vanilla cake from scratch

Learn how to make a vanilla cake from scratch! This homemade vanilla cake recipe is so easy and is so better than a mix. You’ll be shocked how moist this cake turns out!

Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe from Scratch

This easy vanilla cake recipe is so decadent that you will never want to buy another store bought cake again. Once you know how to make a vanilla cake from scratch, you will wonder why you didn’t sooner. Moist and delicious, this cake will have people running back for more. Don’t let it scare you because it’s from scratch and not from a box mix. This really is the best vanilla cake recipe, it’s so simple and the results are amazing!

Homemade vanilla cake has a light vanilla flavor that isn’t overpowering, which makes your frosting choices endless! It’s perfect for any occasion and you can use any icing you prefer. Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is my favorite but you can certainly use whatever you prefer on this delicious cake. Make it a tradition for birthdays, holidays, celebrations and more! If you like this, make sure to try this Easy Chocolate Cake from Scratch.

homemade vanilla cake with buttercream icing

Let’s get starting making moist vanilla cake recipe from scratch!

homemade vanilla cake ingredients

To begin you will need two 9″ round cake pans for this layer cake. These are the ones I use if you need a new set. Also, I slice my rounds in half to create 4 rounds before frosting.  I use this to level my cakes and to slice the rounds in half. It’s so handy and makes this process so much easier.
 

Ingredients for Vanilla cake recipe:

  • Butter, softened
  • White sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Self rising flour
  • Milk
Vanilla Cake from scratch on serving platter

How to make vanilla cake from scratch:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 2, 9″ round cake pans and set aside.  (These are the cake rounds I use.) You can use different shaped pans if you want, you just might need to adjust the bake time.

3. Add butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat well until light and fluffy.

creaming butter and sugar for vanilla cake

4. Add eggs and beat well, one at a time.

eggs added to butter and sugar
mixing vanilla cake batter

5. Add flour and milk, alternating until blended well.

cake batter in mixing bowl

6. Pour cake batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting and serving.

vanilla cake batter in pans

Note: I slice my rounds in half to create 4 rounds before frosting.  (I use this to level my cakes and to slice the rounds in half.)

Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting and strawberries

How to make Self Rising Flour:

No self-rising flour? No problem! You can easily make your own! Simply sift together 1 cup of cake flour (though regular all-purpose flour would also work), 1½ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl for every 1 cup of self-rising flour needed. Once you’ve created the flour mixture, mix the dry ingredients with the butter egg mixture in the following recipe.

Tips to making the BEST Vanilla Cake:

  • Bring eggs and butter to room temperature. When all of the cake ingredients are roughly the same temperature everything mixes up so much better! Doing so will help get the moist crumbs everyone loves! Plus, you’re less likely to overmix.
  • There’s a lot of science when it comes to baking. Follow the recipe closely!
  • Want a pure white cake that makes the best wedding cake? Use egg whites! You’ll need to use 8 egg whites in this recipe, since 2 egg whites equals one egg. Vanilla extract also has a little bit of coloring, so you can switch it out for the clear baking version if you’re wanting a perfectly white cake. Since it only adds a little bit of color, most of the time you won’t notice it.
  • Let the cake layers completely cool before you begin assembling and icing the layer cake. Even a slightly warm cake will begin to melt the icing which will cause it to shift or collapse. To speed up the cooling time, pop the layers in the refrigerator or freezer!
  • Use ¾ teaspoons of baking soda to help give the cake layers a little more height. The baking powder (whether in your homemade self-rising flour or in store-bought) reacts with the salt and the baking powder to help create a higher rise on your cake layers. It’s an optional addition since there isn’t much of a difference and the recipe already calls for baking powder and salt.

Print your Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe below:

How To Make a Vanilla Cake From Scratch

4.72 from 7 votes
Learn how to make a vanilla cake from scratch! This homemade vanilla cake recipe from scratch is so easy. Vanilla cake from scratch is so better than a mix.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 328
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-1/4 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.0
  • Grease and flour 2, 9" round cake pans and set aside.
  • Add butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat well until fluffy.
  • Add eggs and beat well, one at a time.
  • Add flour and milk, alternating until blended well.
  • Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting and serving.

Recipe Notes

Learn how to make a vanilla cake from scratch! So much better than anything store bought.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 328kcal, Carbohydrates 40g, Protein 3g, Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 97mg, Sodium 165mg, Potassium 59mg, Sugar 34g, Vitamin A 585IU, Calcium 37mg, Iron 0.3mg

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Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting
moist vanilla cake on a plate with strawberries

Now that you know how to make a Vanilla Cake from scratch, it is so easy! 

We love this vanilla cake and it does not disappoint. You will wonder why you ever bought a cake mix before. We make this for birthdays, special occasions and more! Grab your ingredients and get started making this cake. You’re entire family will love it.

Vanilla cake from scratch

More easy cake recipes:

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe, but substituted the milk with apple cider, and added allspice and cinnamon to the batter before baking! Needed some fall flavor! Thank you!!

  2. Hi is this 3 +1/4 cups of flour? Could the milk be substituted for something else? Thanks.

  3. Lorna – Yes, the recipe is for 3+1/4 cups of flour. I think you can substitute the milk for soy milk if you are needing a non diary option. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Thank you 🙂

  4. 4 stars
    I made this cake as per recipe and it was good I think I added too much vanilla. But it’s a good recipe thank you

  5. Hi! I’m going to try making this for my sons smash cake. Can you tell me if this cake would be ok made a few days ahead of time? Maybe stored in the fridge or freezer? Thanks!
    -erin

  6. Hello, I have 2 8 inch cake pans. Can I use the exact recipe? Could you share if the proportion needs to be reduced?

    Thank You
    Hridya

  7. You can use 8 in pans. I would increase the cooking time since the batter will be thicker in the pans instead of reducing the portions in the recipe. I would start by increasing the cooking time by 5 minutes and then cook until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Thanks.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this cake and my family loved it! It was easy to make, I put my homemade buttercream recipe on it and it went really well with it. Will definitely make this one again!!!!

  9. 5 stars
    My family really enjoyed this cake. I made homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. This will be my go to!