Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe (video)

simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream

The best and only recipe you need for made-from-scratch vanilla cake! My easy vanilla cake recipe yields a very tender and moist cake with just the right amount of sweetness and vanilla flavor! This recipe uses just 8 simple, everyday ingredients that you probably already have! This recipe can be made both as a white cake or yellow cake. Serve it simply with my ‘Vanilla Buttercream’ recipe or dress it up for just about any occasion! This cake recipe is from my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series, where I share simple cake, frosting and filling recipes!

Watch My Vanilla Cake Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions for making this easy vanilla cake! Want to receive new recipe notifications? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for Easy Vanilla Cake

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious and versatile cake!

  • Butter: use only unsalted butter for this cake recipe! Soften the butter at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to using it in the recipe.
  • Sugar: white granulated sugar works best for this recipe.
  • Eggs: use either whole eggs or egg yolks for this cake. More about the eggs next!
  • Vanilla Extract: for adding the flavor! You can also use a vanilla bean for this recipe. Just scrap out the seeds from the bean and add them to the butter and sugar mixture.
  • Whole Milk: I recommend using whole milk for the richest tasting cake. Use warm milk to prevent the butter from clumping together.
  • All-Purpose Flour: cake flour will also work well. Increase the amount of flour by 1/4 cup if using cake flour.
  • Baking Powder & Salt

White or Yellow Cake

This easy cake recipe can be made with all egg whites or whole eggs. Using just egg whites will yield a pure white cake. Whisk the egg whites separately, then fold into the batter. You can also use this recipe for a basic yellow or cream colored cake by using whole eggs in place of the egg whites. Both recipes will taste great!

white cake recipe with vanilla

How to Make the Best Vanilla Cake

Here’s how I make this easy and delicious vanilla cake!

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare your cake pans with parchment paper and spray them with a non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla for a few minutes, until the mixture is fluffy. Add the egg whites or eggs and beat again until creamy and smooth. Using only egg whites yields a more ‘white’ cake; using whole eggs will give the cake a soft yellow color. Next, pour in the milk (I recommend using warm milk).
  3. NOTE: the batter may look curdled once you add the milk! It is not. This happens because the milk causes the butter particles to clump together. Just continue with the recipe.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter and whisk by hand to avoid over-mixing the batter.
  5. Divide the cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes for 3, 8-inch rounds; or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely. Frost and fill cake once the cake is completely cooled. IF not using the layers right away, wrap with plastic wrap to avoid drying.

Pan Sizing Guide

Here’s a quick pan sizing guide for you! This vanilla cake recipe can be used with many different pan sizes:

  • 2 or 3, 8-inch rounds; 2, 9-inch rounds
  • 13×17-inch jelly roll pan for a sheet cake; 10×10-inch square pan
  • 24 count cupcake pan
  • 10-inch bundt cake pan
12 layer chocolate cake slice
12-Layer White & Dark Chocolate Cake

Recipe Ideas!

This simple vanilla cake is perfect for adding delicious fillings, flavorings and just about any frosting! Here are a few flavor ideas that you try with this recipe:

  • Pair this cake recipe with my super easy ‘Vanilla Buttercream’!
  • Or, try it with my ‘French Buttercream’ recipe – a different kind of cake frosting that you never knew you loved!
  • lemon flavor with lemon juice and lemon zest (I recommend using lemon zest from 2 lemons).
  • strawberry, raspberry or blueberry flavor – just toss the berries in cornstarch and add.
  • coconut flavor- add a bit of coconut extract and 1 cup flaked coconut.
slice of coconut Italian wedding cake with coconut whipped cream
Italian Coconut Wedding Cake with coconut cake layers

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this easy vanilla cake recipe? Check out some of my other ‘Back to Cake Basics’ episodes!

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Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe video recipe

Supplies/Tools

Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links)

Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe (video)

15 mins prep + 30 mins cook
16 servings
Learn how to make the best white or yellow vanilla cake for your next cake or cupcakes!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites, or 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the desired cake tins: use this recipe for 2 or 3, 8-inch rounds; 2, 10-inch rounds; 13×17-inch jelly roll pan for a sheet cake; also makes 24 cupcakes. Line pans with parchment paper and line cupcake tin with cups.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla for a few minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg whites or eggs and beat again until creamy and smooth. Using only egg whites yields a more 'white' cake; using whole eggs will give the cake a soft yellow color. Next, pour in the milk (I recommend using warm milk).
  • NOTE: the batter may look curdled once you add the milk! It is not. This happens because the milk causes the butter particles to clump together. Just continue with the recipe.
  • In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter and whisk by hand to avoid over-mixing the batter.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes for 3, 8-inch rounds; or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely. Frost and fill cake once the cake is completely cooled. IF not using the layers right away, wrap with plastic wrap to avoid drying.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg