My Go-To Vanilla Cake Recipe {& a Gender Reveal!}

Vanilla  Cake

I’ve been eating a lot of cake. A lot. EVERYONE is having birthdays right now, except Anna who keeps asking when it will be her birthday so she can have her own cake. You know how I love to make things from scratch, and cake is no different. I’ve been searching for a while for a no fuss vanilla cake recipe that could leave a boxed cake mix in its dust. My search is over. This friends, is my new go-to vanilla cake recipe. I did NOT come up with it myself, I shamelessly stole it from another blogger. Her site is linked in the recipe, and I get a lot of stuff from her. She has a fabulous food blog. And this of course wasn’t just any cake, it was a gender reveal cake. It was fun, not only because I love to bake and eat frosting, but because when you love to bake and eat frosting, people let you in on very special moments in their lives, like finding out the gender of their baby. THIS means, that sometimes you get to have information FIRST, BEFORE the people they are closest to. Which gives you a false sense of importance which I find extremely satisfying. One more reason to keep on baking. 

I love this recipe because its simple, before you start, combine some whole milk with either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to curdle the milk or just use buttermilk and skip with step altogether. Then start with eggs and give them a good beating in your mixer. 


Add sugar and mix until incorporated. Then add oil and vanilla.


Mix again. In a separate bowl, combine flour, corn or potato starch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and stir together. Why the starch you ask? Because this recipe really calls for cake flour but I don’t keep cake flour stocked and its WAY easier and cheaper to just make your own by replacing some of the flour with corn or potato starch. If you have cake flour, just use cake flour instead and skip this step. 


Add half the flour mixture to your mixer and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add half the buttermilk, and then repeat with the flour mixture and then with the rest of the buttermilk. Just incorporate the dry ingredients, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl at least once in the process.



Pour your batter into your prepared cake pans. The recipe I’ve listed below will make two 9 inch cakes. If you want to make 10 inch cakes, you’ll want to make at least 1 1/2 times this recipe, I usually try to fill my cake pans at least 1/2 half full so I get nice thick cakes that make for tall cakes and are less fragile. I also almost always use a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of my pans to that removing the cakes from the pans is super easy. Bake at 350 until the toothpick you insert in the center of the cake comes out MOSTLY clean, a few crumbs is good, it keeps it from becoming too dry. 28 minutes is about perfect in my convection oven. I realized after taking the following picture that all this really shows you is that I REALLY need to clean my oven door….


And yes, you can see that we were celebrating a healthy baby girl. This was so much fun. After the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. If you have time and have thought ahead, at this point wrap your still warm cakes in plastic wrap or foil and stick them in the freezer to freeze completely. Like until tomorrow. When they are frozen and you are ready to decorate, they will be much easier to handle and frost and they will be super moist from locking in all that steam. This cake is lovely with a really classic vanilla buttercream, use real butter. Use real vanilla. When you can, use real cream but in this case I used milk and it was delicious. Enjoy! 


Go-To Vanilla Cake
Yields 2 9 inch cakes or 24 standard cupcakes
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For Cake
  1. 2 1/2 cups cake flour OR 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour and 1/4 cup corn starch or potato starch
  2. 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  7. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 1 cup canola oil
  9. 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
For Vanilla Buttercream
  1. 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter (room temp)
  2. 9 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  4. 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk or heavy cream, as needed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 9 inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour (or flour and starch), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until blended, about 15-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil and beat until well mixed. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  4. Divide between the two cake pans and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For buttercream
  1. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time, allowing your mixer to whip each addition into a smooth creamy frosting. When the mixture gets to thick to mix, add cream or milk a little at a time until the consistency you want is reached. Add the vanilla and mix in well.
  3. Buttercream can be made ahead of time and even stored covered on your countertop, or in the fridge for even longer. If you store it in the fridge, let it sit at room temp for several hours before using
Adapted from What Megan's Making
A Sweeter Thing


  1. says

    AW yay!! We are having a baby girl too and just had our gender reveal party :) The cake looks AMAZING! Going to have to try your recipe!

  2. brenda forster says

    love the cake, of course back in the cave days we had to wait until the doctor had a good look and lifted the baby up by his/her legs to show everyone and then made the announcement! I would of loved a nice pink or blue cake sitting there in his doctor bag ready to cut into so he could announce it in sure hum!!!!!