Best Ever Vanilla Cake Recipe

This is the best vanilla cake recipe I have tried so far. With a soft and moist texture that cuts so perfectly, this bake-from-scratch cake is perfect for stacking and carving.

Vanilla cake recipeMy best ever vanilla cake recipe - you've got to try this!

I love this cake recipe. If anyone is looking for a simple cake recipe or an easy cake recipe that is baked from scratch, I would definitely recommend this cake. 

Firstly, it has only the basic ingredients you would need to make a cake. It uses self raising flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla essence and coupled with a pinch of salt and some baking powder, you get a perfect vanilla cake every time.

Secondly, the steps are pretty easy, you just add the ingredients one after another and continue mixing until the batter is ready before pouring it into prepared cake tins and baking.

Thirdly, the cake texture is not only soft and moist, it is also pretty solid and so works beautifully for stacking into tiered cakes. 

How to Make The Best Ever Vanilla Cake

I have provided the full recipe (measurement and making method) in the recipe card below and would like to share with you here, the step by step images of how I made this cake.

  • Start by measuring all your ingredients separately. Make sure butter and sugar are at room temperature. Place butter in a large bowl and beat until its creamy. Add in the castor sugar and beat until the mixture turns light and fluffy. For the measurement given in my recipe below, this should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl half way through the creaming process to make sure there is no butter left on the sides of the bowl. 
  • After that, add the eggs in, one at a time. And with each addition, beat them well and make sure they are all incorporated before adding more.

Butter and sugar creamed until light and fluffy.Butter and sugar creamed until light and fluffy.

  • The next process is adding in the flour and milk. Do it alternately, starting with about one thirds of the flour. Fold it in with a large spatula, followed by half of the milk. Continue with flour and milk again and finally end it with the remaining flour. Make sure the flour is all well folded in before adding in the liquid.

Flour in the batterStart with 1/3 of the flour. Fold it in carefully.
Adding milk into the batterAdd the milk in 2 portions, both times after adding in the flour.

  • And finally, add in the vanilla essence. Give the batter a good mix and pour into prepared tins.

Cake batter in cake pansPour batter into well lined and greased cake pans.

  • Bake the cakes for about 40 to 45 minutes at your normal baking temperature. Once baked, remove the cakes from oven and let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then turn them over onto to wire racks (facing upright) to cool completely before decorating. 
  • For the recipe measure below, I baked the cakes in two 7 inches round cake tins. You can also divide the batter into four 7 inches round cake tins and if you do, reduce the baking temperature to 17 to 20 minutes.
  • To assemble the cake, start by leveling and layering the layers. Since I baked mine in only 2 cake pans, I layered each tier so that I get 4 layers of cake in total.
  • Apply buttercream between each cake layer and stack the layers up. 
Filling cake with icing

  • Follow that by giving the cake a crumb coat. Place the crumb coated cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes for the icing to set.
Crumb coat the cake

  • Remove from fridge and apply the final layer of buttercream with your palette knife. Start with the top and move to the sides. For this design, it is not necessary to smooth frost the cake, so it is generally a very simple and quick decorating idea. Nevertheless, eyeball to make sure the icing is evenly applied and there are no parts of the cake that look bulging with icing.

Creating designs on buttercream

Buttercream flowers on buttercream cake

Vanilla Cake Recipe - Success Factors

Despite this being a very simple, bake from scratch recipe, it is still important to take note of these factors that can help you achieve the best results with just one try:

  • Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. Using them straight out of the fridge can result in your batter curdling. If that happens still (normally after you have added in the eggs), add flour in small increments until the batter is no more curdled before adding in the milk.  But bear in mind to not over mix the batter after adding in the flour for your cake with not be as soft as it should. 
  • Sift flour and baking powder at least twice. Sifting helps to aerate the flour which in turn helps the cake to rise well during baking.
  • If you do not have self raising flour, you can substitute with all purpose flour mixed with baking powder. For every 240 g of plain flour, add 1 and half leveled teaspoons of baking powder. Mix the two with a whisk and then sift twice.
  • Make sure the ingredients are measured accurately. It is highly advisable that you do not modify the quantity in your first try as that will not help if the cake does not turn out as it should. 
  • Make sure the cake is not over baked. The cake should ideally be removed from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes come out with tiny crumbs sticking to it and not when the tooth pick comes out entirely clean. By that time, the cake might be over baked already.
  • It is also important that the cake tins are well greased and floured. You can also line your tins with parchment, but make sure they are well greased so that they are not stuck to the cake tins after baking. 
  • When dividing the cake batter between multiple cake tins, it is best to weigh the cake tins after filling the batter in to make sure the batter is consistently filled in each tin. This will ensure the cakes are all baked uniformly.
  • If you refrigerate the cake before decorating, make sure it comes back to room temperature before layering or carving. The cake tends to be crumbly when its straight out of the fridge but is perfectly soft and moist at room temperature.

If you keep these pointers in mind, I am very positive you will love this vanilla cake recipe!

Vanilla cakeVanilla cake recipe

Here is the full printable version of my best ever vanilla cake recipe:

Vanilla Cake Recipe

By , Oct 6, 2019

 Vanilla Cake Recipe

This is the best vanilla cake I have tried so far. With a soft and moist yet solid texture that cuts so perfectly, this cake is perfect for stacking and carving.


Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Yield: Two 7-inches round cakes
Keyword: Vanilla Cake Recipe
Category: Dessert


  • 440 g self-raising flour
  • 360 g butter
  • 280 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 240 ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Buttercream icing made using 600 g of icing sugar and 300 g of butter.


  1. Pre heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Prepare two 7 inches round baking trays (greased and floured).
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt and keep it aside.
  3. In a clean bowl, cream the butter, and castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating until it is well incorporated and the mixture is all light and creamy.
  4. Fold in the flour alternately with milk, starting and end with flour.
  5. Finally add the vanilla essence and mix well.
  6. Pour cake batter into prepared tins and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when pressed lightly. You can also use a toothpick to test if the cake is done. The toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
  7. Remove cakes from oven and let them rest in the tins for a few minutes before turning them over onto wire racks to cool completely.
  8. To assemble the cake, level each layer and sandwich them with buttercream. Cover the sides and top with buttercream. Decorate as you wish.

A slice of cake

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