Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe

More and more often I get asked for my favorite layer cake recipes! I've posted this recipe often as a part of a full-cake recipe, but I'll include just the cake layer recipe itself below - this recipe is moist, rich, and perfect for stacking! 

Vanilla Cake Layers:

Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!! 

3 1/4 c.  all purpose flour
3 c.  granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t.  salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (or 5 eggs if you don't mind the layers being a bit off-white) - you can use the yolks for something else or buy just egg whites in a carton to avoid wasting the yolks! 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or three 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.

Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.

 

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

2 thoughts on “Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe

  1. After years of cake successes and flops, I m confident in this homemade vanilla cake. During my recipe testing, I combined my white cake recipe and naked cake recipe. These are two reader favorites and I knew they d be the best starting point. At first there were too many eggs and I quickly learned sifting cake flour was NOT doing any favors.

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