Are you in need of a fluffy homemade vanilla cake recipe? For many years I struggled with making an amazing vanilla cake. Through trial and error, I’m pleased to present to you my fluffy vanilla cake recipe!
The Best Vanilla Cake Recipe
This is a simple vanilla cake that is moist and versatile! I use my Kitchen aid mixer to make this recipe but if you don’t have a standing mixer a hand mixer will work as well. Before we dive into the recipe there are a few ingredient pointers I’d like to share on how to make a vanilla cake from scratch.
Pointers For Your Ingredients
- ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS – All ingredients that are stored in the refrigerator should sit on your counter top for 1-2 hours before you begin mixing your cake batter.
- SALTED BUTTER – I use salted butter to add depth to the flavor of this cake. Brands like Kerrygold (my preference) or Challenge are great because of their fat to water ratio… trust me on this! I’ve tried a lot of other brands and if they do not have enough fat content, your cake will not be as moist as it needs to be.
- PURE VANILLA – Pure vanilla extract will guarantee that bold vanilla flavor we all crave in our vanilla recipes. Whenever I’m asked how to make a homemade vanilla cake or any cake for that matter, the first thing I recommend is to use quality ingredients and this recipe is no different.
- BUTTERMILK – this is by far my favorite ingredient to use when baking. Though the name suggest it to be a high fat milk filled with butter, it is not. It’s actually lower in fat than regular milk! However, paired with baking soda it’s a super ingredient that creates a creamy and super moist cake crumb. Can you tell?! I’m a huge buttermilk fan!
- CAKE FLOUR – If you would like to make a homemade vanilla cake with the light and fluffy vanilla cake texture of a bakery style vanilla cake, then cake flour is a must.
- OIL – Yes, this is a vanilla cake recipe with oil! Oil helps with the moist cake texture, you know, the one that sticks to your fork! Yummy!
How to bake a vanilla cake
I recommend baking your vanilla cake low and slow. This means baking at 335 degrees Fahrenheit, which will help the outside of your cake layers not to brown too quickly before the center of the cake is fully baked.
Why a vanilla cake from scratch?
As many of you may know, I operate my wedding cake bakery from my home in Tampa, FL. Baking from scratch is one of the best ways for me to ensure I’ll produce a quality end product, giving my couples the best wedding cake on their BIG day!
For this reason and many other reasons it is absolutely important for me to produce bakery style cakes that will not only please my amazing couples but also their guests!
For some fruitiness, fill each layer with a 1/4 cup of my homemade strawberry preserves. I love a vanilla cake with strawberry filling. I’m also all about fluffy cake layers with some form of fruity filling.
How much frosting needed?
You need about 1 cup of my vanilla buttercream frosting to fill each layer, use the remaining buttercream to frost the outside of the cake. I also recommend trimming off the brown sides of your cake layers if making a wedding cake.
For Cake Decorating: Vanilla buttercream with fresh strawberries is perfect! Chocolate buttercream also goes really well with this fluffy vanilla cake recipe
Fluffy Vanilla Cake Success Tips
- Follow the recipe – Learn from my many trial and errors and follow the recipe exactly as written. This will ensure the best result.
- Use ingredients listed – Use ingredients listed, in the quantity they are listed. Substituting may or may not work but you run the risk of the recipe failing if you do not use the ingredients as they are listed.
- Cool Cake Before Frosting – Make sure your cake is cool before frosting. Frosting a warm cake will result in your buttercream melting.
Best Vanilla Cake Recipe
- Kitchen Aid Mixer
- 2 3/4 cup Cake Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Salted Butter, (kerrygold or challenge)
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1/3 cup Oil
- 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Homemade Strawberry Preserve Filling
- 2 cup Fresh Strawberries, diced
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 tsp Lemon or Lime Juice
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 4 1/2 cup Confectioner's Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 335 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease three 6 inch baking pans
- In a medium size bowl sift cake flour first. After cake flour has been sifted, sift baking powder and salt into bowl, stir with a fork or whisk to ensure mixture is combined then set aside.
- Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute. Add oil and mix for another minute. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla then mix until combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add a third of flour mixture then half of buttermilk. Scrape bowl then add half of remaining flour mixture then remaining buttermilk. Scrape bowl then add remaining flour mixture then mix just until combined. Do not over mix batter.
- Divide batter evenly in three 6 inch baking pans and bake for 25- 30 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.
Homemade Strawberry Cake Filling
- Add strawberries, sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Use a potato masher to gently crush some of the diced strawberries.
- Reduced heat to low and allow mixture to boil until it reduces to a third of where it started and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon/lime juice. Allow to cool completely before use.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Sift confectioner's sugar then measure 4 1/2 cups
- Using paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add confectioner's sugar and mix until combined.
- In a small measuring cup, mix together milk, vanilla and salt then add to your butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until light and fluffy. 3-5 minutes.
- Once cake layers are cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and plastic wrap then trim the tops of cake with a serrated knife to make them even.
- Place a tablespoon of frosting on a cake board and spread evenly. Add one of the cake layers on the cake board and press it down firmly to secure. Add two cups of buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip.
- A) Pipe a thick circle of buttercream 1/4 inch inside the top of the cake layer to create a frosting dam. B) Add 1/4 cup of strawberry filling and spread evenly using an offset spatula. C) Gently pipe buttercream frosting to cover strawberry filling then spread even with offset spatula D) Add the next cake layer on top then gently press down to secure.
- Repeat step A, B, C and D then add 1 1/2 cup of buttercream frosting to the top of the third cake layer. Spread frosting on the top and side of cake to do a crumb coat. Place cake in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- Remove cake from freezer then add 1 1/2 cup of frosting on top and spread evenly. Flattening the top and smoothing the sides with offset spatula.
- Decorate cake as desired. I piped dollops of frosting on top of cake then garnished with fresh strawberries and Wilton nonpareils sprinkles