Vanilla Birthday Cake with Old-Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This moist and delicious birthday cake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite baking books, Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri.

vanilla birthday cake

My daughter is turning eight years old this week and 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 by my great-grandmother.

What you’ll need to make vanilla birthday cake

how to make vanilla birthday cake

How to make vanilla birthday cake

To begin, combine the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Whisk well to combine.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

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

how to make vanilla birthday cake

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.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Next, add one-third of the milk/egg mixture.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Continue alternating adding the flour and milk mixtures, scraping down the bowl as necessary. The batter will look like this.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

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.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

While the cake cools, make the frosting. Begin by combining the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Beat until well combined.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

Then beat in the vanilla and salt.

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.

If the frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk or cream.

how to make vanilla birthday cake

When the layers are cool, frost the cake.

how to make vanilla cake

You can spread the frosting smooth, or swirl it casually with a butter knife. Since it’s an all white cake, I like to scatter some festive nonpareils or confetti sprinkles on the edges for color.

how to make vanilla cake

Or for a change, try topping the cake with heaps of shredded sweetened coconut — it’s amazing.

vanilla birthday cake

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Vanilla Birthday Cake with Old-Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream

This moist and delicious birthday cake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite baking books, Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri.

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


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 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt


For the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut two 8-inch rounds of parchment 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. (I always flip the bottom layer of the cake so that the domed side is facing down and touching the plate. That way, the surface that you're icing is flat and will minimize any separating between the two layers when you put the other layer on top of it.)

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.
  3. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen, without frosting, for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop and then frost before serving.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    I only have salted butter. Would I just omit the salt from the recipe, or should I add maybe 1/8 tsp?

    • — Elaine on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • All I have are 9inch pans. Wondering if I can use these instead of 8inch? And if so, should I shorten the time in the oven?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Holliday Carr on October 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can use them. Bake time should really be the same if not a minute or two shorter – just keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • How do I store this after making and before serving?

    • — Robin on October 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • You can store it covered on the counter. (Technically, it should be refrigerated, but I haven’t done that and it’s been fine.) Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • When do you add the buttermilk?

    • — Amber on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Amber, the recipe doesn’t actually require any buttermilk. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    Is it possible to make the frosting in another color? Maybe a light pink? If yes, what do you recommend and how much of it?
    Thank you,

    • — Janelle on August 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Janelle, you could add food coloring to the frosting to make it pink. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    Where did you buy the sprinkles from? I love the colorful/pastel star shape sprinkles 😃

    • — Janelle on August 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Honestly, I’m not 100% sure! They may have just been in my pantry; if not they likely came from my local grocery store (Giant or Safeway). Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on August 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi jenn can i used cakeflour instead of all purpose flour.
    I want to make cake for a wedding.
    Thanks again

    • — Fanny on August 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, for the most predictable results, I’d stick with all-purpose flour – sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2020
      • Reply
      • Can I use the whole egg instead of the whites? How many whole eggs? and how does it change the taste/texture?

        • — Diana on August 25, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Diana, I wouldn’t recommend it for this cake, but if you’d like a cake that uses whole eggs, I’d recommend this one. (It can be made into a layer cake.) Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on August 25, 2020
          • Reply
      • My cakes turned out totally flat. I used room temp ingredients and new container of baking powder. Would nonstick baking pans be the cause?

        • — Colleen on August 27, 2020
        • Reply
        • Sorry to hear you had a problem with this! No, non-stick pans shouldn’t have caused a problem. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe or is there a chance you made a measuring error?

          • — Jenn on August 28, 2020
          • Reply
  • If I was using 4” or 5” baking rounds, how would you recommend I adjust the baking time?

    • — Jack W on August 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jack, I think you’d probably need four 4-inch rounds to fit all the batter. The baking time may be a few minutes less so keep a close eye on them! 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can I use 1% milk? I’m anxious to make this cake as my sister has given this cake rave reviews!

    • — Carol on August 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Carol, that will work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Perfection. I have baked many cakes over the years but this cake is by far my favorite. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing recipes.

    • — Valerie on August 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have just followed this recipe to the exact instruction but I’m disappointed it hasn’t risen very much at all. The smell is heavenly and the texture will be nice and I assume the taste (won’t eat it until tomorrow), but theyre just quite flat unfortunately. Not sure what’s gone wrong!?

    Not total failure as once they are iced and stacked they’ll look ok I’m sure 🙂

    • — Kath Wolski on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Kath, Sorry to hear these didn’t rise very much. Did you use 8-inch pans? Is your baking powder really old or expired? And was the butter room temperature before beating with the sugar? This is what makes the cake light and fluffy.

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Can a hand mixer be used for this recipe?

    Thank you,


    • — Janelle on August 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – you just may need to increase the speed a bit. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I have cake flour at home, can I use it instead of all purpose flour? Will it make any difference? Thank you!

    • — Maria on July 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Maria, I haven’t tried cake flour with this recipe, so I can’t say for sure it if it would work. I’d stick with all-purpose for the most reliable results.

      • — Jenn on July 30, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hello Jenn – We just made this cake today (third time maybe!) and we did half Swans Cake Flour and half King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour and it came out moist and delicious! 🎂

        • — Ponyo on September 5, 2020
        • Reply
  • Who knew that vanilla cake could be so amazing? It took me a long time to make this cake. Vanilla cake is never this good. But this cake is wonderfully flavourful. Just fantastic!

    • — Laura K. on July 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • I am planning to make this recipe to my father’s birthday. It looks delicious!! Is it better to make it the day before or the same day? Thank you.

    • — Rachel P. on July 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, if you can make it on the same day you plan to serve it, that’s best but you can get away with 1 day ahead. Hope your father enjoys!

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for the reply. If I did the day before or even the same day, should I keep the cake on the fridge until time to serve? Thank you.

        • — Rachel P. on July 19, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Rachel, Technically, because of the frosting it should be refrigerated, but I always store it on the counter and it’s been fine.

          • — Jenn on July 20, 2020
          • Reply
  • Love your cake! Two year old now wants cupcakes…please tell me how long to bake them. Thanks

    • — Kathy on July 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Glad you like this! I’d start checking cupcakes for doneness at 25 minutes.

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Could I use 2% instead of whole milk? Also would this recipe work in a 9×13 pan instead of two round pans? Would baking time need to be adjusted?

    Thank you! Excited to try this recipe. I made your strawberry cake last week and it was so good !

    • — Lilly on June 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lilly, Yes, you can use 2% milk, and regarding the baking pan I haven’t tried this recipe in a 9 x 13 and not certain it would rise evenly.

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! My daughter would like vanilla cupcakes with chocolate chips inside for her birthday. Which of your recipes do you think would be better suited to add the chips? This one? Or the vanilla cupcakes? Thank you!

    • — Lesley K. on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lesley, I’d probably go with the cupcakes. I’d toss the chips in a tiny bit of flour and fold them into the batter at the end. (And I’d suggest mini chips as due to their lighter weight, they are less likely to sink.) Please LMK how they turn out if you make them!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks for answering so quickly! I ended up making the Vanilla Cupcakes topped with the Old Fashioned Vanilla Buttercream. I used mini chips and they did not sink and the kids loved them. But I made a few without the chips and they rose higher and the texture was better, just to compare. The taste was delicious! The buttercream was so tasty and easy to decorate with. My daughter was very happy 🙂

        • — Lesley K. on June 19, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi-

    If I only have 2 9 inch pans will that work? How much would you adjust the baking time ?


    • — Ali on June 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ali, Bake time should really be the same if not a minute or two shorter – just keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jen
    I love this cake, it comes out beautifully. My question is this, my friend the other day said she was craving Sanders caramel cake … could I use this vanilla cake recipe, and then take your caramel sauce from the caramel corn add butter and some confectioner’s sugar and make a caramel frosting?

    • — Julie Facca-Ferrerio on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, Glad you like the cake! I think you can definitely use the cake recipe, but for the frosting, I’d use a recipe that’s specifically for that instead of trying to tweak this one — I’m just not confident with how it would turn out — sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • I don’t have almond extract, is there any way I could substitute or miss the ingredient out?

    • — Maliha on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Maliha, you can just replace it with additional vanilla extract. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • This recipe was outstanding! I made the cake for a friend’s birthday gathering. I followed the recipe for the cake and buttercream, but because I didn’t want all the egg yolks to go to waste, I made vanilla pastry cream. I split the cake layers, filled them with the pastry cream, and scattered fresh homegrown blueberries on top of the filling. I swirled blueberry jam thru the buttercream, iced the cake, and arranged a cascade of blueberries and mint across the top and down one side of the cake. It was delicious and beautiful! Thank you, Jenn, for another wonderful recipe.

    • — Donna on June 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious! My family was impressed. I added pink food colouring to the icing for my daughters birthday.

    • — Jen on June 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • I love this cake recipe. I have made it many times and it turns out perfect! I want to make it for my husbands birthday but he wants a chocolate layer. Can I convert half of the batter to chocolate? If so, how do you recommend doing it?

    • — Beth on June 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, Glad you like the cake! I wouldn’t recommend trying to tweak this recipe to make it chocolate, but you can halve it and halve this chocolate cupcake recipe. Hope that helps and that your husband enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi!

    I am about to try your recipe for the first time. I only have 1 baking pan, can I bake it once and slice it into 2 or should I bake twice?

    Thank you

    • — Charlane on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Charlane, I’m not sure the batter will fit in your pan; I’d play it safe and bake twice.

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • I baked this cake for my mom’s birthday, and it turned out amazing! It was absolutely delicious, and, overall, it is one of the best cakes I have ever made. The cream cheese frosting is also so unique, and it definitely adds to the flavor profile of the cake. I cannot wait to make it again! Thank you!

    • — Bethany Schley on May 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’m planning to make this cake next week for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. Is there any way to add raspberry puree into the frosting to make it pink – and add a little fruity flavor? If so, can you recommend how much and when?

    • — Gabriella on May 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Gabriella, I wouldn’t recommend adding raspberry purée into the frosting as it will introduce more liquid (and don’t think it would add that much color). You could decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries or if you can find freeze-dried raspberries, you can use them to color the frosting and add a fair amount of raspberry flavor. Here’s a post that will give you a little guidance.

      • — Jenn on May 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi
    I would like to make this cake for my son’s birthday next week but we are a small group. Can you give me the recipe for 1 layer cake instead of 2? thx

    • — Arveena on May 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Arveena, You can just cut all the ingredients in half if you just want one layer. Happy early birthday to you son!

      • — Jenn on May 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • This cake was very easy to make. I don’t have a lot of time with Distance learning with twin 6 year old but I needed to make a Birthday cake. I believe from start to finish it took me 1 hour to prep and bake. Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Phyllis Davis on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • My 3 year old and I made this for my 1 year old son’s birthday! It was SO delicious my husband requested it for his birthday this weekend! Later this week, we are making two of these cakes! One for hubby’s birthday and one to drop off for my dad for his birthday the next day! 🙂

    • — Liz on May 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!

    I love your recipes! This one looks delicious too. I have a little boy who’s begging for a lemon birthday cake. Can I adapt this by adding lemon zest to the batter? If so, any recommendations as to how much to add? Thanks so much!

    • — Heather on April 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Heather, so glad you like the recipes! You could swap out the almond and/or vanilla extract in the batter for lemon extract and add a teaspoon of lemon zest to give this cake a lemon flavor. Hope that helps and happy birthday to your son!

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
    • Dear Jenn, I tried the French apple tart and the french apple cake. Both had positive reviews and I found a new hobby because of your genuinely beautiful website.
      The way u describe and teach how to do each step makes a first timer like me into a superhero 😁😁😁. Thank you so much for that.
      I would love to bake this cake soon and would like to know if I could add orange juice extract into it? If yes how much and when? I love the vanilla smell so was wondering if I can keep the vanilla and eliminate the almond extract?
      Thank you🙏🏽🙏🏽🌸🌸

      • — L.Yogarani on April 29, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi L, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! By orange juice extract, do you mean orange extract? If so, you could get away with adding about 1/2 tsp. And it’s fine to replace the almond extract with more vanilla. Also, if you’d like to include some orange zest that will help to boost the orange flavor – I’d recommend adding up to 1 tsp. to the egg/milk mixture. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on April 29, 2020
        • Reply
        • I’ve never made buttercream with cream cheese before… what is the main difference using your recipe in comparison to a more traditional version?

          • — Emma on May 13, 2020
          • Reply
          • The cream cheese adds a little hint of tanginess. 🙂

            • — Jenn on May 14, 2020
  • Hi Jenn, the cake turned out great! I stored the leftover cake in the refrigerator. But, on the next day, it was a little hard. Not sure if it had something to do with how I stored it? What do you recommend?

    • — Shanti on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Shanti, Yes, I suspect that may have contributed to the texture on the second day. Because of the frosting, technically it should be refrigerated, but I never do and it’s always been fine.

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2020
      • Reply
      • Tx a lot Jenn.🙏🏽🙏🏽🌸🌈

        • — L.Yogarani on May 7, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi again! I’m sorry – I had one more question! I’d like to make your vanilla birthday cake but was wondering if you had a recommendation for a chocolate icing for it (?) Would you suggest the chocolate cupcake frosting recipe on this site? Or the chocolate lover’s birthday cake frosting recipe from your cookbook (which I have and love!) I know they’re each a little different in sweetness but wasn’t sure which, if either, would taste better on the vanilla cake. (My 8 year old requested a yellow cake with chocolate icing for his birthday, and I haven’t tried your cakes yet but can’t wait!😊) Thank you!

    • — Carrie on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • You could go either way, but I’d probably go with the frosting from the Chocolate Lover’s Birthday cake. Happy birthday to your son!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi, Jenn! Thank you for your answers (to both of my questions!) You’re so kind and helpful to all of us ~ truly cannot thank you enough. I can’t wait to try this cake for my son’s birthday! Your dinner recipes have been a hit in our family, and “Once Upon a Chef” is now a household name with my daughters. ☺️ Thank you for blessing us!

        • — Carrie on April 14, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi, Jen! Can I adapt this recipe for 9” round cake pans? Would I do 1.5 times the recipe to have enough batter for a 2-layer cake? (Or maybe double the recipe and use 3 cake pans?) I only need to serve 8 people, but we wouldn’t mind having leftovers. 😉 We love your recipes!!!

    • — Carrie on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Carrie, Glad you like the recipes! Yes, I’d do 1.5 times the recipe; you’re likely to have some leftover batter with that so you can just make cupcakes with that. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2020
      • Reply
      • i am going to make this tomm. Please answer asap. I have 9 in round pans exactly what does 1.5 mean
        thank you Michele

        • — michele Kahan on April 23, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Michele, 1.5 is 1 1/2. Sorry for any confusion!

          • — Jenn on April 24, 2020
          • Reply
  • Can you use whole eggs instead of egg whites?

    • — Shanti on April 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Shanti, I wouldn’t recommend it for this cake, but if you’d like a recipe for a cake that uses whole eggs, I’d recommend this one. (It can be made into a layer cake.)

      • — Jenn on April 8, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi there. Can I use regular milk instead of whole milk?

        • — Suzanne Sitrin on April 11, 2020
        • Reply
        • Sure, Suzanne, that should be fine. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on April 12, 2020
          • Reply
          • Any baking tips for cupcakes vs. cake rounds? Never baked cupcakes before!! Feeling inspired. I have a tray of regular sized cupcakes and a tray of minis. Thanks!

            • — Emily on October 10, 2020
          • Hi Emily, If you want to make these into cupcakes, the baking temp will stay the same but I’d start checking them for doneness at 25 minutes; for minis, I’d start checking them at about 10 minutes. You may also want to consider this cupcake recipe. Hope you enjoy whatever you try!

            • — Jenn on October 12, 2020
      • Hi Jenn

        I plan on making this cake recipe for my son’s 7th birthday. Have you ever baked the layers and then put them in the freezer until the day you plan to serve the cake? Do you think this will change the taste or texture at all?
        I don’t plan on decorating the cake until the day of, just baking the 2 layers beforehand

        Thank you!

        • — Lesley on October 14, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes, and you can definitely freeze the cake (sans the frosting). See the bottom of the recipe for freezer-friendly instructions. Happy early birthday to your son!

          • — Jenn on October 15, 2020
          • Reply
  • I made this cake for my family this week along with many other of your recipes. This has been my recent fun.. I created the yellow cake you have in the recipe and wound up using a different frosting. I got mixed up in the meringue recipe, didn’t have the time and got confused so I picked a simple buttercream frosting. What I want to tell you is this yellow cake was Fantastic! hands down the best birthday yellow cake. Thank you yet again for helping me shine

    • — Tracey Mata on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    Can I leave out the almond extract?

    Thank you

    • — Kathy Auerbach on April 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – use an additional 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract in its place. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • This cake turned out amazing! I have yet to find a recipe on this site that disappoints. Made this for my daughters first birthday and was a bit skeptical when I took it out of the oven but the taste was delicious. I used a different butter cream frosting so I can’t comment on that, but I’m sure it’s great

    • — Matt on March 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • AMAZING! It turned out perfect in every way. Moist, delicious, even 2 days later. Even though I accidentally put the sugar in with dry ingredients instead of creaming it with butter 😬
    P.S. I have a photo but I don’t see where I can upload it!

    • — Natalia on March 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it! And, unfortunately, the blog isn’t set up to accept outside pics but if you’re on Instagram, you can share it there (be sure to tag me @onceuponachef). 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it turned out beautifully! The cake is moist and not overly sweet so it pairs well with the sweet icing. We love it! I’ll definitely be making it again.

    • — Melissa on March 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have now made this recipe twice, and both times it was an abject failure. Both times the cake smelt very eggy while baking, the base was quite oily/buttery after the cake was taken out, and both times the texture of the cake was off (almost like the batter split). The cake tastes eggy and the texture is not nice. The icing is lovely. I assumed that I must have done something wrong the first time I made this cake, but now I am not so sure. I regularly make cakes and they always work out (other than this recipe).

    • — Analyst on February 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi, so sorry to hear you had a problem with this cake! I haven’t gotten feedback like yours on this one. Did you make any changes to the recipe?
      Did the batter curdle when you were mixing it?

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2020
      • Reply
      • maybe it’s an altitude thing…mine came out good and I’m no baker!

        • — Nikki on June 30, 2020
        • Reply
    • I’m on that same boat the smell of the cake is very strong. Even after using two types of extracts like vanilla and almond. Also, the frosting was a disaster for me, it is oily and lumpy. It just didn’t mix properly. This is the first time I am trying to bake this kind of cake maybe I’m not used to this flavor.

      • — Vilma on February 14, 2020
      • Reply
    • Did you use 6 large egg WHITES only? Sounds like you used 6 whole eggs. I love this recipe and have tons of experience with all things cake: weddings, showers, birthdays etc.

      • — Mel on August 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • The cake turned out wonderfully! I live in Europe and could get Mascarpone easier than Philadelphia, so I used Mascarpone—the butter cream was creamy and delicious. I’ll definitely make it again for a taste of home!

    • — Kerrie on January 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello, I tried to make this and I am wondering if the directions might be off? I followed the suggested 175 degrees and after 30 minutes my layers were not even close to being done. I am using the suggested size nonstick metal cake pans. I am increasing the oven temperature now to 325 degrees and watching closely but I hope this will still turn out. If I did something wrong, I don’t know what because I followed the instructions exactly. Can you please help? Thanks!

    • — Wendy on January 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy, Are you by chance looking at the metric measurements by mistake? In the top right corner of the recipe, there’s a button that allows you to toggle between metric and cup (or US) measures. If you’re in the US, the temperature should be 350°F.

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi. Can I use buttermilk instead of the whole milk?

    • — Evelyn on December 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend it, Eveyln – sorry! But if you’d like to use buttermilk, you can use this recipe.

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is one of my favorite cakes! Always turns out amazing! How can I make this into a 3 layer cake? Do I just do a 1.5 recipes? Or should I just double recipe and freeze one extra layer? Making this soon! Thanks!

    • — Rebekah sigmon on December 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it, Rebekah! It’s fine to multiply by 1.5. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this cake for my husband’s birthday gathering and it was a HIT!!! From ages 2 to 75, everyone loved this cake. I was concerned because I read in the reviews Jen warned against using the Bundt pan because the cake may stick. So I used what my great grandmother and grandmother used for those stick prone cakes…Crisco and flour. The cake turned out beautiful, light and tasty. Thanks Jen for another great recipe.

    • — Alicia H on December 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi. Can we use 2% milk for this recipe?

      • — Paula on April 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure, Paula, that will work. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on April 12, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Do you believe this could be turned into a brown butter cake by browning the butter ahead of time, letting it cool to room temperature and then proceed?
    Thank you!

    • — Bianca on November 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it, Bianca — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2019
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      I dream of recreating the white cake with cherry chips that I used to get out of a box when I was a kid. Do you think this would make a good base? I was thinking of adding maraschino cherries to the mix?

      • — Ashley on December 27, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Ashley, I do think it would work but I’d go easy on the maraschino cherries; too many may affect the structure of the cake.

        • — Jenn on December 28, 2019
        • Reply
        • Thank you. I will be careful.

          • — Ashley on December 30, 2019
          • Reply
  • This cake is perfect. It’s been my go-to birthday cake for years for my family. Every time I need it I have a little fear it won’t be available anymore; I need to write it down – lol. Thank you!!

    • — Jaimie on November 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness Jenn, this is THE BEST homemade cake I have ever made! It is moist and tender with wonderful vanilla flavor.
    Here is a secret, it is my birthday tomorrow and I made it for myself! Yummy.

    • — Jackie on November 7, 2019
    • Reply
    • 🙂 So glad you like it — have a wonderful birthday!!

      • — Jenn on November 7, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi! I made this cake last year for my 3 year old son’s birthday and, not only was it stunning, but it was absolutely delicious!! I am going to make it again this year, and I would like to know: can I decorate the whole cake and leave it on the counter overnight? Or does it need to go in the fridge? Thank you. might add fondant over the whole cake this year, I will send a picture if I do!


    • — Joanna on October 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanna, glad you enjoyed the cake enough to make it again this year! It’s okay to make it a day ahead but I would actually wait to frost it. When the cake layers have cooled completely, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate. A few hours before serving the cake (you don’t want it to be cold), unwrap the layers and frost the cake, then keep it at room temperature. Hope everyone enjoys and happy birthday to your son! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 24, 2019
      • Reply
      • hi jenn,
        i’m making the cake for my grandson’s birthday and will need to add food colour to icing and do a bit of piping. is icing consistency ok for this?

        • Hi, the food coloring is fine but this frosting isn’t the best for piping since it’s made with so much butter — if the cake is in a warm spot, the decorations will start to droop. For piping anything elaborate, you’re better off with a heat resistant buttercream made from Swiss meringue. You can also use shortening in place of all or half of the butter in this recipe, but it won’t taste nearly as good.

          • — Jenn on January 8, 2020
          • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    I’ve made this cake before following your recipe exactly and it’s turned out really well (ditto for all your recipes!). This time I need to make a single layer cake. The tin I have is a square 25 x 25 cm. Do you have any advice regarding baking time etc?

    Many thanks,

    • — Breege on October 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Breege, I suspect it would work using a 25 x 25-cm baking dish. I’d fill up the pan about 2/3 of the way and make cupcakes with any leftover batter. Bake time may be a bit different so keep a close eye on it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 24, 2019
      • Reply
  • I want to use this recipe for my daughters’ birthday cake. Could I bake this in a bundt pan and if so how long and at what temperature do you suggest? Thank you in advance!

    • — Vikki Longo on October 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Vikki, I worry that this cake would stick in bundt pan. You may want to try this one instead. It’s delicious!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can I make this with swans down cake flour?

    • — Anna on October 6, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, I would encourage you to stick with the recipe as is– the texture is perfect (And I’ve never tried this cake with cake flour so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out.) If you do attempt to make this with cake flour, I would increase the amount you use by a few tablespoons. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made this cake for a 66th birthday. Very nice flavour to the cake I think adding the almond flavour made a difference. Added toasted coconut and sprinkles to it, only wish I took a picture!

    • — June on September 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made this cake a few days ago and it was loved by everyone (1 year olds to grown ups)! The cake has a very light and fluffy texture, but still slices perfectly clean. I colored the frosting blue and made rosettes all over for a lovely cinderella inspired theme. One thing to note is that the cake is not huge, even for a two layer cake I found it to be on the slightly smaller side (pretty sure that the cake rose to the desired height). When I make this again (which I will!!) I might 1.5 times the batter and make a 3 layer cake. What can I say, I like a tall cake. 🙂 Thanks Jen!

    • — Maaike Kahn on September 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi, Wanted to try this recipe (vanilla birthday cake) as a base for a rainbow cake .. add food coloring to it .. do you think this would work with the batter? is your batter white? Thanks

    • — Asiya on September 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Asiya, Yes, the cake is white and it’s fine to adding food coloring to the batter to give it color. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this cake for the first time for my son’s 8th birthday and it turned out perfectly and everyone loved it. I added shredded coconut to the icing on top. It was so delicious that I had a piece for breakfast the next day.

    • — Elizabeth G. on September 15, 2019
    • Reply
    • 🙂 Breakfast of champions!

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi jenn, im thinking how to transform your cake for Halloween for my daughter’s first birthday. any suggestions on how to make orange spider web on top or something else, not too spooky? Btw i bought your cookbook and everything i cooked from it or website i loved it.

    • — Barbara on September 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • What a cute idea! There are lots of tutorials, videos, and images online for how to create a spider web on top of a cake. This one looks good (but you’ll obviously want to use orange food coloring as opposed to black. Hope that helps (and thanks so much for the support with the book — glad to hear you’re enjoying it)! 💗

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thank you for the quick reply, yes this is definitely the look I was going for 😀 So far everything I baked from your recipes turned fanatics also so I’m positive this cake will be too, thank you.

        • — Barbara on September 14, 2019
        • Reply
  • Don’t normally leave reviews but this recipe was amazing. I made it for my sons first Birthday and people couldn’t believe I’d made it myself. Thank you for making it a special day for me and my little boy 🙂

    • — Lily Ann Bonner on August 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Glad everyone enjoyed it — happy first birthday to your little one! ❤️

      • — Jenn on August 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Chef Jen. My husband wants this cake for his birthday but wants fruit in middle. Maybe strawberry? How do I do it please.

    • — Dorene Guida on August 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Dorene, I think strawberries would be a great addition here! After frosting the bottom layer, arrange thinly sliced strawberries evenly on top, add the second layer on top of that, and finish frosting. Hope he enjoys!

      • — Jenn on August 13, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thank u!

        • — Dorene Guida on August 13, 2019
        • Reply
      • I made this cake for my husband’s birthday yesterday, added thin strawberry slices between layers as you recommended in this comment thread, and decorated the top with a rim of strawberry halves with one in the middle. Super cute and the cake was delicious! It is super tasty even when refrigerated. I bake maybe once a year— this was a great simple recipe for a novice like me.

        • — Brittany Hope on October 5, 2019
        • Reply
  • I was okay with this cake. I think I would really love it if the crumb was a bit more tender and sweet. I’d like to add more sugar to the batter but I’m worried how this will affect the rest of the recipe. I would love your recommendation.

    • — A. Lo on August 3, 2019
    • Reply
  • Followed directions to a tee. I made this cake for a friend’s birthday because, in their 29 years, they’d never had someone make a cake for their birthday. I wanted to give him something that wasn’t out of a box. The cake looked darling and he was extremely grateful 🙂 the cake itself was a tad bit dry and, in my opinion, the frosting was too sweet. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, however, so perhaps it was my personal preference and opinion. Either way, great recipe. Thank you!

    • — Ellie on July 17, 2019
    • Reply
  • I was really looking forward to having this cake for my birthday as I miss vanilla buttercreams, having moved from the US to the UK. I followed the recipe exactly, temperatures and all, and the cake came like a brick! Flavour was good enough but so dense, not fluffy at all. What a shame. Should it be like that? Also as others have said, I added much less sugar to the icing in order for it to be edible and some family members still thought it was too sweet. Sorry, Jenn – I usually love your recipes (your cheesecake is one of my staples) but this one was a letdown.

    • — Kris on July 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sorry this did not turn out for you, Kris! It definitely should not be dense, or heavy — because it just uses egg whites (instead of whole eggs), it should be lighter. Did you by chance make any substitutions?

      • — Jenn on July 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • I live at 6033 elevation. I think you add a little more flour, less sugar and baking powder and add more fluid but I’m not sure. Not sure if I should use cake flour either. Do you know the correct measurements I should use?

    • — Patti Dreyer on July 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Patti, I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I not confident telling you if or how the recipe should be tweaked – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though.

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2019
      • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I’d like to make this cake for my daughter, who has an egg allergy. Do you have any suggestions for an egg substitute to use with the recipe?

    • — Rachel on June 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, A number of my readers that avoid eggs have mentioned that they use flax eggs when baking. I would assume many baking recipes would also work with some kind of egg substitute. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is the perfect white cake for my moms birthday. It is moist, super easy to frost with the perfect buttercream. I added some almond extract to the frosting, as we love the taste.

    • — Lisa Wolff on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello from sunny England! This looks truly delicious and I am making this on the weekend.. but I don’t have a mixer – can I do this by hand? I sure hope so 🙂

    • — Alex B on April 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, I’ve never made this cake without a mixer but it is possible. Here’s a link on how to do it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I just finished preparing the cake mix and I realized I put all three sticks of butter into the cake mix. Is there anything I can do to save it?

    • — Rita on March 31, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Rita, Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any way to fix it, although it may bake up just fine. You’ll have to try it and see. Good luck!

      • — Jenn on March 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Have you ever considered adding sprinkles to the cake batter? Curious if you think would need to adjust sugar?

    • — Adele on March 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Adele, I think you could get away with adding sprinkles here. Assuming you use a moderate amount, like 1/2 – 1 cup, you wouldn’t need to adjust the sugar. I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • Delicious!

    • — Donna on March 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! Made this cake last weekend and my husband is requesting that I make it again! I only used 2 cups of confectioners sugar for the frosting since some reviews said it was too sweet with 6 cups and it turned out amazing 😉

    • — Flor 🌺 on March 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • ummm I made this for my birthday and it looked ok. the only problem was it tasted like plain butter. I added Oreos into it to help do something but I’m still not too sure.

    • — Elsie on February 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! This cake is truly my “go to” when it comes to birthday cake! My friends friends and family always request this cake. I also make it with gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill–cup for cup) and no one can tell the difference. Thank you your hard work and dedication writing your new cookbook! It sure did help with my Christmas shopping this year! And, lastly, I appreciate all of your recipes–whether on this website or in your cookbook–thank you for sharing your passion of cooking with all of your followers! You have helped me to become a better cook!

    • — Martha on January 31, 2019
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • The cake came out extremely dry. Any ideas why? Thanks

    • — Christina on January 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Christina, Sorry to hear this came out dry! Dryness is usually caused by overbaking or measuring the flour incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference.

      • — Jenn on January 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • Followed the instructions to the tee and it it worked out perfectly! Everyone loved it. Very moist cake with rich buttery icing.

    • — Lindsey on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hey Jenn!
    Can I make this ahead of time and freeze the layers and ice later? my daughters bday is the day after christmas and have so much baking to do already I thought I could have everything done early and just ice the day of.

    • — Rebekah Sigmon on December 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Rebekah – that’s fine. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2018
      • Reply
  • Amazing,simple and delicious!

    • — Kari on November 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • I have a nut allergy! What can i sub the almond extract for?

    • Hi Margaret, You could use a teaspoon of lemon zest if you like lemon flavor or more vanilla extract — either way. 😊

  • How long can this cake stay out of the refrigerator ? I have it covered with a glass top but can it stay out overnight?

    • Hi Cindy, I think this is best if eaten within about 24 hours of baking it, but you can definitely leave it on the counter overnight. (Technically, it should be refrigerated, but I haven’t done that and it’s been fine.) Hope that helps!

  • Hi, I am from the UK and baking this cake on the weekend for a 2nd birthday party. By all purpose flour, do you mean plain flour?

    Many thanks,


    • Yes, it is the equivalent of plain flour in the UK. Hope everyone enjoys the cake!

  • Hello,

    Is this recipe suitable to be covered with fondant?

    Thank you very much

    • Sure – enjoy!

  • I made this cake recently for my husband’s birthday, sans sprinkles! 😊 He loved it! It was sooo good! I love that it had layers of flavor. Some vanilla cakes taste just like their frosting, yet not this one. I also love that the recipe only calls for pure ingredients like real butter and that it’s made from scratch. Not your everyday box mix, that’s for sure.

  • I’d like to make one 12 inch cake and use the remaining batter for cupcakes. How many cupcakes would you guess I could make? Not sure how to divide exactly? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Monica, It’s hard to say for sure but I’m guessing you’d get 6 to 8 cupcakes.

      • Thanks Jen. I ended up doubling the recipe and make a cake and cupcakes to sit around the cake. The cakes were decorated as the flash theme for my seven year old boy. This is now my go to cake/frosting recipe. The cake was moist and firm. It was easy to frost as there weren’t really any crumbs. The frosting was easy to work with too. I piped it using a baggie. Delicious! The almond seems to be the secret to the great flavor, but it doesn’t taste like almond. Even with the cream cheese in the frosting it doesn’t taste like a cream cheese frosting. Just tastes like a “special” vanilla frosting.

  • Just made them. Halved the ingredients right down the middle to make 12 cupcakes. Didn’t change a thing. Though I had salted butter so I did not add additional salt to the recipe. Ok, so that’s a slight change but nothing drastic. I used the silicon cupcake holders (multicolor from BBB). I used a ice cream scooper to load the batter in each cup. Cooked at 350 for 25 mins. Put a toothpick in the center of a few and verified the time was good. Um, it was. Wish I could post a pic… They look veey good. Disclaimer, Though I have yet to taste them, I’m pretty sure they deserve 5 stars since I’ve made this recipe before in the traditional 9 inch pans. The cake is that good.

  • Would I use the same recipe for cupcakes? And I’d like to use the jumbo cupcake pan, would this work? Thank you. Love the cake!

    • Hi Glenna, Yes, you could use this recipe for jumbo cupcakes. The oven temperature and ingredient amounts would remain the same- I’d start checking them for doneness at about 25 minutes give or take. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thanks for answering my question before I even posted it.

  • I made this cake today. It took me a few hours and it came out beautiful, however, it tasted terrible. I’m sorry, I have to agree with some of the previous reviews. It was so dense, like a brick, and the frosting was way, way too sweet. I followed the recipe to the T; I even made sure to bring some of the ingredients to room temperature, as stated in the recipe. I threw out 75% of the cake, and was really embarrassed because everyone refused to eat it. What a disappointment!!! I will never make it again!

  • I just love this cake! Before your cookbook’s debut, I’ve filled a binder full of your recipes. Looking through it now looking for dinner. So glad I’ve found you!

  • I love your recipes, Jenn 🙂 I am making this cake for my niece’s birthday and I am wondering if I can use 2% milk instead of whole milk in the cake batter? Thanks 🙂

    • Yes that’s fine, Katie! So glad you’re enjoying the recipes. 😊

  • Fantastic! I made it for my husband’s birthday, adding a chocolate mousse filling and brushing the cake with espresso simple syrup. I can’t eat gluten or lactose, but my husband and kids loved it! I love your recipes!!

  • Hi Jenn, I want to make this vanilla cake for my daughter 3rd birthday. Can I add some color to the buttercream for the outside (yellow) and for the layer add fruit like (strawberry)for color too? Do you know how can I get yellow butter cream frosting?I would like something natural! Thanks again for all your help!!😍

    • Hi Fanny, you could add a few drops yellow food coloring to the icing to make the outside yellow and add fruit, like strawberries, between the layers. Hope you enjoy and happy birthday to your daughter! 🙂

      • Thanks so much! Other questions-
        What is going to be the oven Temperature for Cupcakes?
        How many minutes to bake?
        Are ingredients going to be the same?
        The batter to prepared muffins pans, has filled almost to the top?
        I am going to make for Easter.
        THANKS SO MUCH!! I really appreciate everything 😍

        • Hi Fanny, the oven temperature and ingredient amounts would remain the same for cupcakes, but they will take less time to bake – I’d start checking them at 20 minutes. This makes 24 cupcakes so make sure to evenly distribute the batter among the muffin wells. Hope everyone enjoys!

    • Hi Jenn, Thanks for always answering and thanks for your awesome recipes. Can I adapt this recipe for 6 ” round cake pans for 3 layers or 2? Thanks again

      • — Fanny on May 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Fanny, Glad you like the recipes! I do think you could use 6″ round cake pans and get 3 layers out of it. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

        • — Jenn on May 18, 2020
        • Reply
  • When I made the frosting it was quite grainy, I’m feeling i should have sifted the sugar?

    • Hi Brooke, Did you use confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar?

  • I want to make cupcakes for a party using this recipe. Can I make them a few days ahead and how should I store them so they are still moist and fresh and not dry out like some other recipes I have tried before?

    • Hi Sandy, to ensure freshness, I would make the cupcakes one day ahead at the most. I would suggest waiting until shortly before the party to frost the cupcakes. After removing the cupcakes from the oven, let them cool completely, wrap them in saran and refrigerate. A few hours before serving (you don’t want them to be cold), unwrap the cupcakes and frost them, then keep it at room temperature. Hope that helps!

  • I made this for my son’s 6th birthday. It was so fun to make, very easy and so yummy! It looked beautiful too!

  • Hi Jenn! My daughter’s 27th birthday is tomorrow (Dr. Seuss’s Birthday)! This is the third year in a row that she has requested this cake. It is her absolute favorite! I have made this for co-workers and friends as well and always get rave reviews. I was just planning my shopping list so I had to take a moment to thank you for this and all the wonderful recipes on your site. I can’t wait to get your cookbook!! Thank you for making me look good! 🙂

    • Aww, you’re welcome Laura. So happy you’re enjoying all the recipes! 😊

  • I plan on making this cake for my husband’s birthday with gluten free AP flour. Would you change anything else in the recipe ( amount of baking powder) if I’m making this substitution?
    Also, is it ok to make this a day ahead ? If so, would you store in the fridge ?
    Thanks in advance.:)

    • Hi Lisa, I’ve never made this with gluten-free flour, but a number of readers have commented that they have with no additional baking powder and have been happy with the results. Yes, it’s okay 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 everyone enjoys!

      • So helpful! Thank you !

  • I made a race car cake using this recipe for my son’s 3rd birthday. The cake is fabulous. The kids loved it and adults raved. In fact, my father in law commented that you just can’t buy cakes like this anymore…

    Mine, like others, was heavier than I expected, even though I opened a new can of baking powder after reading the reviews and was very careful to follow measurement instructions. It was not as dense as pound cake. Perhaps this is because I used a form pan with all of the batter?

    No matter – I will be using this recipe for years to come! Thanks, Jenn!!

    • Glad you enjoyed the cake, Lynn – I would love to see a photo (send to [email protected] if you have one!). And yes, baking all of the batter in one pan can definitely make the cake a bit heavier.

  • What kind of cake pans are you using in these pictures?

    • Hi Janice, the recipe calls for two 8-inch cake pans. Hope you enjoy!

  • How many cupcakes does this make?

    • Hi Jacqueline, It makes 24 cupcakes. 🙂

  • I used dark, non-stick pans and probably should have reduced the temp to 325. I ended up with an outside crust that was pretty crispy at 350. Could you make a note to use a lower temp when using dark pans?

    • Hi Christy, I’m sorry this got a little browner than you would’ve liked. I too use dark pans and have not experienced that issue, but if you find that’s the case for you, I would suggest either reducing the temp or baking time by just a bit.

  • Hi Jenn,
    I would like to use your buttercream recipe to create rosettes on a cake. Will it be stiff enough hold the shape?

    • Hi Katy, Unfortunately, this won’t be stiff enough to cooperate — But you can replace some or all of the butter with Crisco and it will be more stable.

  • Love this cake and the frosting! I used a 9 inch and the outside edge was a little brown and crusty so I cut it off. Why do u think this happened? How far in advance can I make the frosting? I would like to make it a few days early. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • Hi Lisa, So glad you enjoyed the cake! Was the outside edge burnt or just golden borwn? It’s normal for the exterior to brown, and the frosting will soften that edge right up — but if it was burnt, try reducing the baking time by about 5 minutes.

      • I would say more brown than burned but definitely a hard edge, next time i will leave it and see if the frosting softens it up. How much in advance can I make the frosting?
        Thank you!

        • Hi Lisa, I would only recommend making the frosting a day or two in advance if you’re going to frost the cake (so, in other words, the whole cake can be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance). If stored in the fridge, on it’s own, it would be hard to get the icing back to the same texture.

  • Can you use liquid egg whites in this recipe instead of cracking eggs?

    • Hi Mary, I generally don’t recommend liquid egg whites for baking– I’m sorry!

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for all the great recipes.
    I’m going to try this cake, but wanted to make it into a 13 x 9 instead. I was thinking I’d adjust the baking time to about
    35 – 40 minutes. Does this sound about right? Thanks again

    • I haven’t tried this recipe in that shaped pan and not certain it would rise evenly. That said, I’d start checking it at about 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it!

  • I just made the frosting to use with a different cake and it was WAY too sweet. I threw it away because it was so sugary you couldn’t taste the cream cheese or the vanilla at all. The texture seemed ok but would have preferred double the cream cheese and half of the sugar. Now that being said, I find that frostings are all too sweet (even the ones used by very successful and popular cupcake companies) so this one might be ok for most people but I was sugared out from it.

  • I have made this cake at least a dozen times now, and it is a HIT. My daughter requests it constantly and I’m on your site again today to make cupcakes with this recipe. Haha. Delicious! I’ve never had a problem with get it to turn out perfectly every time.

  • This is pound cake. Made it for my daughter’s birthday party and threw 75% of it away. Lesson learned, don’t go by reviews on a special occasion, always do a tried and true recipe.

    • Hi Amy, I’m so sorry the cake didn’t turn out well for you. It should be light in texture — definitely not like a pound cake. Did you by chance make any substitutions?

  • I am making the chocolate cupcakes and noticed yesterday that there was also a recipe for chocolate buttercream icing, an easier recipe than the one listed. The vanilla buttercream is still there, but the chocolate recipe vanished. I would dearly love to have it. Thx Jennifer.

    • Hi Donna, are you referring to this recipe? (I mentioned it as an alternative to the icing in the chocolate cupcake recipe.)

  • I will be making a fondant decorated cake with this cake recipe but have a question regarding the buttercream frosting. With fondant decorating I need a firmer consistency of frosting to allow for a smoother fondant appearance. I have usually in the past used a buttercream frosting with butter, confectioners sugar, and heavy whipping cream; in your opinion is the buttercream frosting from this recipe soft or more firm like what I have used previously?

    • Hi Megan, I think the consistency of the icing in this recipe would be similar to the one you’ve described.

  • I made cupcakes instead of a cake. I must say. They were the best ever. The flavor is amazing. A big hit for my coworkers birthday. I’m going to make the cake next time. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • At first, I thought that I had messed up because the cake batter had an unusual consistency; almost like a home-made whipped cream sort of texture. I put it in my cupcake tin and baked them anyways, and what I got was a batch of the sweetest, fluffiest vanilla cupcakes I have ever tasted. They were so light and delicious, and they definitely satisfied my sweet tooth. The buttercream frosting complimented them nicely. Will definitely be using this recipe again in the future!

  • Total failure, did not rise and came out a weird texture! In a way it’s kind of good but had to stay up until 2 am baking a second birthday cake for my toddler. Im sure it was my own error, I think I did something wrong maybe in the butter and sugar creaming- I don’t have a food processor, just normal beaters, and the butter was kind of cold so I might have over (or under) done it? Maybe I did not measure my flour carefully enough? My baking powder is not more than 6 months old…the photo looks so amazingly good that I would try it again, but definitely not the night before a big event unless I can learn from my mistakes!

    • Hi Hilary, I’m so sorry your cake didn’t turn out well! You should be able to make this cake with a hand held electric mixer — is that what you used? Next time, be sure the butter is softened (room temp) before beating with the sugar; this is what makes the cake light and fluffy. And in terms of measurements, baking is a science so definitely measure carefully. Hope you’ll give it another try!

  • Hi! I’m looking forward to making this cake for my son’s birthday. But I’m reading the reviews, I’m concerned that it will come out dense. Is there any preemptive advice you can give to avoid that? Should I use 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 cake flour? Also, I do not have a proper mixer. Just the handheld with whisk attachments. Will those do? Lastly, I am baking in high altitude; 6,500ft. Do I modify?

    • Hi Aimee, I’ve never made this with cake flour so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. If you do decide to go with 1/2 cake flour, I would increase the amount you use by a tablespoon or two. The handheld mixer should be fine and I’ve never baked at high altitudes so I don’t have a lot of wisdom to share, but these tips may help. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • Hi Jenn,

        I was so excited to make this, but in my practice run I found it to be very dry and somewhat dense. The flavor is great and I thank you for the great recipe, but I want it to be moist and fluffy. Any suggestions?

        • Ps – I followed the recipe with no modifications, except high altitude.

          • Hi Aimee, Just to be sure I understand, did you make any modifications to the recipe for high altitude?

            • — Jenn
        • Agreed! Same thing for me. A little dense but good flavor. Did baking it with cake flour help?

  • Eeek – I just put this in the oven and as I’m washing the dishes up realize I used a 1/3 c. measure instead of 1/2 c. measure for the sugar meaning I only put in 1 c. instead of 1 1/2 c. of sugar. The cake is for a birthday party – should I redo it or risk it?

    • Hi Kate, If it bakes up nicely — meaning the layers rise and look normal — I would still use it. The frosting is sweet enough to make up for the missing sugar. The cake won’t last as long as sugar keeps the cakes moist, but if you’re serving the cake today or tomorrow, I think it will be just fine. Please let me know how it turns out!

  • Could not have found an easier or more delicious scratch vanilla cake! Made it in a 9×13 glass pan because one of my 8″ rounds went missing. Way better than bakery taste. I changed the frosting ingredient amounts out of shear laziness: 8 oz bar cream cheese, 2 lb bag confectioners sugar, 2 sticks butter. I left the vanilla the same and added milk to the consistency I wanted. Had enough frosting left over to refrigerate then frost a couple dozen drop cookies. Used the 6 yolks to make an easy creme brûlée. Other than the calories, a win-win! Thank you, Jenn for this wonderful recipe. Family and I loved it.

  • Hi! I just wanted to know if you could possibly convert the ingredients to grams? I looked online but nearly every website had different values. Thanks!

    • Hi Crushelle, This recipe actually has metric conversions. To view them, scroll down to the recipe and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope you enjoy!

  • I made this cake for my adult son’s birthday. For the icing I substituted the cream cheese icing that I had left over from Jenn’s carrot cake recipe. I also added a few tablespoons of strawberry preserves to the icing which made the combination even better. Everything was super delicious. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    • Love that idea, Lynn. Glad everyone enjoyed it!

  • THIS CAKE IS SO GOOD! It is more like a pound cake consistency, so I would probably try whipping the egg whites and folding in next time to achieve a lighter final product. But tasted so good!

    This frosting will definitely be my go-to frosting recipe from now on. Except that I added an entire package of cream cheese, since this recipe doesn’t make enough to frost the entire layer cake. I just added a tablespoon of milk at a time until the consistency was right. YUM!

  • My husband is pretty picky when it comes to cake, with that being said, he actually loved this! I made it for his birthday and I was going to modify it a bit but I’m so glad that I didn’t because it was perfect the way it was. This is definitely a winner!

  • Like the others, this was a very dense cake. The outside of the cake was a little hard. I baked the cake for 29 minutes and followed the recipe to a T. The buttercream frosting was good, but that was about it.

    • Curious people complained about the denseness of this old-fashioned recipe. I made the cake and it turned out as the author said. Got to wondering..

      A couple of reasons for the denseness: 1. Measuring the flour incorrectly (spoon carefully into the measuring cup which adds air as you do), 2. Overcreaming at higher speed causes denseness, 3. Issues with gluten development, got to do this low speed as she said and get it done quickly, 4. I used cake flour, 5. Don’t overbake.

      Older recipes are interesting, think this one went back to my grandma’s era–I’m 70 so do the math.

  • How high should a single eight inch cake be post baking ?

    • It should be about 1 1/2 inches high.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I just made this recipe and it was a disaster. I only had medium sized eggs so I used one extra egg white. It came out very dense and a little eggy tasting. Should I have just stuck with the 6 whites? For some reason it’s hard to get large eggs here otherwise I would have just stuck with the recipe. The other flop was the icing. I used creme fraiche since I didn’t have cream cheese….anyways it curdled. Is there any way to save the icing? Will try this again another time.

    • Hi Rebecca, Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you. I don’t think the extra egg what would’ve made much of a difference. Is it possible that you measured something incorrectly as the cake should definitely not be dense? And regarding the icing, unfortunately, I’m not sure how that can be salvaged- sorry!

  • Loved your recipe. Always looking to try something new. Thanks.

  • Disappointed in the rising of the Vanilla White Cake recipe. I wish I had floured the sides of the pan after lightly spraying. I did use parchment paper on the bottom of my two 8 ” cake pans. Both cakes rose 1″ !!!!!!

    • Hi Linda, sorry to hear that the cake didn’t rise very much. Is your baking powder really old?

  • I was planning on making this cake for my daughter’s 19th birthday. I want to add strawberries in between the layers and decorate the outside with strawberries as well. Would this icing be a good choice for this?

    • Hi Lisa, I think that’d work; just be sure to keep it in a cool spot so the icing doesn’t get too soft.

  • I have a stand mixer, but I do not have a paddle attachment. I have normal beaters and light weight wire beaters. Which should I use?

    • — Judy Wheelock Cruse
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, I’d go with the normal beaters. Enjoy!

  • Finally got the courage to bake a birthday cake for my daughter! I followed your recipe to the dot and it was absolutely gorgeous. Everyone loved it, especially my daughter. THANK YOU

  • Absolutely wonderful!!! I made this last week and just made it again today. The cake & frosting is awesome!!! Thank you :)))

    • — Stephanie Stearns-McQueen
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, What is the baking time for the 24 cupcakes? Thanks, Phyllis

    • Hi Phyllis, The bake time for 24 cupcakes is 20-22 min. Enjoy!

  • I made this cake yesterday for my Mom’s birthday. I used 1% milk and all vanilla extract (no almond). I turned it into a Victoria sandwich cake with my own frosting recipe and jam. The entire family raved about it, saying it was the most delicious cake they’ve ever had. I will definitely make this again. Thank you!

  • Followed the directions and the cake was flat. It is a really dense cake also. Tasted good but not what I was going for. I read the previous reviews of people who had the same problem but I thought well maybe they did something wrong so I’ll give it a shot. Well, same thing happened to me.

  • I made this cake today and substituted a gluten free flour blend for the all purpose and I’m thrilled with the results. It was moist and flavorful for a gluten free cake. My sister in law was thrilled and I found a new white cake for family birthdays!

  • Just wondering how long in advance I can bake, ice and decorate with fondant the cake. Do I have to make it the same day or can I do it 1-2 days beforehand? Also, do I store it in the refrigerator because of the buttercream?

    • Hi Mila, I would say one day ahead at the most is best. Technically, it should be refrigerated, but I haven’t done that and it’s been fine.

  • I made this cake today but it came out very flat. Didn’t rise at all and I measured correctly. I feel maybe I should have beat the egg whites more to make it come out higher. Now to the store to buy one!

    • So sorry to hear it didn’t rise! Is your baking powder really old?

  • Would it be ok if I just added coco powder to this recipe to make it into a chocolate cake

    • Hi Kenzie, I wouldn’t suggest changing this recipe. Instead, I’d recommend my chocolate cupcake recipe— It can easily be made into a 9-inch layer cake.

  • Hi there-
    I followed the directions closely but the cake didn’t rise? Taste was good but it was flat and quite dense. Suggestions?

    • Hi Simone, I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t get a great result from the recipe! I’m wondering if perhaps you measured something incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method for measuring the flour?

  • This recipe looks awesome and I’m going to use it to make a baby shower cake…is there a way to make it a marble cake? ( vanilla and chocolate). Some recipes I have seen tell you just to keep a portion of the batter to the side and add cocoa powder.

    • Hi Heather, I’ve never tried this recipe for a marble cake…but I think it’d probably work with the cocoa powder – just be sure not to add too much as it will dry the cake out. Would love to know how it turns out if you try it!

  • Can this recipe be used for making cake pops in a cake pop maker? Or any suggestions for using a different recipe of yours?

    • Hi Carrie, I’d probably use this recipe instead – it’s a little sturdier.

  • Once again thank you for your delicious and easy to make recipes. I needed to make a birthday cake for Christmas Eve as it is my mother in law’s birthday and wanted to make something special outside of all our Christmas treats. I made this cake and paired with your chocolate butter cream but also added sprinkles to the batter to make a confetti cake. There was barely anything left and it was a huge success, especially with my mother in law. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes! Happy New Year!

  • Dear Jenn, I just made this cake for the 3rd time, and it never fails to impress….That was the only cake my 10 year old wanted for his birthday this past Sunday… Not a store bought cake with his favorite team decorated all over, but THIS cake. It was such a hit, looks like I’ll be making it again on Xmas Eve. Thanks again, Marlene

    • That warms my heart, Marlene. My 12-year-old daughter still asks for this cake every year on her birthday. Happy Holidays!

  • Dear Jenn, I just wanted to say thanks for this DELICIOUS recipe. I made it yesterday, with your chocolate frosting recipe, for my son’s 3rd birthday. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it, and I referred them to your site. I’m sure I will be searching your site for other tasty recipes in the near future. Thank you!

  • Hi, I am thinking to use 9 by 13 pan, do I need to double the recipe ? Would it work? Thank you.

    • Hi Ita, I haven’t tried this recipe in that shaped pan and not certain it would rise evenly. That said, if you’re only using one 9 x 13″ pan, I don’t think you’d need to double the recipe.

    • I’m curious if Ita tried the rectangular 9 x 13 pan as i would like to do the same and curious about measurements

  • What changes must I make, if any, to make this in a dome shaped pan( half a soccer ball)?

    • Hi Janhavi, Unless the pan you’re planning on using is significantly larger or smaller than 8 or 9-inch round pans, I don’t think you’d need to make any changes, but definitely keep an eye on it while baking.

  • I made this with cake flour (before I spotted the Q&A about cake flour). I used some batter to make mini cupcakes, and they were a bit slight, too light almost to hold up to being frosted (at least right away, when they were barely cool). They didn’t crack (at least, the ones I didn’t overfill) or crumble, but some paper began to peel off while handling. And they dented easily on removing from the pan, so a few were sacrificed. But we persisted and they received rave reviews. With the remaining batter, I made a single round layer, and it was perfect. Held up to frosting and had a perfect crumb/texture as well as amazing flavor, even better the next day.

  • How many cups is 1 1/2 sticks of butter?

    • That would be 3/4 cup. Hope you enjoy the cake!

  • Sorry- one more question. Can I freeze this? I have frozen cakes in the past, well wrapped, for about 4-5 days. Can I do that with this?

    • Hi Chitra, Yes, the cake (w/o the frosting) can be wrapped in saran wrap and then foil and frozen. Just frost it after removing it from the freezer.

  • Hi! I have made 4 or 5 of your recipes so far and they have all been huge hits with my family and friends (so thank you!!)
    Regarding this cake- should I fluff up the flour in my flour container before I spoon into a measuring cup or should I spoon before “fluffing” it up? I know it would be a different amount of flour based on the answer. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Chithra, so glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! No need to fluff the flour– just spoon into a measuring cup and level off. Hope you like the cake!

  • Today is the big day…so excited to make this cake for my daughters 5th birthday party. I will be making a 5 or 6 (layer cake) in a 9 inch pan so the layers are a little thinner. Im guessing I will probably need double the icing? Is it better to duble everything or make 2 separate batches? Using 12 cups of icing sugar seems like a lot…any suggestions? *** have you tried piping this icing with a cake tip for some decorative embellishments? Wish me luck!

    • Hi Cynthia, Yes, I’d probably make two separate batches — it makes a lot as is and you may not need to double the recipe. Another half-batch might do, plus not sure the mixer could handle all that butter and 12 cups of sugar at once :). This frosting isn’t the best for piping since it’s made with so much butter — if the cake is in a warm spot, the decorations will start to droop. For piping anything elaborate, you’re better off with a heat resistant buttercream made from Swiss meringue. You can also use shortening in place of all or half of the butter in this recipe, but it won’t taste nearly as good. Happy 5th birthday to your daughter. I hope she loves the cake!

  • Thanks for the recipe.

    I just halved the recipe and baked it in one 6 inch tin.

    The cake came out domed …does using a smaller tin affect the evenness of the top layer when baking? Anything I should look out for to prevent a dome shaped cake .

    • Hi Chris, Yes, I think that using a tin that small could make the cake dome a bit. (I actually don’t mind a bit of a dome on my cakes, but I know that’s a personal preference.)

  • Hi Jenn, I plan to make this cake and frost it with a white chocolate ganache. Since the ganache would be sweet, I would like to keep the sweetness of the cake as low as possible. Would 1 1/4 cups sugar work well? Or can I reduce it further more by a tablespoon?

    • Hi Prabs, I think you could get away with reducing the sugar by 1/4 cup. I wouldn’t do any more than that as I’m not sure how it would affect the texture of the cake.

  • I would really like to try this recipe however, my son has an egg allergy. Can I use ener-g egg replacer or some other substitute for the eggs?

    • Hi Michelle, I haven’t tried this with an egg replacer, but some other readers have with success. Hope you enjoy!

  • Is it possible to make 12 or 18 large cupcakes instead of 24 with the recipe? I know the cook time will increase, but I was wondering if it would change the texture.

    Thank you

    • You’re right that the bake time will increase, but I think the texture will be okay. (I would probably not make any fewer than 18 cupcakes with this amount of batter.)

      • Thanks Jenn. What bake time would you suggest for 18 cupcakes? A time wasn’t posted for baking cupcakes so I’m not really sure what the baseline would be.

        I’m making these Saturday and I’ll be sure to leave a review once they have been devoured 🙂

        • Hi Emma, hard to say for sure as I haven’t prepared them this way, but I would suggest starting to check them at around 25 minutes.

          • I went off script with this recipe but it still came out wonderful. I cut the recipe in half and made six good sized cupcakes. The cook time was 24 minutes.

            They were delicious and tender. Not heavy at all, I will definitely use this recipe again when I need to whip up a vanilla cake!

            • — Emma
  • I don’t have any almond extract, will the cake still taste good?

    • Definitely! Just use an extra 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract in place of the almond.

  • Hello Jen!
    I want to thank you for posting this vanilla cake recipe. I made it for my daughter’s 2 year birthday and it was delicious! It came out really well unlike so many other recipes I tried before.
    Thank you again:)

  • Can I use cake flour instead ? And would it be the same measurements?

    • I would encourage you to stick with the recipe as is– the texture is perfect (And I’ve never tried this cake with cake flour so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out.) If you do attempt to make this with cake flour, I would increase the amount you use by a few tablespoons. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn! I’m excited to try this recipe for my sister’s birthday.

    Can I use an 8″x 8″ square pan instead of a round pan for this?


    • Yes Gayle, that will work. (You’ll obviously need two pans this size.) Hope you enjoy!

  • This is a wonderful cake for any reason. I made a 5 layer birthday cake. I had so many compliments on the cake, all I could do was smile my appreciation.

    Thank you for this recipe, many have asked for it.


    • — Elizabeth Balanko
    • Reply
  • 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

    • 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 :).

  • Is it possible to lessen the amount of sugar in the frosting? If so, how many cups would work?

    • 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.

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

  • 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!

    • 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!

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

    • 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!

  • 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.


    • 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.

  • can I make his cake with out almond extract?

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

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • Can i bake this cake in a 9×9 pan?? Thanks for your help

    • Hi Maribel, are you planning on using one or two 9×9 pans?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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)!

  • 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

    • 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).

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • This was the most delicious cake I have ever made!

  • 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!

    • Yes Ashley, I think you’d need to double the recipe if you’re using two 9 x 13 pans.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • Hi, I think you could get away with using either the bean or the paste! Hope you enjoy.

  • 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, the cake gets baked at 350 degrees. Hope you enjoy it!

  • 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!!

    • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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? 🙂

        • 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.

  • 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.


    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Hi Ana Luisa, I’d say it serves 14 easily.

      • 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!

  • Hello, should the dry ingredients be sifted??

    • Hi Tristian, It’s not necessary for the dry ingredients to be sifted. Enjoy!

  • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Hi Chris, I would use this recipe instead. You can use either frosting. Enjoy!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • That’s correct, Julie. Hope you and your daughter enjoy!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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!

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

    • It’s fine to skip the almond extract-just replace it with the equivalent amount of vanilla extract. Enjoy!

  • 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.

    • Sounds pretty, Deb! I hope you’ll email me photos!

      • turned out GREAT!! I do have pics, but don’t know how to send them to you. the cake is delicious!!

        • So glad, Deb! My email is [email protected]. I would love to see!

          • Can I still make this if I only have access to salted butter?

            • — mandy
          • Yes, but I would cut out the added salt in the recipe. While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can skip the added 1/4 tsp. salt here.

            • — Jenn
  • 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, 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

    • Hi Renee, I think it will hold up, but I’m not sure how good the cake will taste frozen.

  • 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.

  • Hi,
    This recipe looks great! Can I half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes and have the same quality? Thank you!

    • 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!

  • Can you add cocoa to the frosting? My son wants chocolate frosting?

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • Hi Leslie, I’ve heard the high altitude can be a significant challenge. Here are some tips that may help a little bit!

    • 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 😉

  • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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
  • 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!

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

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

  • 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.

    • 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,

    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?

    • 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!

  • 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 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • How do you think this cake would fare if I added chocolate chips?

    • 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 🙂

  • I have a child with a nut allergy – can this cake be made (and still be delicious) without the almond extract?

    • Definitely– you can replace the almond extract with more vanilla.

  • Thanks Jen. Will be trying this recipe over the weekend.

    Thanks again.

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

  • Jen,

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


    • Hi, the equivalent measurement would be 4 ounces. Thanks!

  • 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! 🙂

    • 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!

  • 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)

  • Could you use one springfoam pan and cook for longer and then cut the cake in two?

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Yes Silvia, I think you could get away with carving this cake into a different shape. Happy birthday to your son!

  • 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?

    • Also, can I add sprinkles into the mix to make it a confetti cake? If so, how much would you recommend?

      • Hi Amy, How fun. I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work — maybe a cup?

    • 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.

      • Great, thank you! I look forward to trying it!

  • 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!

  • 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

    • Hi Jackie, There are 113 grams in a stick of butter. And, yes, I believe all purpose is the same as plain.

  • Can I use cake flour instead? If so how much? Thanks!

    • 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 🙂

    • Hi. Did u try it with the cake flour? How much of it did u use and how did it turn out

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

    • Yes, absolutely. Spray the pan and cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20-22 minutes.

      • Great thank you!

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Hi Suzy, I guess technically it should be refrigerated but, to be honest, I never do and it’s always perfectly fine 🙂

  • 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 🙁

  • Hello, I’m wondering if your recipe would be good for making cake pops?

    • Hi Fiona, Yes, it should work. Please let me know how they turn out 🙂

  • How long would you say for cupcakes? Just cooked them for 30mins and definitely way too long.

    • Hi Jade, Cook time for 24 cupcakes is 20-22 min.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • Yes, more confectioners’ sugar will thicken it up.

  • 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!

    • Hi Jennifer, I think you’d need to double the recipe.

      • 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!

  • Could I use store bought egg whites rather than 6 large egg whites? if so how many cups please? Thanks.

    • Hi Kumu, I don’t recommend it. Sorry!

  • 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. 🙁

    • 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:

      Good luck and please let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • 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
    • Reply
    • Hi Crystal, Yes the egg yolks will do it — it must be made with whites only. Hope you’ll try it again 🙂

  • 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!

  • Hello! I’d like to decorate like one of these:

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

    • 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 🙂

      • 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!

        • Hi Dorothy, Should be enough. Enjoy and pls let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • 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?

    • Hi Simonne, I’m not familiar with a number 9 cake tin — can you give me the dimensions?

      • 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!

        • 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.

  • 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.

    • Thanks, Cameron — I love that idea!

  • Hi there, I was wondering if it is possible to add raspberries into the cake batter just before cooking?

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Hi Sara, Unfortunately, this frosting won’t hold well for decorating, especially not in the Florida heat. Sorry!

      • 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

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

        • 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.

  • Is it possible to freeze this vanilla cake or how well does it keep? Thanks!

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Hi Yvonne, Yes, the frosting is sweet and perfect for this cake. Enjoy!

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

  • 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.

    • Yes, that’s perfectly fine — it will still be moist and delicious the next day.

  • 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

    • Hi Skye, So glad you like the cake 🙂 For two 10-inch pans, I would multiply the recipe by 1.5. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn! So is it 350 degrees for the cupcakes too?

  • 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. :

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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!


    • 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 🙂

    • Will do, thanks 🙂

      • 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.

        • Please do, Alana. I would love to see it.

  • 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

    • Hi Sandy, Yes, it’s fine to omit the almond extract — just replace with more vanilla. And, yes, the icing may be colored 🙂

  • 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!

    • Good to know, Memie. Thank you!

      • Wow that’s great!
        Now has anyone tried it with glutin-free flour?
        I use cup for cup glutin free flour.

  • Hi, I was wondering if it is necessary to use whole milk? Also is there any way I could incorporate strawberries for the filling?

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

  • Hi Jenn

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



  • 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…

    • 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?

      • 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.

  • 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!

  • Can the vanilla birthday cake be frozen? If yes, how should it be defrosted?

    • Hi Elke, The cake may be frozen without the frosting; let it defrost at room temperature.

  • 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

    • Hi Penelope, I’ve never tried it but it should work. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • 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!

    • Hi Judy, Yes, your cake will be much higher.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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,

  • 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!

  • I can use this for cupcakes right?..

  • Instead of milk can I use almond milk. Dairy allergies in the house. Thanks.

    • Hi Lynne, Yes, I think almond milk should be fine.

  • 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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Hi Jenn, I’ll be testing it out first. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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?

    • Hi Sasha, 1-1/2 cups means one cup plus another 1/2 cup.

  • 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?

    • 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 🙂

  • My vanilla cupcakes turned out more spongy than a crumb like texture. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Linda, Happy to help troubleshoot. Did you make any substitutions?

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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

    • Hi Katy, Unfortunately, I don’t have the ingredients in grams. Sorry!

  • 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

  • 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, What size glass pan are you thinking?

      • 9 inch.

        • Metal pans are always best for baking cakes but two 9-inch glass pans should be ok — just reduce the temp by 25 degrees.

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

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

    • Hi Kelly, I would say one day ahead, at the most. Hope you and your son enjoy it!

  • Hello I was wondering of just using egg whites can you use the whole egg?

    • 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.

  • I was interested in white cake recipe using whole eggs. Tried to Google and could not find. Thank you

    • Just emailed it to you, Stacey. Hope you enjoy!

  • 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 ?

    • Hi Fatima, I’m emailing it to you now. Both cakes are quite light, but sturdy enough to slice.

  • 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!

    • Hi Azra, I will email you a recipe directly 🙂

  • 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.

    • Just emailed it to you, Sandra.

  • Is the baking temperature and baking time the same as the cake for making the 24 cupcakes?? 🙂

    • 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, what are your thoughts on using salted butter for this cake recipe?

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

  • 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.

    • Hi Gail, It’s fine to add food coloring to the buttercream; I’ve done it many times myself.

  • 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!!

  • 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 .

    • Hi Fatima, I’m sorry, the cake won’t bake properly in one pan — you definitely need two.

  • 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 🙂

    • 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.

  • 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?

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

  • Can you successfully make your Vanilla Birthday Cake a sheet cake? Should I increase ingredients?

    • 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?

  • I only have skim milk-will this ruin the cake??? Any suggestions?

    • 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!

  • 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

    • 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?

  • Looks delicious – how would flavor change if you used the entire egg instead of just the white? Would it be richer?

    • 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 🙂

      • 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.

        • Hi Lyna, Yes, I will email it to you!

          • Hi Jenn,
            I would also like the recipe using whole eggs please!

            • — Ling
          • Hi Ling, Just emailed it to you!

            • — Jenn
          • 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 is the dry run for next weeks main event

            • — Stephanie
          • Hi Stephanie, Recipe is on the way. It makes the full 2 layer cake — no need to double the recipe 🙂

            • — Jenn
      • Can you please send me the recipe using whole eggs? Thanks 🙂

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • 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!

  • Hi Jenn,

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


    • 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.

    • Also, you might try – it’s a great site for finding recipes with or without specific ingredients.

  • I was just wondering if you make this birthday cake as a 9 by 13 how long you would need to bake it. Thanks!

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • How long would you cook these if making cupcakes? Thanks!

    • 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!

  • 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!

  • I was wondering if you could incorporate sour cream into this recipe? Thanks.

    • I’m afraid not, Kayla. Sorry!

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • If I use food coloring do I still need to use egg whites only?

    • Hi Jackie, Yes, it shouldn’t make a difference.

  • 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

    • Hi Jackie, It’s fine to use food coloring.

  • 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 🙂

    • 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.

  • Hi there, are the measurements Australian Metric or US Metric? Thanks

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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 🙂

    • 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,

    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.

    • Hi Carolyn, It is totally fine to leave it out. You can use lemon extract instead if you like.

  • I made these as cupcakes for my son’s second birthday. They were great! Thanks!

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • Do you have to have a mixer?

    • 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.

  • 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?

    • Hi Liesel, Save them for Creme Anglaise ( I’m posting Molten Chocolate Cakes this coming week, which would be perfect with it.

      • 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.

        • Sounds pretty, Liesel. So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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).

  • 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.

  • What’s a paddle attachment? The spiral for heavy dough?

    • The paddle attachment is the flat beater with a triangular shape.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Wonderful! My Mom just told me how much she likes white cakes and this will be perfect for 81st Birthday celebration next week. Thanks

  • 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, it should work just fine – just up the speed on your mixer as it isn’t as powerful as a stand mixer.

  • 2 questions.
    1.) How many ounces of cream cheese is 9 Tbsps?
    2.) Can I substitute evaporated milk for whole milk?

    • 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.

  • 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?

    • Hi Liz, Here’s my favorite foolproof chocolate frosting (from Cook’s Illustrated):


      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.


      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.

      • Thank you. I will give this a try.

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