Classic Vanilla Butter Birthday Cake

Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake via Sweetapolita

I adore vanilla cake. I have such fond memories of it, and well, it just tastes so perfect and simple. I still remember every year as a little girl, I would have a heart-shaped vanilla birthday cake with the yummiest, sugariest, pastel-coloured frosting. There are so many types of vanilla cake recipes out there, and I know this because I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect one. Just when you thought vanilla cake was simply vanilla cake–there are butter cakes, sponge cakes, genoise cakes, and more. I’m working my way through many different vanilla birthday cake recipes to determine a favourite.

My philosophy is that there really are no bad vanilla cake recipes, so when I say favourite, it’s really just personal preference for me and, well, my husband Grant. He, for some reason, doesn’t eat dessert as a rule (yes, almost unthinkable), and he really doesn’t have much to say one way or the other when it comes to dessert, with the exception of vanilla cake–the man has put some serious thought and emotion into this. And, under no circumstances, would he go anywhere near chocolate cake. I won’t hold that against him, though, because for the first 30-ish years of my life I too chose vanilla over chocolate. I now love them equally and unconditionally. Maybe it was a scientific shift after I had my babies, but since then I simply cannot live without chocolate cake. Now that I’ve got that out in the open, let’s talk vanilla cake…

Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake via Sweetapolita

I’m pretty familiar with baking butter cakes, because it’s predominantly what I use for my fancy fondant-covered cakes. As far as classic frosted birthday cakes go, though, I really haven’t experimented that much yet, so I am eager to see what type of vanilla cake is the biggest birthday crowd-pleaser. My first experiment was with this classic butter cake. I pretty much knew what to expect, but rather than using my existing recipe, I searched for a popular alternative. I came across this recipe from the Joy of Baking website. It was pretty straight-forward and similar to my recipe, but uses the combination method of mixing (when you whip the egg whites into a meringue and fold them into the batter, in order to get more volume and a lighter texture) and calls for cake flour, as opposed to all-purpose flour, so I was curious to give it a try.

Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake via Sweetapolita

Once the cake was baked and cooled, I layered it and filled/frosted it with a fluffy buttercream frosting that I tinted a pastel blue (Grant’s favourite icing colour). The truth is, I don’t often make this kind of sugary frosting for cakes. I’ll admit that I’ve become a bit of a buttercream snob, and am quite partial to the gorgeous consistency and sophisticated flavour of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (an icing that is made from whipping vanilla and copious amounts of pure butter into a fluffy meringue base) for cakes — there’s simply nothing better, in my opinion. It’s what’s widely used for filling/frosting most wedding cakes, occasion cakes, and even cupcakes in many cases, because of its buttery flavour and silky texture. It’s not super-sweet, it compliments almost any type of cake, and it can be flavoured with pretty much anything and still tastes amazing. That being said, my husband simply loves sugary blue frosting on vanilla cake, so that’s what I made for this birthday cake.

The verdict: Grant and I both loved it and thought the vanilla flavour that came through was especially amazing in this cake. As far as texture goes, I did really love it, but I always notice a very cakey taste when cake flour is used.  You could replace the cake flour with all-purpose to give it a slightly different texture and taste, if desired. Actually, you can also play around and experiment by switching the milk for yogurt or sour cream, just to see what happens. Have fun with it!

Classic Vanilla Butter Birthday Cake

Yield: One 8-inch round, 3-layer cake


    For the cake:
  • 4 large eggs (separated), at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (420 g/14.5 oz) sifted cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons (20 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 (3 g) teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (227 g/2 sticks/8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g/14 oz) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) cream of tartar
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup (227 g/2 sticks/8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups (750 g/1 lb + 10 oz) icing sugar (confectioners')
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) whipping cream (35%)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
  • a pinch of salt


    For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour three - 8 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper.
  2. While eggs are still cold, separate them, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic warp and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using, about 30 mins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  7. In the clean bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  8. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over-mix the batter or it will deflate.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan gently. Once the cakes of completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour (to make filling and frosting the cakes easier).
  11. For the frosting:
  12. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and icing sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes.
  13. Add the vanilla, water, whipping cream and salt, and whip on med-high speed until fluffy and smooth--about 3 more minutes. If consistency is too thick, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time, then whip again for 30 seconds or so. If your frosting is too thin, you can add more icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time until you achieve desired consistency.


[cake layer recipe adapted from Joy of Baking]

Good luck & enjoy!

Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    This is so gorgeous, I hardly care what it tastes like! But I am glad the taste was good too. Wow, I am just stunned by the pictures and how amazing and perfect that cake looks.

  2. says

    This photo of your cake caught my eye on Tastespotting. SO lovely and elegant, but there is something sweet and childlike about it:) The sprinkles maybe!? Love it. Beautiful.

  3. says

    I made the buttercream frosting for birthday cupcakes this weekend. Sugary Birthday Buttercream is the perfect name for it – so sweet and what a hit with the kids! Looking forward to making your delicious looking vanilla cake soon!

  4. says

    I think I can’t choose between a chocolat or a vanilla cake, it really depends on my mood ! The colour of your icing is really nice and I love the white jimmies on top ! The icing is classic american buttercream ? I’m just like you I prefer swiss meringue buttercream : I tried the recipe once and I never made american buttercream ever since :o)

  5. Amy Talmage says

    I need to make 24 cupcakes will this give me enough batter? Also your beautiful vanilla sponge cake with the 24K gold decoration… Does it fill well? I’m considering that one for my cupcakes. Final question if I divide this classic vanilla butter cake will it give me just enough for 2 8in pans. I don’t think we can handle a 3 layer cake yet. :)

  6. Nicole Souders says

    This is the second cake from your site that I have baked. I love cakes! This cake was absolutely delicious; so tall and beautiful and sweet and just the perfect cake to make, serve and eat. I also love vanilla, so your white cakes are just sinfully delicious! Perfect! Your blogs are just wonderful, I love the entire site. It just makes me so happy to see such beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes. Thank you!

  7. Emily Page says

    Hi Rosie,
    I live in England and have just stumbled across your blog…it it absolutely amazing!! I just have a quick question and I am guessing you get this all the time….but I am sooo confused on the conversions of your cups to our grams and would love some help. I’ve tried looking it up on the net but it seems that every different ingredient has a different amount per cup. Please could you help as I would love to try out most of your recipes!!
    Thank you xx

    • says

      Hi Emily! Thanks so much for the sweet words. Conversions are definitely tricky with all of us using different systems. I’m working on getting a baking conversion chart onto the blog, but what I’ll do when possible, is try to measure things as I go, so everyone can use the recipes. Was there one in particular you were hoping to make and couldn’t convert?

      • terrie says

        I am also from england and finding it difficult to convert the measurements. and i really really want to make this cake!

  8. says

    I tried out this cake!
    It was delicious!Thank you very much!
    Hope you come out with more recipes for beginners like me!^^

  9. says

    Hi Rosie, I discovered your blog some days ago and I am so happy I did!… Your photos are drop-dead-beautiful; your work is so neat and creative… and I luv the entire concept of your site, because it’s not only a business site, but educational as well. Great job!!! Looking forward for your next post… ;))))

  10. says

    Baked this yesterday and it was a hit at the party today. We had a crowd, so I put the whole recipe into one 10X15′ pan. It worked well. we did this twice for a layer cake with Birdseye custard in between layers. It was very rich and fairly dense, but not too dense (I should mention I didn’t use cake flour, but I did substitute a 1/2 cup of white flour with rice flour to lighten it a bit). Thanks so much for the great recipe and inspiring photos.

  11. YuliaM says

    Oh Rosie what did you do, this is the only cake my husband will eat now and I had to make it 3 times now and making it for his 30th birthday tomorrow. He refers to it as ” THE CAKE”. Will try to make fluffy vanilla cake cupcakes as well, recepie looks amazing! Thanks for sharing all your great recepies with us!

  12. Bonnie says

    I am about to make this for my daughters first birthday today!! I am so glad I stumbled across it!! Thank you!

  13. says

    This cake is so beautiful, I’m going to make it for my birthday party in a few weeks but I prefer a lighter, spongier (but by no means dry) cake and by the sounds of it this one is quite dense.
    Apart from using all purpose flour, is there any other recommendations you have to make this even lighter?
    I like the idea of using yoghurt instead of milk but that would make it heavier, would it not?

    And also in my recent experience, a lot of my cakes have turned out very moist and sticky. All I can think to fix this is to reduce the amount of sugar.

    But what do you think? Should I go with this recipe or find a lighter sponge?


  14. says

    This looks yummy! I might make this for my 17th b-day thats in a few weeks. The only thing is I only have have 9″ round pans. Is that okay?

  15. Michelle says

    I tried this out for my daughters second birthday yesterday, the cake part came out dry and I am not sure why. I made cake Tuesday and froze then iced Wednesday and refrigerated over night. When icing I even brushed layers with simple syrup, so not sure why so dry. Maybe the freezing? It looked pretty though.

  16. Elsa says

    The recipe have promis, BUT, it is so overcomplicated. I have to us 6 bowls, and never end up mixing the egg yellow mixture with the flour mixture – or at least, this is never mentioned. I think your directions can be much easier. I’ve baked many years, and it is always about the best way, which are usually also the easiest way, and that way you know your recipe is fail proof.

    • says

      Elsa, I appreciate the comment, but so you understand, I bake cakes many different ways, and I like to experiment with different recipes. This version is from Joy of Baking, and I have many methods of baking cakes that I use often. If you read my directions, you will see that I do include when to add the egg yolks, which is one of the first steps.

  17. says

    hi rosie!
    when you said you doubled the recipe, do you mean you doubled the recipe you posted, or that the recipe you posted is the double the original? thanks so much :)

    • says

      Hi Kelly! Sorry if that was confusing–I’ve changed the recipe info to include the yield, which is three 8-inch round cake layers. The recipe provided was the doubled quantity. Hope this helps!

      • says

        Thank you! Now, if I wanted to just do two layers so I could make some cupcakes as well, could I split those two layers? I learned the hard way that I should ask that before I assume I can!

  18. Naomi says

    I am planning on making this cake for my parents anniversary and I really look forward to it, I know they’ll love it too. My question is how you make the icing so smooth, is it the icing recipe or the way you put it on?

  19. sania says

    I have been a big fan of your recipes. Tested your fluffy vanilla, your dark and rich choc cake, as well as your smb. Love them all, and all along I have been receiving praises whenever I bake the fluffy vanilla cake.

    How do I modify this recipe to make it into orange buttercake.

  20. says

    Do you think this icing will work for doing ruffles? We have a guest with an egg allergy so I’m a little leery of making the swiss meringue buttercream for our party that you suggest for your ruffle cake. I can’t wait to try it!

    • says

      Hi Mary! Truly, the icing would technically ruffle okay, although it wouldn’t be as silky in finish, but the only issue is that it’s so sweet compared to the Swiss Buttercream. I can see your dilemma though, with the egg allergy as an issue, so if the slices were thin and there wasn’t too much frosting as filling, I imagine it would work! I hope this helps in some way. Let me know how it goes?

  21. Tara says


    The cake looks beautiful! I’d love to try this buttercream sometime, but I’ve a doubt. Can we keep the frosted cake @ room temp, if so for how long? Thanks.

  22. says

    Hello… First time to your website…. its awesome… no words..:d n the pics r too good.

    I need a small suggestion. How can I alter the recipe for a 10″X 2″ round cake? please advice.I need to have a 2 layer cake. how much should I add or deduct for this recipe… please guide.

  23. Katie says

    This cake looks beautiful! Is this the closest recipe that you have to a “yellow cake?” I didn’t see any recipes on your blog that were explicitly called “yellow cake,” but I’m looking for one and was wondering if this recipe would be what I’m looking for.


  24. Eliza Ackland says

    OK guys, need some help! I need to make an octopus cake!!?? I’m picturing a tiered cake and then an octopus wrapped around the bottom/spreading up the cake… I need a foolproof vanilla cake recipe that isnt too fluffy so it is dense enough to hold a fondants… TIPS?! Even if anyone has done something similar… kids birthday cake characters would love some help!!!!!!

  25. Whitney says

    Hi Rosie! First of all I adore your blog & all the darling photos! :) Second, I just got my first stand mixer & this was the recipe that my broke in my new baby. I did 2 8″ cakes and cupcakes. The cupcakes were rather dry and ended up getting hard after about 30 minutes. The cake itself feels super soft still but I am worried about the dry texture still. This was my first try with cake flour so I’m not sure how the texture is supposed to be for this cake. Is the cake supposed to be on the drier side?

    • says

      Hi Whitney! Congrats on the new mixer–I know how exciting that is! So sorry to hear that you found the cake dry. Just a note that the cupcakes will take much less time–usually about 18 minutes or so, so hopefully you will enjoy them if you try it again. As for the cake, it shouldn’t be dry, but rather a nice, tender cake crumb–it’s a very classic scratch vanilla butter cake in that sense. If you baked the cakes just until a toothpick came clean, and not much longer, it shouldn’t be dry. Let me know how it goes!

  26. Whitney says

    Hi again Rosie! I wrote you about this cake yesterday after some sort of a user error (me- ha ha!) caused the cupcakes to be dry. Apparently I did something wrong with the cake as well, because regardless of how utterly perfect & beautiful it looked, it was still on the dry side. My first theory of error was that the oven was probably preheated 30-45 min before baking, so even though baking it for the recommended 25 minutes, maybe it should have come out in 20? Or maybe since this was my first experience with cake flour and the style of crumb cake, maybe…just maybe am I being too critical and am not used to the texture? I would describe it as after the first bite, I immediately felt the need to grab some milk for the sake of being parched, as this was very dense and crumby, which to me = dry.

    My second issue was the icing, and I solved my own issue with the texture because I did go with the option to add the extra teaspoon of water; however, 1 teaspoon turned into 3 and needless to say, it ended up getting slightly runny. My question for you is for an icing beginner, do you have any tips, tutorials, or videos for getting that smooth surface on your cakes? I have a turntable, bench scraper, and offset spatula already. Maybe it will just come with practice, but any tricks from you would be honored and appreciated!

    Always excited for more treats on your blog, xo, Whit

  27. says

    Rosie I just wanted to say what a completely perfect recipe this is. I am no expert baker and yet when I found this in May to make for my husband’s birthday, even my (very) difficult mother in law said it was ‘the best cake’ she had ever had. Wow!

    I’ve returned since to gawk at the amazing photos and today I am using the recipe again. Thanks!! :)

  28. Jenifer says

    Beautiful site!
    I made the cake tonight (it’s in the oven) but unfortunately I didn’t read the whole thing, and I used it for a rainbow cake. Which means the beautiful merengue = flat when having to stir in the different food colourings.

    Oh well, fingers crossed…

      • Jesslyn says

        You might try mixing in the color before you fold in the whites. I think if you had a food scale you could divide your two batters evenly and still get the fluffy delicious cake!

  29. Brittany Ortman says

    Hi there Rosie! I made this cake this past weekend for my daughter’s 5th birthday! Though it was a beautiful creation something must of went terribly wrong lol! that cake was very dry and tasted like a corn bread cake in a way so I am not sure what happen exactly?

  30. rooha says

    hi rosie…i am a home baker from uk and simple adore your blog….amazing photos and your colour schemes are so beautiful……i am making a birthdaay cake for my daughter…it would be rasberry and white chocolate… planning to use this butter cake receipe as sponge then frost it with you SMB ….adding raspberry puree as filling and white chocolate as topping….then i want to cover with fondant….i havnt done it before so just wondering if these plans are fine…lol…i mean u think this would work without spoiling my cake….i tried to email you on but it didnt go through…..hope to hear from you soon…..thanks alot in advsanc…ne help from you would be appreciated…n if you have better options or anyother recepies please let me know..really want to try something from your blog:)

  31. Christine says

    Hi, My name is Christine. I am contacting you from half the way across the Globe from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I have started my home based business a year ago baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. I am self taught and I am learning a lot throughout the process before I open my own shop.
    I have been told recently that my cakes are heavy and a bit dry. I have been looking online and stumbled across your work. I loved it and I loved how you are sharing your recipe with people. What do you recommend me to use for Vanilla and chocolate recipe especially when I cover my cakes with fondant. I need something that is light and soft yet strong enough to withstand the weight of fondant. I hope you can help. If not, I totally understand. Love, Christine

    • says

      Hmm, that’s too bad, Bev–I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. I’ve honestly never heard anyone say it had a bitter after taste, or any after taste at all, for that matter. It sounds as though something went wrong. I make this one often, and as it comes from Joy of Baking, it’s a very classic and well-tested recipe.

  32. Mary says

    I just made this today for my daughter’s birthday cake and Oh My Goodness it is DELICIOUS! I used pink food colouring for the icing and piped stars around the bottom and edge of the top… quite simply one of the best sponges I’ve ever made and the buttercream is heaven!

  33. Erin says

    I baked this cake for my boyfriend for valentines day, its DELICIOUS!! It has a very sugar-cookie-ish taste, but without the heaviness. Soooo good:) the only problem I had was with the frosting, it was dripping and melting all over the place, so it didn’t look nearly as pretty as the one pictured. It tasted amazing though:)

  34. Alycia says

    I made this cake (with different frosting) for a friend’s baby shower and it was delicious. The only problem I had was that on cooling the cake shrunk a lot (about 4cm), which wouldn’t have been a problem except that it was a tiered cake. Is there anything I could do to minimise the shrinkage, maybe by how I cooled the cake?

  35. Regina says

    Hi Rosie,
    I’ve been a fan since my 4 y/o saw a picture of your ruffled celebration cake more than a year ago and she requested one for her 5th birthday. We all loved how really tasty and beautiful it turned out. Should have told you back then (mea culpa, please forgive me?) but today I made your vanilla cake recipe as cupcakes tinted green for our St. Paddy’s celebration and OMGoodness I just HAVE to say this is really a wonderful recipe! I grew up not much of a cake fan..though you are definitely converting me with REAL cake recipes…and most especially NOT a vanilla cake fan. But your cake recipes are so good and this particular recipe was so incredibly delicious it has changed my mind about vanilla cake. As a choco-holic I must say, who knew vanilla anything could be SO good? Gracious sakes, I have eaten the majority of the cupcakes! So thank you, thank you, Rosie, for sharing your Sweetapolita recipes and baking tips (though admittedly, my hips are refusing to join in these accolades) and also for the exquisite photography of your beautiful creations. (Tho personally, I always like the ones that include your gorgeous daughters :)) Blessings upon you and keep up the excellent work!

  36. Julie Thomas says

    I made this for Easter (with pale pink frosting…very beautiful). The butter cream was perfect. I don’t even particularly like frosting that much, but this was delicious. I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Lots of beauty and inspiration here!

  37. Asma says

    Hi Rosie,

    This is a really great vanilla cake. I tried out the recipe yesterday and it turned out perfect, by far the most tastiest vanilla cake I have ever tasted. Will be using this more often. Thankyou and you’re cake looks amazing and I’m sure would have tasted even nicer. Xoxo

  38. Kathryn says

    Hi Rosie,

    Thank you SO much for this recipe! I’ve tried many vanilla cakes, and they just never came out exactly right. I could never get the texture of the cake that I desired. This cake is perfect though. It’s so moist and extremely delicious! The only problem I had was that my buttercream icing was a little on the runny side and seemed to melt some. It clearly isnt that way in the beautiful pictures, so I’m not quite sure what I did wrong, but I will definitely try again and I will definitely bake more of your recipes!

  39. Leann says

    This was my first layer cake and it was AWESOME. So nervous doing it, but it turned out so yummy…tasted like a huge soft sugar cookie…the ones I adore that I could never figure out how to make. Will be making it again, but trying the Swiss Meringue Butter cream…wish me luck!!

  40. Danielle Waldron says

    Hi, Rosie!!

    I am an avid follow of your site and your Instagram as well and I FINALLY worked myself up to trying one of your recipes. I am turning 20 and I wanted to make my own cake (something truly special!) this year. I chose this recipe as it seemed classic and delicious and let me tell you… it turned out marvelous. Thank you SO much for your easy-to-follow recipe! I cannot wait to try more of our recipes out in my kitchen. Keep doing what you do best! :)

  41. says

    Hello!! I’ve been making your cake all week it seems, and will do it again today! I really like it. I am using a butter cream frosting- but I use coconut oil, as I can’t use any dairy in my cooking- so I think the swiss buttercream might kill me! I used cake flour the first time and it was fairly dense, but delicious. I used all purpose the next time and the cake was just as fabulous. I even made it once and flavoured it with lemon… and that was great too! I have 2 more to make today. July sure is a busy cake eating month in my life…

  42. kristen says

    I was going to make a vanilla and chocolate layer cake. Is there a way to add chocolate to this recipe to make it a chocolate cake?

  43. kristen says

    making a cake for my brothers birthday. I want to use this yellow cake recipe and I want to do yellow and chocolate layers. Does anyone know how to turn a yellow cake recipe into a chocolate cake? so I dont have to make two completly different cake recipes. I thought of just adding cocoa powder but I dont know how much to add so it doesnt screw up the cake.

  44. Miah says

    I’m making a fondant cake for a baby shower this weekend. Was wondering which cake holds the fondant better – Classic Vanilla Butter Cake or you Fluffy Vanilla Cake?

  45. says

    I totally agree with you about the whole experimenting thing! I experimented and found buttermilk would work. I went on a quest to find the best recipes.This princess loves your site, love the colors and the whole idea. !!!


  46. Christine says

    Hello! I was just wondering if this would be a good recipe to use under fondant? I’m making a two tier cake and just want to make sure that this won’t fall apart under it? Is it dense enough? And that icing color is beautiful by the way!

  47. says

    Hi Rosie ~ what a lovely cake.

    I’ve tried many recipes, some claiming to be the perfect vanilla cake, but like you said, there are so many variations of vanilla cake.

    Would you say the texture of this cake is more cake-like (dense) with a tender crumb, or a sponge cake which has a rather coarse crumb?

    Thanks in advance.

  48. Summar says

    Does anyone know roughly how many servings you’d get from a cake of this size? Am looking to bake a cake to serve around 25 people, thanks!

    • says

      Hi Summar!
      With a cake like this, you’d be looking at around 12-15 servings. Because the cake is 3-layer, the slices are typically thinner, therefore yielding more servings. You’d be safe to make 2 cakes of this size for 25 people. Hope that helps!

  49. Holly says

    Hey, sorry if this is a bit of stupid question but how did you get your icing to be so flawlessly smooth and perfect do you have any techniques? i’m only 16 and love baking and want to try this recipe!

  50. Alice says

    Wondering when a recipe calls for cake flour and you want to experiment with AP flour, how much do you use? Three and a half cups of cake flour would equal about three cups of AP flour(3.5 cups minus 7 tblspns) (8tblspns=1/2cup). What do you think? Also, what if I wanted to do half and half? I don’t fully like the texture of either options. All cake flour is too delicate for decorating in tiers. And all AP flour makes too dense a cake.

  51. Isabella says

    Came across yr website searching for birthday cake for my 2 yr old son . I always use family recepie for the sponge made out of same weight of 4 eggs of butter sugar and flour and 1tsp vanilla extract . Is quite rich and wanted to use meringue as frosting so didn’t want it to be too sickly therefore was searching for a lighter sponge recipie. I used this one but used meringue frosting and for filling used melted choc with a little whipped thick cream and a second layer of thick custard. The cake was absolutely delicious the sponge was light and vanillary and just lovely. Will be making it again and again . All the family and friends loved it and asked fr he recepie. Congrats on such a great website I love to skim thru the recepies everything looks o yummy I will be making cookies with my sons next possibly the Santa milk and cookies which look so cute.

  52. Sharon says

    I made this recipe as cupcakes. I’m hoping it will be better as a cake. The tops of the cupcakes were awfully crisp. I was sure they were going to be delicious since it was a more difficult recipe. I’ll try again.

  53. Carie says

    I am going to use this cake recipe for my brother’s birthday in February. I just tried it out today and it is amazing. For a less sweeter cake, I used only 1 1/2 cups of sugar and I used swiss meringue buttercream. You have inspired me to create amazing cakes like yours and because of your videos and tutorials, I can now make cakes like yours even though I’m only 12. The only thing is, I don’t have a kitchen aid standmixer. I always wanted one but my family is on a fixed income. It would mean the world to me if I got one in one of the free giveaways.

  54. Jadey says

    I made this recipe this evening as its my sons 3rd birthday on Monday. I adapted it a bit to make it dairy free and because I only wanted 2 layers I made cupcakes with the rest of the batter. It spelt gorgeous while baking. When I took it out of the oven and checked it was cooked, I left it on the side to cool down a bit and when I came to take it out of the cake tins the cake had stuck to the bottom of both cake tins! I was absolutely gutted so I did the only thing I could think of and ate the beautiful warm cake. It was gorgeous, probably one of the nicest sponges I ever made/ tasted. So I’m glad I made the the cupcakes as I’ll use those instead for my sons birthday,

  55. Gemma says

    First of all I would like to tell you I m your biggest fan over here in the UK!! Everything you make is beautiful!! Truly!! Can I just ask if this cake would need to be refrigerated over night ( I would need to add frosting Friday night for Saturday lunch) as it contains cream or can it be kept on the counter? Also I was thinking about using SMB instead. I have used your recipie before from here and is fab. Would half of the amount be enough to frost this cake ( 5 cups instead of 10)’ Many many thanks.
    Keep up the inspiring gorgeous work!!

  56. Tiffany says

    Can you tell me if this recipe works for a square pan? If so what size pan should i use, I’d like to make a cake for my daughters birthday. So….HELP lol

  57. Lauren says

    Do your ingredients cover enough for all three layers? Or should I triple the amount of your ingredients for the other two layers?

    Please get back to me!!!! Thank you :-)

    P.S. what’s your take on making this triple layer cake and covering it with fondant? Would that
    Be a good idea? This will be my first time making a fondant cake for a birthday, I want it to turn out okay.

  58. says

    Thank you thank you thank you! This is the first vanilla cake I’ve ever made that came out as moist as I wanted. My cakes are always raved about, but I’m always ALWAYS disappointed in my vanilla cakes. Not this time!!

    Love this cake! Thank you thank you! This is my new go-to vanilla cake recipe :)

  59. I love Cakes! says

    Rosie – tried this cake last night and it is SO amazing and yummy! Nice and moist. I’ve been looking for a good yellow cake recipe and this is it! I”ve always made simple cakes that didn’t require many steps, but I wanted to try this to compare and ya – totally worth it. Please can you give the proportions of coloring that you mixed to achieve this color frosting? Thanks!

  60. Abigail says

    I’ve tried this recipe a lot of times & it turned out great :). Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I have a lot of plain yogurt in my refrigerator, I would like to know if I use the yogurt instead of milk, will the cake still turn out nice?

  61. Shan says

    Hi! I’m hoping you’d see my question by this weekend! Do you think this cake can be covered with fondant?

  62. pete says

    Brilliant cake recipe. I bake alot and its the best ive found. What do you reckon kn making it chocolate? Substitute some flour for cocoa? Or just add some cocoa? Have you tried?
    Many thanks

  63. Una says

    Hi, I just made this cake and it taste great. However my cakes didn’t come out fluffy and tall like yours. I am wondering what I did wrong? I am thinking I over mixed. Please help…I would love to make this cake again and have it tall like yours.

  64. Cathy says

    Hi!I have made this cake twice now and it is absolutely the most delicious vanilla cake I have ever tasted!My Mom used to make a cake like this with chocolate icing,but she has since passed.I thank you for this recipe,it is fabulous!I am soo happy I found your site!

  65. Stephanie says

    Hello! I recently chanced upon your site as I am planning to make my son’s birthday cake again. But I was wanting something different from the cake I did last year. I was looking for something simple, but still good. And I found this! He turns 2 and I didn’t want a big cake coz I’m not having a big do like I had for his 1st. I thought this would be perfect. I’ve done a trial run but I halved everything coz not everyone’s a cake eater like me, but I still want a cake for his birthday. It turned out just enough for 2, 8″ spring forms. Which was exactly what I wanted. I haven’t frosted it yet, as I was still looking for a frosting recipe. And I saw your Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I so have to try!! It looks really good and I plan to do it for the cake. Going to do a trial run this weekend. Anyway, I really love your site and I think I’m going to refer to it every time I do a cake. Your cakes look soooooo awesome. Not only that, your photography skills are amazing too! One very artistic woman! Thank you for sharing with us your amazing creations!

  66. Elizabeth says

    Hi there! Just wondering what label you used for the frosting of the cake? It’s such a beautiful blue colour and I am hoping to use it for a birthday!

  67. Denise says

    I just made this recipe using 2 9″ cake pans. I made a few cupcakes to try the cake before serving it and it tastes great. Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Rachel says

    What a wonderful website you have! So many amazing cakes! I’d like to make this cake for my son’s first birthday … Is there any easy way to figure out how much batter I’d needed I wanted to use 10″ pans? You have so many great cakes it would be great to know a tip on how to convert them to different size pans! Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!!

  69. Zainab says

    I’m an ardent fan of your blog. Your recipes are definitely an inspiration. I’m right now in a great emergency. I’m supposed to bake a vanilla birthday cake tomorrow & I want to give this one a try hence I have two big questions
    1. Can this cake & frosting be covered fondant?
    2. What if I don’t use the cream of Tatar?? Will create an issue wd my cake under fondant??

  70. Carolina says

    Love it! It looks delicious. What should the measures be for a 2 layer cake? (I’m a complete newbie at cooking! sorry for this question lol)

  71. Nicole says

    Hi! I was just wondering if it is ok to freeze this cake? I’m wanting to make it for my daughter’s birthday but just trying to save time.. x

  72. Colleen K. says

    I made this cake for my daughter’s 8th birthday. This cake is so delicious! I have been looking for a vanilla cake recipe that can stack easily! This is it! It is dense enough for stacking and decorating, while moist and flavorful. I havent tried fondant yet but I feel confident this cake would work well with fondant. I made this cake Tie Dye with two 9 inch layers. I also used Rich’s bettercream for the frosting.
    P.S I was feeling lazy and did not separate the eggs. It was still wonderful.
    Thank you for this great recipe!

  73. Jenn G. says

    Make this cake-BUT I have a quick question. There is no mention of milk in the list of ingredients, but looking in the directions it calls to mix in dry ingredients, then milk-WHAT???? How much? I tried about 1cup of milk-but felt like there should have been more??? That might have helped the egg whites fold in better? Retread your directions a couple of times-still couldn’t find!!!

  74. Dorothy says

    I made this cake over the weekend and it was AWESOME!!!! I took it to work and one person said it was the best cake she ever had counting wedding cakes, birthday cakes, etc. I completely agree. The taste of the cake was amazing and I loved the vanilla frosting…I tinted it blue too and it was too cute….mmmm mmmm truly divine!

  75. Monica K. says

    This is the second time I made this cake, and each time it came out very, very dry and dense, so I made some alterations. Used 3 sticks of butter, reduced flour to 3 cups, added an additional egg, and did not separate them or use cream of tartar. I just added them one at a time, mixing well after each addition. The result: a really moist and flavorful buttery cake!

  76. Hollie says

    I am constantly searching for the ideal birthday cake and frosting too. I have made this cake twice now and have used the frosting recipe for cupcakes and have made variations of flavours, lemon being a favorite. This cake is a winner. Turned out moist, light and lovely. It is a hit with my dad, who is the hardest to please. I am having a wonderful time on your site and am enjoying your recipes.

  77. Jesslyn says

    I love your cakes and the SMB! I have made several of the cakes recently, but ran into a problem. I live at ~6,000 ft. The cakes would rise quickly and then collapse. =( I made an adjustment that some other homemakers might try if they live at high altitude, too. Instead of 4 tsp of baking powder I use only 3tsp. This seems to have solved the problem. Now I have beautiful cakes!

    Thank you again for sharing you expertise with the home baker!

  78. Leonie says

    Love all your cakes Rosie. Is this cake ok for under fondant please? Also you mention your butter cake recipe, is that on your page please? Thank you
    Leonie xxxx

  79. Aasifa Ali says

    How love your creations… I am on a baking break as I have a 6month old.. wanting to bake a vanilla cake . I tried this recipe. N love how it has come out,.. super happy

  80. Tanya-Jayne says

    what could I be doing wrong…I have made your yellow cake twice and your buttermilk cake once and they are all too dry?!? Please help

  81. says

    I can’t wait to make your cake, but I do have one question. I’m making a it as a sheet cake for my niece and nephews christening. Would this recipe work in a 11×15 pan? If so, what would be the cook time?
    I’m using it to make an open book cake.


  82. Dana says

    Hi Rosie!

    Is there a *simple* way to modify this recipe to make it a 2-layer cake instead of a 3-layer cake? I think for a small family birthday celebration (there are only like 5 of us), 3 layers would just end up being way too much cake!

  83. alison says

    Can I turn this into a coconut cake? Can I substitute the 1 cup milk, for coconut milk and add 2 tsp coconut extract?

  84. Janis says

    How well would this recipe work in a bundt pan? I’m using a bundt pan to make snake cake.
    I love your recipes and have always had success using them :)


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