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Slice of vanilla cake with buttercream on a white plate

Vanilla Cake Recipe for Professionals

This Vanilla Cake recipe is the base for most of my cakes. It's got a great crumb, is moist and tender but is dense enough to carve and stack for wedding cakes or sculpted cakes. This recipe makes three 8" round cakes or two 9" round cakes.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Vanilla Cake Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 177 kcal
Author Liz Marek

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • 13 oz cake flour
  • 13 oz granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz whole milk room temperature
  • 3 oz vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

Baking The Vanilla Cake

  1. IMPORTANT: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temp and you're using a scale to measure (see notes at the bottom of the recipe) 

  2. Heat oven to 335º F/168º C . Prepare three 8" cake pans or two 9" cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release.

  3. Place 4oz of the milk and oil in a separate bowl or cup and set aside

  4. Combine remaining milk, vanilla and room temp eggs in a separate measuring cup and set aside

  5. Measure out dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and place them into the stand mixer bowl.

  6. Attach the paddle to the mixer, and turn on the slowest speed (setting 1 on Kitchen Aid mixers). Slowly add chunks of your softened butter until it is all added. Let mix until batter resembles coarse sand.

  7. Add milk/oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed (speed 4 on my KitchenAid) and mix for 2 full minutes. Do not skip this step or your cake will not rise. 

  8. Reduce the speed to low. Add in 1/3 of your milk/egg mixture and let it mix in fully. Repeat 2 more times until batter is just combined. Don't forget to scrape your bowl. Divide your batter into your pans.

  9. I always start by baking for 25 minutes for 8" and smaller cakes and 30 minutes for 9" and larger cakes and then checking for doneness. If the cakes are still really jiggly, I add another 5 minutes. I check every 5 minutes after that until I'm close and then it's every 2 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.

  10. Remove the cake pan from the oven and "tap" it lightly on the counter once to remove air from the cake and keep it from shrinking un-evenly. 

  11. Place cakes on a cooling rack and press down the dome immediately with an oven mitt covered hand. After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes or the pans are cool enough to touch, flip the cakes over and remove from the pans onto the cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

  12. Once the cakes are chilled in the refrigerator (about an hour for this size, longer for larger cakes), tort, fill and crumb coat all at once. If you do not plan on crumb coating the same day, you can leave the wrapped cakes on the countertop. Chilling can dry out your cakes before they are iced, so avoid keeping them in the refrigerator longer than necessary. Cakes can be frozen in freezer bags for later use as well.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start

1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 

2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 

3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.

4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 

Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Cake Recipe for Professionals
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 145mg6%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 295IU6%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.