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The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

The Softest, fluffiest Vanilla Cake Recipe you’ll ever taste! Reversed creamed for a perfect soft crumb and covered with silky Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream! 

Vanilla Cake

Fluffy Vanilla Cake Recipe

A really good vanilla cake recipe is essential to have in your kitchen toolbox and I promise this one doesn’t disappoint! It’s perfect for a birthday cake, any celebration or just to enjoy with a cup of coffee! This recipe can also be made into vanilla cupcakes!

It has a delicate, even tender crumb that works so well as a tall layer cake or just as good as a single layer.

Why this is the BEST Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • Reversed Creamed for the lightest and fluffiest cake
  • Incredible Vanilla Flavour
  • Never Dry
  • Bakes very flat so its perfect for making a layer cake
  • Tried and Tested so many times
Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Moist Vanilla Cake

Vanilla is so underrated and when done well is incredibly delicate and delicious! The flavour is subtle so you can focus much more on the tender crumb and silky Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Tips for Making this Vanilla Cake

  • Make sure to not over mix, this is the most common cause of tough cakes! This vanilla cake is reversed creamed so it’s pretty hard to over mix as the flour is coated in butter.
  • Use a Digital Scale. Digital scales are so much more accurate and measuring ingredients than measuring cups and spoons. I’ve given both cups and gram measurements in the recipe card below.
  • Use a really good quality Vanilla Extract! All of the vanilla flavour in the cake is coming from the vanilla extract or essence so make sure you’re using the best quality you can find. Bonus if it has vanilla seeds in it!
  • Don’t over bake your cakes as it will make them dry. Most ovens are different so baking times with any recipe are a guideline only. Check the cakes with a cake tester and if it doesn’t come out clean give the cakes another few minutes.
Vanilla Cake on a plate

How can I make my cake soft and fluffy?

This vanilla cake uses the reversed creaming method which makes sure it’s incredibly soft, fluffy and tender. The butter is mixed with the dry ingredients rather than creamed with sugar so it covers every little individual crumb of flour. This means the flour can’t develop much gluten making for a lighter and fluffy cake!

Vanilla Cake Frosting

There are so many different frosting that go with vanilla cake but here are a few of my favourites!

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Swiss Meringue Buttercream isn’t too sweet so you can use a lot of frosting to get decadent look without it being overpowering like American style buttercream.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting If your a fan of chocolate, this Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect with vanilla cake!

Salted Caramel Buttercream The sweet and salty flavours of salted caramel are a perfect match for this vanilla cake!

Perfect Vanilla Buttercream What goes better with vanilla than vanilla? Make sure you don’t use too much of this though as it can be very sweet!

Slice of vanilla cake

Common Questions about Vanilla Cake

What is reversed creaming?

Reversed creaming is adding the butter to the dry ingredients instead of creaming it with the sugar. Adding it to the dry ingredients coats the flour with butter so it can’t develop much gluten when the cake batter is mixed. It leads to a really tender, delicate, soft and fluffy crumb that works really well with something like vanilla cake.

What size pan should I bake the cake in?

This recipe can be made in three 6″ or 16cm pans, two 8″ or 20cm pans or one 9″ or 23cm pan. It really depends on what style of cake you would like, tall with layers of frosting or just one large cake. You can even bake this in a sheet pan, just keep in mind baking times will vary.

Can this recipe be made into cupcakes?

Yes it can! Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners and bake at the same temperature for about 15-20 mins. I also have a vanilla cupcake recipe if you would like to make that instead.

What is the difference between white cake and vanilla cake?

White cake and vanilla cake have the same flavour and texture but white cake is made from just egg whites. The egg whites help the cake to appear much whiter it colour compared to vanilla cake which uses whole eggs.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Recipe Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Ingredients

2 Cups / 250g Flour Cake flour makes this vanilla cake super soft but if you don’t have that on hand, standard all purpose flour works great!

1⅓ Cups / 260g White Sugar Split in half

1 tsp Baking PowderBoth baking powder and baking soda are needed for this recipe. Don’t substitute on for the other as they are both different ingredients that work in different ways.

½ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Salt

2 Sticks / 225g Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start this recipe, it should be extremely soft to the touch.

3 Eggs

½ Cup | 125ml Milk – Whole milk works best here but another type of milk or milk alternative can be used instead.

½ Cup / 120g Sour Cream – Buttermilk or unsweetened yoghurt can be used instead.

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract Use a good quality vanilla essence or extract to get the best flavour.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ingredients

5 Egg Whites – Egg whites are cooked to dissolve the sugar and whipped into a meringue. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before starting the recipe. Here are recipes to use the leftover egg yolks.

1½ Cups / 300g Sugar – White Granulated Sugar is used in this recipe instead of powdered sugar as it is dissolved into the egg whites.

2 Sticks / 225g Butter

1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

You could also use Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Buttercream or Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Vanilla Cake

In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer add the dry ingredients. The flour, half the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give it a quick mix to combine the ingredients together.

Dry ingredients in stand mixer

With your mixer on low add your butter about a tablespoon at a time. Make sure your butter is at room temperature or it wont mix in to the flour. You can see the texture it should be here, a few smaller pieces of butter is fine.

This cake uses the reversed creaming method which gives a more tender crumb to the cake. This is when the butter is added to the dry ingredients rather than creamed with the sugar.

reversed cream butter and dry ingreidents

In a smaller clean bowl add the eggs, remaining sugar, milk and sour cream. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together.

eggs and sugar in a bowl

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for about a minute or two until combined.

vanilla Cake batter

Divide the cake batter evenly between three 6″ cake pans that have lined and greased. Alternatively this cake can be baked in two 8″ cake pans.

Place into a 180C / 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool the cakes completely in their pans before decorating.

vanilla cake in cake pans

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Make your Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Decorating the Vanilla Cake

Using a serrated knife cut the tops off each cake for a more even surface. Spread 1/3 cup of the buttercream over the first cake with an offset spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat the process.

Vanilla Layer Cake

Add the final cake layer, turning it upside down so the flat bottom faces upwards. Cover the cake with buttercream, for a perfect finish a cake turn table makes the job so much easier!

Decorating vanilla Cake

How to Store Vanilla Cake

This Vanilla Cake can be stored at room temperature for 3 days. I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge as this will cause it to dry out and become stale. If you would like to keep it for longer it can be frozen.

Freezing Vanilla Cake

Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Place it into the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve the cake remove it from the freezer let it come up to room temperature fully.

More Cake Recipes

Vanilla Cake Recipe

Vanilla Cake Recipe

Yield: 16 Slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The Softest, fluffiest Vanilla Cake Recipe you’ll ever taste! Reversed creamed for a perfect soft crumb and covered with silky Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream! 

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 Cups / 250g Flour
  • 1 1/3 Cup / 260g White Sugar (divided)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 225g / 2 Sticks / 1 Cup Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 125ml / 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 120g / 1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Instructions

Vanilla Cake

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer add the dry ingredients. The flour, half the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Give it a quick mix to combine the ingredients together.
  3. With your mixer on low add your butter about a tablespoon at a time. Make sure your butter is at room temperature or it wont mix in to the flour. The mixture should end up looking like wet sand with a few small pieces of butter.
  4. In a smaller clean bowl add the eggs, remaining sugar, milk and sour cream. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients together.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for about a minute or two until combined.
  6. Divide the cake batter evenly between three 6″ cake pans that have lined and greased. Alternatively this cake can be baked in two 8″ cake pans.
  7. Place into a 180C / 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cakes completely in their pans before decorating.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Make the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream following this recipe.

Decorating the Vanilla Cake

  1. Use a serrated knife to cut the tops off the cakes so they are flat.
  2. Take one of the cakes and top with 1/3 cup of the swiss meringue buttercream. Use an offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer.
  3. Top with another cake and repeat the process.
  4. Take the last cake and turn it upside down so the flat bottom is facing upwards and place it on the top.
  5. Cover the cake with the remaining buttercream (you may have some leftover).
  6. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set before serving.

Notes

Storing the Vanilla Cake

The vanilla cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you would like to keep it longer it can be frozen. I don't recommend keeping it in the fridge as this will cause it to dry out and become stale faster.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Slices Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 5g

Nutrition Information is estimated and not always correct

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