A side view of a layer cake with white frosting and colorful buttercream flowers

Buttercream Flower Cake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 10-12 slices


This Moist Vanilla Layer Cake is an easy oil-based vanilla cake recipe that is SUPER moist and spongy, you’ll know it’s a homemade vanilla cake. It’s decorated with the perfect vanilla frosting recipe.


For the cake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) milk (I use nonfat)

For the frosting:

  •  2 1/2 cups (565g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 810 (1041g-1301g) cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 23 (30-45ml) tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt


  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare 3 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even strips if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients, beat on low speed while pouring in half of the milk. Mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the three pan, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-23 minutes. Rotate your pans in the oven halfway through baking.
  7. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting (suggest to make in 2 batches due to volume): Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color.
  9. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  10. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
  11. Add the remaining powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time alternating with the of heavy whipping cream. Beat on low speed until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.
  12. To assemble the cake, use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  13. Place about 2 cups of frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the cake, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Repeat with the second layer of cake and then place your third layer on top.
  14. Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a crumb coat. Using an angled spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving you just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
  15. Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your angled spatula or a large piping bag fitted with a large cake icer tip. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use you icing smoother to remove any excess frosting.


  • For tips and tricks no how to decorate this cake, please refer to blog post
  • For the roses (see in purple), we’re using a Wilton 1M piping tip.
  • For the large swirls, I used a Wilton #199 piping tip (see in pink)
  • For the smaller flowers, I used a #21 piping tip (teal)
  • Finally, #2F drop flower piping tip (yellow)
  • Be sure to check out all the tips and tricks I’ve shared in my how to make buttercream post which is detailed with all my success tips for the perfect buttercream frosting every time.
  • Decide which two color are going to be your primary colors- these will be the color of your rose and the large swirls. You’ll want about 1 cup of each color. Then for your two accent colors, you’ll need about ½ cup of frosting each.
  • I recommend using the gels from Wilton Color Right system to tint the frosting.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cake decorating, buttercream flowers, vanilla cake, moist vanilla cake

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes
Skip to content