Classic Vanilla Cake Recipe | How to Make Birthday Cake

Classic Vanilla Cake Recipe | How to Make Birthday Cake

4 Stars (42 Voters)
Learn how to make the best vanilla cake – this cake is soft, moist, rich and covered with amazing cream cheese vanilla frosting. This vanilla cake is the best birthday cake ever! Perfect birthday cake for boys and girls, for kids and adults. If you are looking for a recipe for vanilla cake with confetti sprinkles, this is the recipe for you!
1½ Hours
30 Minutes

    For the cake:

    • 2 1/3 cups (290g) Flour
    • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
    • 1/2 cup (115g) Butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) Oil
    • 1½ cups (300g) Sugar
    • 3 Eggs
    • 1 cup (240ml) Buttermilk (more if needed)
    • 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

    For the frosting:

    • 2/3 cup (150g) Butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) Heavy cream, cold
    • 1¼ cups (160g) Icing sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
    • 1¾ cups (400g) Cream cheese


    • Confetti sprinkles

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans with parchment paper and grease bottom and sides.
  2. In one bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, add salt, stir and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Then add eggs, one at the time, beating until combined after each addition. Add oil, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning by adding 1/2 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the buttermilk. Then repeat this process. Beat until fully incorporating after each addition.
  5. Divide the batter between prepared pans. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then release from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Make the frosting: in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl beat heavy cream to stiff peaks. Then fold into the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Assembly: Place one cake layer with flat side down. Spread a layer of frosting, place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting, flat side up. Spread evenly the frosting on top and sides of the cake. Decorate the edges of the cake with sprinkles.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Why buttermilk?

The use of buttermilk in cakes and cupcakes helps the cake to get a moist and airy texture, in most of my recipes I use buttermilk and indeed you can feel the difference.

What can we use instead of buttermilk?

If you cannot find buttermilk in your country, you can make a home buttermilk: stir 1 cup (240ml) of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, let stand for 10 minutes before use. If you still prefer not to use buttermilk you can use whole milk instead.

How to adjust to 9inch (23 cm) pan?

If you prefer to make the cake in a larger pan such as 9-inch, you should multiply all the ingredients by 1.33

Can we use other frosting?

There are many options of frosting that you can use in this vanilla cake recipe, one of my favorites are this chocolate frosting that you can find in this chocolate cake recipe.

Can this recipe be used for cupcakes?

This recipe is very similar to a cupcake recipe, but instead of adapting this recipe for cupcakes, I have prepared full and detailed recipes for you: Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes

How to store the cake?

The cake can be stored covered, in the fridge, up to 5 days.

More cake recipes:

  • u

    Hi, thanks for the awesome recipe..... For butter...which butter we need to use un salted or normal salted butter for cake and frosting too. If I'm using salted butter can I omitted the salt.

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    The Cooking Foodie

    Hi Uma, I always use unsalted to control the saltiness. If you using salted butter, then omit the salt from the recipe.

  • s

    Hello, i have a question- what kind of flour do we use? cake or all purpose? and is this cake sturdy enough to make layers?

  • The Cooking Foodie logo
    The Cooking Foodie

    Hi Stephanie, You can use AP flour or cake flour in this recipe. Yes.

  • A
    Amandeep Singh Rai

    Can you recommend a good replacement for eggs, that would be available in a mainstream North American(Canadian) grocery store?


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