Vanilla Sculpted Cake Recipe

This is the BEST vanilla sculpted cake recipe using AP flour that I have ever tried. It's moist, tender crumb is great for using in wedding cakes or sculpted cakes and the flavor can easily be adapted to make custom flavors!
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Best vanilla cake recipe

Vanilla Sculpted Cake Recipe

I have had MANY requests for a moist, delicious vanilla sculpted cake recipe that uses AP flour instead of cake flour. Now you know I am #teamcakeflour all the way but I understand not everyone has access to cake flour or just wants a cake that’s a little bit better for carving. This cake does the job and is my go-to cake to switch up the flavors to make it custom or to use in sculpted cakes.

vanilla sculpted cake recipe

This is also the recipe to try if you’re looking to dip your feet into the baking pond. It’s practically fool-proof, delicious and a great cake to serve up for a birthday party.

Change up the flavors in the buttercream and keep the classic vanilla taste. A few sprinkles and bam! Everyone will be envious of your mad DIY birthday cake skills. Need some pointers? Check out our basics cake series

vanilla sculpted cake recipe

Firm Cake Recipes For Carving

For a while now I have been developing a series of cake recipes that work well for sculpting because even though in the past I have just used my regular cake flour recipes because I LOVE the taste the best, it can be challenging to teach that to other people. Especially if you’re not used to handling a delicate cake flour cake.

Since my job is to teach people, I thought coming up with a vanilla sculpted cake recipe that still tastes amazing but works really well for carving and sculpting would be my go to.

This cake is based on the vanilla cake recipe by Yolanda Gampp. I used her recipe for years when I needed something sturdy but have since made some adjustments to make the recipe more to my own tastes. A little less sugar and some added fat to keep the cake moist since I don’t like using simple syrup on my cakes.

I also have a red velvet sculpted cake recipe, a chocolate sculpted cake recipe and a bright red sculpted cake recipe that can be adjust to any color really.

Sturdy Cake Recipe For Stacking

You might be wondering if this recipe is good for stacked cakes. Yes it is! Some places you can’t find cake flour very easily or maybe you just prefer the durability and flavor of AP flour over cake flour. Whatever the reason, it’s nice to have options.

funfetti sculpted cake recipe

This vanilla sculpted cake recipe doubles as a great vanilla stacked cake recipe. If you want to make it into funfetti, you can stir in a couple of Tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles right at the end before you put the batter in the cake pan. Then sprinkle a few more on top because they tend to sink as the cake bakes. This way you’ll have sprinkles all through the batter.

funfetti sculpted cake recipe

When I’m stacking my vanilla cakes, I like to trim off the outside layer of crust so that I get some nice clean slices. In vanilla cake especially I feel like the brown on the outside takes away from the pretty white texture on the inside of the cake.

Sculpted Cake Recipe For Competition Cakes

Sometimes you need a nice sturdy cake and the taste isn’t important. These types of cake are usually used for display cakes that are going to be left out for a long time or for competition cakes. Yes there are things called cake shows where cake decorators come from all over the world and compete against each other. Most of the time you have to use real cake.

For these cakes I like to use box mix. I know that sounds counter-intuitive because I always say to stay away from box mix if you want a nice stable cake. The reason why box cake is so great is because it has preservatives in it. These preservatives protect the cake from getting mold or going bad. I know it sounds terrifying but I actually had a display cake made with box cake sitting on top of my fridge for over a year and it never got moldy. It’s like those McDonalds french fries you find under your chair. They just dry out and become perfectly preserved. Freaky.

To make my boxed vanilla cake sturdier, I add in two cups of flour, 4 extra eggs and leave out the oil. I also tend to over-mix the batter so it get’s really tough. It may not look the best but it’s great for holding it’s shape for a competition. This sturdy cake is also better for when the cake has to travel a long way by car or even plane and not refrigerated for long periods of time.



Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Best vanilla cake recipe

Vanilla Sculpted Cake Recipe

This is the BEST vanilla sculpted cake recipe using AP flour that I have ever tried. It's moist, tender crumb is great for using in wedding cakes or sculpted cakes and the flavor can easily be adapted to make custom flavors!
4.92 from 125 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Calories: 859kcal


  • 12 oz (340 g) AP Flour I like king arthur brand
  • 2 1/2 tsp (2 1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 8 oz (227 g) unsalted butter room temp
  • 12 oz (340 g) granulated sugar I like superfine
  • 1 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 4 large (4 large) eggs room temp
  • 8 oz (227 g) milk room temp
  • 2 oz (57 g) oil


  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two 8" rounds with cake goop or preferred pan spray.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter for 20 seconds until smooth
  • Sprinkle in the sugar and whip on med-high until light in color and fluffy. About 8-10 minutes. Scrape the bowl halfway through mixing
  • Bring back to low mixing, add in eggs one at a time. Let mix in fully for one minute fore adding the next egg. Mixture should look smooth, not broken or lumpy. If it is, your eggs might have been too cold. 
  • Add your vanilla and oil to your milk 
  • Add flour to mixture in four parts, alternating with the milk. Start with flour, mix until just incorporated, then add 1/3 of the milk. Repeat in alternating steps beginning and ending with flour. Let mix for 10 more seconds then stop 
  •  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Do not over-bake or your cake will shrink and your sides will not be straight.


Calories: 859kcal (43%) | Carbohydrates: 103g (34%) | Protein: 11g (22%) | Fat: 45g (69%) | Saturated Fat: 21g (105%) | Cholesterol: 209mg (70%) | Sodium: 265mg (11%) | Potassium: 376mg (11%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 59g (66%) | Vitamin A: 1185IU (24%) | Calcium: 169mg (17%) | Iron: 3.4mg (19%)
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123 comments on “Vanilla Cake Recipe (for sculpted cakes)

  1. 5 stars
    Another success!! I followed the recipe exactly for a 2D monster truck birthday cake for a little boy in my neighborhood who was turning 4. He said is was the best birthday cake he ever had. Four year olds are tough critics so I trust his assessment!

  2. 4 stars
    I made this cake yesterday for a friends birthday. I used the white chocolate ganache to cover and decorate the cake. We all thought it tasted amazing.
    Slightly disappointed that the sponge had a slight dense layer at the bottom but think maybe I undercooked it ?
    Will definitely use this recipe again !

    1. The dense layer comes from the cake batter separating (breaking) due to some of the ingredients being too cold. Usually the eggs or milk. When cake batter is split then the oil separates and falls to the bottom of the cake while baking and it looks raw. All the ingredients need to be room temperature before making the cake.

  3. Hi, would it be ok to half the recipe to fit in two 6” pans? Thank you very much.

  4. 5 stars
    Liz! I use your recipes all the time and we definitely love this one – but the cake batter calculator!! Game changer!! Thanks so much for making things so easy =)

  5. 5 stars
    I made this cake for my son’s first birthday back at the end of May. I used it to make the turtle cake from your YouTube channel and it turned out AMAZING. The cake was so moist, carved beautifully, held the fondant well, all the good things!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us “laypeople” and answering our questions. You are my go-to gal for recipes and tips. You rock!!

  6. 5 stars
    Hello Liz. I really want to try this recipe. Can i use buttermilk instead of regular milk? I really liked your white velvet cake recipe, but i would like to try a recipe that uses egg yolks and AP flour.

  7. 5 stars
    I am a chef by trade, but a baking novice. I used this recipe to make a 6 layer Rainbow cake and it was pure gold. It tasted great and the texture was perfect for holding all of those layers. I used your easy buttercream recipe, but reduced the powdered sugar by 1/2 oz and mixed in13 oz of store bought Marshmellow creme, total perfection. Thank you for these websites and your advice, my 5 year old was so happy! 💕

  8. 5 stars
    Love this recipe so much. General question it the top is browning quickly. Would you suggest baking lowering temp to 335 or 325 for a longer time? Thank you in advance 🙂

  9. Thank you for the quick response!! One more question sorry…is there any way to turn this into a marble cake without making an addition chocolate batter? Thank you.

  10. You are the best! I can’t thank you enough for all of your!

  11. 5 stars
    I made an amazing sculpted horse cake using this cake and it was a total hit thank you for your wonderful recipes!!!

  12. Hey there,
    Can I substitute the milk for heavy cream to give it a creamy taste? Would it affect the rest of the ingredients in any way?

    1. using heavy cream wont add a creamy flavor to the cake, it just adds fat content which we already have from the butter, eggs and oil

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