Vanilla Birthday Cake with Old-Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream

4.5 stars based on 71 votes

vanilla-birthday-cake

My daughter is turning eight years old this week, and for months she’s been begging me for two things: a puppy and her favorite vanilla birthday cake. The puppy is definitely not going to happen — I already have my hands full with this big guy.

But the cake’s easy. I’ve made this simple vanilla cake every year on her birthday since she was two. The cake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite baking books, Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri, and the frosting recipe was handed down to me from my great-grandmother.

To begin, whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Next, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites and milk. Be sure the eggs are at room temperature, otherwise your batter may curdle. To warm them up quickly, place them in a bowl of hot water before cracking them.

When the butter and sugar are creamed, beat in the vanilla and almond extract, then add one-quarter of the flour mixture and beat on low speed.

Then add one-third of the milk mixture.

Continue alternating adding the flour and milk mixtures, scraping down the bowl as necessary, then pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Note that this cake can be made in either 8 or 9-inch cake pans; the former will be higher and the latter will flatter.

Bake the layers for 30-35 minutes, until they are well risen and firm. Cool the layers in the pans for five minutes, then unmold onto racks to finish cooling.

While the cake cools, make the frosting. It’s easy: just cream the butter and cream cheese together, then add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.

When the layers are cool, frost the cake.

You can spread the frosting smooth, or swirl it casually with a butter knife like I do. Since it’s an all white cake, I like to scatter some festive nonpareils or confetti sprinkles on top for color. For a change, if you like coconut, try topping the cake with heaps of shredded sweetened coconut — it’s amazing.

cut-cake1

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Old-Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream

Servings: Makes one 8-inch 2-layer cake, or 24 cupcakes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Cake Layers

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Buttercream

  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4.5 ounces (1/2 cup plus one tablespoon) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray (note: 8-inch cake pans will give you a much higher cake). Cut two 8 or 9-inch rounds of parchment or wax paper and line the bottom of each pan; spray the paper with nonstick spray. (To measure the parchment paper, just trace the bottom of the pan.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very soft and light. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand in a medium bowl until just combined.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk mixture, stopping and scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition. Beat in another quarter of the flour, then another third of the milk mixture. Scrape again. Repeat with another quarter of the flour and the remaining milk mixture; scrape. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture.
  6. Scrape the bowl with a large rubber spatula. Don't worry if the the batter looks a little grainy. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
  7. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until they are well risen and firm and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on rack for 5 minutes, then unmold onto rack to finish cooling right side up (keep parchment paper underneath cake layers so they don't stick to rack). When cake layers are completely cool, transfer to cake plate and frost with vanilla buttercream.

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy and well combined.
  2. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat in the vanilla and salt. If the frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk or cream.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Good evening, I am trying to bake one ten inch layer cake as a smash cake for my grandson. Would you share how to convert this recipe for a ten inch cake. Thank you

    - Linda Jones on July 7, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Linda, You could try making 1 1/2 times the recipe for a 10″ cake, but may not translate perfectly; the texture may not be exactly right. If it’s just going to get “smashed” though, it may not be a huge issue :).

      - Jenn on July 8, 2016 Reply
  • Is it possible to lessen the amount of sugar in the frosting? If so, how many cups would work?

    - Carol Postan on July 1, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Carol, Hi Maria, I wouldn’t reduce the sugar too much but you can probably reduce it a little without changing the texture of the frosting too much. You could also try replacing some of the butter with more cream cheese, which will make it a bit more stable and add some tanginess to balance the sweetness.

      - Jenn on July 1, 2016 Reply
  • 1 stars

    I found this cake to be very dense, my family didn’t care for it.

    - Mimi on June 29, 2016 Reply
  • This looks like a beautiful cake and I would like to try it but I need to make it dairy free. Do you think this would work with a product like rice milk? If so, should I make any other adjustments? Thanks!

    - Iris on June 28, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Iris, Some other readers have replaced the cow’s milk with almond or cashew milk and had success, so, while I haven’t tried it with rice milk, I suspect it would work as well. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Can I make this a day ahead and keep it in the fridge?

    - Kristi on June 24, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Kristi, Yes, you could make this a day in advance. Technically, I think the cake should be refrigerated but, honestly, I never do and it’s always perfectly fine. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 24, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Dear Jenn,

    Does the depth of the 8 ” pan matter?

    I made this cake for my birthday and it was really really good, it will be my go to recipe but my cake pans were 9 inches and honestly did make a difference in height. I will make this cake again for my upcoming daughter’s birthday and I am buying the proper 8″ cake pans, but I want to get the right depth since they have 3″ or 2″ depth.

    Thank you for such delicious and easy recipe.

    Sara

    - Sara MacMillan on June 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Sara, Glad you like the cake and, yes, the 8 inch cake pan will definitely give you a cake with more height. You’d be fine purchasing the in with a 2″ depth.

      - Jenn on June 20, 2016 Reply
  • can I make his cake with out almond extract?

    - Meagan on June 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Meagan, It’s fine to skip the almond extract-just use an extra 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on June 18, 2016 Reply
  • My cake didn’t rise. I don’t have an electric mixer so couldn’t use a paddle to mix in the flour and egg mix, I just beat in with a wooden spoon, is this the reason?

    - Rachael on June 16, 2016 Reply
    • Yes Rachael, I suspect it was because of the lack of a mixer. This recipe really needs one– at least need a hand-held electric mixer — sorry!

      - Jenn on June 17, 2016 Reply
  • Can i bake this cake in a 9×9 pan?? Thanks for your help

    - Maribel on June 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Maribel, are you planning on using one or two 9×9 pans?

      - Jenn on June 16, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Most liked it. It would be a fantastic cake but dummy me messed up the cake recipe. I would love to try it again though.

    - Miller on June 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love this cake. I’ve tested 25-30 recipes of vanilla cake (white and yellow) in the last few months and this one stands out as the best. The flavor is great and the texture is perfect. I’ve never seen a recipe where the eggs are mixed with the liquid ingredients and mixed in when alternating with the dry. Typically, eggs are added after the butter and sugar are creamed and then the liquid and dry are added alternating. What is the reason for this? The only the I can think of is it would prevent over mixing of the eggs and thus prevent turning the eggs into a meringue in the batter.

    - Chris on June 13, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Chris, so glad to hear that out of all the cakes you’ve tried that you enjoyed this one so much. I adapted this recipe from one created by Nick Malgieri (who I think is a baking God), so I can’t tell you for sure the method behind his madness, but I know it helps to make the cake lighter (and delicious)!

      - Jenn on June 15, 2016 Reply
  • Hi! so thrilled to find a recipe with such great reviews. If you would be so kind please, to let me know if i should double the quantities if i am using one, 8.5 x 12″ pan, and if so how long do i cook it for. My thanks in advance. Eve

    - Eve on June 10, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Eve, I haven’t tried this recipe in an 8.5 x 12 pan. I’m not certain it would rise evenly. If you plan to try it anyway, I don’t think you’d need to double the recipe. Baking time should be about the same, but make sure to check it (by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake and ensuring it comes out clean).

      - Jenn on June 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have been on the hunt for a reliable vanilla cake recipe for a while now, and this is absolutely the best recipe I’ve encountered! I am not a professional, but I do sell decorated cakes on occasion for friends’ birthdays or weddings, so I have made many different recipes and this is my new favorite vanilla. Thank you!!

    - Alex on June 9, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this cake today for a friend’s birthday dinner. Her fiance already had some funfetti frosting, but needed a cake. The cake was a big hit. The addition of almond extract with the vanilla is very nice. I baked it in an 8″ square glass pan, since that’s what I had available. I live in Hong Kong now, and before that, South Korea, so I rely on the internet often for recipes. After googling and reading several recipes, my final two choices were this one and your Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes recipe. Your recipes are presented very clearly, and I like that you respond to comments and questions. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    - Heather Watson on June 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was the most delicious cake I have ever made!

    - micole on June 4, 2016 Reply
  • Hey! I’m going to make this cake in the morning for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I want to make a #2 cake so I’m using two 9″ and two 9×13 pans. What should I do to the recipe to cook the 9x13s? Double the recipe? Thanks in advance!

    - Ashley on May 29, 2016 Reply
    • Yes Ashley, I think you’d need to double the recipe if you’re using two 9 x 13 pans.

      - Jenn on May 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi, I made this cake for my mom’s birthday and it was delicious! ! I loved everything about this cake and so did my mom. It worked out wonderful especially with the frosting. Thanks so much and I will definitely make this cake again.

    - Kailey on May 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I am excited to make this cake with assistance from my little one. I am thinking about replacing the vanilla extract with a vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste. I would also skip the almond extract. Would you recommend using vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste, or is there a reason to prefer the vanilla extract?

    - ecoeducator on May 27, 2016 Reply
    • Hi, I think you could get away with using either the bean or the paste! Hope you enjoy.

      - Jenn on May 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’m really want to make this cake, but I have no idea what temperature you should bake this cake at. It looks pretty promising and all I need is the temp. Maybe I didn’t look carefully, but I don’t know.

    - Leah Johnson on May 25, 2016 Reply
    • Leah, the cake gets baked at 350 degrees. Hope you enjoy it!

      - Jenn on May 26, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this recipe! I made the recipe 3 times dividing each batch into 2 and dyed the batter. It made a beautiful and moist rainbow 6 layered cake. I leveled the tops and trimmed the edges, the colors were so bright and vibrant. Your recipe was perfection for this idea, Thank you so much! My daughter and all of our party guests loved this cake!!

    - Julia on May 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Julia. What did you use to dye the batter? I’m planning to make a rainbow layers cake for my daughter’s birthday and I’m considering either jello powder or food colouring. Thanks so much! ~Sarah

      - Sarah on June 8, 2016 Reply
  • I have made this cake before and it was amazing. I now want to make 24 mini cupcakes, what temp and for how long should I bake them? I’m in California.

    - Dulcey on May 21, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Dulcey, you can keep the temperature the same and start checking them for doneness at about 10 minutes. Also, make sure to spray the pan and cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray.

      - Jenn on May 21, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Thank you, I was wondering if I should spray the liners. I made them last night and they are delicious. This is the second time I have used this recipe and I love it. I am also making them this week for my daughter’s kindergarten class. Do you have a frosting recipe that doesn’t call for so much powdered sugar or will it be just as good if I reduce it to three cups? :)

        - Dulcey on May 22, 2016 Reply
        • Glad they turned out well! You can reduce the sugar but you’ll probably need more than 3 cups to make the frosting stiffen up.

          - Jenn on May 22, 2016 Reply
  • Hi I found this recipe while looking for a white cake recipe. I need to make (3) 10″ cakes. Should I bake them at 350 and how long should I bake the cakesin the oven? I am looking forward to making this for my daughter’s 5th birthday this weekend.

    Destiny

    - Destiny on May 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Destiny, happy birthday to your daughter! For two 10-inch pans, I would multiply the recipe by 1.5 so you have enough batter to give the cake a normal height. Bake them at 350 and start checking them for doneness after about 25 minutes.

      - Jenn on May 16, 2016 Reply
    • I bake a lot (3+ times a week) so from experience just a couple of thoughts …

      Recipe is for 8″ cake. An 8″ cake will serve 24; a 10″ cake will serve 38 people. You can find cutting charts by googling “cake serving and cutting charts.” Information is useful too if ever you need to purchase a custom cake.

      For each 8″ layer estimate 3 1/2 cups batter.
      For each 10″ layer estimate 6 cups of batter.

      Usually don’t need to adjust temperature unless your pans are,anodized (coated, dark in color). Reduce temperature to prevent over baking.

      - Cate on May 17, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jen! How many people would you say this cake is good for? I’m planning my son’s bday and have no idea of how much cake I should have. Thanks!

    - Ana Luisa on May 7, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Ana Luisa, I’d say it serves 14 easily.

      - Jenn on May 8, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        I made a test cake today and it’s amazing, for the party I might make a 3 layer cake to serve more people. Thanks once again for fool proof recipes Jenn!! I love your site!

        - Ana Luisa on May 13, 2016 Reply
  • Hello, should the dry ingredients be sifted??

    - Tristian on April 28, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Tristian, It’s not necessary for the dry ingredients to be sifted. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on April 29, 2016 Reply
  • I made this Sunday for my Moms birthday after having read the reviews and searched all over for what seemed the best cake recipe. I don’t know what happened bc I followed the recipe exactly. The only difference was using a hand mixer and I had read someone else did as well and that didn’t seem to be an issue. But it turned out horrible. I was so disappointed and embarrassed. I doubt my family will be open to me making another birthday cake. The cake was very dense and as one review had mentioned, seemed similar to cornbread. I had ignored that review with so many great reviews and just knew this was gonna be a hit. There’s something that lady did that I also did that created that effect without knowing where we went wrong. The flavor was horrible and that really stumps me. If I’d over cooked, undercooked, not used correct amount of baking powder, anything really…it shouldn’t have affected the taste so negatively. Good luck to future users. Didn’t do well at all for me.

    - Wanda on April 19, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Wanda, I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t get a great result from the recipe– definitely disappointing! I’m wondering if perhaps you measured something incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method for measuring the flour?

      - Jenn on April 19, 2016 Reply
  • 2 stars

    I made this cake today, and I loved the texture but I have to say it tasted too eggy. I thought 6 egg whites seemed like a lot, so would it mess with the texture too much to use less? Also, I used fresh farm eggs, is it possible it had something to do with that?

    - Nicole on April 18, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Nicole, 6 egg whites is the equivalent of 3 eggs, which is normal for a cake. I wouldn’t reduce the amount, but perhaps you might like a cake made with whole eggs better — this cupcake recipe can be made as a layer cake. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on April 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this with my 3 year old son for my mom’s birthday. This was the first homemade cake that I have ever baked and it was delicious! Originally, I was going to use the chocolate frosting recipe, but I changed my mind last minute. We sprinkled pink glittery sprinkles on top of the vanilla frosting and it looked beautiful. Next time I’ll try the chocolate frosting.

    - Jackie on April 18, 2016 Reply
  • Hi I’m making this next weekend for a birthday party. I don’t mind that the cake isn’t white and want to use whole eggs, is it possible? If so, how many eggs should I use and what size?
    Thank you!

    - Chris on April 14, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Chris, I would use this recipe instead. You can use either frosting. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on April 14, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this cake for my 14 year old twins for their birthday yesterday…it was the best cake we have ever had!! A lot easier that I had expected. I will never do a boxed cake again. Thank you Jenn for the easy and delicious recipe that is now a keeper for me!

    - twinmom88 on April 3, 2016 Reply
  • Hello, I’m seriously considering making this cake for my 6 year old daughter this Saturday.
    Quick question: egg whites are mixed in in liquid form to the milk, right? There is no beating them to peaks before, the airiness will be achieved once it goes thru the mixer?
    Thanks for any feedback!

    - julie on March 31, 2016 Reply
    • That’s correct, Julie. Hope you and your daughter enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 31, 2016 Reply
  • 3 stars

    The cake is dense but moist, prefer a fluffier cake. If I added more baking powder or baking soda would that help???The frosting -I didn’t cream the butter first,before adding the cream cheese. Mine turned out so heavy, not fluffy like your pic? I guess it wasn’t warm/soft enough? Also I added vanilla only in both cake and frosting. I thinking was too much vanilla. I think almond extract would help?? Cake weighs so much, but it was still moist. I would rate it higher but I like it fluffier and my frosting was too heavy. Probably my fault. It was the right amount of frosting but slightly over. Better to have enough to cover.

    - Sdperez on March 28, 2016 Reply
    • The cake should not be dense — the egg whites keep it quite light — so I’m wondering if you possibly made a mistake in your measurements? And it is necessary to cream the butter for the frosting, otherwise it will be heavy.

      - Jenn on March 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love your vanilla birthday cake recipe. Could you please tell me why mine had a yellowish color even when using only egg whites?

    Thank you.

    - Judy Naamat on March 24, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Judy, The cake isn’t completely white. The vanilla extract gives it an off-white color. And on the outside, it will look golden but should look off-white on the inside. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on March 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I don’t have almond extract so do I really need it?

    - Jenny on March 22, 2016 Reply
    • It’s fine to skip the almond extract-just replace it with the equivalent amount of vanilla extract. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 23, 2016 Reply
  • Just saying I will be making this today. It looks great. I am going to color the batter in different colors for a springtime rainbow effect, s I am making bake sale cupcakes with grass icing and edible ladybugs. I have been looking for a great white cake. This looks divine. I will let you know how I like it when it is done.

    - deb on March 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just baked this cake and it turned out lovely! The smell and taste of the almond is divine. One question however – how do you prevent the “doming” affect of the cakes as they bake? I usually level with a knife but sometimes it takes a large chunk of the cake which is so wasteful. I followed the recipe to a T and it came out truly perfect, however I would love any tips on preventing the round tops/domes of the cake layers so I can maximize the height of the cake next time. Thank you so much!!

    - Stella on February 22, 2016 Reply
    • Stella, So glad you liked the cake! I actually like a little dome on a homemade cake, but you could try silicone pans or damp cake strips like these – I’ve used both with success for more professional looking cakes.

      - Jenn on February 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi, I’d to make this for my daughter’s 7th birthday. I’m looking at the recipe for the frosting, and it says 6 cups of sugar which seems to be a lot of sugar to me. Is the measurement correct? Thx

    - J on February 20, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I want to make an ice cream cake and was wondering if you think this cake will hold up? I’m wondering if this cake would be too moist? Thanks!

    - Renee on February 19, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Renee, I think it will hold up, but I’m not sure how good the cake will taste frozen.

      - Jenn on February 19, 2016 Reply
  • I have never made a cake from scratch before. These cakes are so moist – I mean shockingly so. I had cut off a bit of the tops before I started to ice them and my husband came in and tasted them and declared the cake to be the best he’s ever had. Mind you, he hasn’t even had a piece yet with the frosting. He is a desert fanatic so this is high, high praise. If you are thinking about making this cake, you must do it immediately – like right this very minute!! Then prepare to reap the compliments. Jenn, this is amazing. Thanks for making me look so good.

    - Kelley on February 7, 2016 Reply
  • Hi,
    This recipe looks great! Can I half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes and have the same quality? Thank you!

    - Liz on January 26, 2016 Reply
    • Hi, I am making this for kids b-day party tomorrow. Can I frost the cake the night before the party? I am never sure about cream cheese frosting. Does the cake need to be refrigerated? thanks!

      - alisa on February 12, 2016 Reply
  • Can you add cocoa to the frosting? My son wants chocolate frosting?

    - Trish on January 22, 2016 Reply
  • I’m looking for an ice cream cake recipe. It seems that though this cake freezes well, the frosting doesn’t. Would you suggest frosting just before serving, or is there another frosting you’d suggest?
    Thanks much!
    The recipe sounds wonderful!

    - Sherlene on January 21, 2016 Reply
  • I so want to try this recipe. I adore a good white cake and icing. Unfortunately, as a GA gal living in CO, I struggle big time with baking at high altitude. Cakes that used to be light and moist at sea level are dense, dry, and flat here. I am so envious.

    - Leslie B on January 21, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Leslie, I’ve heard the high altitude can be a significant challenge. Here are some tips that may help a little bit!

      - Jenn on January 21, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Hi. Im also a ga girl in colorado. 1 year down! Just made this cake. Its amazing. I usually just up the temperature and cut bake time by a cpl minutes and that does the trick. This time, i just followed as is because im layering fresh whipped cream and it hided any falling areas. So delicious. It does not matter if it falls some or is dense ;)

      - Emily Myers on February 19, 2016 Reply
  • Hi
    Will be making my daughter’s first birthday cake this weekend and its my first ever cake. From the reviews I’m definitely going to make this cake. Got all the ingredients except all-purpose flour. There doesn’t seem to be any in my country. There is however pastry flour and cake wheat flour. Which is best as a replacement for the all purpose flour in your recipe and what measurement do I use? Please don’t say you cannot help me because I really need you to. Thanks!

    - Doris on January 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Doris, Happy birthday to your daughter! I’ve never made this cake with anything but all purpose flour, so I’m not certain how it will turn out, but I would opt for the cake flour and increase the amount by a few tablespoons. Please let me know how it comes out.

      - Jenn on January 20, 2016 Reply
      • I definitely will. One other question please. You didn’t mention sifting/sieving the flour or sugar. Is that on purpose? Must I seive the flour, granulated sugar and icing sugar or not?

        - Doris on January 21, 2016 Reply
        • Hi Doris, You don’t need to sift the flour or the sugar for this recipe. And in response to your other question. If you’re using a one cup measuring cup, it should be leveled off at the top. I guess if it’s larger than one cup, it would be challenging to do that. I would just get as close to 1 cup as possible.

          - Jenn on January 21, 2016 Reply
          • 3 stars

            So made the cake yesterday. Used the cake flour but used same measurement as the all purpose flour you have in your recipe. Found out the cake flour I had was imported from south Africa and had protein content of 12%, similar to that of all purpose flour. Cake turned out fine. It was much sweeter than I had anticipated. The icing was also way too sweet even though I used 4 and half cups instead of 6. The cake by itself was nice and the almond definitely gave it a distinct taste. For the icing and cake to work together would definitely need less sugar for cake or way less sugar for icing. Next time I’ll play around with it and see what works best for me. I decorated the edges of the cake with some rainbow confetti sugar and it was beautiful. Also it wasn’t as white as yours in the picture. Wonder why.

            - Doris on January 24, 2016
  • Hello.
    I will be making cupcakes for my daughters teacher this Friday. I was wondering if this recipe would this work for cupcakes as well? What temperature and for how long would I bake?
    LOVE your site!
    Thank!

    - Alison on January 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Alison, So sorry for the late reply! This recipe works well as cupcakes — temp will be the same; bake for about 20 minutes.

      - Jenn on January 24, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Thanks. I followed the time for baking and they came out beautifully. Definitely my new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. I got 21 cupcakes!

        - Alison on January 28, 2016 Reply
  • Hi
    It’s my daughter’s first birthday and I really want to make this cake but I only have cake flour. Unable to get all purpose flour. How many cups of the cake flour do I need to get similar cake results.

    - Doris on January 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Doris, I’ve never tried this cake with cake flour so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. If you do decide to make this with cake flour, I would increase the amount you use by a few tablespoons. Let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on January 20, 2016 Reply
  • Jenn,

    I know you recommend the spoon and scrape method for measuring flour, but would it be possible for you to list weights as well (oz and/or grams) for future recipes?

    - Steve on January 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Steve, I have gradually started to add metric conversions to my recipes. This one doesn’t have the conversions yet, but 2 cups of all purpose flour is the equivalent of 250 grams. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on January 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is the AMAZING! My 10-year old daughter, who has never eaten a slice of birthday cake since she does not like pastry cream, frosting, chocolate or virtually any type of dessert, absolutely adored this cake. I followed the recipe exactly as written and the cake came out perfectly. It’s soft, has a delicate taste and isn’t too sweet. Now if I can only find a recipe for a very light and not too sweet vanilla frosting (NOT buttercream!), I think I have found the perfect birthday cake.Thank you Jenn for helping me decipher my daughter’s taste buds :-)

    - Melissa on January 17, 2016 Reply
    • I would try a white chocolate ganache for the anti-frosting princess. Use really high quality white chocolate for a good result. I have an anti-frosting prince and ganache has been the only thing he’s approved of. :)

      - lisa on February 13, 2016 Reply
  • Hi, I am very excited to try this recipe for my niece’s birthday party next weekend. I have 2 questions.
    1) what size pan would be good to use for half the recipe (only 12 guests are invited). Would 6inch by 2 work.
    2) would this frosting be okay to use with a fondant. Planning to decorate with it.
    TIA

    - Parshadi on January 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Parshadi, I do think the 6 inch pans would work, although you might end up a little short. I’d go ahead and make the full recipe for 12 guests. And the fondant will work well over the frosting. Hope everyone enjoys it!

      - Jenn on January 17, 2016 Reply
  • How do you think this cake would fare if I added chocolate chips?

    - Bernadette on January 16, 2016 Reply
    • Bernadette, I think it would work, but I’d probably use mini chocolate chips. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out — sounds like something my kids would like :)

      - Jenn on January 17, 2016 Reply
  • I have a child with a nut allergy – can this cake be made (and still be delicious) without the almond extract?
    Thanks

    - Elana on January 12, 2016 Reply
    • Definitely– you can replace the almond extract with more vanilla.

      - Jenn on January 12, 2016 Reply
  • Thanks Jen. Will be trying this recipe over the weekend.

    Thanks again.

    - joicey on December 4, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      This was super delicious. Made half the recipe for a small cake!!wow!

      - Alicia on January 8, 2016 Reply
  • Jen,

    what is the equivalent of 1/2 cup sour cream in ounces?

    Thanks

    - joicey on December 4, 2015 Reply
    • Hi, the equivalent measurement would be 4 ounces. Thanks!

      - Jenn on December 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe looks delicious! I am going to use your recipe to make my daughter’s “bowling alley” cake, using a double layer 9 x 13 cake pan. Do I need to do anything differently? Double the ingredients, bake longer, different temperature? Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! :)

    - Kym on December 1, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kym, I haven’t tried this recipe in a 9 x 13 pan. I’m not certain it would rise evenly. I almost think you’d be better off using two 11 x 7 pans and laying them next to each other (to achieve the look of a bowling alley). Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on December 2, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I baked this cake today for my daughters 3rd birthday and it was honestly the best cake I have ever made, thank you so much! (Sydney, Australia)

    - Ivonne on November 28, 2015 Reply
  • Could you use one springfoam pan and cook for longer and then cut the cake in two?

    - LO on November 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi, Unfortunately, I can’t advise baking the cake in a different pan. I’m afraid it won’t bake properly. It’s fine to use the inexpensive metal cake pans sold at the grocery store if you don’t have the right pan at home.

      - Jenn on November 25, 2015 Reply
  • Can this cake be carved? the reason i ask is I want to make a Thomas the tank engine cake for my sons 3rd birthday but I was thinking maybe carving the shape out when the cake is baked and possibly semi frozen. ive never really done that before but ive baked heaps of cakes so what do you think!

    - silvia on November 24, 2015 Reply
    • Yes Silvia, I think you could get away with carving this cake into a different shape. Happy birthday to your son!

      - Jenn on November 24, 2015 Reply
  • I am making a Wilton character cake for my daughter’s birthday and was wondering how to adjust the recipe for that cake pan. It calls for a 2 layer boxed or homemade recipe so the amount should be fine. Do I just need to bake it longer since it’ll be in one larger pan instead of 2?

    - Amy on November 18, 2015 Reply
    • Also, can I add sprinkles into the mix to make it a confetti cake? If so, how much would you recommend?

      - Amy on November 18, 2015 Reply
      • Hi Amy, How fun. I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work — maybe a cup?

        - Jenn on November 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Amy, You will likely have to bake it a bit longer but I can’t say exactly how long as I’ve never tried it; just keep a close eye on it.

      - Jenn on November 19, 2015 Reply
      • Great, thank you! I look forward to trying it!

        - Amy on November 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this cake for my daughter’s birthday. For the cake, I followed the recipe exactly. Turned out great. I did think the almond flavor was quite strong for a ‘vanilla’ cake, it seemed to overshadow the vanilla, so maybe I will use less next time. But the cake was still very good – moist and flavorful.

    For the frosting, I used only about 4 cups sugar – it was thick and creamy, and still very sweet.

    Thank you for this recipe!

    - SG on November 11, 2015 Reply
  • Just wondering, could you please tell me the measurement of the butter in grams or ounces, we don’t have “sticks” of butter in Australia. Also is your all purpose flour the same as plain flour. Thanks

    - Jacki on November 2, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jackie, There are 113 grams in a stick of butter. And, yes, I believe all purpose is the same as plain.

      - Jenn on November 8, 2015 Reply
  • Can I use cake flour instead? If so how much? Thanks!

    - Annmarie on October 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Annmarie, I’ve never tried this cake with cake flour so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. Honestly, I wouldn’t fiddle with the recipe — it’s really perfect as is :)

      - Jenn on October 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi. Did u try it with the cake flour? How much of it did u use and how did it turn out

      - Doris on January 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi I love you recipes. can I make this into cupcakes?

    - kilolo on October 23, 2015 Reply
    • Yes, absolutely. Spray the pan and cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20-22 minutes.

      - Jenn on October 23, 2015 Reply
      • Great thank you!

        - Kilolo on October 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I want to make a 3 layer cake using 9 inch pans. I don’t think I need to double the recipe, right? I get confused when doing 1.5
    Can you check my math and help me out. Please??!!
    So 1.5 Recipe
    3C Flour
    3 Tsp baking powder
    18T butter (not sure what that is to sticks)
    2 1/4 Sugar
    9 egg whites
    milk- Can’t figure it out!!!!
    2 Tsp Vanilla
    1 Tsp Almond.

    How did I do???
    Would I bake the three pans for the same time? About 35 minutes?

    - Jen on October 13, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jen, Looks good, except vanilla would be 2-1/4 teaspoons. Milk will be 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Hope that helps! 3 pans, cook time will be the same. Please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on October 14, 2015 Reply
  • I was looking at making this cake and putting raspberries in between the layers with the buttercream, do you think the raspberries would seep through the cake?
    Also have you worked with silverleaf before? if I was to put silver leaf on around the cake would it be ok?

    - Shara on October 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Shara, I think the raspberries would be delicious but, yes, they might seep through a bit. The silverleaf would be pretty but I have not seen it on this type of frosting — usually it’s on fondant.

      - Jenn on October 13, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    After the cake is frosted, does it have to be refrigerated or can it sit out on the counter for a few days? I’m asking since cream cheese is an ingredient in the frosting.

    Thank you!

    - Suzy on October 11, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Suzy, I guess technically it should be refrigerated but, to be honest, I never do and it’s always perfectly fine :)

      - Jenn on October 11, 2015 Reply
  • Just tried baking this. Didn’t realise you meant 350 Fahrenheit not centigrade :((( cake was completely burnt. Sorry should have realised this is a US recipe :(

    - Carol on October 8, 2015 Reply
  • Hello, I’m wondering if your recipe would be good for making cake pops?

    - Fiona on October 6, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Fiona, Yes, it should work. Please let me know how they turn out :)

      - Jenn on October 6, 2015 Reply
  • How long would you say for cupcakes? Just cooked them for 30mins and definitely way too long.

    - Jade Rowbotham on October 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jade, Cook time for 24 cupcakes is 20-22 min.

      - Jenn on October 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I am not a very experienced baker, and this turned out perfectly for me! I followed the recipe exactly for the cake and frosting, except that I used an electric hand mixer. Served at my son’s 2nd birthday party to rave reviews!

    - Kelly on September 29, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I made this tonight and used berry juice to naturally change the frosting color and it is too runny. What ingredient would I add more of in the future to avoid this? The confectioners sugar? Thanks!

    - Bree on September 21, 2015 Reply
    • Yes, more confectioners’ sugar will thicken it up.

      - Jenn on September 24, 2015 Reply
  • Hi! Your cake looks delicious. I was going to do a two layer 13×9 rectangular cake as we have about 25 people for a birthday party. Could you please suggest the best way to do this.

    Thank you!

    - Jennifer on September 4, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, I think you’d need to double the recipe.

      - Jenn on September 8, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Thank you Jenn. The cake was delicious and I used the extra batter for cupcakes. Everyone loved them! I would definitely recommend this recipe. I ended up making a three layer round with buttercream and cream cheese frosting (that you suggested) and a friend’s homemade strawberry jam. I can’t wait to try more of your wonderful recipes!

        - Jennifer on September 15, 2015 Reply
        • So glad!

          - Jenn on September 15, 2015 Reply
  • Could I use store bought egg whites rather than 6 large egg whites? if so how many cups please? Thanks.

    - Kumu Nathan on August 31, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kumu, I don’t recommend it. Sorry!

      - Jenn on August 31, 2015 Reply
  • Hi! I really want to make this for my daughter’s birthday party, but need a 10 inch round, topped with an 8. How do you suggest making that work? I have to feed 36people, so a single 8 won’t cut it. :(

    - Candice on August 28, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Candice, You’ll have enough batter or an 8-inch and 10-inch but your cake will be a little on the low side. You might want to multiply the recipe by 1.5. If you have any extra batter you can always bake a few cupcakes. If you increase the recipe, you might consider this cake instead to avoid having so many egg yolks left over: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2015/03/buttermilk-cupcakes-cream-cheese-frosting.html

      Good luck and please let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on August 28, 2015 Reply
  • Help!? Just made this cake and I didn’t skip the egg yolks which is probably the problem. It turned out so thick and dense! The flavor is perfect though! What the heck did I do wrong?!?

    - Crystal Pallesen on August 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Crystal, Yes the egg yolks will do it — it must be made with whites only. Hope you’ll try it again :)

      - Jenn on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this cake for my son’s birthday, and it was a hit! Moist, delicious, tender crumb. It is now our family’s most requested Birthday cake!

    - Dr. Beth on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • Hello! I’d like to decorate like one of these:

    http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/1507537/lions-head-cake

    http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/1521217/lionheart-cake

    Is this frosting suitable? (And, is there enough?) Thanks!

    - Dorothy on August 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Dorothy, You should have enough frosting but it won’t hold it’s shape well for decorating — you’ll need to replace all or most of the butter with Crisco. Good luck and please let me know how it turns out. I would love to see a photo :)

      - Jenn on August 21, 2015 Reply
      • Thanks! I’m frosting it today. Is the frosting enough if I’m to crumb-coat it, too? I’ve never done this “right” – I’m excited!

        - Dorothy on September 1, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Dorothy, Should be enough. Enjoy and pls let me know how it turns out :)

          - Jenn on September 1, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn – I love the sound of this recipe. I was planning on making it for my daughter’s 9th birthday. I have a large number 9 cake tin so I was wondering if I could double the recipe and not sandwich the cake? Do you think it would rise enough?

    - Simonne on August 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Simonne, I’m not familiar with a number 9 cake tin — can you give me the dimensions?

      - Jenn on August 21, 2015 Reply
      • The dimensions of the cake tin (shaped in a number 9) is approximately 3.14 inches deep, 12.59 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. Thanks!

        - Simonne on August 21, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Simonne, I do think that should work, but you might want to check the volume of the pan compared to the volume of 2 two 8-inch pans to be sure. If anything, I’m guessing you might have too much batter — just don’t fill the pan up more than halfway or you’ll have a mess in your oven :) Any extra batter can be cooked in a muffin tin. Please let me know how it turns out.

          - Jenn on August 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My mum made this cake to celebrate a family members birthday. It was amazing and we all loved it. My mum also added a layer of strawberry jam next to the buttercream (in the middle), which I thought was a really nice touch.

    - Cameron Bundy on August 20, 2015 Reply
    • Thanks, Cameron — I love that idea!

      - Jenn on August 20, 2015 Reply
  • Hi there, I was wondering if it is possible to add raspberries into the cake batter just before cooking?

    - ashleigh on August 14, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Ashleigh, I probably wouldn’t add raspberries to this cake. Check out my simple summer strawberry cake — you could easily replace the raspberries with strawberries.

      - Jenn on August 15, 2015 Reply
  • Hi! I just stumbled across your site today and am so excited to try this cake, I’ve been searching for years for the perfect vanilla cake! One question, part of what I love about making cake is playing with my frosting bag & tips to decorate it, will this frosting hold shape? I usually just end up doing swirly boarders or rosettes, nothing too lifted, but I do live in hot & humid florida :/ thanks!

    - Sara on July 20, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sara, Unfortunately, this frosting won’t hold well for decorating, especially not in the Florida heat. Sorry!

      - Jenn on July 20, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Do you have an old fashioned vanilla buttercream that would be Good for decorating?? I am making a Doll Cake for my daughter….. Thank You

        - Michelle on July 27, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Michelle, Unfortunately, I don’t but you can replace some or all of the butter with Crisco and it will be more stable.

          - Jenn on July 29, 2015 Reply
        • I’m doing the same accept mini dolls! This is the recipe I use for decorating buttercream, it tastes great & holds up! 2 cups shortening, 8 cups powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp butter flavor, 1/4 tsp almond extract & 6-8 oz of milk/cream. Beat on high until fluffy-about 10 min.

          - Sara on July 29, 2015 Reply
  • Is it possible to freeze this vanilla cake or how well does it keep? Thanks!

    - Emma on July 16, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Emma, Yes the cake (w/o the frosting) can be wrapped in saran wrap and then foil and frozen. It should keep just fine.

      - Jenn on July 19, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Kinda of a dumb question but is this frosting meant to go with this cake? The reason I ask is because in tasting just the cake part it didn’t seem as sweet and I think the frosting I made (a different recipe-chocolate) didn’t add that much sweetness to it. My husband actually asked me if it was a low cal cake Lol. I plan on making it again 1) using an 8 in pan and 2) with your frosting. Thanks!

    - Yvonne on July 11, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, Yes, the frosting is sweet and perfect for this cake. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on July 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Any idea how much cocoa to add to make this a chocolate cake???

    - Kathryn on July 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hello.
    The cake looks yummy. Can I make this cake one day before my son’s birthday. And serve on next day. Will the cake remain soft. As it will be difficult to bake cake on the same day. Thanks in advance.

    - mudassar on July 2, 2015 Reply
    • Yes, that’s perfectly fine — it will still be moist and delicious the next day.

      - Jenn on July 2, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi there, I have made this recipe many times and it is FANTASTIC. (That says a lot for this cookie lovin’ girl.) I no longer order my kids’ birthday cakes from a bakery; its that good. We have a birthday coming up with more guests than usual. How do I adapt the recipe to fit two 10″ cake pans? Thank you kindly, Skye

    - Skye on June 28, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Skye, So glad you like the cake :) For two 10-inch pans, I would multiply the recipe by 1.5. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on June 30, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn! So is it 350 degrees for the cupcakes too?
    Thanks!!

    - Eden on June 21, 2015 Reply
    • Yep :)

      - Jenn on June 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi! I made this cake a few weeks ago and I was so pleased with the way it turned out; perfect flavor and beautiful crumb!! I do have one question: what’s the difference between mixing the eggs with the milk versus mixing the eggs in at the end after the milk has been mixed in? I’ve seen recipes that used both techniques and I’m curious to know the difference in the outcome of there is any. :

    - Rebecca on June 20, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, It’s better to add them with the milk because it reduces overall mixing time, which keeps the cake tender — the more you mix, the more you activate the gluten, which can make the cake tough.

      - Jenn on June 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi, I just baked this cake, it’s actually the first cake I have ever baked, and it was absolutely amazing! I’m pretty pleased it turned out almost perfect first time. I have a question though about the frosting; I found it quite sweet, is it possible to use less sugar or will it make the frosting too “runny”? I used 6 cups as per recipe, thanks

    - Maria on June 17, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Maria, I wouldn’t reduce it too much but you can probably reduce it a little without the frosting getting too thin. You could also try replacing some of the butter with more cream cheese, which will make it a little more stable and also add some tang to balance the sweetness.

      - Jenn on June 19, 2015 Reply
      • Thanks I shall try that next time. I have another question sorry, how do I store the cake? I didn’t think of this earlier but as it has cream cheese will it go bad if left out? I left it covered on the kitchen counter for 2 days and it seemed to taste fine but now I’m worried it might not be and that I should have put it in the fridge! Thanks for this recipe by the way, the cake is absolutely delicious!

        - Maria on June 19, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Maria, It’s fine for a few days at room temperature, but you can also store it in the fridge — just be sure to bring to room temperature before serving :)

          - Jenn on June 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jen,

    I made this cake for my son’s first birthday and he loved it! I wish I can send you a picture of him devouring the cake. Thank you for the recipe!

    - Lu on June 11, 2015 Reply
    • So glad to hear it, Lu. Please do send a photo ([email protected]) — I would love to see it!

      - Jenn on June 11, 2015 Reply
  • Hello,
    I’m making a mini stacker cake for my daughter’s first birthday and the recipe I’m looking at uses a 8×4 loaf pan and a betty Crocker cake mix. Do you think its wise to follow the same baking instructions with your cake recipe? The directions are to bake the 8×4 cake mix at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. I’m thinking it should be okay but I’d love to know what you think!

    Thanks

    - Alana on June 4, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Alana, I’d start checking at 30 minutes, although it may take a bit longer. Good luck, and please let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on June 4, 2015 Reply
    • Will do, thanks :)

      - Alana on June 4, 2015 Reply
      • Hi Jenn,

        I followed your advice to check the cake at 30 minutes and sure enough the cake was ready. It turned out beautifully. Nice flavor and the texture is just right. Your recipe had plenty of batter for the 8×4 pan and 12 cupcakes. We haven’t served the cake yet, I frosted and froze the batch, but we had a few samplers and it was delicious. I’ll try to snap a picture of the stacker cake and post it after the celebration. This recipe is a keeper for birthdays to come.
        Thanks!

        - Alana on June 11, 2015 Reply
        • Please do, Alana. I would love to see it.

          - Jenn on June 11, 2015 Reply
  • Hi I was just wondering if the almond extract can be left out if so wld I need to alter the recipe and also can the icing be coloured

    - sandy on May 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sandy, Yes, it’s fine to omit the almond extract — just replace with more vanilla. And, yes, the icing may be colored :)

      - Jenn on May 28, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    In case there might be any vegans or folks with allergies out there, this recipe works wonderful when you follow the directions exactly and use margarine, egg-replacer, and dairy-free milk in replacement for butter, eggs and milk. It was wonderful! I personally used cashew milk and it turned out so nice and fluffy. Thank you!

    - Memie on May 22, 2015 Reply
    • Good to know, Memie. Thank you!

      - Jenn on May 22, 2015 Reply
  • Hi, I was wondering if it is necessary to use whole milk? Also is there any way I could incorporate strawberries for the filling?

    - Olivia on May 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Olivia, You can use low fat milk no problem (that’s what I use). Strawberries would be delicious.

      - Jenn on May 13, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    Can you email me a similar recipe to the vanilla birthday cake that uses whole eggs?

    TIA.

    Jasmine

    - Jasmine on May 9, 2015 Reply
  • 2 stars

    wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t that great either. texture was nice and it was moist, but it smelled like, and then TASTED like cornbread – like sweet cornbread. my husband and son thought so too.
    won’t be making this again.
    the search continues…

    - miriam on April 28, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Miriam, Sorry you were disappointed with the cake. That’s very odd that it tasted like cornbread! Did you by chance use any cornmeal in the recipe?

      - Jenn on April 29, 2015 Reply
      • no! that’s why i was so confused! i mean, the cornbread-ness was faint, but it was there. like vanilla cornbread… so strange. i followed the recipe to a tee.
        *shrugs*

        - miriam on April 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This cake is so moist and flavorful and is wonderful with any type of ice cream. The cream cheese in the icing makes the icing have a great flavor. I especially like that the icing recipe was a large enough quantity that made icing and decorating the cake easy. I just iced it with my knife but next time I will try using a pastry bag. I think the icing will hold some shape and give a pretty look to the cake. If you like a good white cake this is a winner! My son’s birthday meal was your pesto shrimp, your black bean, corn and avocado salad and this cake. We had a complete Jenn meal. Thank you so much!

    - Karen on April 26, 2015 Reply
  • Can the vanilla birthday cake be frozen? If yes, how should it be defrosted?
    Thanks,
    Elke

    - Elke on April 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Elke, The cake may be frozen without the frosting; let it defrost at room temperature.

      - Jenn on April 26, 2015 Reply
  • I would like to make the classic vanilla cake with buttercream icing but I need to do it in a 9 by 13 pan can I just use a 9 by 13 pan or do I have to modify the quantities you’ve provided

    - Penelope on April 23, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Penelope, I’ve never tried it but it should work. Please let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on April 24, 2015 Reply
  • Jennifer,
    When I bake the cake in 9″ pans,
    They don’t seem to have risen so much. Will 8″ pans make a big difference?
    Thank you!

    - Judy Naamat on April 17, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Judy, Yes, your cake will be much higher.

      - Jenn on April 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this cake for a work function and it was gone within minutes! It was absolutely the best cake I have ever made, probably the best one I’ve ever had too!

    I didn’t change any ingredients but I did double the recipe to make it a layered 9×13 cake. I had enough icing to ice between the layers and to go on top, but I didn’t think I had enough to do the sides so I left them as is. My boyfriend said it looked “rustic” and that worked for me! This recipe is perfect and it is definitely my new favorite!

    - Kassie on April 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely love this cake! I make it every year on my husband and my wedding anniversary to recreate our wedding cake and we absolutely love it! This year, I’m in charge of dessert for Easter, so I am going to make this into cupcakes. I’m making marshmallow bunny ears to go on top and was wondering if it would b okay to put them on top on Saturday or if I should wait until Sunday morning to add them? Thanks so much!

    - Kelsi on March 31, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kelsi, So glad you’re enjoying the cake. I think it’d be best to add the bunny ears on Sunday. Would love to see a photo when it’s all done…sounds cute!

      - Jenn on March 31, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Hi,
    I have just made this cake as a practice run for my daughters first birthday party on saturday. I used two 8 inch cake tins but they both wouldn’t fit on the middle shelf, so I put one on the middle & one on the shelf lower & then swapped them halfway through baking. The cake didn’t really rise, would this be the reason, am I able to cook one cake at a time.
    The cake however did taste delicious.

    - Kristi on March 22, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kristi, Hmmm, I don’t think that would cause the cake not to rise. Could your baking powder be expired?

      - Jenn on March 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn!
    This cake is the bomb! I usually make box cakes for treats (i know its a horrible thing) but i gave this cake a try and it is delicious and so easy to make! The flavor of the cake is so incredibly good with the almond and vanilla extracts and the cream cheese icing is delicious! Thank you for another fabulous recipe! I’m ready to try another!
    Thanks again,
    Tspoon

    - Tspoon on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I also would love to have the recipe for the similar cake which uses egg yolks as well as egg whites.

    This cake is absolutely delicious, and was a hit at our family’s New Year dinner, but I am making a birthday cake at the end of March for a family member who prefers the slightly richer flavor of cakes baked with whole eggs.

    If you are able to email the recipe which calls for both whites and yoljs recipe to me, it would be very much apreciated! Thanks!

    - mel on March 13, 2015 Reply
  • I can use this for cupcakes right?..

    - Paige on March 13, 2015 Reply
    • Yes!

      - Jenn on March 13, 2015 Reply
  • Instead of milk can I use almond milk. Dairy allergies in the house. Thanks.

    - lynne on February 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lynne, Yes, I think almond milk should be fine.

      - Jenn on February 27, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Thank you for the great website.
    Help! I made the buttercream icing, and it is still runny. I can’t imagine adding more than the 6 cups sugar. I think it is the cream cheese I used, its from a creamery, and not the national brand. It started out looking more like icing before I added the butter and sugar. Any quick fix ideas? It is in the fridge now.
    Also, can you think of a resourceful way to use the remaining 6 egg yolks from the cake?

    Callie, ON

    - Callie on February 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Callie, It may firm up just fine in the fridge. Have you checked on it?

      - Jenn on February 25, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My go to recipe now also. Thank you very much for sharing and illustrating so well.

    For info – I had a big party to cater for so doubled your recipe and divided amongst 2 pans, 9 x 13″. Cake rose to approx 1″ which is perfect for layering. So in other words, you really need to double the recipe to get a good result in a 9 x 13″ pan in my opinion.

    - victoria on February 19, 2015 Reply
  • I am making my daughters birthday cake for 25 people. I have a 7 inch, 8inch, and 10 inch spring form pan only. Can I use this receipe in a 10 inch sping form pan, then cut the cake in the middle instead of using 2 x 8 or 9 inch? I want the cake to be large enough without having to go buy another pan.

    - Stacey on February 18, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Stacey, Unfortunately, I can’t advise baking the cake in a different pan. I’m afraid it won’t bake properly. It’s fine to use the inexpensive metal cake pans sold at the grocery store.

      - Jenn on February 19, 2015 Reply
      • Hi Jenn, I’ll be testing it out first. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        - Stacey on February 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This cake is unbelievable! I love the vanilla and almond combo! So delicious! The frosting is also yummy! This was my first time making my husband a birthday cake and I’ll definitely be doing it again! Easy to make, especially with your great instructions ! I also made it gluten free using King Arthur flour. Thanks Jen! :)

    - Lisa on February 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    When you have the measurements as “1-1/2 cups butter” what do you mean by those measurements? Do you mean 1 and 1/2 cups butter or 1 – 1/2 cups better?

    - Sasha on February 15, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sasha, 1-1/2 cups means one cup plus another 1/2 cup.

      - Jenn on February 16, 2015 Reply
  • Hi- I’m making this cake a day ahead. Would you recommend frosting it a day ahead as well? How would you recommend storing it?

    - Lisa on February 15, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, It’s fine to make it a day ahead but I would actually wait to frost it. When the cake layers have cooled completely, wrap them in saran wrap and refrigerate. A few hours before serving (you don’t want the cake to be cold), unwrap the layers and frost the cake, then keep it at room temperature. Hope you enjoy it and please come back and let me know how it turns out :)

      - Jenn on February 15, 2015 Reply
  • My vanilla cupcakes turned out more spongy than a crumb like texture. What did I do wrong?

    - Linda on February 8, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Linda, Happy to help troubleshoot. Did you make any substitutions?

      - Jenn on February 10, 2015 Reply
      • No, and I made sure the milk, eggs and butter were room temperature. Thought I followed mixing directions correctly but wonder if that might have been the problem.

        - Linda on February 10, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Linda, So sorry for the late reply; I missed your response and am just now seeing it. Anyway, I’m a little stumped. Usually these things are the result of substitutions or mistakes, like using baking soda instead of baking powder or not measuring properly. Because the cake is made with egg whites, it is very light with a tight crumb and fine texture. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. Perhaps try again, or if you’d like to try a yellow cake instead that uses whole eggs, I’m happy to email it to you.

          - Jenn on February 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love to bake and have tried all different recipes from different websites. This is the ABSOLUTE BEST cake recipe I have ever found. After I baked the cake the smell, alone, of it and the frosting was to die for! I can’t explain how good it tasted! I will definitely be saving this recipe to use in the future.

    - Jodi on February 8, 2015 Reply
  • So glad I found your site. We are currently making your beef stew for a comfort meal to get us through the snowstorm tomorrow.

    I am interested in this cake, and also the one using whole eggs. Would this work for cupcakes or no?

    - Stephanie H on February 1, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, I hope you enjoyed the stew! I will email you the yellow cake recipe. Either one will work for cupcakes; just be sure to spray the paper liners with nonstick cooking spray and reduce cook time to 20-22 minutes.

      - Jenn on February 2, 2015 Reply
  • And another quick question sorry. Is bit possible to have the amount of ingredients in grams for the butter/flour/sugar etc and ml for milk? I found a cup to gram converter online just wondering if you had the specific gram amounts already? Many thanks again, Katy

    - Katy martin on January 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Katy, Unfortunately, I don’t have the ingredients in grams. Sorry!

      - Jenn on January 22, 2015 Reply
  • Hi, just a couple of questions. I don’t have a electric mixer of any kind. Is it all possible/worth while to beat by hand?

    Going to make his for my 2 year olds birthday at the weekend. Looks lovely, thanks Katy

    - Katy martin on January 20, 2015 Reply
  • Hi there!
    Wondering if I can use a glass pan for this cake? Would any adjustments need to be made regarding the temperature? Thank you.

    - Julie on January 17, 2015 Reply
    • Julie, What size glass pan are you thinking?

      - Jenn on January 18, 2015 Reply
      • 9 inch.

        - Julie on January 20, 2015 Reply
        • Metal pans are always best for baking cakes but two 9-inch glass pans should be ok — just reduce the temp by 25 degrees.

          - Jenn on January 22, 2015 Reply
          • 5 stars

            I went ahead a bought metal pans. It was very moist yet fluffy. Turned out pretty good for my first cake.

            - Julie on January 26, 2015
  • How many days in advance could I make this cake, to ensure freshness? Thank you, my son is very excited.

    - Kelly on January 14, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kelly, I would say one day ahead, at the most. Hope you and your son enjoy it!

      - Jenn on January 14, 2015 Reply
  • Hello I was wondering of just using egg whites can you use the whole egg?

    - Divine on December 27, 2014 Reply
    • Unfortunately, whole eggs cannot be used in this recipe, but if you’d like me to email you a similar recipe with whole eggs, lmk.

      - Jenn on December 28, 2014 Reply
  • I was interested in white cake recipe using whole eggs. Tried to Google and could not find. Thank you

    - Stacey Hodges on December 26, 2014 Reply
    • Just emailed it to you, Stacey. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 27, 2014 Reply
  • Hi
    I was wondering if I could get the recipe similar to this but using the whole eggs
    Would that recipe be light and fluffy still ?
    Would you describe either cake as dense ?
    Thanks

    - Fatima on December 18, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Fatima, I’m emailing it to you now. Both cakes are quite light, but sturdy enough to slice.

      - Jenn on December 19, 2014 Reply
  • The cake looks delicious! But is there another recipe that calls for whole eggs instead because i would not want to have the remaining egg yolks to deal with..Does this compromise the cake in any way though?

    Thanks so much!

    - azra on December 15, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Azra, I will email you a recipe directly :)

      - Jenn on December 18, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Thank you so much for sharing. Could you please let me know if you have a recipe similar to this one that calls for whole eggs instead? thanks very much.

    - sandra on December 3, 2014 Reply
    • Just emailed it to you, Sandra.

      - Jenn on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • Is the baking temperature and baking time the same as the cake for making the 24 cupcakes?? :)

    - Kelly D. on November 18, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Kelly, Baking temp is the same but check for doneness after 20 minutes. Be sure to spray the cupcake liners with nonstick spray so they are easy to pull off.

      - Jenn on November 19, 2014 Reply
  • Jenn, what are your thoughts on using salted butter for this cake recipe?

    - Deja on November 12, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Deja, It’s fine, just cut back on the salt in the recipe (it’s hard to say exactly how much, maybe half).

      - Jenn on November 12, 2014 Reply
  • This looks amazing! I’m going to make this for my sons birthday. If I add food colouring to the buttercream will it change the taste? He wants a spiderman cake.

    - Gail on October 27, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Gail, It’s fine to add food coloring to the buttercream; I’ve done it many times myself.

      - Jenn on October 28, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I loved this cake-I am not a fan of cream cheese frostings but this frosting had such a high butter to cream cheese ratio that you barely taste the tang of the cream cheese. It is a moist,tender white cake-delicious!!! Thank you Jenn!!

    - Melissa Kellogg on October 26, 2014 Reply
  • I want to know if I can make the cake in one cake tin instead of 2 , n if yes do I use same tin size .
    Thanks

    - Fatima on October 26, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Fatima, I’m sorry, the cake won’t bake properly in one pan — you definitely need two.

      - Jenn on October 26, 2014 Reply
  • Hi!
    I have a small oven so I can’t fit the two in at the same time. What should I do with the rest of the batter while the first one is cooking? Should I put it in the fridge or leave it at room temperature or would it just not work? thank you :)

    - Beste on October 7, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Beste, The baking powder activates once the wet ingredients are combined with the dry, so it’s best to get the batter in the oven asap. However, if you’re just waiting for oven space, I think the cake will be fine in the fridge for a half hour or so.

      - Jenn on October 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jennifer!
    I really enjoy your site!
    My question is a bout coconut cake: i have made your frosting and love it. But for my coconut cake, I have always made a 7 minute frosting…and now I am not sure which is better!
    What do you think?

    - Elizabeth on October 2, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, I always love an old-fashioned buttercream, but you really can’t go wrong with either!

      - Jenn on October 6, 2014 Reply
  • Can you successfully make your Vanilla Birthday Cake a sheet cake? Should I increase ingredients?

    - Felecia on September 11, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Felecia, Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for certain if it would work. What size sheet cake are you thinking of making?

      - Jenn on September 12, 2014 Reply
  • I only have skim milk-will this ruin the cake??? Any suggestions?

    - MC on September 8, 2014 Reply
    • You could add a touch of cream or half and half if you have it but if not, no worries, skim milk will work fine!

      - Jenn on September 8, 2014 Reply
  • Hi There, I made this cake and i haven’t tried it yet but I found the cooking time in 8″ round pans was double for me at 350 degrees. I used liquid whites . Any idea why? (It is a new stove and works great)
    Any feedback would be appreciated!
    Thanks Katisha

    - Katisha on July 26, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Katisha, That’s very strange…I’m not sure. I don’t usually recommend liquid egg whites for baking but don’t think that would increase the baking time by that much. Was the oven fully preheated? Did the cake rise normally?

      - Jenn on July 27, 2014 Reply
  • Looks delicious – how would flavor change if you used the entire egg instead of just the white? Would it be richer?

    - Kristina on July 21, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Kristina, Yes it would be richer and more yellow instead of white, but you can’t use whole eggs with this recipe. If you’d like, I can email you a different (yet similar) recipe that uses whole eggs. Let me know :)

      - Jenn on July 21, 2014 Reply
      • 5 stars

        The cake looks delicious! But is there another recipe that calls for whole eggs instead because i would not know what to do with the remaining egg yolks.

        - Lyna on September 13, 2014 Reply
        • Hi Lyna, Yes, I will email it to you!

          - Jenn on September 13, 2014 Reply
          • Hi Jenn,
            I would also like the recipe using whole eggs please!

            - Ling on November 4, 2014
          • Hi Ling, Just emailed it to you!

            - Jenn on November 6, 2014
          • 5 stars

            Please email me the full egg recipe…I hate the waste…To be clear this recipes makes only one layer…so do you double the recipe and split so they backe together? Thanks…first go at a birthday cake..today is the dry run for next weeks main event

            - Stephanie on November 8, 2014
          • Hi Stephanie, Recipe is on the way. It makes the full 2 layer cake — no need to double the recipe :)

            - Jenn on November 8, 2014
      • 5 stars

        Can you please send me the recipe using whole eggs? Thanks :)

        - wendy on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have NEVER in my life tasted a vanilla cake like this before!!!! Unbelievable! So moist and buttery, and the flavor of the almond and vanilla are just perfect. Thanks again, Jenn, for another winner! :)

    - Kelly on July 19, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this cake for a certain little 8-year-old who is celebrating her birthday and requested a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. It is perfect!

    - Bonnie on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have been on a quest for years for a white cake …. My quest us over! I think the key was following the advice (i.e., bring eggs to room temperature, add flour in stages, etc.). I am notorious for short-cuts…. I have learned my lesson (at least when baking…. marinades are a different story :)

    - Val on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    My stepdad loves cake and this was a hit for him. The frosting is soft and creamy, and the cake was nice and moist inside. Definitely worth making again!

    - Amanda S. on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I was wondering if you could provide a dairy-free version of your Vanilla Birthday Cake with Old-Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream?

    Thanks!

    - Jill von Allmen on June 30, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Jill, Unfortunately, this recipe cannot be made dairy-free but I will keep my eye out for a good dairy-free vanilla cake recipe.

      - Jenn on July 1, 2014 Reply
    • Also, you might try yummly.com – it’s a great site for finding recipes with or without specific ingredients.

      - Jenn on July 1, 2014 Reply
  • I was just wondering if you make this birthday cake as a 9 by 13 how long you would need to bake it. Thanks!

    - Jenni on June 25, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Jenni, Unfortunately, I haven’t tried this recipe in a 9 x 13 pan. I’m not sure it would rise evenly. I almost think you’d be better off using two 11 x 7 pans and stacking the layers. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on June 30, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi! First off, my husband LOVES this frosting! Thank you so much for the recipe :) Now for my question…I am making a cake with this frosting and a marshmallow fondant Olaf (not flat, sort of 3-d) and child’s name on it. I know you say we can leave a cake with this frosting out for a few days, right? If I frost this and put the marshmallow fondant character on top, will the colors from the fondant bleed onto the frosting if I leave it out overnight? I had that experience when I kept a frosted cake in the fridge in the past. The party is tomorrow, early afternoon, but I’d love to have this finished tonight, if possible.

    - Aly on June 12, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Aly, Sounds like a great cake. Would love to see a photo when it’s done! Unfortunately, I do think the colors may bleed onto the buttercream. I’d wait to add the character. Or maybe you could stick it on a base circle of white fondant over the frosting?

      - Jenn on June 12, 2014 Reply
      • Thank you so much for your quick reply! I’m not sure how to upload/send a picture to you, but I did assemble the cake at the last minute. I left the cake out for about 4 hours before serving and the frosting did get a bit soft, but that’s probably because I’m in South Florida and the a/c wasn’t as low as it should’ve been. Regardless, it was a great success. Again, thank you for your help and your wonderful frosting recipe!

        - Aly on June 13, 2014 Reply
  • Would it change the taste to eliminate the almond extract and use all vanilla extract? Does the cake have an almond hint to it with the almond extract?

    - Siobhan Wilson on June 6, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Siobhan, It’s absolutely fine to use all vanilla extract, although the almond extract gives this cake spectacular flavor. The almond is very subtle but nice.

      - Jenn on June 6, 2014 Reply
  • I have made soooooo many vanilla cake recipes, trying to find the perfect one that is moist, not too dense, and just plain yummy. I found it with this recipe!!!

    - Ali on May 16, 2014 Reply
  • I baked this cake and it was AMAZING! It was gone in one sitting. I bake often and my family loved this one. Changed the frosting to a cream cheese one.

    - Toni on May 8, 2014 Reply
  • How long would you cook these if making cupcakes? Thanks!

    - Alexia on March 31, 2014 Reply
    • Alexia, Bake cupcakes at 350 for 18-20 minutes, and be sure to spray the paper liners w/ nonstick cooking spray. Makes 24. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 31, 2014 Reply
  • This cake is as delicious as it is beautiful. I made it for my daughter’s bridal shower and decorated it with white spray roses. Everyone LOVED the cake. I baked it again recently, just because :), and it is a wonderful recipe. Thanks, Jenn!

    - Liz on March 27, 2014 Reply
  • I was wondering if you could incorporate sour cream into this recipe? Thanks.

    - Kayla on March 14, 2014 Reply
    • I’m afraid not, Kayla. Sorry!

      - Jenn on March 14, 2014 Reply
  • As an avid baker, I have been searching for a white cake recipe that is light, moist and flavorful. After years of searching, I have found it! I made this for my daughter’s 10th birthday party, and it was amazing. Thank you, Jenn (and Yummly) for this perfect recipe that will be my new go to!

    - Ali on February 9, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I just wanted to knoe if you could just grease the baking pan with magarine anf flour instead of using the parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray.
    Thanks

    - Henry on November 29, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Henry,To be honest I’ve never tried it but this is a delicate cake so I’d stick with the parchment. I always err on the side of caution with cakes anyway…Nothing worse than putting all that effort in only to have the cake fall apart when you release it from the pan. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on November 29, 2013 Reply
  • If I use food coloring do I still need to use egg whites only?

    - Jackie on November 1, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Jackie, Yes, it shouldn’t make a difference.

      - Jenn on November 1, 2013 Reply
  • Hi I would love to make the white birthday cake with almond for myy daughter’s birthday Sunday. Can I use food coloring to color the cake or does it need to stay white?
    Thank you

    - Jackie on November 1, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Jackie, It’s fine to use food coloring.

      - Jenn on November 1, 2013 Reply
  • Hi ! Silly question but I’m wondering if the frosting in the middle is the same as the one on the outside of the cake? And also will the frosting work if I want to pipe it? I really want to make a rose swirl cake but not sure if the frosting will pipe well :)

    - Dina on September 25, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Dina, Yes the frosting is the same in the middle and on the outside. It’s not a great frosting for piping as it’s pretty soft…it may work but you’ll have to make sure it’s cool.

      - Jenn on September 25, 2013 Reply
  • Hi there, are the measurements Australian Metric or US Metric? Thanks

    - Natalie B on September 24, 2013 Reply
    • US

      - Jenn on September 24, 2013 Reply
  • I made this for my dad’s birthday yesterday and it was SO YUMMY!!! Everyone loved it! The cake was moist and the frosting was amazing! I will be using that frosting recipe a lot. Thank you so much for sharing! This will be my go-to birthday cake recipe for sure. :)

    - MichelleM on September 20, 2013 Reply
  • Hi I bought a 24 cm springform pan to bake this recipe in. Will that work with this batter? Do you have any tips? Thank you! The cake looks so good, I will be baking it for my sons 3rd birthday :)

    - Natasha on June 7, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Natasha, I believe that’s 9 inches, so you’ll definitely need two pans. If you pour all the batter in one pan, it will not bake properly and may overflow and make a big mess in your oven.

      - Jenn on June 8, 2013 Reply
  • Jenn,

    We have a tree nut allergy in our house. I’m assuming you can make the cake without the almond extract but please confirm. Is there something else that should be substituted instead of the almond extract? Thanks.

    - carolyn on May 17, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Carolyn, It is totally fine to leave it out. You can use lemon extract instead if you like.

      - Jenn on May 17, 2013 Reply
  • I made these as cupcakes for my son’s second birthday. They were great! Thanks!

    - Amy on April 6, 2013 Reply
  • Hi! The cake look so scrumptious! I’m definitely going to try and bake this for my mum (: As I’m a very unexperienced baker, may I ask what “spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knifed” mean?

    - Susan on March 16, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Susan, Of course! It’s just the proper way to measure flour — you spoon it into a measuring cup (instead of scooping it) until it is overflowing, then you level it off with a straight edge. I know it seems nit picky but it actually makes a big difference. You get a lot more flour in the measuring cup by scooping it, and this would make the cake dry.

      - Jenn on March 16, 2013 Reply
  • Do you have to have a mixer?

    - Helen on March 16, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Helen, You at least need a hand-held electric mixer — just increase the speed a bit as it’s not as powerful as the stand mixer.

      - Jenn on March 16, 2013 Reply
  • Hi, Jenn: I plan to make this cake as cupcakes this afternoon. Just wondering what suggestions you have for using up the leftover egg yolks?

    - Liesel on February 8, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Liesel, Save them for Creme Anglaise (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/classic-creme-anglaise). I’m posting Molten Chocolate Cakes this coming week, which would be perfect with it.

      - Jenn on February 8, 2013 Reply
      • Follow-up: Thank you for the suggestion to make creme anglaise with the leftover yolks. ( I ended up making some lemon curd to go with another dessert., but will try the creme when I make your molten chocolate cakes!!) The cupcakes turned out beautifully and the frosting is the perfect complement. Since I was baking for a “winter” party I decorated with white pearly sprinkles – love the white on white effect. Will try this recipe again as a whole cake. Thanks, Jenn.

        - Liesel on February 15, 2013 Reply
        • Sounds pretty, Liesel. So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!

          - Jenn on February 15, 2013 Reply
  • this turned out perfectly…light, fluffy, moist, and soft but still seems to have a certain sturdiness and most of all delicious. everything a good cake should be. the only thing i really changed was used vanilla bean and cut back on the almond extract (only used 2-3 drops). i frosted mine with swiss meringue buttercream.

    - ariel on January 31, 2013 Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    I just made your cake and came out delicious. I was wondering how long the frosting can stay outside of the refrigerator? I would like to serve the cupcakes tomorrow for Hanukkah.

    Also curious if there is an easier way to measure the confectioners sugar, like is it 2 boxes? I kind of winged it but it came out fine.

    I dipped the frosting in coconut and they look really cute. Thanks for the great website!

    - Lori on December 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Lori, So glad you enjoyed! I think the frosting is about a box and a half, but it’s fine to wing it since it really is a matter of taste as to how sweet and thick you want it. As for refrigeration, it’s fine to leave it out for several days. If you want to refrigerate, that’s fine too; just be sure to take them out in time to warm up before serving.

      - Jenn on December 9, 2012 Reply
      • Hi – I want to use this recipe to make a little smash cake for my daughter’s first birthday. If I’m using a six-inch cake pan, what do you recommend for baking time? Also, what do you recommend for cupcakes? I will make some of those for our guests. Thank you!

        - Erin on January 3, 2013 Reply
        • Hi Erin, I had to look up “smash” cake; never heard of it but what a cute idea! I’d start checking the cake at about 20 minutes and see from there. As for cupcakes, bake them at 350 for 18-20 minutes, and be sure to spray the paper liners w/ nonstick cooking spray (makes 24).

          - Jenn on January 3, 2013 Reply
  • I just made this for my son’s 5th birthday party and everyone really liked it. I did have a lot more frosting than needed, but that’s OK.

    - Carmen on November 23, 2012 Reply
  • What’s a paddle attachment? The spiral for heavy dough?

    - Elke on November 19, 2012 Reply
    • The paddle attachment is the flat beater with a triangular shape.

      - Jenn on November 22, 2012 Reply
  • I made the cupcakes yesterday for no particular reason and they are out of this world! My dessert of choice is typically something chocolate, but this is worth every non-chocolate bite. The cake and frosting by themselves are truly awesome; put them together and they are magical. Thanks so much.

    - Dawn on November 12, 2012 Reply
  • Jennifer, I have a technical question. I have a stand mixer and mainly use it to mix batter, as you do. I usually whip cream with my hand mixer. I noticed in your pictures when making your pumpkin spice cookies that you used your whisk attachment, and when you did the vanilla cake you used the paddle attachment. Besides whipping eggs or cream, how do you decide when the whisk attachment should be used on the stand mixer. I know this is a picky question. Perhaps it is the nature of the pumpkin cookie batter being more light and “cake like” that made the whisk attachment being doable. Thank you.

    - Karen on November 11, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Karen, You are very observant! In most cases, I use the paddle attachment and only use the whisk attachment for cream and eggs. For those pumpkin cookies, I actually used the whisk by accident. By the time I realized it, the batter was done so I figured I’d bake the cookies and see how they came out. They were perfect so I left the photos and recipe as is. It worked because the batter was very light and cake-like; most cookie doughs would get stuck in the whisk. That said, I have also made those pumpkin cookies using the paddle attachment and it works just as well.

      - Jenn on November 14, 2012 Reply
  • What a lovely posting: wonderful photos of your beautiful family, the dog, and the most delicious looking cake! No birthdays coming up, but I will have to try that recipe very soon. PS/ You are creating such special memories for your children. What a great mom!

    - Liz on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • Cake looks amazing! Your mom is the best baker, happy b-day! I am going to try to bake this cake because I love cakes for any days.
    I was wondering, I would like to use this recipe for cup cakes. Would it work? Or how long in the oven to bake?

    Thanks Jenn

    - Liz on November 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Liz, I’ve used this recipe many times for cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, and be sure to spray the paper liners w/ nonstick cooking spray. Makes 24. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • There is a very easy chocolate frosting recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can that I have been using for many years. Delicious!

    - Nancy on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • This sounds gorgeously simple! I usually pick chocolate cake when I have a choice, but it’s great to have options when the mood strikes.

    - Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • Beautiful cake and happy birthday to your daughter. My son has always requested a vanilla/vanilla birthday cake, too. I’m going to save your recipe and bake it up for his next one!

    - Jennifer on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • Wonderful! My Mom just told me how much she likes white cakes and this will be perfect for 81st Birthday celebration next week. Thanks

    - Berit on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • I cannot wait to make this!

    I don’t have a stand mixer, so no paddle attachment! Will this cake still come out okay if I use my handy dandy 20-year-old electric mixer?

    - Hope on November 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hope, it should work just fine – just up the speed on your mixer as it isn’t as powerful as a stand mixer.

      - Jenn on November 9, 2012 Reply
  • 2 questions.
    1.) How many ounces of cream cheese is 9 Tbsps?
    2.) Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk?

    - Cathy Jennings on November 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Cathy, Not sure exactly how many ounces but I’m guessing a little over 4 ounces — it’s 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon, so the small 8 oz. container should be enough. Definitely do not use evaporated milk — if necessary, you can substitute low fat milk, but the cake won’t be as moist.

      - Jenn on November 8, 2012 Reply
  • This cake sounds amazing. My daughters Birthday is coming up and I will try this recipe. I would like to try this with a chocolate frosting in place of the vanilla frosting since my daughter like this better. Do you have a chocolate frosting recipe I can use in place of the vanilla?

    - Liz Castellano on November 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Liz, Here’s my favorite foolproof chocolate frosting (from Cook’s Illustrated):

      Ingredients

      20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened but still cool
      1 cup confectioners’ sugar
      3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
      Pinch salt
      3/4 cup light corn syrup
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped into small pieces, melted and slightly cooled*

      *The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave, but you have to be careful not to scorch it. Place chopped chocolate in microwave-safe bowl, and cook in 20 second intervals, stopping to stir in between each bout of heat, until chocolate is melted.

      Directions

      In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, mix butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Set aside until ready to frost cake.

      - Jenn on November 8, 2012 Reply
      • Thank you. I will give this a try.

        - Liz Castellano on November 9, 2012 Reply

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