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Slice of vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles on a white plate.
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5 from 8 votes

Vanilla Cake Recipe

This fluffy and tender homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe is the absolute best! Top it with creamy vanilla frosting or the frosting of your choice. You'll come back to this classic recipe again and again.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 307kcal

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour*
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract optional, but highly recommended
  • cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup milk preferably whole or 2%, room temperature

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened, but still cool to the touch
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (plus more, if needed) sifted if lumpy
  • 1+ tablespoons half and half or whole milk
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract optional, but highly recommended
  • pinch salt optional

Instructions

Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the center.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (preferred) or a hand mixer, beat sugar, oil, eggs, egg whites, and extracts until combined. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. While still beating, slowly add milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Be careful not to overmix it.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9x13** baking pan and smooth the top. Tap/gently drop the pan on the countertop a couple times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If necessary, rotate the pan once during bake time to ensure even browning. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

  • Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and half of the powdered sugar until well-combined (starting out the mixer low and increasing to medium-high). Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar (while beating), followed by extracts and 1 tablespoon half and half (plus salt, if using).
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat well for 1-2 minutes. Add more half and half, a little bit at a time, if needed to thin. Alternately, add a little more powdered sugar, if needed to thicken. Beat well after each addition. 

Notes

*To properly measure flour: Fluff the flour with your measuring cup, scoop a heaping portion, then level it off with the back of a knife. 
**This batter can also be split between two 8-inch round pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment and grease the pans before adding the batter. Bake time will be between 23-27 minutes; until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
EGGS AND MILK: To quickly bring eggs and milk to room temperature place the four eggs in a bowl of really warm tap water for about 5 minutes. Microwave the milk to take the chill off, about 15 seconds.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.9mg