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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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4.24 from 388 votes
Vanilla Birthday Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Learn how to make my classic Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream frosting and I'll show you how to decorate it simply and impressively!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 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
  • 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 up to 3 days. Before serving let it at room temperature for 30 minute and then enjoy!
Recipe Notes

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 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Kayleigh on June 15, 2019 at 3:39 am

    Hello, I would like to use my 2 deep 8” cake tins for this recipe could you recommend how to adjust the ingredient amounts and length of time for baking to suit?

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 16, 2019 at 6:03 am

      Hi Kayleigh,

      Yes absolutely you can use 2 (8 inch) pans. They will take around maybe 5-8 minutes less to cook. It’s a good idea to check after 30 minutes 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  2. Bessie on June 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Can I use mango flavor instead of vanilla extract ?, thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on June 15, 2019 at 2:15 am

      Hi Bessie,
      this depends on what you mean by ‘flavor’.
      If you have a mango extract then, of course, you can use it. Mango as fruit is just gorgeous, but it does not easily make an extract. Some manufacturers create this flavor artificially, see if you can get a natural one, that will be best.
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Safa on June 9, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Gemma may I bake this cake and omit the icing part and leave it plain? Thank you!

  4. Tony on June 9, 2019 at 2:14 am

    this was a lovely moist cake I loved it thank you so much!
    could I make this in a microwave?

    thanks so much

    Tony:D

  5. Loveline Nwankwo on June 8, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    1. Can I use all purpose flour is difficult to find cake flour in my are
    2 can I get the same measurement with kitchen scale.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2019 at 3:14 am

      Hi there,
      yes, that will be fine, just do not overwork it!
      Check the pack, the protein content indicated is the gluten level, that is what changes with different flour types as here:
      All-purpose flour is white wheat flour, which is also described as plain flour. It has no additions, such as raising agents. It has a gluten content of between 9% -11.5% though it can be higher. % Gluten is described as protein on flour packs. If you have just one flour in your kitchen have this one. You can lower the gluten by removing some of the flour from the recipe and adding cornstarch/cornflour in its place.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂
      Bread Flour/Strong Flour is a high gluten flour which contains about 13% protein, and it is, of course, best for bread.
      Pastry Flour/cream Flour is finer, lower gluten (9 – 10%) kind of flour that is best suited for sweet baked goods like cakes and cookies. It has a very soft texture.
      Cake Flour is even finer and lower in gluten than pastry flour (7.5 – 9%) It might be good for baked goods that need an especially soft and fluffy texture and do not need to withstand a long proofing process.

  6. Tony on June 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    really nice soft moist cake lovely butter cream to it makes the texture rely nice with the sprinkles

    • Gemma Stafford on June 10, 2019 at 3:05 am

      Hi Tony,
      Yea! I am delighted with this lovely review, many thanks,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Roneth Rivera on June 8, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Hi gemma! My oven doesn’t work anymore. I’m wondering if I can make this on a steamer instead? I’ve seen a lot of videos on YouTube baking cake on a steamer. 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2019 at 7:23 am

      Hi Roneth,
      Yes, but you must know what you are doing. This is my version of a stovetop cake, take a look at this one, it will help you to work out how long to cook it, etc. It depends on the pan you use too,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Jen on June 6, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I’ve searched far and wide for a 6″ cake recipe and I’m looking forward to trying this one out! A couple questions:

    1) Can I use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? If so, is the conversion 1:1?
    2) If I only want to make 2 layers, how much do I subtract from each ingredient?

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Hi Jen,
      good, I am happy that you are here with us.
      Reducing this recipe is math, you need to write the recipe out, then divide each ingredient by 3. You will need 2/3 of this batter to make a two-tier cake.
      Take a look at the protein content on the ingredient panel on the pack of flour. If it is 10% protein then you can just carry on. 1:1.
      All-purpose flour is white wheat flour, which is also described as plain flour. It has no additions, such as raising agents. It has a gluten content of between 9% -11.5% though it can be higher. % Gluten is described as protein on flour packs. If you have just one flour in your kitchen have this one. You can lower the gluten by removing some of the flour from the recipe and adding cornstarch/cornflour in its place.
      Bread Flour/Strong Flour is a high gluten flour which contains about 13% protein, and it is, of course, best for bread.
      Pastry Flour/cream Flour is finer, lower gluten (9 – 10%) kind of flour that is best suited for sweet baked goods like cakes and cookies. It has a very soft texture.
      Cake Flour is even finer and lower in gluten than pastry flour (7.5 – 9%) It might be good for baked goods that need an especially soft and fluffy texture and do not need to withstand a long proofing process.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. ghaile on June 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Gemma, i would like to make a bigger batch do i just double evrything? and what cake pan size did you used?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Hi there,
      I use 3 x 6 inch pans. Can you tell me what you intend to use, then I can help you work it out,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. uhhyeah0ok on June 3, 2019 at 7:40 am

    I want to make a bunch of batter for later use. Can I freeze it (and freeze your chocolate cake batter as well)?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 9:16 am

      Hi there,
      I wish it were that simple! The frozen batter does not do so well for baking, I am sorry. There are a few reasons for this, the eggs for a start, but more crucially the raising agents which may be spent by the time you are making the cake.
      Different though for cookies, which is generally a dry batter/dough, with little liquids and high fats, and no raising agent.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Melissa on June 1, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I’ve made this cake many times as huge sheet cakes, now i want to try them as cupcakes can you tell me whether it’s the same baking time for cupcakes as well please.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 3, 2019 at 5:01 am

      Hi Melissa,
      Yes, you can use this batter in cupcakes. The baking time will be about 15 – 20 minutes at 180c/350f, depending on the size. muffin size may take a little longer. When baked they will be well risen, a little golden and feel slightly firm to the touch. They will be fragrant too! you will know,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Ivy on May 31, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Hi can I use low fat milk? Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Ivy,

      Yes you absolutely can use low fat milk.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  13. Sups on May 26, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Hi Gemma.
    1) Can I use this recipe to make a rainbow cake by dividing the batter and adding colours?
    2) Also, can I use 1.5x recipe to make a bigger cake, to accommodate all colours?
    3) I have to make eggless rainbow cake. Please suggest tried and tested substitute for egg here.
    Thank you 😊

    • Gemma Stafford on May 29, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Hi,

      1,Yes you can use this to make a rainbow can
      2, Yes you can 1.5 x the recipe
      3, apple sauce is a good egg sub

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. Chichi DelaCruz on May 23, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    You should.change the title to the Easiest vanilla cake ever! Dry + wet= bake! Love it! Thank you Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 26, 2019 at 7:29 am

      Aw that’s great! I’m delighted to hear that.

      Thanks for trying it out :),
      Best,
      Gemma.

  15. Crystal on May 19, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Could you tell me what I need to do to use maple syrup instead of sugar for the cake? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Crystal,

      Check out my sugar sub chart. That will help you a lot.

      Best,
      Gemma.

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