearly the substitutions. That is a lot of change, and egg whites are more difficult to sub out.
          I do not think I can help with this one, it may be how the baking powder, applesauce and flax egg gel reacted together, I am sorry, I am not sure about it,
          Gemma 🙂

  16. KarlaH on May 10, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Hi gemma i’ve been wanting to make a Lemmon cake. If I leave the vanilla out can I replace it with Lemmon juice and Lemmon zest?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 12, 2018 at 5:01 am

      Hi there,
      Yes! Take a look also at the Lemon Meringue cake recipe here on the website. ( this will give you the idea!
      Lemon curd is a great addition to a lemon cake, and you can add lemon zest and juice to a simple frosting. (Powdered sugar, warmed juice and zest).
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 😉

  17. Hema Kotak on May 10, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Hi Gemma

    I want to use your recipe in an eggless recipe. How would I substitute the 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg? Is this the equivalent to 4 whole eggs do you think?

    Also I am making a 13inch square cake so how would I enlarge the recipe????

    • Gemma Stafford on May 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Hi there,
      This vanilla birthday cake is made in 6 inch pans. I think you will need 1 1/2 times the recipe for your pan, a 13×13 pan is a large cake! Depending on the depth of the pan twice the recipe will work even better, if you intend to slice it through. This is what I would do. The baking time will change too, and you will need to monitor this. The temperature will be good as it is.
      I hope this works out well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Meredith on May 8, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I want to make this cake for my son’s 1st birthday smash cake. I wanted to do 2 or 3 layers (4in). how would I reduce the recipe? would you recommend 2 or 3 layers?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Hi there,
      A four inch cake is difficult to stack up! I am not sure how this will work over three layers!
      The pans I use are 3 x 6inch pans, which are 108 sq inches in total.
      a 4 inch pan is 16 sq inches, x 3 = 48sq inches, so 1/2 the recipe will do very well for three pans.
      I am not sure about the baking time, you will need to monitor it, it will be less.
      You have to decide about the number of layers, it is a small cake,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Luisa on May 7, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Hi Gemma

    Yesterday I made your Birthday Cake recipe for my sisters Birthday. All I can say was WOW !!, my cake was moist supper fluffy and amazing. Thank you again for another great recipe!!

    thanks Luisa

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      Delighted to hear that, Luisa!!!

      Thank you for your lovely comment.

  20. Jessie on May 4, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Would this recipe work to make cupcakes as well? If so, what would you expect the baking time to be?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

      hi Jessie,
      Yes! this will work well for you. The crazy cupcakes here are also a great choice, an easy recipe too.
      Bake either one at 180C/350F for 15 – 20 minutes, but monitor this, when they are done they will be nicely browned and feel firm to the touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Kesia on May 3, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Hey Gemma,
    Can I bake this cake in two 8inch round tins?
    And will the bake time be the same?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 4, 2018 at 5:43 am

      Hi Keisa,
      This will be a little light for the two 8 inch pans, but not much.
      I use a simple math to work this out based on the sq inches of the pans.
      3 x 6 inch = 108sq inches
      2 x 8 inch = 128sq inches so you would need a little more batter to get the same result. However it will not be too flat, and it will be good. Baking time will be slightly different I think, but you will need to monitor it in your oven.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂
      Gemma 😉

      • Megan on May 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

        If you’re finding the area of round pans you have to do 3.14r^2 so the area for one 6 inch round pan would be 29 sq in.. multiplied by 3 pans, you would get 87 sq in. The area of an 8 in would be 50 sq in, multiplied by 2 pans, would be 100 sq in. Unless I’m missing something?

        • Gemma Stafford on May 5, 2018 at 11:59 am

          Hi Megan,
          As I like to say, I am a cook, not a scholar!
          8 x 8 is 64 sq inches, but I have not taken the volume into account, as I do not always know what it is. 6 x 6 = 36sq inches.
          This is a simple math, I am not sure what you are doing here, but it is interesting to me. do tell,
          Gemma 😉

          • Kendra on June 7, 2018 at 7:59 am

            Yes a square pan is 8×8 which is 64 square inches. An 8 inch round pan is calculated 4x4x3.14 which is 50 square inches as mentioned above. Calculating a round pan is half the diameter (6 inch pan would be 3x3x3.14) squared times pie.

          • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2018 at 4:47 am

            AH! Kendra, you are way ahead of me here. I am a cook, not a scholar, but I really am impressed with your math! That is not my forte.
            Thank you for this, it will benefit others.
            Gemma 🙂

  22. Nithuvineeth on April 26, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Hello Gemma,

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
    Maximum temperature setting on my oven is 250 degrees.
    Please advise how much time and what temperature should I bake this cake.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:09 pm


      You should bake it at 180oC .


  23. Moono on April 26, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Hello, hope you are well. Am not so conversate with ounces. When you say 15 oz is that the equivalent to 1 cup or thays the total flour am to use for this recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 27, 2018 at 5:32 am

      Hi there,
      I tell you 3 cups of flour (15ozs). I tend to scoop the flour so it may be a little more than you expect.
      I hope this helps.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Moono on April 27, 2018 at 5:38 am

        Oh thanks for the response. Starting out as A new baker. I actually measured out 15oz by 3 and found out the flour was too much when adding the liquid ingredients. So I redid the whole thing this morning and it came out great. Am yet to taste it and cream it. My take home from this was :don’t be afraid to try and learn from mistakes. Thanks a lot for your help. You are awesome.

  24. Dpinder on April 25, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Is there any reason I couldn’t or shouldn’t add sprinkles to the batter for a funfetti cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      no not at all. Good ahead and add sprinkles it there. It will not affect anything. 🙂


  25. Deanna on April 24, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Quick question, if I’m wanting to make this a funfetti cake (sprinkles in the batter), that shouldn’t impact the bake time or anything wonky, should it?? Planning on making this for my aon’s 2nd birthday.


    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Deanna,

      go ahead an add in sprinkles. it won’t effect the cooking time or anything.


  26. LINZU GEORGE on April 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Hi gemma,
    I absolutely love all your recipes..i am pretty new to baking too..i just have some questions regarding baking…
    First one-i only have a convection oven in my i will have to bake each cake seperately..will this time lapse affect the rising of the cake..

    Second one-i am planning to Divide the batter in a 6 inch tin and an 8 inch springform tin.will springform tin work fine ?..if yes, what should be the baking time??
    Please be kind and reply..
    I am planning to make this cake for my wedding anniversary..wish me luck

    Thanks in advance..

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:30 pm


      Really glad you like my recipes.

      It’s ok if you have to bake them one by one. That is fine.

      yes springform tin will work just fine.

      Good luck with your cake, keep me posted.

  27. Sunita on April 23, 2018 at 4:09 am

    Hi Gemma

    I made this cake for my sister’s birthday and it was amazing – thank you for the recipe! I now want to make it again. If I double the recipe and use 3 10 inch pans would that work? I’m looking to make a nice big cake. I would also like to cover the cake in swirl/rose butter icing, could you recommend how much I would need approx.?


    • Gemma Stafford on April 24, 2018 at 3:03 am

      Hi Sunita,
      I am really happy that oyu liked this recipe, thank you for letting me know.
      I think you will need to triple the recipe here for 3 layers, but tow layers would look really amazing too.
      The buttercream recipe here ( is a big recipe, and how you use it will affect the amount you will need.
      I suggest you make this batch, do a crumb layer, refrigerate to set it up, then look and see what you have left. I really cannot ay how much you will need, it is about how you use it. It is quick and easy to whip up a new batch as you need it, so start with this one, and evaluate after the crumb layer.
      I hope this works out well for you, will love to see it here too!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sunita on May 8, 2018 at 7:17 am

        Thank you Gemma! I have decided I will double it and bake it in two 10 inch tins which I hope will work. I will give it a practice run first though!

        • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm

          Great Sunita, a little practice will be good,
          Gemma 😉

  28. grace on April 21, 2018 at 4:25 am

    is the butter should stay crumbled in the mixer even after i add the milk and the eggs??? did i made it wrong????

    • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2018 at 6:22 am

      Hi Grace,

      It should only be really small crumbles. Almost resembling coarse breadcrumbs. I saw your message that it didn’t work. Sorry to hear that. How did it turn out?


  29. Cindy Espanol on April 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Hi, this is a 2 part question. I’m making your “ birthday cake” recipe for my twin nephews this weekend I was wondering if the cake recipe will be enough for a half sheet cake and will I need to layer it. I’m also making your buttercream frosting and was wondering how much should I make to cover this size cake? And I have sugar paper to put on it wondering if the buttercream will hold up to it…….. sorry 3 part

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hi Cindy,
      a half sheet baking pan is 13 x 18 inches. This is 234sq inches, and really a big pan, almost the full of your oven rack.
      The 3 layers of the Vanilla cake recipe is in 3 x 6 inch pans, these are 108sq inches
      This means that you will need to double this recipe for your pan.
      Do measure it, and be sure about the size, it is a great sized pan, but you will need to be sure for the sugar paper.
      You can layer this, but it will be awkward to cut at this size, and not necessary. I would do a crumb layer, a thin layer of frosting, then a second layer, setting it up in the fridge between each layer, then it will easily take the sugar paper.
      Use butter, this will set up best. If oyu have a little left over you can freeze it for another use, then whip it up again when you defrost it.
      I hope you have a lovely party, very precious time,
      Gemma 🙂

  30. Kristi on April 17, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Gemma, This recipe is amazing! Quick question though, how many cups of batter does this make? I never thought to measure it.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 18, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Hi Kristi,
      I do not know! I do not usually measure the batter like this. The weight will be about 36ozs, 1,000g or so, I wold be guessing the cups, at about 5 cups, but not sure about it!
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Raven623 on April 10, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What would you suggest if I wanted to substitute coconut oil for the butter? Will it bake the same with a 1:1 substitution?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Hi there,
      Really I do not know. This is a different fat to butter, so it will behave differently, but it should be good, and it should not be a fail!
      I think you can sub it 1:1, no reason not to.
      do let us know how it worked for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Raven623 on April 22, 2018 at 10:57 am

        Thanks for the reply! Sorry for the late response. The cake was delicious but for some reason it seemed to get overbaked. I set the timer for less than suggested and when it wasn’t done I reset the timer for a few more minutes, by which time it seemed a little too done. Also, after a few days the texture of the cake changed, and not in the best way; not sure if the coconut oil was the issue here.

        • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2018 at 2:48 am

          Hi there,
          Thank you for getting back to me. I am happy that this worked well for you.
          It is true that a bake can go from just right to over baked really quickly, so monitoring is important as it gets towards the end.
          All bakes are best consumed fresh, so a few days will always be best. If oyu need to keep it longer then freeze a portion when it is fresh. Baked goods defrost really quickly.
          Good to have you with us, glad the coconut oil worked well for you,
          Gemma 🙂

  32. Crissy on April 8, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Hi! I’m very excited to make this cake! I’m going to make a two layered cake using two 9 inch pans. I’m very new at baking. Do I double the recipe??

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 11:02 am

      Hi Crissy,
      No, if you think about it sq inches, simple math, you will find that 3x6inch pans will be 108sq inches. 2×9 inch pans will be 162sq inches. That means about 1/3 more mixture. I would add 1/2 more for ease, and use any extra to make cupcakes.
      If you double the recipe you can also make some cupcakes. Write out the recipe, and adjust each ingredient, this really helps to ensure it is right.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Crissy on April 8, 2018 at 11:55 am

        Thank you so much!!

      • Cliona Vaughan on April 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        Sorry to gatecrash… I just can’t work this part out…
        how long in the oven for 2 x 9” pans (with half the mixture extra?)
        Many thanks…
        You are so patient replying to us all
        This is a beautiful looking recipe

        • Cliona Vaughan on April 17, 2018 at 5:29 am

          I’m calculating and measuring up in grams
          In your recipe it says:

          “3 cups (450g/15oz) cake flour, sifted
          2 cups (480g/16oz) granulated sugar”

          Why does 3cups equal 450g and 2cups equal more at 480g?

          Many thanks

          • Cliona Vaughan on April 17, 2018 at 5:32 am

            Figured it out sorry 🙈
            1cup of feathers weighs different to a cup of rocks 👍🏼

          • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 7:31 am

            Haha! Cliona, that is a perfect explanation, which I never heard before, thank you, I think I will be using this again! Love it,
            Gemma 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 8:35 am

          Hi Cliona,
          Really when you adjust the recipe the temperature will not usually change, but the baking time will.
          I do a simple math here to figure out the different pans for a recipe, not my thing math, but it works, somehow!
          3 x 6 inch pans will be 108sq inches
          2 x 9 inch will be 162sq inches
          That means that the mixture will be a bit shy for these pans, you will need about 1/3 more.
          To adapt a recipe you must write it out, then change each ingredient, copy and paste if you like, and save the results for another time.
          This is your job, haha! it will be good though. Your baking time will be much the same, but you will need to monitor it, check it. When it is done it will feel slightly firm to the touch on top, use a cocktail stick/skewer to test too if you like.
          Thank you for your kind words, I am here to help, and you guys are really great!
          Gemma 🙂

          • Cliona Vaughan on April 17, 2018 at 8:55 am

            Thanks sooo much…
            I have all the calculations done now… off we go!! I love the way you explain it and because I’ve worked it out I feel like I’ve learned something (very simple!! Lol)
            Off to make my daughters 1st birthday cake 🎂 thank you

          • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 9:31 am

            That is great Cliona, I hope I got it right!
            Have a lovely party, a mark in the sand!
            Gemma 🙂

  33. Zerene on April 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Love your blog. I use your website so much that I wanted to tell you to make a mobile app for it. 😬

    About this cake, can i halve it? If so, how do I go about the eggs? Also, after cutting the ingredients into half (if that’s how it’s done) can I bake it in a single 6” pan and cut into half? I just need a small cake since it’s just for me and my husband.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Hi there,
      good that you are with us.
      Yes, that is how you do it, write it out, and halve each ingredient, as closely as possible.
      this recipe calls for 5 egg white + 1 whole egg. that is 6 egg whites plus one egg yolk. This is easy to dive as 3 ehh whites, and 1/2 egg yolk, but you do not need to be slavish about it.
      This recipe ( is a different matter. It is proportional, and a classic recipe.
      It is really easy to multiply this one, or reduce it. It works like this 1 portion of butter. 1 sugar. 1 flour and 1/2 eggs. So. 4oz butter. 4oz sugar. 4oz flour, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a teaspoon vanilla will give you a good 6 inch cake, with no waste. Take a look at this recipe, you can keep it in your head, it is an easy one to remember,
      Gemma 🙂

  34. Lili on April 4, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    Love this recipe, have made it over 10 times and comes out perfect every single time!

    I’m needing to make this into an 8 inch 3 layer cake, and I can’t bring myself to use any other recipe. Are you able to help me? Should I just double the batter?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 7, 2018 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Lili,

      I’m real delighted you like this recipe. It’s one of my favorite too.

      Hum, double the recipe will make a REALY big cake. If that is ok with you then go for it. I would maybe suggest 1 1/2 times.


      • Lili on April 8, 2018 at 9:13 pm

        Thanks! I 1.5x the recipe and it was perfect. Next question, I’m making another cake that’s black forest. I had a look on your website and couldn’t see one for a basic chocolate cake. Do you have one? Or would you recommend just adding cocoa powder (or melted chocolate) to this one? It needs to be fairly rich. Thanks for all your help!

  35. Joanne on April 3, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Can I make this recipe in a 9 x 13 inch slab/sheet pan? Should I increase ingredients?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 4, 2018 at 2:30 am

      Hi Joanne,
      The area of 3x 6×6 inch pans will be 108sq inches.
      The area of your pan 9×13 is 117 sq inches, so this batter will work very well in your pan.
      Gemma 🙂

  36. Jennifer on March 31, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Is this cake recipe a good one for when you have to cut shapes out of one of the cakes? I’m making a cat cake for my daughters birthday and will have to cut ears, a tail, and the head out of the second cake.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2018 at 6:07 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      All sponge type cakes tend to crumb when they are cut. Baking it in the shape would change this. The ‘crust’ will hold its’ shape a lot better.
      I would be tempted to bake the ears and tail with a pastry/cookie dough. Then they can be cut before baking, and will hold their structure too. As I am not sure of shape etc this may not be the best information, but the cake will crumb! Cupcakes may work too!
      Gemma 🙂

  37. Asmaa on March 30, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Cant wait to try this recipe! I have two questions. 1 : if I wanted to make it a chocolate cake how much of the flour would I use? And 2: if I dont have cake flour can i subsititute with regulae flour and how much corn starch should I use?

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2018 at 6:38 pm


      1,If you want to make chocolate cake I have loads on recipes for chocolate cakes on this website.
      2, If you can’t buy cake flour you can easily make it here :

      Hope this helps 🙂

  38. Holly on March 30, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Tried this cake today in 2 x 8 inch pans. I was a little worried about the consistency of the batter and some did fall out the bottom of the cake tins during baking. I probably baked the cakes for 38 minutes at 160 °C fan and they were perfect! Because of the long baking time, the crust of the cake was a little difficult to cut with a knife and I did slightly massacre one of the layers… I tasted the tops of the cake and they were delicious! Never used cake flour before but I will definitely use again! I used a chocolate icing and lots of Mini Eggs and bunnies (for an Easter party) instead of the vanilla buttercream. Fingers crossed it goes down well!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Hi holly,
      Thank you for letting me know about this. Well done you, I bet it was a big hit,
      Gemma 🙂

  39. Patel on March 29, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I like your recipes. I am a vegetarian and I got all the measurements for the egg replacer from the chart you have provided. In this recipe for vanilla sponge cake you are using 5 egg whites. What will be the proportion for the egg replace as applesauce.
    Your reply will be helpful to me.

    Thanking you


    • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2018 at 2:53 am

      Hi Patel,
      Really it is a different thing replacing whole egg and just egg white. A white cake borders on a meringue, and you will need to use aquafaba as the egg substitute for this.
      For this cake ( applesauce will give a great result. 4 tablespoons for every egg, or a touch less will do it for you. Yogurt/buttermilk will also be good in this recipe, and you can use a block of baking margarine too if you wish. I hope this helps you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Patel on March 30, 2018 at 2:12 pm

        Hi Gemma,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. Your suggestions are really helpful and I will definitely try with this substitutes.

        Thank You,


  40. Monique Findlayter on March 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Do you have a vegan recipe for this?


    • Gemma Stafford on March 29, 2018 at 3:12 am

      Hi there Monique,
      Really most recipes can be venagized, if that is a word!
      Change milks for nut milks/oat milk etc, change the egg to a substitute, and away you go.
      When you change a recipe you change the results, it will never be the same thing. However it will be good. (
      Fruit purees seem to work well in this type of recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  41. Julie on March 28, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Hi Gemma. I’m making a birthday cake with this recipe but I would like to make it a lemon cake if possible, how much ( using fresh lemons ) juice and peel would I need to add to do this? Thanks in advance from a new hobby baker!

  42. Ritaeveritt on March 28, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Sorry unable to print the recipe off, it just comes out blank. Vanilla Birthday Cake

    • Gemma Stafford on March 28, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Hi there,
      I have no idea why this happens for some people, I will see if Kevin has a solution and email you,
      Gemma 🙂

  43. Renee on March 27, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Hi Gemma. Couple of questions: first, your recipe calls for 6 eggs total (including whites). I’d like to make a yellow cake so should I use 3 whole eggs and 3 egg whites? Second: I’ve seen comments about melted butter & cold butter but I’m a bit confused because the recipe for the cake batter calls for cold butter. What would you be using melted butter for? The buttercream frosting possibly? I’m going to make this cake for my husbands birthday tomorrow so I look forward to your reply. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 29, 2018 at 4:04 am

      Hi Renee,
      I guess I am late getting to this question, I am sorry.
      For a really good yellow cake I would use this recipe: ( This is an easy recipe, it is proportional, and for an 8 inch cake it will be this: 8ozs butter, 8ozs sugar. 8 ozs flour, 4 eggs, a little milk, and vanilla. This recipe can be easily adjusted up or down, and the proportions will be the same, so, 10,10,10,5, 6,6,6,3 etc. You can keep this one in your head!
      Happy birthday to your husband,
      Gemma 🙂

  44. Agalya Pavalan on March 26, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Hi Gemma, I just have a question. I need a cake for a friend’s birthday on Thursday so if I bake and decorate it on Tuesday and put it in the fridge, will the cake go hard or anything and will the icing set? When should I take it out of the fridge (if it works) if I need to take it with me to school on Thursday morning.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2018 at 9:16 pm


      So make it late on Tuesday and then on Thursday take it out and let it sit at room the for 2-3 hours. This will soften it will. Cake is supposed to be eaten at room temp. 🙂


  45. Dolly on March 20, 2018 at 9:22 am

    What are the adjustment I need to make if I’m gonna use a 10” x3” inch round pan…. thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on March 21, 2018 at 5:13 am

      Hi Dolly,
      10 x 10 inch pan is 100 sq inches. The Vanilla Birthday cake is baked in 3 x 6 inch pans. This is a total of 108sq inches.This is using very basic math, as I am not a scholar!
      What I am trying to say is that you will get a 10 x 2inch or so cake from this batter. Is that what you wanted?
      If you add 50% more batter you should get a 3inch deep cake, perhaps a little more batter than you need, but you can make a cupcake or two!
      I think I cannot be too specific, but it will work well for you. Do leave space in the pan for the rise. Remember if you make adjustments to adjust every element.
      Hope this helps you,
      Gemma 🙂

  46. Nia on March 20, 2018 at 2:42 am


    I am hoping to make this cake today as a birthday surprise but only have 3 8inch pans. Do you think I will need to alter the measurements from your recipe and oven time or will it work out the same? I’m terrible at conversions!

    Many thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 21, 2018 at 5:28 am

      Hi Nia,
      YES! It will be best to make this as a two layer cake, using this recipe.
      If you wish to make a third layer you will need 1/2 the recipe again, so 1 1/2 times the recipe.
      Good luck with this, I hope you enjoy this recipe,
      Gemma 😉

      • Jenny on April 4, 2018 at 1:53 am

        Hi Gemma, thank you for this recipe!
        Do you think the texture would change much if I added some strawberry flavoring to this recipe ? Thanks,
        J (:

        • Gemma Stafford on April 4, 2018 at 1:59 am

          Hi Jenny,
          Strawberry flavor is difficult to add to a cake, unless you use an artificial one, and that is not great. It will be best to use a fruit coulis/puree in the frosting, and fresh fruit to decorate. Strawberry is a better flavor when raw. ( Try this one too, this is really delicious when you can get the right ingredients.
          Gemma 🙂

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