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Moist Vanilla Cake

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This perfectly Moist Vanilla Cake is a timeless dessert, full of sweet vanilla flavor and topped with my best vanilla frosting. It’s an easy cake recipe that you can make as cupcakes or a layer cake, too!

For a chocolate version of this cake recipe, try my Super Moist Chocolate Cake. Looking for more fun baking ideas? Check out my favorite Easy Cake Recipes

Easy Homemade Vanilla Cake

I’m always chasing the perfect cake recipe. After months of trialing and adjusting to get it just right, this easy vanilla cake recipe might be my most versatile dessert ever. There’s rarely an occasion when this cake isn’t the answer, whenever I need a dessert for a special occasion, or just because I’m craving something sweet.

My cake recipe is a real classic. It makes perfect, ultra-moist cake, frosted with my all-time favorite vanilla buttercream frosting. The crumb is rich and spongey, and the batter comes together easily using either a stand or hand mixer.

Birthdays, parties, potlucks, bake sales – this cake is the best, perfect for frosting and decorating. You can even make it into a layer cake or cupcakes!

What to Expect

Over the years, millions of people have visited this recipe, and countless readers have made it. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Taste: The cake itself isn’t overly sweet, allowing it to pair perfectly with the frosting. High-quality vanilla gives the best flavor.
  • Texture: Dense but spongy. If you are looking for a light and fluffy vanilla cake, this isn’t it.
  • Crumb: Very moist with a tight and tender crumb.

Key Ingredients

Below I’ve included the main ingredients you’ll need for this vanilla cake recipe and frosting. The full recipe details and ingredient amounts can be found in the recipe card, so don’t forget to scroll to the end.

For the Vanilla Cake

  • Oil – I use oil in place of butter in many of my cake recipes. Oil makes for a lighter, moist crumb. Vegetable oil and coconut oil will both work great.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla is the star here, so make sure to use a high-quality vanilla extract for this recipe.
  • Sour Cream – My essential ingredient for an ultra-moist cake! Sour cream (either light or full-fat) brings lots of added moisture and richness to cakes and cupcakes. If you don’t have sour cream, substitute plain Greek yogurt instead. If you need to, you can omit it completely, but note that this vanilla cake will not be nearly as moist.
  • All-purpose flour: I often get asked if cake flour can be used, and the simple answer is no. They’re not a 1:1 replacement. Sifted, all-purpose flour is the way to go.
  • Milk – I use nonfat milk because that’s what I keep in my fridge. You can use any kind of milk (whole, 2%, etc.) you have on hand. You’ll want to let your milk as well as the sour cream come to room temperature before you start, so they’re easier to combine with the batter.

For the Vanilla Frosting

  • Butter – This is a basic buttercream so, naturally, it starts with butter. My secret to perfect buttercream frosting is cold butter (trust me!), so keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Or milk, to adjust the consistency of the frosting. I prefer to use heavy cream as it always yields the creamiest, fluffiest vanilla frosting.
The ingredients for moist vanilla cake.

Oil vs. Butter In Cakes: Which Is Better?

Oil alllllll the way. Oil makes this cake bake up more light and tender than butter-based cake. The difference comes from butter being a solid fat at room temperature (even after baking), while oil stays liquid and moist.

Another major perk of working with oil? There’s no waiting around while your butter comes to room temperature! Many cake recipes often call for room-temperature butter so that it’s easier to whip, but not this one.

If you’d prefer to bake this cake using butter instead, use 1/2 cup of melted butter in place of the oil that’s called for in the recipe. Just know that it won’t come out quite as soft or moist, so I usually don’t recommend it.

How To Make a Moist Vanilla Cake

Here’s just how simple it is to make the perfect vanilla cake from scratch:

Combine the wet Ingredients. Begin by beating together the sugar, oil, and the rest of the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Next, you’ll beat in the sour cream, and set the bowl aside.

Sift the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Slowly mix the sifted flour mixture into the wet ingredients, alternating with milk until you have a smooth batter.

Bake. Add the vanilla cake batter to a 9×13-inch baking dish, and then bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes. Once the cake is done, take it out and leave it to cool completely before frosting.

Baked vanilla cake inside a metal baking pan.

How to Make the Vanilla Frosting

This cake is frosted with my favorite Perfect Vanilla Frosting. It’s honestly the most versatile buttercream frosting. I use it for everything, from this vanilla cake to Rainbow Cupcakes, Red, White, and Blue Layer Cakes, and Sugar Cookies!

The best buttercream frosting is whipped, fluffy, and very spreadable. Here’s how to prepare this easy frosting for decorating your vanilla cake. I have a more detailed tutorial on how to make frosting if needed (linked above- see my perfect vanilla frosting).

  1. Whip the butter. This is key. Since this frosting begins with cold butter, you’ll need to whip it a little longer at the start. Cut the cold butter into cubes, then add it to your mixer and whip it for a good 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
  2. Add powdered sugar. With the mixer on low, you’ll gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla, and lastly the heavy cream. 
  3. Whip again. Continue to beat your vanilla frosting for an additional several minutes or so to get it nice and airy.
  4. Frost the cake. When your cake is completely cool, it’s ready to frost. Place dollops of frosting around the top of the cake and use an angled spatula to spread the frosting. Don’t press too hard or you’ll risk pulling the top of the cake along with you! See below for more helpful frosting and decorating tips.

Tips for Success

Below are some common mistakes and how to avoid them, along with a couple of handy tips for making the best moist vanilla cake:

  • Room temperature ingredients: I’ve made this cake both ways, and I can assure you that room temperature ingredients does allow the ingredients to better incorporate together.
  • Sifted flour. I know it’s a pain, but I’ve made this cake so many times over the years, and using a fine mesh strainer to aerate the flour is the way to go.
  • Don’t over (or under) mix the batter. Once the dry ingredients have been added, low and slow is the name of the game. There’s a bit of a delicate balance when preparing cake batter. If you over-beat the ingredients, your cake won’t rise and will come out overly dense. Meanwhile, batter that’s not well mixed will bake unevenly.
  • Try not to substitute ingredients wherever possible. You’ve heard the saying, “cooking is an art, baking is a science”. Think of the ingredients and ratios in a cake recipe as a tested and successful science experiment. Straying from the recipe can have unpredictable results. 
  • Avoid overbaking or underbaking. Baking times may vary depending on the type of pan you’re using (see the next point below) and your individual oven. Test the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is ready to come out.
  • Different types of pans will bake differently. Cakes in glass baking pans will always need to bake longer since glass doesn’t conduct heat as well as metal pans.
A slice of frosted vanilla cake on a white plate, garnished with rainbow sprinkles, with another slice of cake in the background.

More Frosting and Decorating Ideas

A classic homemade vanilla cake is seriously the best dessert for any occasion! It’s just as delicious as a birthday cake as it is for everyday baking, and I’ll never run out of ways to decorate it. Here are more frosting options to pair with this easy vanilla cake:

You can be as creative or as basic as you’d like when it comes to how you frost your cake, too. Most of the time I just smear the frosting in an even layer all over so I can get to slicing ASAP. But the vanilla buttercream frosting is also perfect for piping! I have helpful tutorials on How to Use a Piping Bag and How to Use and Decorate with Piping Tips that walk you through it. 

Then, try one or more of these fun topping ideas:

  • Fruit – Top your cake with fresh berries, fruit, or a compote.
  • Chocolate Ganache – Drizzle the top of the cake with an easy homemade chocolate ganache (borrow the filling from my Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes!) 
  • Caramel Sauce – Add a bit of caramel or butterscotch sauce over top.
  • Sprinkles – Top your cake with fun and festive colorful sprinkles, nonpareils, or chocolate shavings.
  • Crushed Cookies – Give your cake a crunchy texture thanks to a sprinkle of crushed cookies, like Oreos or Nilla Wafers.
A forkful of vanilla cake held up in front of a slice of frosted cake garnished with rainbow sprinkles.

Easy Recipe Variations

This recipe makes a very simple and very delicious single-layer vanilla cake. But it doesn’t have to end there. Here are some more recipe variations you can try:

  • Cupcakes – This vanilla cake recipe can easily be made as vanilla cupcakes. The batter will make a hefty 24 cupcakes, with a little left over. For some helpful cupcake decorating tips, check out my post on How to Decorate Cupcakes.
  • Layer Cake – I make this cake as an 8” three-layer cake in my recipe for Moist Vanilla Layer Cake. If you’d like to bake this as a 9-inch or 10-inch layer cake, the baking times will need to be adjusted accordingly. All the details are in the post.
  • Bundt Cake – I’ll be honest, I don’t love the way this recipe bakes as a bundt cake. Luckily, I developed the perfect fluffy Vanilla Bundt Cake instead. The preparation is a bit different but just as easy!
  • Gluten-Free – I’ve made a gluten-free vanilla cake using 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and it came out great. If you’re looking for another easy gluten-free dessert, try my Easy Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
  • Poke Cakes- I’ve used this as a base recipe for many of my poke cake recipes.
A slice of frosted vanilla cake topped with rainbow sprinkles on a white plate next to a forkful of cake.

How to Store a Frosted Cake

Whenever possible, this homemade vanilla cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature to keep it fresh and moist. However, if you live in a hot and humid environment, you may want to store this in the refrigerator instead. Take the cake out of the fridge ahead of time and serve it at room temperature. Either way, be sure you’re using an airtight container.

Can I Freeze Vanilla Cake?

Yes, though it’s best to freeze homemade cakes before they’re frosted. Once the vanilla cake is baked and cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, plus a layer of foil. Store your cake frozen for up to 1 month.

Before serving, thaw the vanilla cake completely and let it come to room temperature before frosting.

A slice of frosted vanilla cake on a white plate, garnished with rainbow sprinkles, with another slice of cake in the background.

Moist Vanilla Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices


This easy and homemade Moist Vanilla Cake recipe is perfectly sweet and fluffy and full of rich vanilla flavor. Topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting, it’s the best vanilla cake to make for any occasion!


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup(118 ml) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) milk (any type), at room temperature

For the Frosting

  • 3/4 cup ( 170g )unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 1/2cups (325g ) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml ) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml ) heavy whipping cream or milk


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half the dry ingredients, and half the milk, and beat on low speed just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat until all ingredients are added and 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.
  5. Pour the batter into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, and beating until the butter is whipped and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into the butter then add the vanilla extract and heavy cream and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  3. Continuing beating, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Spread over cooled cake.


  • The batter will be quite thin. It’s important that you stir the batter after mixing, to ensure everything on the bottom of the bowl is well mixed.
  • This can easily be made into vanilla cupcakes or a vanilla layer cake
  • Greasing the pan: if you are using a pan that isn’t nonstick, or you plan to remove  the whole cake from the pan, be sure to grease and flour the pan first. 
  • Baking times will vary by pan type and true internal oven temperatures.
  • Storing this cake: Whenever possible, cakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If you live in a hot and humid environment, you may want to store this in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
  • Freezing this cake: I do not prefer to freeze cakes once they’re frosted/ If you need to freeze this cake, double wrap it in plastic wrap and then with foil. Thaw to room temperature to serve.
  • Ingredient substitutions

    • Sour cream: This is essential for keeping the cupcakes moist. If you don’t have sour cream. I recommend substituting it with non-fat Greek yogurt. The recipe calls for light sour cream, but you can also use full-fat sour cream. If you need to, you can omit it completely, but note the cake will not be nearly as moist.
    • Butter instead of oil: You can use 1/2 cup of melted butter instead of oil, but I don’t think it is nearly as good. You can also use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
    • Gluten-free flour: I have tested this recipe with a one-for-one gluten-free flour and it worked out great
Nutrition Information:
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best vanilla cake recipe, easy vanilla cake recipe, homemade vanilla cake

More Easy Homemade Cake Recipes to Try

Leave a Comment

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661 Responses
  1. Lucille Mouton

    I have been using this recipe for a few years now. I replace the sour cream with buttermilk and it comes out super delicious. I use a caramel buttercream and it is just to die for. I have baked this for family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and it’s a winner. My go-to recipe for a wonderful vanilla cake!!!!!

  2. Vanessa

    I’ve been using this recipe for 3+ years now for our family birthday cakes. It’s a winner every time, especially with the cream cheese frosting. It’s common for people to ask me for the recipe once they’ve tried it. Thank you!

  3. Rowen

    You said “this is a Moist Vanilla Cake recipe is perfectly sweet and fluffy and full of rich vanilla flavor” and you’re so far from the truth. If I would have know that you only taste the sugar in the frosting and the actual cake itself is bland and just over all gross. I would have picked a different recipe . The frosting wouldn’t even blend together because of how much sugar there was. No only didn’t I waist all of those ingredients but also waisted my time.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      It sucks to feel like you have wasted time and ingredients, I understand the frustration. Unfortunately Vanilla cake/cupcakes are one of the hardest recipes to please everyone with, as each person has a different idea of what they want or think it should be. This particular cake is overwhelming popular on my site, but I can’t please everyone. If you had trouble with the frosting blending together, that’s a red flag for me that something wasn’t right. Were you using a hand mixer? Or perhaps the butter wasn’t beaten for long enough. Anyhow you can also try adding some more liquid to help it incorporate.

  4. Saeed

    Suuuuper dense, heavy, and bland. So dense it’s comical. Followed recipe exactly. Probably doesn’t need 3 large eggs… Horrible. Taste like nothing with hint of egg and that’s it. Not fun to chew

    1. beyond social

      Hi Saeed, I am not sure what you expected, given I stated this cake is “Dense but spongy. If you are looking for a light and fluffy vanilla cake, this isn’t it.”. The thing about vanilla cake is that everyone has their own idea of what it should be. It’s too bad this didn’t meet your expectations. If your cake was as dense as your describing, I am wondering if you over-measured the flour, especially since you mentioned the chew.

  5. Krissi

    My husband who doesn’t really bake, made this for me tonight for my birthday and it was delicious. It’s a keeper. Really great texture and moist. Used two snack pack vanilla puddings instead of the sour cream, and everyone really loved it too. Simple recipe too. Thanks!

  6. Nena

    The his was an absolute fail for me 😩 It completely sunk in the middle of baking & looked like a donut. Strange as there’s so many positive reviews. Any ideas?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Nena, I have followed up with you via email, it would be helpful to have some more details from you to try and troubleshoot the issue

  7. Danielle

    The only issue I had was the recipe instructions say to mix dry ingredients but then the sugar is in the “mix wet ingredients” step. So I jumped ahead I suppose, and mixed all dry and then all wet then combined the two. The instructions got confusing the first time around.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Danielle, thanks for the feedback, I can see how that could be confusing and I can look to make it a little clearer.

  8. Carolanne

    I make this for every birthday we have in our house. It’s delicious. Sometimes my batter has small lumps in it, but I’m concerned about overmixing. Can you tell me if this is just from not mixing well enough, or is it just the way some batters look before they go in the oven?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      The lumps in the batter are likely clumps of flour that are not incorporating into the batter. I have made some updates over the years and I’ve found them a combination of room temperature ingredients, sifting the dry ingredients and mixing at a low speed once the flour is added will produce the best results. Also slowly adding the flour, and incorporating the milk will help.

  9. Emily

    Unfortunately this cake was so dense, I followed everything to the dot but I used the metric versions of the measurements so I’m unsure if those were maybe incorrect? I even used light sour cream and read all the trouble shooting! Such a shame!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Emily, this cake is meant to be more dense than light and airy. It’s very spongy. I make this all the time, only uses the weighted measurements, so it’s hard to know if the cake texture was actually correct and just didn’t meet your expectations or if something was actually off that that caused the cake to be too wet or dense.

  10. Anne Marie

    This is my favourite vanilla cake recipe! I have baked it many times with multiple fillings and everyone loves it. I have a few questions.Anne

    1. Can this recipe be converted into a marble cake?
    2. Is this enough batter to fill a sheet pan(12x17x1”)?
    3. What temp and time for a sheet cake?

    Thank you

  11. Christine

    I just made this cake .. it is amazing , light and fluffy , full of flavor . It called for 2 cups of sugar I backed it to 1 1/2cups , tasted perfect 👍

  12. Dani

    Love this cake! I Make it all the time. Super moist and delicious. And is great tasting even several days later, if there is any left the day I make it! 😉 My go to cake all the time. Also shared it with family.
    Thank you for sharing. 🙏🏽🥰

  13. Melanie Champagne

    I made this cake in January for my daughter’s birthday. It was easy to make and gone so quick. I asked my soon-to-be 4 year old son what he wanted for his birthday and he requested this cake. If a 4 year old remembers a cake 4 months after, it means it’s good. Don’t look further.

  14. Jenna

    Excellent recipe! This is my go to recipe for a simple vanilla cake. I have made this a couple times, the first with out sour cream. It was perfect, I made it with lime and lime glaze. The second time I added the sour cream, and made lemon. The third time I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour, and I like it even better. Thank for the recipe, and the ingredient breakdown.

  15. Jodi

    Was really good! Followed the recipe exactly except for adding in 1 tbsp cake batter extract along with the vanilla. I also used almond milk and the cake was fluffy and very moist. I added 1/2 Cup rainbow sprinkles to the mix as well. Everyone had 2 pieces and wanted more!

  16. Marion

    Made this cake to take into work.
    I did swap sour cream for Greek yogurt because that’s what I had on hand and made an almond butter butter cream. Matched perfect.
    This weekend I will try it with chocolate buttercream or even might try to make cupcakes
    Thx again

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yep, the frosting can be frozen for about 2 months in an airtight container, or try and remove any excess air from a Ziploc bag.

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Yes, keep it in an airtight container, and then let it come to room temperature and rewhip in your mixer before frosting the cake for best results

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Depends on your pan. I use a nonstick pan and I don’t remove the entire cake from the oven, so I don’t find it necessary to grease my pan

  17. Dimitra Polychronis

    This cake is FANTASTIC! It took me much longer than 30 minutes, both times I made it, closer to 45-50 minutes.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thanks so much for sharing. Not sure if it’s your oven or pan that would have caused a longer bake time, but I am glad to worked out for you!

      1. Caroleann

        This cake is perfect ! It took me much longer to cook though, 54 minutes to be precise. It is perfect, a base vanilla cake recipe to keep and have fun with different toppings.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Thank you so much Caroleann! I really am curious to know why you had to bake it for so long. Did you change the pan size or do you have a special type of oven?

  18. Ashley's

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Is it possible to use a 9 in round pan instead of a 9 x 13 pan? Thank you very much for sharing this!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Ashley, yes you can. YOu may find the layer cake version of this cake more helpful, there is a section that specifically discusses how to make the cake in various size pans, including the 9-inch rounds. Visit the Vanilla Layer Cake recipe for more details.

  19. Melinda van sickle

    Recipe was very good. I made it into a layer cake using two 10 inch pans, and it was just the right amount of batter. I also used the Greek yogurt (low-fat) instead of the sour cream, which you said could be substituted. Cake was plenty moist, and the tablespoon of real vanilla really boosted the flavor.

  20. Dawn

    This recipe is spectacular & will not disappoint! I served my cake with a cool whip topping and used fresh strawberries on top. Right after dinner cake was served. Some people had 2 or 3 pieces of cake and someone scraped the bottom of the pan for the crumbs!! It was that good. Next time I bake it I will bake 2. This will be the only recipe I will use for vanilla cake. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  21. Thabile Ngema

    Morning mmmm what a nice cake..thanks so much for sharing some nice recipes with us….I really enjoyed my yummy moist vanilla cake ever👌

  22. Hanna

    I just made the sponge for this recipe and used it for a boston cream pie as I had a craving and not much butter. This is definitely going to be a go staple. It is quite soft and spongy but strong enough to layer. I wouls call it the softest cake i have made in a long time

  23. Himadri

    Best cake recipe i ever had. Making this from last three years and every body in my home loves it. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  24. Missy

    Any idea how long I would need to bake if I did a bundt pan. Also would I need to double the frosting recipe ?

  25. Charlotte Cooke

    Hello, I love this recipe, it’s the best vanilla cake I’ve ever tried, however sometimes when I make it it sinks after I fetch it out the oven to cool and becomes really doughy? I always put a skewer in to make sure it’s completely cooked and I make it the same every time (I think 🤷) so not sure what I could be doing wrong? Any advice would be amazing, thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Charlotte, I would add another 2 minutes to your bake time. If the cake is doughy and it sinks, that means it’s not cooking all the way through. Also make sure you oven is fully preheated before starting. For instance, my oven beeps at “full temp” after about 10 minutes, but it’s only actually preheated about halfway. It takes a full 20-25 minutes to preheat.

    2. Lou

      I have been having the same issue. This is such a beautiful cake when it works. I think the gluey doughy texture is caused by overmixing which leads to the gluten over developing in the flour within the cake. I made it again yesterday with my new handheld mixer (it is alittle faster even on the lowest setting than my last one so I was very cautious). However the texture has been unfortunately affected. Could I fold the flour and milk in at the end by hand with a spatula instead? I think this would safeguard me from overmixing!

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Lou, I’ve adjusted the recipe recently, including suggestions for using room-temperature ingredients and sifted flour. Mixing on low speed etc. You could certainly try hand-mixing it, but I think you find you might over-mix it as well. Instead, I would mix just until the flour starts to combine then finish with your spatula, and perhaps adding the flour more slowly. For as many times as I’ve made this, I don’t really have inconsistent results. To your point, overmixing the batter will cause the gluten to over develop.

  26. Angela

    This cake is DELICIOUS! FYI I made it with vegan sour cream, gluten free flour and almond milk and it turned out so well!

      1. Tis

        Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I found it while looking for an easy vanilla cake that used oil and haven’t looked back. Made it as a great bake the first time but have also used it to make 2 x 6″ layers and miscellaneous cupcakes.

        Fantastic results every time (even though my oven needed way more baking time.

        Is it possible to adapt this to a lemon cake? How much lemon zest and lemon juice would work and do I trying out keep the vanilla extract?

        Thanks in advance

  27. Lidija

    I love this recipe. But I find my batter is always somewhat lumpy. Any advice? I follow the directions exactly and still get flour lumps.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi there, I think it’s because this is a liquid-heavy batter, I find that sifting the flour can help with this and slowly incorporating it while adding in the milk can help with that

  28. Cesan H

    I made this today for my sister’s birthday and everyone loved it!!! I’ve been looking for a really good vanilla recipe and I think I found the ONE! 😋 Thank you Julianne for sharing this recipe ❤️

  29. Susan

    I used full fat European organic yogurt and frozen egg mix thawed and turned out rich and moist. It met my grandsons approval.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Sorry Melia, I am not too familiar with high altitude baking and have no tested the recipe at elevation.

    2. Juliana

      I love this cake recipe – I use it All the time! I’m wondering the best way to turn into a coconut cake. Have you tried this and if so, how much coconut extract would it require?
      Can I sub some of the milk for Malibu Coconut rum?

  30. Connie Miller

    If I want to cut the recipe in half to make 12 cupcakes how would divide 3 eggs in half ? Would you use 2 eggs ? Thanks

  31. Amy Wilson

    Hi Julianne! I’m wanting to make some cupcakes for my son’s 2nd birthday today. I came across your recipe and am excited to try it. What would the baking instructions for cupcakes be?
    Thanks 😊

  32. Maurice Sias

    My new go to Vanilla Cake recipe! A deliciously moist and tasty vanilla cake. Followed the recipe to the tee and it came out perfectly. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  33. Julian

    Hi! I’m interested in giving this a whirl. I’ve been trying to find a recipe where I can use my leftover apple butter and am hoping this is the one. What’re your thoughts on swapping sour cream for apple butter? Or just adding some apple butter to the batter, perhaps? 🙂 thanks!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Terri, I do not because I use a nonstick pan and I don’t remove the whole cake from the pan. It would depend on the type of pan you’re using.

      1. Debbie

        I make this recipe for cupcakes and I make alot of cupcakes this has always been my go to recipe!!!! I love it they are so good and I get many compliments!!!
        Thank you

  34. Jen Adams

    This is by far the best vanilla cake I have come across. Most scratch cakes are always dry. The folks I share this with songs it’s praises! It is moist and very vanilla -y. It is now my go to cake for all occasions. Thank you!

  35. Amanda

    I would like to try this recipe. Would double the recipe be enough to fill three round 9 inch pans or would I need more batter?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Amanda, You can make 3 9-inch layers but the layers will be thinner, maybe .5″-.75″ thick at most.

  36. Laura

    I think this is the best vanilla cake recipe I have ever made! The crumb is excellent texture and the cake is moist and flavorful. Thank you so much for sharing this one, it is definitely a keeper.

  37. Faathima

    How long can I keep this cake be stored in a freezer?
    Amazing recipe btw! Definitely a go-to⚡thank you!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thanks Faathima. My personal recommendation is 1 month but with proper preparation to prevent freezer burn, up to 3 months.

  38. Sarah Lou

    Hi, looking for a good from-scratch recipe to use for an upside down cake. Do you think this would work well for that, or is there another recipe you have in mind?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You can. typically I would adjust the baking powder to include some baking soda when using buttermilk. Try swapping out 1 teaspoon.

  39. Nay

    A wonderful recipe thank you,, I have made a few homemade white cakes and they always came out rather dry. This was so good I will be making this cake again and again and again and again😄

  40. Vladimira Do Nascimento Miranda

    Hi, I love this recipe! Since I found it about 5months ago I bake this so often – all versions- sheet cake, layer cake and cupcakes and all always work out so well! I also make the chocolate version simply by adding 2-3 tbsp of cocoa powder dissolved in about 2tbsp of hot water or coffee, using little less milk (about 280- 285 ml). The chocolate version is my kids’ favourite cake😃

  41. K.M.U.B Kulasekara

    thank your for this Amazing recipe,i doubled the recipe and subtitude milk with coconut came out perfectly.❤️

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Deb, I bake this frequently and I seldom use room temperature ingredients, so I did not specify them to be room temp.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You can use dairy-free milk and yogurt, I don’t think that would be an issue. In regards to vegan butter, I have never made a frosting with vegan butter but if you can find something in a brick form or a vegetable shortening, you could try that and then use dairy-free milk instead of heavy cream.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Via, the answer to this is in the blog post under Ingredient substitutions and also listed in the recipe card in the notes section. I hope you’ll find those suggestions helpful.

  42. Mary

    Hi there! The serving size says 15. Does that mean there is 443 calories for 15 muffins or 1?
    Thank you!

  43. Sarah

    I wanted to try to make this cake but with two round pans. Do you know what temperature and time it would need to bake at?

  44. Alisa Mason

    This is my absolute go-to recipe for a vanilla cake. The sponge comes out perfect every time. I’ve made it as a layer cake and as a 1/2 sheet (11×15). For the layer cake, Julianne’s directions are spot on. For the 1/2 sheet size I doubled the ingredients and baked at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe no matter what size you do.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Alisa!! I really appreciate that! Thank you for sharing your sheet cake adjustments too!

  45. Nivida

    The cake came out super moist & delicious! This will be my go-to recipe from now onwards! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! 😊

  46. Wadzie

    So moist and yummy, I reduced the sugar to 1 cup and it came out good as well. Thank you for the recipe

  47. Kadi

    Exactly what I was looking for! Nice and easy recipe but also not too sweet and really moist!

  48. Jenny

    We cant get All purpose flour where I am. What can I use instead if I cant use cake flour?
    We get bread flour, cake flour, self raising flour??

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jenny- what do you normally sub for all purpose flour? Definitely not bread flour. I don’t bake with self rising flour, but if that’s an alternative, you would likely reduce the baking powder in this recipe.

  49. sylvia

    Hello, so glad I found this recipe. it’s by far the best vanilla cake I’ve made!
    Is the original recipe in cups and then converted to grams or was it originally in grams and adapted to cup measurements? thank you 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      All my recipes start in cups and are converted to grams using an online tool that estimates. They also vary from brand to brand, especially with flour!

      1. Tara

        Absolutely wonderful recipe. Followed the recipe exactly and the cake was very moist, and not too sweet. We didn’t get to try the frosting recipe, really looking forward to trying it next time. Printing this one for the books! Thanks for the heads up about the thin batter, really calmed my fears!

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        That’s amazing Tara! Thank you so much for sharing. I am really glad you found this recipe!

  50. Anar I Gulamhussein

    My late husband used to tell me that my cakes always turn out too dry,for years I tried but to fail everytime until I came across this recipe & omg 😱 what a difference it made, not only moist but delicious & def not dry I couldn’t stop eating it same with my family 🤤😋❤️🌹

  51. Jessica Jonceski

    Hi, i’m just wondering if this recipe is restricted to vegetable oil? could you use canola instead?
    thank you 🙂

  52. Abby Clay

    Amazing cake! It’s so hard to find a cake that has a little more to it and is not super light and airy but this recipe is THE ONE. This cake was exactly what I hoped for and super moist. I made coconut frosting for the top and put coconut on the outside and had the most moist and amazing coconut cake of my life. Excited to use this cake with lots of different frostings!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you Abby!! You should also try my yellow cake or lemon cake which were adapted from this as well! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jasmin, I’ve never tested this recipe with cake flour, but they are not a 1:1 substitute. Yes, you can use buttermilk, but I would consider using some baking soda in combination with the baking powder. At least 1/2-1 teaspoon.

  53. Rebecca

    I’ve made your 8″ 3-layer recipe a few times now (after searching for so long for a good white cake recipe!), and it’s perfect. I was planning to double it to make a 9×13 version, since my Wilton 9×13 pan says I should use 10 cups of batter. But here you’re using the same recipe (which I think makes 5 cups) for a 9×13. Will this be a high enough single-layer sheet cake?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Rebecca, I use the same recipe for both a 9×13″ cake and the 3 layer 8-inch cake. I am afraid if you doubled the recipe, the edges would burn before the middle was cooked

  54. joy lyon

    I’m in the U.K. and made this for the first time today. I can see this becoming a firm family favourite.

  55. Stephanie

    Hey (Hugs)
    How are you? I only use your vanilla in my business, its phenomenal huge fan, I was wondering if I can make your vanilla in a caramel cake (in the sponge) 🙏🏻

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Stephanie, thank you! I am not sure I understand the question. Do you mean make it into a caramel cake?

      1. Stephanie

        It worked, thanks to your brilliant recipe I successfully managed to make a caramel one. You are amazing, thank you

  56. Becky

    Can I change the vanilla extract for almond extract? I’m hunting for an almond recipe that includes oil and yogurt/milk but you don’t seem to have one.

  57. Kelly

    Before I try this, I want to ask what you recommend for higher altitudes. We are at 3700 feet. I normally reduce the leavening, add a bit more liquid, etc. I look forward to trying this!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kelly, I am not too familiar with high altitude baking, and unfortunately I have not made this cake at high altitude myself so I am can’t be of much help here. I’m sorry!

  58. Mia

    The cake came out with a bread like texture – is this how it normally comes out or did I do something wrong? I was expecting a tight crumb, but this seemed more pound cake/sweet bready. (used yogurt instead of sour cream and half the amount of sugar – could this have been the culprit??)
    Thank you!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Mia, yogurt would have been a find substitution but yeah, you cannot halve the sugar and expect to have the same results. That is a definite contributor to the texture you described. I would recommend trying the recipe as it’s written.

  59. Robin J

    This sounds like a great recipe! Would I be able to bake this in a half sheet pan? Will there be enough batter? Thanks!

  60. Taylor

    I LOVE this recipe.
    Do you have a recipe for a sugar free vanilla cake? Or what can I substitute the sugar with?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Taylor, I do not, I’m sorry I am not too familiar with sugar free baking. If you can find a 1:1 sugar substitute like Swerve that might work?

  61. Shannon DeRoza

    Great recipe !! Easy to follow. And the taste and texture is phenomenal!!!! Thank you Julienne. I’ll be sure to tag you again in my next cake post ! @shanshomebakery

      1. Maria

        Love your receipes.. How much quantity of cake can you make with this given ingredients. You have specified in no of slices,can you please tell me in kg.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Maria, sorry I am not familiar with the quantity of cake this makes in weight. I only know the number of slices.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Cake flour and AP flour are not interchangeable due to the proteins in the flour, and further adjustment would be required. I have not tested this recipe with cake flour.

  62. A J

    This was SO good! We only made the cake, but it smelled so amazing out of the oven my boyfriend and I both had two slices. Will be making this over and over again. Thanks for the recipe!

  63. Mel

    This cake is excellent…I did add less milk and added a bit more sour cream since I only had exactly one cup of milk. I did whip the sugar and egg whites together and then added the oils and yolks and vanilla. Made it a bit more fluffy but still had great texture. Tasted great even without frosting.

  64. Kerry

    Omg. Made this into 12 cupcakes today and they are so scrummy! Moistest recipe I’ve found yet so will prob stick with this one from now on. Thank you for sharing!

  65. Tara

    Here we are day 3 and this cake is just as moist as day 1. I used 1/4c butter and 1/4c vegetable oil. Amazing cake! Fir the frosting I made a buttercream frosting and after whipping the butter added 1 T of meringue powder and whipped that in before adding the confectioners sugar. The frosting is just as good as day 1 and fallen flat. This recipe can be made the day before and is a keeper.

  66. Heather

    I make a lot of cakes – this recipe is excellent, and super simple. I substituted half greek yoghurt and half buttermilk as I did not have sour cream in the house. And then I folded in some flour-coated frozen raspberries. Totally delicious. Thank you!

  67. Melissa Fernando

    I made this today and we are currently in a lock down. Used curd instead of sour cream. Used 2tsp of baking powder and less than 1/2tsp of baking soda since I was running out of baking powder. Used part coconut oil and part melted margarine. Didn’t frost the cake but added few cashews and raisins. Cake rose a lot than other vanilla cakes I’ve made. It was soft and delicious. 👌👌👌Froze a part of the cake.
    Thank you for the recipe!!!😊😊

      1. Annie

        Made this cake for my family and they loved it. Making it again for a friends birthday. It is delicious!!!

  68. Shiku

    This is the yummiest recipe for vanilla I have ever found, especially for someone like me who likes to be generous with the vanilla essence 🙂 ! I will definitely stick around. Keep up the good work Julianne!

  69. Michaela

    Hands down, this is the best vanilla cake I ever made ! It is so moist as it was the first day I baked it !! Perfect recipe!!

      1. Maria

        WOW!! The best ever vanilla cake. I have never baked a cake from scratch. I’ve only made box cakes at random times over the years. I had been craving vanilla cake and came across this recipe. I figured it was so easy that I couldn’t mess it up. I had all the ingredients except sour cream. I knew that the cake would turn out good because the batter was so tasty. I am absolutely pleased with this cake. I don’t have to look anywhere else for recipes. This is my go to site. Thank you so much! No more box cake.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        This is SO amazing Maria!! I was the same way at one point and now I never grab cake mix anymore!

  70. Leslie

    Will this cake taste just the same with regular fat sour cream and whole milk? I only have those in the fridge and I am scared of the texture of the cakes changing.

  71. Dianne Sironic

    Made this last week and it was gone in 2 days. One of the best Vanilla cake recipes I have tried. I knew it would be a winner as soon as I saw your recipe had oil and sour cream in it and it did not disappoint. It really was super moist. The only thing I cut the sugar in the recipe to just over 1 cup as I felt 2 cups was too sweet for us (but just personal preference) . Thank you.

  72. meng

    Thank you for such an easy recipe. I made it for my husband coz he loves cakes. Very tasty thank u soo very much.

    1. Michelle Co

      This recipe tastes really good. From now, it will be my forever vanilla cake. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        This is so awesome Michelle! Thank you for the feedback- it’s greatly appreciated!

  73. Gemma Andres

    Used this recipe as a base for poke cake, since we had to use our strawberry gelatin and we ran out of butter. Followed your advice and excluded the sour cream, we also had to use cake flour since we ran out of AP flour, as well as almond extract instead of vanilla. We tasted the cake before poking and pouring the gelatin – it tasted great, and it was good enough to eat on its own! We turned the leftover batter to cupcakes as well. Thank you for the recipe!!

  74. Keely Cozad

    Very easy recipe! My oven is a little hot so mine was golden on top as well, but I am wondering if using 3 egg whites would help with color and taste. This one seems like more of a yellow cake texture and smell. Has anyone tried that? Just like how cake mix for white cake calls for the whites only?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hey Keely- thank you for sharing. This recipe with only egg whites will not produce a great result, it would require additional adjustments.

      1. Lisa

        Can I make this 2 days in advance and frost it on the day it is to be served? If so how would I store it? Frige?? Thank you!

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        There’s a section in this post with a title called “how to store a frosted cake” that might be helpful for you to read. It depends on the climate you live in. However the unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container.

  75. Meridith M

    I’m making this cake now! It smells delicious. It’s been baking for 33 minutes in a glass baking dish, but every time I have checked it (from 28 minutes on) it’s literally jiggling in the center! I followed the recipe to a T. I know glass pans can take longer, but about how much longer? The edges are golden brown and perfect but the inside is jiggling!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You’re doing the right thing to keep it baking. There’s no set time for baking it’s all depending on the pan and oven type. Also if the oven wasn’t fully preheated when you put it in that can add a couple minutes to baking. Could be just a few more minutes. Also you can try rotating the pan in the oven to avoid hot spots.

      1. Julie Hartjes

        This happened to me too. I know my oven is a bit low (about 10 degrees) so I set for 360. After 28 min. the middle was still liquid. probably had to add about 8 minutes to it. Smells good. Can’t wait to frost and eat!!!

  76. June

    This cake was amaaaaazing! I made it for my little girl’s third birthday and the whole family loved it! I dumped a handful of raspberries in the frosting and it was a nice tart addition. One question, though. Your slices look so beautifully flat. How did you do that? The top of my cake was a bit raised. The taste was perfection, though! Thanks for sharing!

  77. Aaron

    So this is my new favorite Cake recipe. It’s awesome!

    BTW for all the people that think it tastes like cornbread (it doesn’t) I adapted the recipe for a sweet jalapeño cornbread.

    Use 1.5 cups sugar instead of 2
    1.5 cups Masa and 1 cup cornmeal instead of flour
    After batter is almost finished mixing add:
    1 cup corn (fresh or thawed frozen)
    1/2 cup diced fresh Jalapeño

    Will need to add a few min to bake time.

  78. Jen

    My 4 year old twins and I just made this. I’m not a great baker, but it turned out so good. I used the ff Greek yogurt.

    1. Deanna

      This recipe was delicious and easy to make! I have been searching for a perfect and easy buttercream icing forever. I have tried so many and this was by far my family’s favorite! The cake didn’t last long! I ran out of vanilla extract after using the last bit for the cake batter, but I had Almond and it actually turned out very tasty in combination with the vanilla cake! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  79. Fabiola

    Hello, what would you recommend bake time will be if I divide the batter in two 8inch pans? Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I don’t think the recipe is quite as good with melted butter, but you can use 1/2 cup butter, melted in place of the oil

  80. Manda

    So good!!! ( and easy!)
    Really reminds me of a bakery cake. Will definitely be making this again!!

  81. Jasmine

    Hi, hope you are safe and well! I wanted to know if you have halved this recipe before, or if you have any suggestions on doing so. My concern is the 3 eggs.

  82. DeShan

    This actually turned out so yummy!! I added sprinkles insides, as my daughter requested a funfetti version! I am keeping this recipe on hand. Thank you.

  83. suzie

    This looks great. I think leaving out butter like this will make this a moister cake. Looking forward to trying it. Ever made it in round pans? Doesn’t seem like enough batter for two 9-inch rounds…

  84. Nastassja

    I love all of your recipes and I’m very excited to try this out! Can I use this recipe to make mini bundts in my mini bundt silicone mold? I tried a mini vanilla bundt recipe earlier this month that I found online and it was too dense and the crumb was very tight. If I can use this to make mini bundts, would you more or less know how long to bake them for? Thanks so much!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Nastassja! Thank you so much for your comment. I will give you my personal opinion. I developed another recipe for a Vanilla Bundt Cake because I did not like the way this cake baked as a bundt cake. The method of preparation and ingredients are a little different and meant to accommodate for a longer baking time with a traditional bundt cake. The structure of the crumb is a little different. The bundt cake is a little tighter, but overall I think a lighter texture than this cake. This cake is also very dense but I don’t think to crumb is very tight. Ultimately vanilla cake is a tough one because everyone like something different. If you’re feeling up for it, I might try both and see which one you like better. You can try halving each recipe for testing purposes.

  85. Tina

    Have used this recipe many times! It’s one of the best ones out! Even the crumbs disappear from the cake platter!! Can’t thank you enough!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      They are not a 1:1 ratio. I have not tested this with cake flour and you’ll need to look into more details for that sort of substitution.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I’m sorry I don’t but I always start with 20 minutes depending on how full and asses from there.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Grainne- yes, but I don’t usually freeze this cake when it’s frosted. The cake should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. If placing the wrap directly on the cake, I use parchment paper because this cake is very moist and it will stick the the paper, but it’s better than sticking to the plastic.

  86. Pearse

    If I were to avoid the sour cream , will the cake be less dense ?
    My family doesn’t care for sense cakes
    Thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Pearse- I would say your cake would be a lot more dry. Instead try reducing the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and that might suite you.

  87. Vicky

    I love this recipe! I’ve made this cake three times and it always came out scrumptious! I want to make it again but would I be able to do so using olive oil instead of vegetable oil? Would it still come out well?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Whoohoo! Love that Vicky. I’ve never tried it with olive oil personally. The flavor could be a little different and the texture might be a little different as well.

  88. Lisha

    It came out well , I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and reduced a little bit of salt. Thanks for the recipe.

  89. Jennie Forman

    Tasted like corn bread. It was salty and gross. Had to just throw out and ended up making a boxed cake. What a waste!!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You shouldn’t be tasting the salt… something doesn’t seem right. Sorry you didn’t like this recipe, but if I’ve learned anything, everyone has a different opinion about vanilla cake. It is definitely NOT the same as a boxed mix.

  90. Zam


    Thanks for this yummy ingredient. I would like to know if what are other alternatives for light sour cream. May i use hot water/ milk/ or heavy cream? And will the alternative be of the same measurement(1/2cup) like the sour cream. Thanks a lot


  91. Tania

    Can I just say, this recipe was a lifesaver last week for me. I had a cupcake order and typically me, did not have enough butter so I googled white cake with oil. Up pops your website. I baked my cupcakes and just to be sure I tasted good, I tested 1 (ok 2 just to make sure) and it was perfect. I prefer oil to butter and this was just the perfect recipe. Thanks for this.

  92. Cakes

    I was wondering can I use buttermilk in replacement of the milk? Also if I’m not serving the cake that day may I use simple syrup to keep it moist?

      1. Cakes

        Can you add simple syrup if optional? Also I forgot to ask can you do reverse creaming method? (Wet ingredients in separate bowls and dry in another separate bowl and mix dry with wet)

  93. Carina

    I’d like to make a round, 3 layered cake using this recipe. Would it be possible to tell me what size tins would be best please (if I were to equally pour the mixture between 3 separate tins)?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Carina- the information you’re looking for is detailed in the blog post. “Can I make this as a layer Cake” with links to the recipe for the vanilla layer cake version of this recipe-

  94. Iris Doyle

    I have a few birthday cakes to make and am going to try this recipe as it sounds lovely. Would I be able to make the sponge in advance and freeze until I need them.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Iris. Yes you can, it’s not my preference to do this but I know some people like to make them ahead of time.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You can mix by hand if you have to but I recommend using a mixer. If you are mixing by hand, try sifting the flour.

  95. olamide

    Hi. Thanks for sharing. I stumbled on ur recipe and I have used this recipe at home for a c
    ouple of times, It usually looks like it isnt completely done sometimes. Substituting sourcream with homemade butter milk. Can I substitute the oil with margarine for a better flavour? If yes, in what proportion? I want to try this recipe for a client’s cake and I am going to be sculpuring and sculpting with fondant and I am a little scared, can it withstand the weight without sinking? I am also thinking of how to improve on the flavour.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      If you are substituting the sour cream with buttermilk, it’s quite a shift from the original recipe and a lot more liquid. I have followed the original recipe, and swapped out the oil for melted butter but I don’t like it as much myself. Regarding the fondant, I also don’t work with fondant so while some people have posted in the comment about fondant, I can’t speak from experience.

      1. RP

        This has become my go-to vanilla cake recipe for birthdays, etc. I have used half butter-half oil (quarter cup each) before with great results. I have also successfully used buttermilk, but I cut the milk back to one cup. Both substitutions have results in a yummy, well textured cake.

  96. Scarlett


    Mine took about 45 minutes to cook, the last 15 wrapped in tin foil because the centre was sticky and wet. Did I do something wrong? I made sure the temperature was right and followed your recipe step by step. Also I used a 22cm tin. Was that too small maybe? Because it had that weird muffin top affect which I think is because it was trying to rise/expand?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Did you use only one 22cm tin for the whole batter? If so, that would be why your cake took so long to bake. That is a ton of batter for a pan this size! Normally this batter would be 2-3 of those.

  97. Libby

    Such a good recipe! This was used for a wedding cake, added poppyseeds and almond emulsion. Filling homemade Bavarian creme with stabilized real whipped cream frosting. It was moist from moment it came out of oven, did not shrink and two days later it was even better:) I am curious to try it with cake flour for a tighter crumb. This was a happy medium for all cake needs and easy recipe to follow.

  98. Lance Albert

    This is a delicious and sturdy cake recipe but it doe shrink after baking. Is there something I can do to fix that?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Lance, my cake also shrinks a little bit, I grease and flour the pans. I’ve read that it can be a number of things including over greasing, bakig too closely together in the oven or over baking. My results are pretty consistent though and it usually shrinks enough to pull away from the edges, but I still need a knife to run around the outside edge to release them.

  99. Alicia Storms

    This looks AMAZING!!! I’m drooling, I just can’t wait to try this at home.
    Thank you so much for sharing this refreshing recipe.
    Keep sharing:)

      1. Yejide Ibidunni

        Thanks for the recipe ! How long can one keep the cake when it is Frozen and when it is on shelf

  100. Amy jeanette

    Great recipe, i was out of vanilla extract so i used just under 1/4 cup lemon juice and lemon zest and it was wonderful, i also did not have sour cream or yogurt and i used mayo. One of the best recipes for baked goods ive ever found. thank you so much! this is my new go-to recipe for cake/ cup cakes. ( i made two small 8″ round cakes and 6 cupcakes)

  101. Christianne B

    Well I made this cake and frosting and its delicious, however my cake had a light golden/brown crust all around, not pale yellow like yours? Help, what did I do wrong?
    Best wishes to all

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Christianne, thanks for sharing! I am glad you liked it. It could just be the pan you’re using. I use a light nonstick pan. Although leaving this in the oven for too long, even a minute or two could result in darker edges as well.

  102. Giovanna

    I have been looking for a moist scratch vanilla cake for a long time and this is it! I cannot believe how moist and flavorful it is. Thank you so much for this recipe. This is the only vanilla cake that I will ever use. I can’t wait to try this recipe as cupcakes. I’ m sure they will be delicious.

  103. Chloe Verrall

    I really don’t know what happened since I followed the recipe to a T and cooked it for about 30 minutes longer than the recipe says because it wasn’t cooked. The end result wasn’t cake, it was like a cake/custard hybrid that tasted alright but was very hard to eat. I can tell that this isn’t a fault with the recipe since it has worked so well for everyone else but I don’t know what happened?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Chloe, it’s hard for me to say because I wasn’t there but something doesn’t sound right. Are you sure the oven was heated properly?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I’ve never baked this recipe with cake flour, but it’s my understanding that if you’re using cake flour instead of AP flour, some adjustments will need to be made to the amount you’re using

  104. Suzanne

    Was looking for a simple vanilla cake using oil rather than butter. This was perfect – so moist. I used Almond milk and grape seed oil and kept with the sour cream. There was enough for 4 layers matched with vanilla cream butter icing and jam, covered in fondant – yum yum. Even better it was so quick to cook, only 25 mins for all layers ( 175 degree C).. Thank you all the way form NZ!

  105. Rachel @ Queen Of Constance

    I love this recipe – the final outcome is delicious, moist and light vanilla cake. For me, I found it took at least 60 minutes to cook at 180 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven, I also use over thermometers. Thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Rachel, thank you so much for sharing!! I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks for sharing your baking experience.

  106. Sara

    This is THE BEST CAKE I have ever made
    I made it for my son’s first birthday , turned it into a layered cake filled with chocolate cream , everyone LOVED it and wanted me to make it again
    I will try the chocolate version
    Thank you julianne

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Sara this is AMAZING!!! Thank you so so much for sharing, this just makes my day. Happy 1st birthday to your son!

  107. Kate Berkey

    I was looking for a cake recipe for the whole family and I stumbled on this article. I read and followed the instructions carefully and I made it deliciously! Every member of my family is so happy! Thanks for this

  108. Tiffany

    Hi, I really love the sprinkles used on this vanilla cake….where did you get them from? Do you have a pic of the container?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Depending on your climate. If you are in a humid or hot environment, you’ll probably need to refrigerate it. I live in a mild climate and I store it on my counter in an airtight container.

  109. Vivian Dsouza

    This looks great, I’ve been trying to work out what to feed everyone at a summer picnic and this looks perfect! Thanks for the recipe

  110. Megan

    I made this cake and it’s delicious! One question, I made it today and the party is tomorrow, can I layer it and do a crumb coat( put it in the fridge) and then finish the rest tomorrow ?

  111. Erin m.

    I made this cake for my niece’s birthday and it was a huge hit! Everyone wanted the recipe! It will be my go-to recipe from now on! Thank you!

  112. Cheryl Ford

    Very good flavor and very easy to make. Much easier and same homemade taste as the other recipe I was using. However……

    This cake rises just the same as any other cake. I am glad I always do a test run of a new recipe, as my pans were over filled and took too long to cook, turning the outside very brown. Luckily, I could tell by looking it was going to over flow and got a cookie sheet under. I did have one pan half full, as that is what I had left, and it baked perfectly, light beautiful sides. And, yes, still had to level the top as any other.

    So, awesome recipe, just please fill as you would normally as it rises just fine.

      1. Cheryl Ford

        10 inch pan. It overflowed because I overfilled the pan, based on what you said about it not having a high rise. Baked it again this weekend, for another cake, filled as I normally would and came out perfect. The point is, don’t say it doesn’t have a high rise, as it rises just fine. Experienced bakers might not understand the problem, as I did and also might now realize it will overflow, as I did just by looking at how it was baking, I knew it was going over and got a pan under saving my oven.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I talked about this in the blog post.

      Sour cream helps keeps these cupcakes very moist. I recommend substituting the sour cream with non-fat Greek Yogurt if you do not have sour cream. A few people have asked about substituting buttermilk for sour cream. I have never tried this, and this batter is already pretty thin, so I am not sure if adding additional liquid will work. If you need to, you can omit it completely, but note the cake will not be nearly as moist.

  113. Jenn

    I Love this recipe. It’s my go to cake recipe and it has taken years to find a really good cake recipe. My scratch cakes were always so dry. This recipe is a hit amongst everyone who’s tried it. The cake is so moist and yummy. Thank you for sharing this!

  114. XL

    Hello I just wanted to check if you usually use 350 g of flour in this recipe? The way I measure flour it’s about 125 grams per cup and yours is significantly more so I just wanted to double check thanks! I hope to make this tomorrow.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi there, yes, I measure one cup at 140g. I have found that different charts have different measurements but this is the one that I use for all my recipes.

  115. Nelster

    Lovely light and fluffy cake. I found with the fan oven I had to bake the cake an extra 20 mins as the middle was very wobbly and ‘wet’.
    The top did get a little brown – but the family enjoyed the cake nevertheless.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you Nelster for sharing! I am not familiar with baking in a fan oven, so it’s helpful to know that!

  116. Chipo Tichagwa

    Just made this cake…I honestly had doubts but all I can say is wow…I’m totally gobsmacked…it’s just so moist…it’s lovely. I added some lemon zest to the batter and doesn’t everyone just love it… thank you so much for sharing such a lovely recipe.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      OMG that’s awesome! I know those feelings of doubt, but thank you for giving it a try and for letting me know how it turned out!

  117. Caryl

    I am wondering if American sponge cakes are different as you say “Instead of light and fluffy this is more like a sponge cake”. Sponge cakes are supposed to be light and fluffy (in NZ anyway)!
    For those asking about reducing the sugar, I always reduce the sugar (often by half) if using an American recipe as they are always too sweet. Cakes still come out tasting fine although, of course, they won’t taste like the recipe writer says. Try both and see which you prefer 😉

  118. Kan

    Can you possibly substitute the grandulated sugar with brown sugar, or possible reduce the sugar content? (I know it’s not a diet recipe ( reallllyyy wanna try to make this cus it looks AMAZING altho we are on a sorta health kick rn, so I’d really love to cut the sugar content)

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kan, several people have commented that they have reduced the sugar to 1.5 cups and seen good results, I’ve tried it a couple times and it does bake but it isn’t the results I’m looking for. I have other recipes on my site that start with this base and I’ve swapped out some of the regular sugar for brown sugar. I’d say you should still maintain a ratio of more white sugar to brown sugar. Brown sugar will “caramelize” the cupcake a little more. In this toffee cupcake, I used a combination of both.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I’d say it depends on the type of pan and what you’re intending to do. I never grease and flour my 9×13 inch pan because I am cutting and serving the cake directly from the pan. But I always grease and flour my 8inch rounds because I need to remove the cake from the pans.

  119. Natalia

    Hi I’m planning to make this 2 tiered with strawberry frosting in the middle. Do you think it will rise enough for me to properly cut it in half?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Natalie, I bake them as single layers in an 8 inch cake. You could slice them but they would be very thin. What size cake are you trying to make?

      1. Shonann

        Hi, can I double or triple this recipe? Will the result be the same or do you recommend baking in separate batches?

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        I definitely suggest baking in separate batches. I’ve found that overloading my oven results in uneven baking. If you’d like to prefer two batches at once, I might suggest sifting the flour for better results incorporating the dry ingredients.

  120. Lizzie

    Thank you so much for this recipe – it’s a touch sweet but the sponge is so good! Cooked beautifully in our traditionally difficult oven too!
    Thank you!

  121. Suzanne Fleming

    Wow! I’ll never need another cake recipe. This is the best I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing!

  122. Yvonne N

    I made this particular recipe yesterday because I had all of the ingredients on hand. By far the best cupcakes that I have ever made. Did everything exactly as the recipe says and they came out perfect!
    Made a vanilla buttercream to go on the top, so yummy!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi there, I have not tested the recipe in a 9 inch round, if anything they will just be more full. I am sure it will be fine!

  123. Heather

    This is my second time making it, it turns out great with Greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream or like me only had about a 1/4 a cup of it so I mixed the two. My kids love helping make this simple and delightful recipe. Thank you.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Anna, I would recommend using Greek Yogurt instead as there is already a lot of liquid in this cake

  124. priyanka

    Wow this looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

    Thank you for the great recipe!
    Have a great day.

  125. Ashley

    My baking friends and I both laugh and lament how people that grew up on boxed cake always think scratch cake tastes like cornbread. Laugh because it’s funny, lament that they don’t have an appreciation for good, quality cake. This is a very good recipe. Nice flavor. Nice texture. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you Ashley! I tried for weeks to make something similar to a boxes cake mix, but I have decided that it’s just a different beast and it is very artificial tasting, and while I still keep a few on hand, I love the real flavor of a homemade cake!

  126. Betty chase

    I absolutely love this recipe for vanilla cake and it will be my go to from now on. I used light olive oil and miracle whip instead of sour cream as I don’t like sour cream. Everything else was exact. Cooked in two round pans lined with tin foil. I make raspberry trifle a lot and it is the perfect texture and density for that.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Awesome Betty! I am so glad that worked out for you! I’ve never made a cake with miracle whip, I just might have to try that!

  127. Mira

    Just made this cake an hour ago, put it on the windowsill to cool down, and half of it is already gone! My husband keeps sneaking a piece and says it’s the besy I ever made. The cake is super moist and so, so good! Only thing I changed was the amount of sugar, I cut down to 1 1/4 cup instead of 2, next time I will put even less. All on all, great cake, thanks so much!

  128. Liz

    This is a weird recipe. I had to bake it 15 minutes longer before it was done. It smelled like cornbread. It’s sweet but doesn’t have much flavor.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Liz, the baking time will vary depending on the type of pan you’re using. For instance, I baked them in a til foil pan for a party recently and the baking times were much longer that my regular nonstick aluminum pans. Glass pans also have increased baking time. Sorry this cake wasn’t for you, but I don’t agree with the flavor comment, you should have a very distinct vanilla flavor with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

  129. Jeanette

    This recipe was okay–I made both a cake and cupcakes. The consistency was great. The only problem is that you’re really can taste the oil. I’m hoping this will be masked by the frosting.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hmm that’s interesting Jeanette. I haven’t come across that before. Do you generally prefer butter cakes or oil-based cakes? Thanks for your feedback.

  130. Crystal

    I made this cake and felt like it tasted like cornbread only to come to the comments to find 2 others that mentioned cornbread. Haha bizarre. I thought it maybe wasn’t sweet enough…??? Like it tasted more savory. Decided to see if buttercream made it better. Tastes like buttercream on cornbread. Haha. I threw the rest out.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Crystal, thanks for your review. I think the hardest part of a basic chocolate or vanilla cake is that everyone has a different idea of what their favorite cake is. This is definitely more dense as opposed to light and fluffy, more like a spongecake.

  131. Katelyn

    This cake was fantastic! I went to make it and found out i had no sour cream… 30 second google search said i could use yogurt! Great! But i only had blueberry…. Oh well i decided so i mixed it up added some frozen blueberries to the batter before going in the oven and boom! Devine blueberry cake!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Hazaa, I have not specifically tested the recipe this way. I tried it once but found it was not as moist. That being said, it baked up fine. I used 1/2 cup melted butter.

  132. Wendy

    I made this cake and it was amazing!! Only question is: if I want to make it in a circle pan how would I adjust the cooking time?? And which size pan should I use? Does anyone have any tips? I’m keen to make two layers and cover with vanilla buttercream for my mum’s birthday! Thanks in advance!

  133. Donna

    I made this cake for my daughter and son’s birthday–IT IS THE BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER MADE. I got so many compliments and my husband said I outdid myself. It is the best. Thanks so much!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      OMG Donna! That is awesome!! I love to hear that. Isn’t it the best feeling when you share something that everyone loves??

  134. Hannah

    This cake was disgusting. Tasted like sugar with absolutely no presence of vanilla. The middle wouldn’t cook and the outsides were super dry. Had to throw it out, which is super disappointing because I was making it for my friends.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Hannah, I am sorry it was not right for you. Sounds like maybe it wasn’t baked all the way through? What type of pan did you use and is your oven at true temperature? I see for from Australia, did you make any substitutions?

  135. mid land bakers

    vanilla cake is looking soft ,delicious and colourful with sprinkles on the top.thanks for sharing.

  136. Onkar Bhosale

    Thank you for a beautiful vanilla cake recipe. Made this tonight for my family and the kitchen smells divine. It tastes even better.

  137. Smitha

    I just made this cake for my son’s birthday today. It was very easy cake. The only thing I changed from the recipe is to add only 1.5 cups of sugar instead of 2 cups. That was perfect for our tastebuds. I made it into 2 layer cake with simple whipped cream frosting. It was awesome. Thank you . I wish I could attach a pic

  138. Julia

    While it is moist, there is too much sugar which causes it to have a crusty top and edges and makes it seem more like a cornbread cake. Too sweet for me and a bit too much vanilla.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thanks for sharing Julia. I am not sure about the crusty top though? I’ve never seen that. Hope you find a recipe you like, perhaps a more light and airy cupcake as opposed to this one which is more spongy.

  139. Sechele

    Hello, this looks inviting and tasty?Can I use milk with lemon juice left to sit till curdled as a substitute for light sour cream. It’s so hard to get sour cream in my country. Please help

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi there, I would try using a nonfat greek yogurt or just eliminating the sour cream. I am not sure about adding additional liquid ingredients because it’s already a thin batter.

      1. Vivien

        Good recipe – reduce sugar to 1 1/2 cuos . 2 c far too much. Made a delicious cupcake in a short time. Batter can be poured from a jug into silicon cupcake molds

  140. Alinna

    Hello 🙂

    I am very new to baking and this recipe was awesome ! Although I tasted a hint of cornbread, I’m not sure what I am doing wrong.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Alinna, I am not sure either. Maybe the texture reminds you of cornbread if this cake is more dense and spongy?

  141. Sandra

    Hi dear,

    many thanks for this very nice recipe! I wanted to surprise one of my sons and I found your recipe on Pinterest. It is amazing!!! Everybody loves it. Many many thanks.
    I made some changes for my German readers but it works perfect and because I like your recipe so much, I wrote it down at my blog. Hope, it is ok for you?! Of course I mentioned that I found it at your site. 😉

    Best regards