Basic Vanilla Cake

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This made from scratch Basic Vanilla Cake recipe is one that must be added to your repertoire. It’s light, tender, and full of vanilla flavor. The buttery, moist texture makes it a great cake for all occasions.

A slice of two layer basic vanilla cake on a pewter plate.

Vanilla Cake Recipe

I’ve been on the hunt for a great vanilla cake recipe that I can use over and over again. I tried many and never found one that was wonderful enough to claim a spot on my blog until now.

If you like this version, you may also want to try my moist white cake that uses only egg whites instead of whole eggs. Or my mug cake version for a single serving!

This is the same recipe I used in my “how to make the perfect cake” post. Make sure you follow all the tips I give you in that post to ensure great results every time.

This easy vanilla cake recipe uses the 1-2-3-4 method which is from the 19th century. It’s an easy method to remember the ratio of ingredients – 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs.

I’ve adjusted these quantities slightly to achieve the texture I was looking for. I used half a cup less sugar and a fourth cup less flour. This gave me a lighter cake that isn’t overly sweet.

The recipe starts by creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the eggs. Once that is mixed together well, the flour is added followed by the milk.

The process is easy to remember which makes this simple vanilla cake easy to make.

Pair this vanilla cake with a basic vanilla buttercream frosting for a simply perfect dessert. I’m certain you are going to agree that this is the best vanilla cake recipe!

Homemade homemade vanilla cake on a white cake stand.

Make ahead tips for homemade vanilla cake

This easy vanilla cake recipe can be made ahead! Wrap baked and cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. Assemble and frost the cake within 2 days.

Once the cake has been assembled, cover it and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving.

The frosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature just before serving.

Create your own perfect cake

  • Use this recipe as a base for your own favorite cake recipes from scratch.
  • Turn it into a birthday cake.
  • Sandwich the layers with pineapple curd in between or slather the entire cake with cookie butter frosting.
  • Swap the vanilla extract for almond or any other fun flavor.
  • Fold fresh berries into the batter before baking for a delicious fruity cake.
  • The possibilities are endless!!

Overhead view of a slice of vanilla cake on a pewter plate.

The great thing about this vanilla cake is it can be made in two 9-inch pans, three 8-inch pans, or two 12-cup muffin pans.

It’s versatile and pairs wonderfully with a wide range of fillings and frostings. The batter can even be enhanced with other extract flavors, like almond!

Now you should have a good understanding of how to make a vanilla cake from scratch. Whip up this cake the next time you have a craving and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

How to make vanilla cake FAQ’s

Can I bake this cake in 3 8-inch round pans instead of 2 9-inch pans?

Yes, you certainly can. The recipe yields enough batter to fill 2 9-inch pans, 3 8-inch pans, or 24 muffin cups. The bake time will vary slightly so start checking the cakes about 5-7 minutes sooner than the time listed in the recipe.

Can I double or triple the cake recipe?

That should work just fine as long as you are using weight measurements. Click on the “Metric” tab directly under the ingredients label in the recipe. This will show you the weight measurements.

How do I adjust the recipe for it to work at high elevation?

I have zero experience baking at high altitudes so I don’t feel comfortable giving advice for this. However, a reader who lives 5,000 feet above sea level made the following changes:

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • All the other ingredients listed in the recipe stayed at the same amounts.
  • Baked in 2 8-inch round cake pans at 375°F for 25 minutes.

She said the cake was delicious and has already been requested to be made again.

My cake came out a bit on the dry side, any suggestions?

First, make sure you’ve followed all my tips for how to make the perfect cake. Second, keep a close eye on it during baking. Check it with a wooden toothpick.

  • If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, it needs more baking time.
  • If the toothpick comes out with a few dry crumbs, it is perfectly baked and needs to be removed from the oven.
  • If the toothpick comes out with no dry crumbs at all (a completely clean toothpick), it has baked too long and will result in a dry cake.

Start checking the cake about 5-7 minutes before the suggested bake time.

Three pewter plates with a slice of basic vanilla cake on each one.

Helpful Tools

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This made from scratch Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe is light, tender, and full of vanilla flavor.

Basic Vanilla Cake

This made from scratch Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe is one that must be added to your repertoire. It’s light, tender, and full of vanilla flavor. The buttery, moist texture makes it a great cake for all occasions.
4.9 from 74 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 360
Author: Jen Sobjack


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 and 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, buttermilk can also be used


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add it to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. 
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Take care to not over-bake. Check the cake at 15 minutes to see how it is doing and judge the timing from there.
  • Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Fill and frost the cake with your favorite frosting.

Make ahead tip

  • Wrap baked and cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. Assemble and frost the cake within 2 days.
  • Or layers can be triple wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Leave wrapped and set on the counter to thaw slightly before use.
  • Once the cake has been assembled, cover it and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving.
  • The frosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature just before serving.


1. Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. Cold eggs will be difficult to thoroughly mix in and will cause the cake to be dense.
2. Measure the flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup then level the cup with the back of a knife. Or use the weight measurement listed in the ingredients under the "metric" tab.
3. If you don't have cake flour, you can make Homemade Cake Flour.
4. Start checking the cake 5-7 minutes sooner than the bake time listed.
  • If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, it needs more baking time.
  • If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, it’s perfectly baked and needs to be removed from the oven.
  • If the toothpick comes out completely clean, I’m sorry to say, you’ve over baked the cake and it will be dry.
Baking Variations:
Adapted from Bigger Bolder Baking.


Calories: 360kcal

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

Tried this recipe? Share it on Instagram!Mention @introvertbaker or tag #bakedbyanintrovert!

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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  • Stapleninja91

    I used your recipe for a friend’s wedding cake and it was a hit! I like this recipe but I have a few questions:
    1) I’m wondering if you have tried this recipe with cocoa powder for a chocolate cake?
    2) would 2% milk work?
    3) have you tried dry spices in this? I’m thinking of making a spice cake but don’t know if the formula would get screwed up or be extra dry.

  • Alaina

    Halved this recipe, used 2% milk instead of whole milk, and made 10 jumbo cupcakes instead of a cake. Turned out great, will definitely make again.

  • Lisa

    This cake is so good! It isn’t too sweet which I love (since I cover it in buttercream of course) and is a bit dense but that may be because I over baked it a little bit, I’m making this again for a birthday next week so I’ll get it out of the oven a bit quicker! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sophie

    This recipe is AMAZING!! It is my now go to recipe to make with vanilla cakes, so light and flavorsome! Easy recipe and have had no problems at all with it 😊

  • Janice

    Is the batter supposed to be thick? I noticed that the batter wasn’t runny enough to pour, so I spooned it into the cake pans.

    • Jen Sobjack

      There’s a video in the above the recipe that shows how the batter should look. It’s thick but you can still pour it. I like to spoon it with an ice cream scoop in order to divide the batter evenly between my baking pans.

  • Sam

    Hi there!

    I’ve made this twice now- the first time was awesome, but this time around it looks really flat. I don’t remember how high it rose last time- trying to figure out whether to remake it or not!

    How tall does your cake typically end up?

    P.S. I added a little bit of almond extract to add a little dimension. Less than 1/8 tsp. You know its there, but can’t quite pinpoint it.

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Sam! This cake should bake up beautifully tall just like the pictures and video shows. First off, double check that your baking powder is still active. It does lose it’s effectiveness over time and may need to be replaced. Place 1 teaspoon baking powder in a cup and add 1/3 cup hot tap water. If it bubbles, it’s good to use. If it doesn’t bubble, it’s time to replace it.

      Also, the type of pan you are using can have an effect on how tall it rises. I like to use aluminum pans because they allow the cake to “cling” to the sides and rise taller than it would in a nonstick pan.

      Finally, make sure you are using room temperature ingredients and cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. You want to incorporate a ton of air into the butter and sugar.

      • Sam

        Thank you so much for the response!!

        I think you are on to something with regard to the pan! The middle of the cake is domed, so that is consistent with your theory.

        I will double check my baking powder too, although I think it is relatively new.

        I really appreciate you getting back to me! I can’t wait to bake another with a new pan!

  • Debra

    This cake came out light, moist, and so delicious! I used self-raising flour in place of cake flour, baking powder and salt and also whipped the butter and sugar for 6 minutes with my hand mixer. I made 2 -6 inch and 1-9 layers. Thank you Jen for a perfect recipe!

  • Jennifer Duchemin

    So I just made this cake tonight and it was so bitter, it couldn’t be eaten. It was super soft and fluffy but so disgusting tasting. Any idea why that would happen? The amount of baking powder seems really high to me. Has anyone else had a problem? It’s not midnight and I’m rushing to try to make a new cake 🙁

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry you didn’t like the cake. Typically the bitter/off taste comes from using baking powder that contains aluminum. Rumford is a great brand because it’s aluminum free. The rule of thumb for using baking powder is 1 teaspoon per cup of flour. 3 teaspoons is equal to 1 tablespoon so this recipe uses just a smidge more than the rule of thumb.

    • Jen Sobjack

      Using oil in place of butter can be tricky. You’d need less oil than butter and the amount also varies depending on the type of oil. I haven’t made this cake with oil so I can’t advise on how to substitute.

  • Lulu

    Very easy, tastes great, and comes together quickly. However, this cannot be divided into 3 8 inch pans. I had tiny tiny layers. I’ll stick to 2 next time!

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Lulu! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. And it certainly will work with three 8-inch pans. It’s the same recipe I used for my Eggnog Cake and made three beautifully tall layers with it. Make sure you’re using aluminum pans and not nonstick pans. Cakes don’t rise as much in those nonstick pans.

  • Jamie

    Question. I live in the USA. I have been weighing my ingredients, because I know it makes a difference, but what do I do about wet ingredients? It say 240 milliliters of milk, but that comes out to just a little over 8 ozs or a little over cup of milk. What do I do? Just stick with the one cup, or add a teaspoon more? Thanks!

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Jamie! I’m in the US also and I weigh all my dry ingredients then use a standard liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients like milk. But you can do either 8oz or 240ml. The scant difference will not ruin the recipe.

  • Meatsauce

    Great info. Im going to use a 14″ round pan, I didn’t see it on the pan chart. How do I go about accounting the amount of ingredients to be used for that size?

  • Debi

    My cake seemed “moist” lol. Not sure how a made drom scratch cake should look. Could you put a picture maybe of top of yours close up?
    Also mine seems like it did not rise well. I followed everything exactly. I do also wish you could give more direction on how lon to beat at end. You say “very well’. Is that on high? How long?

    Tha ks!!!!

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Debi! There’s a video in the post that shows what the top of the cakes should look like after baking. As far as making sure the cake is moist, there are tips in the post and recipe notes on how to check for doneness using a toothpick. If your cake didn’t rise, I’d check to make sure the baking powder is still good as it can lose its effectiveness over time. And when you are mixing the ingredients together, mix just until no streaks of dry flour remain visible.

  • Ashley Martinez

    I followed the recipe to a T and the batter came out really liquids. I followed the measurements exactly how you posted a and yet they came out way too liquids and not cake batter like at all. They are currently baking in the oven now.

    • Jen Sobjack

      There’s a video in the post that shows how the batter should look and it definitely shouldn’t be super liquidy. I’m really not sure what to tell you since you said you used the exact ingredient amounts listed in the recipe.

  • Christine

    Tried this recipe and was delicious!! I tested it to use for my son’s up coming birthday party. It is soooo much better than box cake mix. I will be using this recipe from now on. Also, I’m using an 11×15 cake pan, any ideas if I should double or triple this recipe? Thank you!!

  • Raniya

    Hi! I have a borthday party to do last minute and I only have time to chill the cake for 1 hour, before decorating. Is this okay or will the cake still crumble?

  • Kathy

    Made this cake for my grandaughter’s 15 Th Birthday(large family) , cooked in large spring tin,will certainly make again!!
    Perfect for large number ,perfect texture,
    I used self raising flour/ not plain flour or baking powder. 👍

  • Joetta Duarte

    This is truly the best vanilla cake recipe I’ve tried. I live at a very high altitude (over 7,000 ft) and have tried several high altitude recipes with mediocre results. This cake not only has incredible flavor, but it also holds up firm enough for torting and cake decorating. Thank you for sharing the high altitude adjustments. Cheers!

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’m sorry you were unhappy with the results of the cake. This cake bakes fast in some ovens and overbaking will cause the cake to be dry. That is why I always tell people to start checking much sooner than the time listed in the recipe.

  • Taylor W.

    Hello, I’m looking for a vanilla cake to marble with my chocolate cake recipe. Can this recipe be made with sour cream instead of milk or buttermilk?

  • Eliza

    Hey Jen! I was wondering, is this recipe suitable for 6 7 inch cakes? I’m planning to make a rainbow cake for my little sister (She’s turning 10).

  • Theresa

    I love how simple the recipe is I love to cook. One question you said use metric measuring system. I can’t use my regular measuring cups. Please advise. Thank you

  • Jorge

    Thank you….I made this recipe last night and the outcome was great delicious spongy and perfect …I felt like a pro…

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi there! Did you start with room temperature ingredients? It’s important to bring the butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature. Otherwise, they won’t mix properly and will appear curdled. Also, sift the flour to remove clumps before adding to the batter will help it incorporate better.

  • Happy caker

    This recipe is quite delicious and turned out perfectly! I only made one change, which was using heavy whipping cream instead of whole milk due to needing to use it up. Can you say moist, fluffy and buttery? Yes, that’s exactly what I said when I bit into this (cake) cupcake. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Terry

    I made this cake with the vanilla buttercream icing for my regular customers’ Birthday. It was my first attempt at making a B’day cake and I have to thank you, It turned out awesome!!!! They loved it! Not only that it was someone’s B’day at the table next to theirs so they sent him over a piece. He came up and personally thanked me…not only that he told me I was in the wrong business that I should be a baker (lol.) This will be my go to vanilla B’day cake recipe from here on out. Big hug. Thank you again.

  • Amy M

    This is a great recipe! The best vanilla cake I’ve made to date. I’ve been searching for an outstanding vanilla cake for so damn long and I’m happy to say that my search is over! I did substitute canola oil in place of half the butter and it turned out amazing! My family loves the texture of box cakes and using half oil/half butter definitely delivered, but I think I’ll try this recipe as written next time so that I can truly compare each version. [Also just a side note that metric is spelled incorrectly near the ingredient list, but I actually prefer your spelling! : D] Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe, it is now my go to!

  • Kayla

    Can you add food coloring to this cake recipe? How about your Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting? I’m wanting to color the cake layers in an ombre effect using blue food coloring, and planning on adding blue to the icing as well.
    Also, how well does this cake hold up to being carved?
    I’m planning on making several layers and turning it into a doll cake by carving the sides to a more cone-like shape.

    • Jen Sobjack

      You can add gel food coloring to any cake or frosting recipe. I’ve actually never carved a cake before but I imagine this one would be okay to do since the crumb is very tight.

  • Mary Frangie

    Hello, thanks for your wonderful blog and the additional education you include, I truly appreciate your mastery! I’m a brand new baker and made this cake as cupcakes exactly as written as well as followed all your “how to” tips. It tasted lovely but I found the texture a little dense and a little dry. I baked for about 14 minutes and took them out of the oven when the toothpick still had a little wetness so I wouldn’t over bake them. Perhaps they came out as they were supposed to and I just prefer a lighter, more airy texture. Is there a way to make this recipe lighter or more airy? Am I looking for a different type of cake? I also made your caramel sauce, caramel buttercream and basic buttercream to go with the cupcakes and they all came out deliciously and very well (I had to make the caramel sauce twice because the first time the water and sugar mixture never carmalized, instead it turned back into granular sugar! – I turned the temp down the second time and it worked perfectly). Thank you again for your awesome blog!

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like the texture of the cupcakes. You can try using buttermilk instead of whole milk for more reaction with the baking powder. Also, I find that all-purpose flour won’t give you such a tight crumb like cake flour does, so that could be a substitute worth making for cupcakes. I do have a great vanilla cupcake recipe on the blog if you’d prefer to give that one a try.

      • Mary Frangie

        Thanks for the reply Jen! It never occurred to me that a cupcake recipe would be different from a cake recipe, duh, but then again I’m a novice. I will try the vanilla cupcake recipe and good to know that cake flour will yield a tighter crumb than all-purpose flour. I noticed you don’t have a recipe for caramel cream cheese frosting. I wonder if caramel and cream cheese don’t work well together or if I can follow your lemon cream cheese frosting and substitute with your caramel sauce? Hmm.. 🤔
        Thanks again!

  • Kim

    Would this recipe work for a lamb cake? I have a pan that is not stand up 3d. How long would I cook that for? And also what would the cook time be for a 9×13 pan?
    Thank you

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Kim! I’ve never used a lamb mold so I have no idea how long you would need to bake the cake. But, for a 9×13-inch pan, you’d bake it for approximately 45-50 minutes. This is listed in the notes section of the recipe.

  • Sandi Carroll

    I followed the directions to the letter, and my cake has an odd aftertaste…almost metallic, even though I used pan wrappers. What could I have done wrong?

    • Jen Sobjack

      I don’t think it’s anything you did wrong but more likely to be the baking powder you used. Try using Rumford brand baking powder. It’s aluminum free and shouldn’t leave an odd aftertaste.

  • Angela

    Hi. Great recipe. I made it once with all purpose flour and it turned out too dense for my liking. I tried it a second time with cake flour as you recommended and it turned out perfect. It’s not overly sweet either, which I like.

  • Michale


    I have been looking for a cake to bake for Easter. However, I have not yet found a perfect vanilla cake recipe, and I am thinking about trying this one. For some reason, my vanilla cakes never have a good vanilla flavor, though, like the ones that can be bought from most bakeries do. Instead, they always end up tasting like plain butter and sugar. Do you have any suggestions for me, and would you say this cake has a good vanilla flavor without being too buttery or sugary? Thank you so much!

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Michale! What type of vanilla are you using in your cakes? I’ve found that it’s best to use a high-quality pure vanilla in order to get the best flavor. I’m partial to Nielsen-Massey and Rodelle vanillas. They tend to yield the best results.

      • Michale

        I often vary in the types of vanilla that I use, but I do know that I never use imitation vanilla. Currently, I have a bottle of Great Value’s pure vanilla extract. It works very well in all of my other recipes, but I cannot remember if I have ever used this brand for a vanilla cake before. I know that I did once use a very high-quality extract for a vanilla cake, and it just did not work. If this one does work, then I will most likely stick with it 🙂 Thank you for your help and I cannot wait to try this recipe out!

  • Amanda

    I tried this cake for the first time a few days ago, and while the flavor was great, it came out a little dry and very dense. I’m willing to try again, so I’m trying to figure out what went wrong. I think the dryness was my fault for overcooking. But my batter was VERY thick and fluffy, and I had to spread it into the pan. It filled only two 8″ round pans with room to spare. Is the batter supposed to be that thick? Thank you!

    • Jen Sobjack

      It definitely shouldn’t be super thick. This could be a result of using too much flour. Make sure you are lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it off with the back of a knife when measuring the flour. It’s even better to weigh the flour using a scale. Also sifting the flour before adding it to the batter will help keep the cake light.

  • Jessica

    I never comment on blogs, but thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve never baked anything from scratch, but wanted to for my husband’s birthday this year. This, paired with your vanilla buttercream, was wonderful. I can’t wait to make it again!

  • Victoria

    I was wondering how many cups of batter this makes. I am making a 2 layer 9 inch cake and a 3 layer 6 inch cake. I was trying to figure out if I should 2x, 1.5x, or 2.5x the recipe.

    • Jen Sobjack

      I haven’t measured the batter in cups but one recipe will fit 2 9-inch round pans or 3 8-inch round pans. 3 8-inch pans hold 18 cups of batter and the 3 6-inch pans you want to use only hold 12 cups of batter.

  • Kaitlin G.

    I used this recipe for my daughter’s birthday and made 2 half sheet size cakes (doubled the recipe) and then layered them. It worked great and tasted amazing! This will be my go-to from now on!

  • Brittany Wirth

    I’m very excited to use the recipe given all the good comments/reviews! I’m making a 2 tier cake. One will be two 10” cakes and the other will be two 8” cakes. Will doubling this recipe be enough?

  • leslie

    I baked this cake and it’s definitely made its way onto my top 3 recipes!! I used a browned butter glaze instead of the buttercream. Everything about it was perfect, thank you!

  • colleen

    I’m looking forward to making this for my Mom’s 78th birthday tomorrow. A stupid question for you…if I want to double the recipe why do you suggest using the measurements in grams instead of just doubling it in cups?

    Thanks for your help!

  • Saralane

    So I made this recipe for two round 9” and it came out delightful! I have them in the freezer and wanted to see if you had a recommendation for measurements to add one additional 9” and 3 6” because I plan to do a two tier cake. I was going to split half in the 9” but I am not sure the other half will equally fill 3 6” pans? Thank you so much!

  • Amanda

    I am making a 3d egg shaped cake. I’m using the silicone Easter pans, turning them into a Hatchimal. It’ll stand up on its end. Will this cake stand up well or is it too light and fluffy?

  • Joan

    I made this cake for my sons birthday this last weekend. I only added 1 cup of sugar because I find things too sweet, and it turned out pretty good. The texture is a little like sponge cake, but the flavor is really good. My boys really like it. I might have baked it a tad too long. I used 10 inch baking pans and the cake is flatter than the picture. I was also at the end of the baking powder so maybe it was played out. Next time I’ll for sure use 9 inch pans. I loved reading all of the questions and comments. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Kandice

    I’m currently baking the cake as I’m typing this… I accidentally put all of the batter into one 9-inch pan and didn’t realize the recipe stated to use two until it was already in the oven for a couple minutes. Any suggestions on how to make this work time and temp wise??

    • Jen Sobjack

      Unfortunately, the batter may overflow out of the pan during baking. However, if you get lucky and this doesn’t’ happen, you may need to add a few minutes to the bake time. I would just keep an eye on it and check for doneness by using the toothpick test.

  • Christina

    I’m making this today – using part in a 6” for a smash cake and the remainder to make cupcakes. The cupcakes won’t be made until Sunday. Can I just refrigerate it tonight and tomorrow for use Sunday? Should I freeze it? Will it hold up well?

    • Jen Sobjack

      I don’t recommend storing cake batter for later use. The cakes/cupcakes may not rise or bake the same way. My suggestion is to bake all the cakes/cupcakes today. Wrap the layers tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until Sunday. Then continue with assembling and frosting them before serving. All the make-ahead instructions are included in the recipe.

      • Christina DeVault

        Yes, thank you!

        I will just do half batch tonight and half batch Sunday. Every time I make ahead cupcakes the liners come off, so I’m trying to avoid that!

  • Loretta Meyer

    I’m eager to try this recipe. Love white cake! Soon as my oven is fixed I’m going to make it. Really like your blog.

  • Isabelle

    I am currently 16 years old and I have always admired my mothers baking abilities, however I have never really had a drive to bake. Today, as I found myself quite bored, I tried this recipe on a whim. I am pleased to say that my very first cake turned out amazing…I’m honestly shocked! I never thought I would be able to bake anything edible, haha! Thanks so much for an amazing recipe that has now inspired me and many others to begin, and continue baking!

  • CD

    Thank you! Needed a single layer yellow cake last minute. Halved your recipe, added chocolate chips to the batter. Kiddo wants it topped with strawberry frosting. His taste is questionable. Lol.

  • Anna

    I have used the recipe to the point and followed all the tips and my cake turned out tasting great but very, very dense like pound cake. I tried so many vanilla cake recipes online that people swear by and they all turn out very dense. What am I doing wrong, how can I make a vanilla cake fluffy? Please help. Feel like crying from the 4th failed attempt.

    • Jen Sobjack

      There are way too many variables for me to be able to say what you are doing wrong. But a few helpful tips are to make sure you’re creaming the butter and sugar together until it’s pale in color and double in volume. Weigh the ingredients to make sure you are using accurate measurements. Make sure the ingredients are room temperature. Don’t overmix the batter; mix it just until all the ingredients come together. And keep a close eye on the cake during baking; remove it from the oven as soon as you get a few crumbs to stick to a wooden toothpick. Also, be sure you are using quality ingredients from reputable companies.

  • Tania

    I just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU!
    I live 8,000 feet above sea level in Mexico and when I baked this cake I almost cry, this is the first time I get a perfect vanilla cake! They all sank in the middle… I was soooo frustrated because my cupcakes never looked pretty like the ones on the internet.
    I used the adjustments you posted above for high altitude and used the homemade cake flour from your link. They totally work.
    Thank you so much!

    • Jen Sobjack

      As long as your pan is 2 inches tall, you don’t need to make changes to the recipe. The cake may need about 5 minutes longer in bake time but just watch it and test with a toothpick for doneness.

  • Arden Minor

    Hi! I’ve baked this cake quite a few times now and it is AMAZING when it comes out of the oven. I just have one issue and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Once it hits room temp, I wrap the layers very well with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge. Then when I go to use them the next day they are very hard and dry. The first time I made it I thought it was just because it was so cold from the fridge, but I let them sit out (fully wrapped) to room temp and they’re still dry and hard. Have you had this issue? I don’t know what to do because I absolutely love the cake and want to use it!!! TIA 😊

    • Jen Sobjack

      First and most importantly, make sure you aren’t overbaking the cake. If you’re using the toothpick method to check for doneness, there should be a few moist crumbs on the toothpick. If the toothpick is completely clean, the cake is overbaked and it will be dry. Second, you can wrap the layers while they’re still warm to trap steam inside. This will ensure the layers stay moist. I do this if I’m planning on freezing the layers for a long period of time.

  • Karen

    Made this just this afternoon . Turned out beautifully light and tasty…think this will be the one for my daughters wedding semi naked cake! Thank you for the post!

  • Mary


    I made cup cakes last night. I followed all the directions to a T. They came out a little dry and did not brown on top. I used a convection oven instead of a regular over. The texture and taste were good.They were better once iced. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • Jen Sobjack

      You may only need a few minutes longer than called for in the recipe. Start checking the cake at around 30 minutes and follow the instruction in the notes section of the recipe for how to tell when the cake is done.

    • Jen Sobjack

      Yes, you sure can. I do this often with cakes. Just wrap each layer tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap and place them in a large zip-top bag or wrap a layer of aluminum around each. Leave them wrapped and set them on the counter to thaw slightly before use.

  • Gaye Fisher

    I would love to make this a strawberry cake – I know a little girl who can not eat red-dye so I can not use strawberry jello. do you have any suggestions. if not I will just make a white cake with strawberry filling and glaze!!

    I hope you can help!!!

    I will be making the vanilla cake soon!!! Sounds wonderful!!!

    • Jen Sobjack

      I haven’t experimented with flavoring this recipe with anything other than extracts. I know McCormick makes a strawberry extract but then again, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say if it’s any good. I believe the safest thing to do is make the cake as is and use a strawberry filling.

  • Tania

    Tried this recipe out today. Although I liked the flavor I felt the texture was similar to cornbread. Eggs and milk were still cold, as I was in a hurry. Could that have made the difference?

  • Sherri

    Hi, I’d like to make this for my daughters birthday and wondered if I could use raw cane sugar instead of granulated sugar?

    • Jen Sobjack

      You’re supposed to be able to use cane sugar as a 1:1 replacement for granulated sugar. However, I’ve not tested it with the recipe so I can’t say for certain how it will turn out.

  • Jay

    4&half yummy stars! Love this recipe,the texture is so on point!moist,soft….absolutely delicious. I’ll reduce the quantity of sugar next time,tho. It was a lil too sugary for me. Also the temperature didn’t work for me, had to reduce to 325°F & an extra 25minutes in addition to 350°F for 22mins. It was browning fast but not cooked thru. Anyway,I’d definitely recommend this recipe!

  • Claire

    Hi! I’d like to do a three layer cake and use 8in circle pans – does this recipe work for that or should I increase it in some way? Thank you, can’t wait to try it!

  • Rebecca

    Hi I was just wondering if you have ever doubled the batter? Does it still turnout the same? Any tips for doubling the batter?

  • Kimberly

    I really want to try this recipe for a an upcoming tiered baby shower cake. I need to make the cakes square. I’ll probably need to use 10×3, 8×3, and 6×3 and was wondering how many times do I need to make the recipe to have enough batter, and how much batter does each need. Please help, any advice much appreciated. Thank you.

  • Vincent Johnson

    I hate cake most of the time, but this was absolutely amazing. I even left it without frosting (since it turned out bad) and it tasted amazing without it. Luckily this wasn’t for a party so it didnt need to be fancy. I will definitely use this recipe in the future! Best cake I’ve ever had hands down.

    I did have a bit of a hiccup in the process of making it, realizing I didn’t have enough cornstarch, but I just added the amount of flour left that I had taken out (you need 5-1/2 tbs of corn starch for this recipe and minus 5-1/2tbs of all purpose flour) I had only 3 tbs of corn starch so I added back the remaining 2-1/2 tbs of flour and it came out amazingly anyway!

    Would recommend to everyone especially those who actually like cake most of the time!

  • Althea

    I live at 5,000 feet (High Altitude).
    I made the following adjustments to make this cake:
    3 cups sifted cake flour
    4 large eggs
    1-1/4 cups whole milk
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    All the other ingredients listed in recipe, stayed at the same amounts.
    I used 2 8-inch round cake pans
    Oven temperature was 375°F
    I baked them for 25 minutes

    This was DELICIOUS, and it has already been requested to be made again.

  • Hillary

    I have to make larger cake for a party on Saturday. I bought 2 12 inch round cake pans. Just not sure if I should double the recipe? It would be too much..

    Help! I need to be able to serve 30 people.

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’m not sure how much batter a 12 inch round pan holds. I typically bake with smaller pans. My recipe makes about 12 cups of batter so if you know how much your pans will hold, you can adjust the recipe from there.

  • Helen Diana

    This recipe is fantastic, it produced the fluffiest, lightest vanilla cake my kitchen has ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Brittany

    Hi, not sure if my comment posted or not. Would it be possible to just use one 9in pan? And cut the cake in half? Or would it be too much batter and make the cake fall?

    • Jen Sobjack

      I don’t recommend trying to bake all the batter in one 9-inch pan. The cake will rise as it is baking and may spill out of the pan, making a huge mess in your oven. To use one 9-inch pan, you need to cut the recipe in half. Unless your 9-inch pan is 4 inches tall. Then you can fit all the batter in and adjust the baking time as needed.

  • Katie

    I am wanting to do a cake with layers, one vanilla and one chocolate. How would you recommend I make half of the batter chocolate?

  • Salina

    Baking this cake tonight for my sons birthday tomorrow do you think this will work in a giant metal Wilton cupcake pan if ao how long should i bake for?

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’ve never used the pan in question but I would assume it would come with baking instructions. If not, you might be able to find that info on the Wilton website.

  • Nareefa

    Can you please tell me how much cake batter would i need to make a 3 layer 12 inch cake? Please asap

  • Dhatri

    Oh my God!!!!! I had never baked such a perfect cake. Everybody who ate it just loved it. They didn’t find a single fault with it. It took a few minutes longer to bake completely. But it was totally worth the time and effort. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  • Doc

    Looks delicious! Thanks for putting all this together.

    One thing: Does it also work with all-purpose flour?

    • Jen Sobjack

      Cake flour will yield the best results. There’s note at the bottom of the recipe with instructions on how to make your own if you don’t have it on hand.

  • Mary

    I’ve just made this recipe today and it didn’t work out, it has like a pancake flavor and the texture was too greasy.

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’d leave the vanilla but also add the cotton candy extract. I’m not sure how much cotton candy extract you’d need though. I’ve never used it and have no idea how potent it is.

  • Amber

    This looks incredible. I need the recipe for two 10″ square pans. If I double it will that be sufficient? Thanks for any input.

  • Kelly

    I’m going to try this cake using 2 half sheet pans (since a whole sheetpan won’t fit in my home oven) and I was wondering how much to increase this recipe by? Double? The dimensions are somewhere around 15×11

  • Amber

    The cake came out amazing! As others have said, it did require a longer bake time than the one given. About 20 mins longer. Except for the slight panic that the csle wouldn’t turn out, great recipe!

  • Anamika

    Hi..i was looking for a vanilla cake and found your writing this while my vanilla cake is baking 🙂 very nice recipe thanks

    • Jen Sobjack

      If that’s what you typically use as a sugar substitute then it should be fine. However, I’m not exactly sure how much stevia is equal to the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. I would assume the package would state this information though.

  • Talia Rotman

    **If you don’t have cake flour, you can make it at home. For every 1 cup of flour remove 2 tablespoons of flour. Then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 1 cup of flour. Sift 4 times and it’s ready-to-use as cake flour.

    I was wondering about the method of substituting cake flour. Should I take out two tablespoons of flour from each cup and add two tablespoons of cornstarch or should I take out the two table spoons from each cup and measure one cup of flour from the new amount of flour and put in two tablespoons of cornstarch for every cup of flour.

    • Jen Sobjack

      Remove 4 and 1/2 tablespoons of flour from the already measured 2 and 3/4 cups of flour. Add 4 and 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the remaining 2 cups of flour and sift 4 times. There’s no need to remeasure as long as you measured properly to begin with.

  • Marietta Greene

    Just made this tonight for my son’s birthday party tomorrow. OMG!!! absolutely delicious!!! I may have over mixed it since it wasnt quite as light and fluffy, but i chalk that up to user error, not recipe error.

  • Mallory Rogers

    I made this for my first ever so called professional cake since starting cake decorating I used almond extract instead and it was absolutely amazing everyone was blown away thank you so much!! Also I’m trying to find a good chocolate cake and I thought I would ask you since this one topped the rest!

  • James M.

    Judging from the taste of the batter, I’m sure these cakes will be awesome, but I definitely had an issue with the cooking time. At 24 minutes, the cakes had only begun to brown at the edges and the centers weren’t even close to done. I gave them an extra 10 minutes and now they look just the way they should and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Perhaps the time should read 32-35 minutes?

    • Lea Vener

      Did you use baking powder? Using baking soda will effect the cake and cooking time, so make sure you read the recipe. If you accidentally used baking soda, it won’t be as good in taste, texture or cook time.

  • Nuskwa

    Considering no one else had a problem with the timing I’m assuming my oven must be broken because sadly o had to keep my cake in for an additional 10 minutes and it still fell apart 🙁 still a delicious cake though! I wish it would’ve turned out for me

    • Shannon swalm

      I made this yesterday and set the timer for 25 min because 30-35 seemed long and it was completely done(hopefully not over-done) will ice today and try it tomorrow

      • Jen Sobjack

        Oven temperatures do vary slightly. If your oven runs slightly hotter than mine, there will be discrepancies in bake time. I suggest using an oven thermometer to double check your oven temperature. I hope the cake still came out okay!

  • Jason

    I made this last night for my wife, a cakeaholic.

    It cooled when I went out with friends, and I iced it when I came home (she was asleep).

    As I finished icing, she crept out of bed, hardly awake, glad to sample the wares.

    Then, she mostly only said, “it’s so rich”. I couldn’t get a read on her otherwise.

    4pm today, she skyped me to say, “sooooo, good”.

    Thanks. I’m very happy with it.

  • Maria

    Hello!!! I tried out this recipe and it came out A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I think I put a little less sugar, luckily I first tested it out in a mug, and it seemed less sweet. So, I just added it in the actual mix.
    Thank you SOO much for the recipe!!!

      • Jen Sobjack

        You didn’t do anything wrong. That’s the nature of buttercream. It’s butter based so it will be slightly tinted. Keep in mind different brands of butter range in color. For example, butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows tends to be darker in color. If you want the frosting to be pure white, you can try using clear vanilla and/or white icing color. Also, the more you beat the frosting the lighter it will become so don’t be afraid to turn the mixer up and let it whip.

        • Christa

          You can also add the tiniest bit of purple gel food colouring to the butter cream and it will make it more white. Add too much though and it starts to go grey.

  • Kerry

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, i made it for my daughters first birthday and it was light and fluffy and delicious! Everyone loved it!

  • Nicole

    This is delicious I halved the recipe to make 1 dozen cup cakes and only cooked for 18 minutes. I would prefer them to be a little more moist though the texture is wonderfully fluffy. What do you suggest as best option? (Adding oil to substitute a portion of butter?)

      • Ilona

        Hey,,the cakeflouris it sifted or b4 difting 2 3/4 cups? And substitute of cake flourst home by removing two table spoonof white flour and adding 2 table spoonof cornstarchright?

        • Jen Sobjack

          I don’t sift the flour before measuring. You can refer to my “How to measure flour” post to see the correct way to measure flour for all my recipes. To make homemade cake flour, remove 2 tablespoons per every 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 1 cup of flour and sift 4 times.

  • Jacqueline

    Just made this cake for my family, it’s the first cake I’ve ever made from scratch and it came out amazing!!!! Everyone said it was the best cake they’ve ever had, and everyone wants it as our traditional birthday cake! It’s so good it didn’t even need icing lol. We put a super thin vanilla homemade frosting n boy error & strawberries! Thanks for sharing! I’m so excited to make it again!

  • Sarah

    Amazing! Made this on a whim tonight as Going-Away cake for a coworker. I even subbed a mix of half and half and skim milk for the whole milk which I didn’t have on hand. Delicious!

  • Debbie

    My 10 year old daughter has recently taken an interest in baking. She’s been using a kids cookbook she purchased at Barnes & Nobles. Tired of the recipes in her cookbook she asked me if we could purchase another book, I directed her to the internet as there are millions of recipes. I’m not sure how but she stumbled across your blog and found this recipe. The cake came out AMAZING, soft, moist and melt in your mouth. She measured, prepared and baked this all on her own with absolutely no assistance from any adult or sibling. She added a glaze of icing between the layers, delicious. We all loved it and her older brothers think she’s a superstar. I felt compelled to write and to thank you so much for taking the time to share this recipe. You have several new followers.

    NOTE – She asked me what is an introvert!

  • Christiana uloko

    Hi, just saw your vanilla recipe and am in love with it. Please can l use the same measurements of ingredients for a 10inches size pan? If no, what are the measurements to use? Thank you

  • Rebecca

    Would this cake be suitable for a two-tiered cake? My plan is the first tier being 8″ and the second tier 6″, and I intend to use dowels to hold up the second tier. I also plan on using fondant. I need a cake that is firm and moist, but not so soft it might compress under the weight of the fondant.

          • Jasmine

            I made it with fondant and it holds the fondant perfectly i wish i could share the picture of the cake here. It came out lovely. Great Recipe! I’ll be using it for years to come.
            Thanks Jen

          • Rebecca Shorten

            I did end up making this cake with the fondant. I used a simple vanilla buttercream as a crumb-coat, then covered the whole thing in fondant. It worked BEAUTIFULLY! I also made a smaller tier for the cake. the crumb of the cake is firm enough to support the fondant, but it is still a moist cake with a great flavour. I’m linking to my Facebook post about the cake. Lol! Not exactly a professional job, but it came out well. Too bad I got too tired to finish it. She loved it anyway. 🙂

  • Jacqueline

    Can you substitute oil for the butter, or smart balance instead of butter? I tried using smart balance with another cake I made and it came out dense. So, I was wondering if that would happen if I used oil or smart balance with your recipe.

  • Maurisa

    I would like to make this cake for my husband’s birthday. I just don’t understand the part where you have to refrigerate the cake after baking it? Is this a recipe that requires to be made several days before being served? Thanks in Advance