Fluffy and Buttery Vanilla Cake (VIDEO)

4.71 from 57 votes
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Made from scratch basic Vanilla Cake – buttery, tender, and full of vanilla flavor. Its moist and fluffy texture makes it a great base cake for all occasions!

This recipe yields tall and sturdy vanilla cake layers that are great stacking.

Do you need the chocolate version? Head on to Sturdy Yet Moist and Fluffy Chocolate recipe.

6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch tall vanilla cake

Great for Wedding Cakes and Tiered Cakes (for Stacking)

I’ve been looking for a great basic vanilla cake that can be my go-to vanilla cake recipe whenever I make tiered cakes. I tried many and never found one that is for keeps, until now.

I’ve used this recipe to make a 3-tiered wedding cake so I can say that while it is soft and fluffy, it is firm enough to use in multi-tiered cakes. As we know, for tiered cakes, it is suggested to stay clear of softer, less stable cakes and filling like chiffon cake, pastry cream, and whipped cream.

Are you thinking of doing a DIY wedding cake? I’ve shared all the recipes, timeline, resources, and tips in this DIY Wedding Cake post.

How I made this wedding cake
DIY Wedding Cake

Thick layers for Tall Cakes

This recipe yields a tall vanilla cake, that’s why you would need a cake pan that is at least 3 inches in height.

If you don’t have a tall cake pan, you can line some parchment paper around the pan for extra height.

Vanilla Cake Batter in baking pan with parchment paper
My baking pans are only 2 inches high, so I use a strip of parchment paper to extend the height. Baking spray helps the parchment stick to the sides of the pan.

The photos you see here were taken while I was doing my final cake for my cousin’s wedding. Unfortunately, I have forgotten to take a photo of the cake right out of the cake pan.

I then further cut each round into half to give me a total of 4 layers, which is what you see in the photos.

Top View of 3-tier vanilla cake layers

Ingredients for vanilla cake

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • fine salt
  • unsalted butter at room temperature – What is room temperature butter?
  • granulated white sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs (large size) at room temperature
  • fresh milk (whole / full-fat)
Ingredients for Vanilla Cake recipe.

Tools and equipment you’ll need

Ditch your cups and weigh your ingredients – it will give you consistent results every time. Try it and you will never look back on using cups again!

There are a lot of reasons why you should measure by weight and entirely a topic of its own. This recipe uses a lot of flour – measuring it incorrectly would greatly affect the outcome of your cake.

I use and recommend Fat Daddios brand. They heat faster and cools quicker, preventing overbaking. It has straight sides for perfect layers!

If your existing pan’s height is below 3 inches, see recipe note no. 1.

  • mixing bowls and spatula

How to Make

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C).
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Grease the bottom of two 8x 3 round pans, then line with parchment paper (Note 1 in recipe card).

Make the vanilla cake batter:

Making this cake involved 3 parts: Creaming the butter and sugar, adding the eggs, and adding the remaining dry and wet mixtures alternately.

In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

In a stand mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes. 

RELATED: Stand Mixer Speed Guide

Add eggs to the mixture, two at a time. Blend until incorporated and scrape the sides as needed.

Add the flour mixture in four parts alternating with the milk in three parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Remember to add the next flour or milk until just incorporated; be careful not to overmix!

Bake the vanilla cake

Pour the cake batter into prepared pans and spread it so that is it smooth and flat in the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack before removing them from the pan. 

Torte each cake into 2 to get 4 layers like in the photo below.

front view of 3-tiered vanilla cake

FAQs

Do I really need to sift the dry ingredients?

The process of sifting breaks any lumps in flour that would weigh down the batter so your Vanilla Cake will yield a tender (not delicate) crumb. When flour is sifted with other dry ingredients, such as baking powder, sifting helps to combine them evenly before they are mixed with other ingredients. It is important not to skip this step!

Why do I need to cream the butter and sugar?

When creaming the butter and sugar together, the sugar is like punching little holes in the butter and those holes, in turn, will capture air. These little bubbles capture the gases released by your leaveners when baked, giving your cake a lighter texture. A properly creamed butter and sugar should have the color of pale yellow, not white.

Using a stand mixer, I typically whip the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes.

My cake came out dry – What did I do wrong?

There are several possible reasons why your cake came out dry. One common mistake is NOT measuring your flour correctly. If you’re still using cups to measure your flour and other baking ingredients, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of using a food scale !

Baking is an exact science, so one ingredient that’s not measured correctly can totally break the outcome.

Another common reason is overcooking them. As not all ovens are the same, remember to treat the cooking time stated in any recipe as a guide.

Your cake is perfectly done and needs to be removed from the oven when the toothpick/ cake tester comes out either clean or with a few dry crumbs.

Always begin checking your cake at the earlier doneness time specified in the recipe. I like to set my timer a few minutes earlier than the shortest baking time called for.

You can always bake something longer, but over baked or burnt products are ruined! Always check for doneness about 5 minutes before the suggested bake time.


Can I Make This Into Cupcakes?

One of the most frequently asked questions – How do I turn this cake into a cupcake? Simply half the recipe of the 6-inch vanilla cake to get about 12 cupcakes.

I did the math for you!

To make 12 cupcakes (50g of batter for each cupcake), you’ll need:

  • 175 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp regular table salt
  • 130 grams unsalted butter
  • 150 grams granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (about 100g without shell)
  • 140 grams whole milk

For cupcakes, bake at 350F for about 15-17 minutes.


Adapting This Vanilla Cake to Different Pan Sizes

The photos you see at the beginning of this post are the 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch vanilla cake, with all the layers sliced and leveled.

Here is a chart of the amount of ingredients you’ll need depending on pan size.

NOTE: This is on the assumption that the height of the cake remains the same – only the circumference of the pan changes.

Batter Weight (before baking): 6-inch is around 1,310 grams, so 655 grams of batter per pan.

Follow the same procedure as written in the recipe but you may need to adjust the baking time. Remember that the time indicated below is only a guide as not all ovens are the same.

It is a good habit to check for doneness 5 minutes earlier than the shortest baking time called for. If the cake isn’t done yet, check again after 3-4 minutes.


Recipe for round cakes from 4-inch up to 12-inch pans

This Fluffy and Buttery Vanilla Cake is one of the most popular recipes at Bakeologie . Over the years, a lot of people made and loved this cake and have been asking how to make it in different sizes.

I’ve put together a resource with all the ingredient quantities for round cakes from 4-inch up to 12-inch. Now, no more guesswork!

If you have tried this recipe and wanted to make it in other different sizes , this is the answer for you!

Check out my shop page or grab the Master Recipe for Fluffy and Buttery Vanilla Cake directly through this link.

3-tiered wedding cake with crumb coat
3-tiered vanilla cake crumb coated with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

What Frosting Goes Well With This Cake?

I recommend pairing this vanilla cake with swiss meringue buttercream. I love swiss meringue because it’s smooth, silky, and not tooth-achingly sweet! It can be used on a variety of cakes and cupcakes as it can easily be flavored.

You might want to try:

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Champagne Buttercream

Quick and Easy Cheater’s Swiss Meringue

Sturdy Yet Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cake

Sturdy Yet Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Ckae
Sturdy Yet Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cake

❤️ Tried this recipe and loved it? If you made this recipe or any other recipe on this site, I would love to know! ❤️

Rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Or tag @thebakeologie on Instagram and hashtag it #bakeologie !

Fluffy and Buttery Vanilla Cake

4.71 from 57 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 2 8-inch cakes, each cake around 3 inches high
I used this to make a wedding cake and I could say this is the best homemade Vanilla Cake recipe! Made from scratch, moist, buttery and fluffy texture makes it a great base cake for all occasions.
This recipe yields a tall vanilla cake – 2 8-inch cakes that are around 3 inches in height each. I then torte each cake in half, giving me 4 layers (as you see in the photos).
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Ingredients

  • 625 grams all-purpose flour (22 oz )
  • 18 grams baking powder (1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons )
  • 6 grams salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 454 grams butter, unsalted, at room temperature (16 oz )
  • 533 grams white granulated sugar (19 oz )
  • 9 grams vanilla extract (2 teaspoons )
  • 400 grams eggs (weight is without shell) (approx 8 large eggs) at room temperature
  • 488 grams whole milk (17.2 oz )

Instructions 

  • PREPARATION. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease the bottom of two 8x 3 round pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper (Note 1).
  • PREPARE THE DRY INGREDIENTS. In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
    625 grams all-purpose flour
    18 grams baking powder
    6 grams salt
  • CREAM THE BUTTER, SUGAR AND VANILLA. In a stand mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes. 
    454 grams butter, unsalted, at room temperature
    533 grams white granulated sugar
    9 grams vanilla extract
  • ADD EGGS TO THE MIXTURE. Add eggs to the mixture, two at a time. Blend until incorporated and scrape the sides as needed.
    400 grams eggs (weight is without shell)
  • ADD THE DRY AND WET INGREDIENTS. Add the flour mixture in four parts alternating with the milk in three parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Remember to add the next flour or milk until just incorporated; be careful not to overmix!
    488 grams whole milk
  • BAKE THE VANILLA CAKE. Pour the cake batter into prepared pans and spread it so that is it smooth and flat in the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool the cakes on a wire rack before removing them from the pan. Divide each cake into 2 to get 4 layers.

Notes

Note: 
If you don’t have an 8×3 pan add parchment paper to the outsides of the pan so it will not overflow.
To do this start by preparing a long strip of parchment paper, long enough to wrap around the pan. Then fold it into thirds, fold up the bottom, then fold down the top.
Grease or spray a bit of baking spray onto the bottom corners of the pan to help hold the bottom circle and sides. To prepare it for the pan, curl the folded parchment paper then put it into the pan and let it uncurl.
Tried this recipe?Mention @theBakeologie or tag #Bakeologie!

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286 thoughts on “Fluffy and Buttery Vanilla Cake (VIDEO)”

  1. Hi there! I know this recipe was probably posted a while ago! Ive not had time to read thru all the comments either, so if this has been asked previously, plz forgive me! I wanted to make this as a 12 inch cake & ur sturdy chocolate cake as a 9 inch! But im needing help regarding the 12 inch vanilla! Any chance u can plz assist me regarding ingredient weights & baking times? Id REALLY appreciate it! Many thanks in advance!
    Kel..xx

    1. Hi Kelly! The recipe for 4-inch to 12-inch vanilla cake is available for purchase at the shop. 🙂 For the 9-inch chocolate cake, try multiplying each ingredient quantity by 1.25 if you are using a 9-inch round pan.

  2. Hi Trish,
    I haven’t made your cake yet, however I like it so I’m planning to make a minecraft (checked inside) cake for my son’s birthday. I need to bake it in a 10” square tin. Just wondered if I can use your 10” round cake recipe for a 10” square cake? Also I have to bake them in 4 tins as it has to be coloured. Thanks

    1. I think it should work on the 10” square but the height would be slightly thinner because the square pan is bigger in terms of volume. Check for doneness a bit earlier too.

  3. I absolutely love this cake recipe, as well as the chocolate one. I get a lot of requests for marble cakes and I have always used pound cake for them. I’m wondering if your two cakes could work together for a marble cake.

  4. 4 stars
    Hi, I’ve baked this cake a few times and it always comes out perfectly! BUT today I made it and after baking and cooling I cut the tops of to level them, and it was so oily! I know it doesn’t use oil but I’m assuming it’s from the butter. I definitely triple check my ingredients so it’s not that, is there any reason why the cake layers would be so oily. When pressing the cake scraps together, the oil seeps out and after handling, my hands are covered in oil. 🙁

    I’ll definitely be trying it again because it’s been so good for so long, but just wondering what I might have done wrong for it to be so oily….

  5. Hi!wondering if this batter can be split up into 3 8inch cake pans instead of only 2 to have 3 cake layers?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey, Nina. Yes, but if your 8-inch cake pans are only 2 inches high you would have extra batter. Remember to always fill your pans only 3/4 full and baking time will be different so watch for visual cues.

  6. 5 stars
    Can we use cake flour instead of all purpose? Would that substitution be OK to use for a 2 tier cake, which would be 8″ and 6″? Thank you!

    1. Hi, Anne! I do not recommend using cake flour due to its lower protein content. We need a higher protein content to make the cake layers sturdy enough for stacking. =)

  7. Hi there, I’m making a 3-tiered cake and could like to have 2 tiers of chocolate cake (using your sturdy moist cake recipe) and one tier of vanilla – but the chocolate cake recipe is based on 3 using 3 8×2″ pans -which would be my bottom tier, and I’m concerned to have 3 layers for the bottom tier and then 4 layers for the middle tier. Is it possible to convert this vanilla recipe to bake in 3 6×2” pans? I bought the ebook, but as you noted, it only allows for different diameters, not different heights. I’m wondering if I spread the amount of batter in the 6” recipe evenly across the three 6×2” pans, and adjust baking time down a bit (since each pan will have less batter) Should that work? Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi, Marian! I just replied to your email, but after reading your comment here I understood you wanted to match the 3 layers of chocolate version 🙂

      Use the 8 inch recipe for the vanilla cake then divide the batter between 3 6×2” pans. Since your cake tin is only 2 inches high, you will have extra batter. Don’t overfill your pan, fill up to 3/4 full only. You can use the extra batter to make cupcakes. For the baking time, you are correct – it will be less.

  8. Hi, I haven’t made it yet but plan on alternating the vanilla & chocolate layers to may a combo celebration cake for a 50th & 70th birthday. Can I use ganache to cover it as was thinking of dripping the sides with a light pink on top of a white ganache…or can you drip over buttercream?

  9. Hi there,

    I’ve practiced the 8inch version as my middle tier for a wedding cake. The cake was quite dense, do you have any tips on how to make it a bit more light and fluffy? Thanks

    1. Hey, Lucy. This vanilla cake is a butter cake, so it won’t be as light and fluffy as a sponge cake but it should also not be dense. 🙂 The texture should be between a sponge cake and a pound cake. Check the freshness of your baking powder, and check your oven temp to make sure it’s hot enough. A cake that bakes too slowly takes longer to set and may fall, causing a dense texture.

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