This is the perfect Vanilla Cake Recipe! Thick layers of vanilla cake and my favorite vanilla frosting. It’s an easy recipe to make using oil instead of butter which makes it super moist and spongy.
For the cake:
- 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (118 ml) 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 cups (453g) unsalted butter, cold
- 7–8 cups (910-1041g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
- 2–3 tablespoons (30-44ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
- Pinch of salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides. Prepare with bake even strips if desired.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until twell incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients, and half the milk, 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.
- 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 (around 10 minutes). 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.
For the Frosting:
- 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.
- Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, then and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
- Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.
To Assemble the Cake:
- Use a cake leveler I 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.
- 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.
- Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a crumb coat. Using an offset 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.
- Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use you icing smoother to remove any excess frosting.
To Decorate this Cake:
- Use your hands to press the sprinkles into the sides of the cake. It’s best to do this over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, allowing you to easily capture and reuse the sprinkles that fall off the cake.
- Take your leftover frosting and separate into 3 bowls: 1 cup, ½ cup and ¼ cup of white frosting (undyed). Dye 2 bowls with you desired color, and leave 1/4 cup of frosting uncolored.
- In a small piping bag, use a 1M piping tip to pipe the large roses on top of your cake.
- Place the other frosting in two small piping bags, fitted with a coupler and size 18 or size 21 tips, fill with your other color and the white frosting. Fill in the negative space with a mix of stars and small rosettes.
- Adjusting the cake sized:
- For two 9-inch cakes, they baked from 28-32 minutes. Baking times will vary due to how full the pans are, type of pans, and true oven temperature. Please note these did “crust” a little more on the outside edge due to extended baking times and they rose quite a bite in the middle, so you’ll lose more of the “dome” of the cake.
- For two 8-inch pans: divide the batter evenly, about 2 1/2 cups per pan. Bake for 28-32 minutes.
- For 6-inch pans: a full recipe will make four 6-inch layers, filling each one with about 1 1/3 cup of batter and baking for approximately 24-30 minutes. Here is the mini 2-layer version.
- For 10 inch pans: I’ve never tested this with 10-inch pans, but I would recommend a 2 layer cake so you still have nice thick layers. Trying baking for 18-20 minutes and assessing additional time needed from there.
- Sour cream substitute: Substitute with with non-fat Greek Yogurt if you do not have sour cream.
- Milk: Any type of milk can be used (full, reduced or low-fat)
- Oil substitutes: I have tested substituting 1/2 cup melted butter in place of the oil. The cake still bakes just fine but I prefer the texture of the cake make with oil.
- Storage and make ahead: The best option is to use a cake carrier which can allow it to be stored in an airtight container. You do not have the refrigerate this cake unless you live in a hot a humid environment. This is best served at room temperature. Cake layers can be prepared up to 2 days before serving. Cool completely and wrap tightly with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vanilla Cake from Scratch, Easy Cake Recipe, Birthday cake Recipe, vanilla cake with oil