Looking for a vanilla cake recipe? This homemade white cake is kept fluffy by folding in whipped egg whites. It has a velvety texture and is great as a layer cake!
Best Vanilla Cake Recipe
Everyone needs a traditional vanilla cake recipe in their recipe box. A cake that is good for birthday layer cakes, sheet cakes and as the base of creative fruit cakes. This is our cake recipe for all of that and more.
Homemade Vanilla Cake
Homemade cakes are definitely a different texture than store-bought cake mixes. The tend to have better flavor and more of a velvety crumb texture. This recipe does not turn out dry, but does have a more compactness to it. That makes this recipe ideal for layer cakes. It holds up well to lots of frosting!
How to Make Vanilla Cake
The most important tip for making this from scratch cake is to whip the egg whites until they can hold stiff peaks, then set them aside. Once you have the rest of the ingredients mixed together, you’ll carefully fold in the whipped eggs to the batter. Don’t mix the batter too roughly or too much at this point. Mix just until the egg whites are incorporated, then divide the batter between the cake pans. The whipped eggs help to keep this cake lighter than other cakes.
Divide the batter between 2 9″ cake pans that you’ve both greased and floured. This will help the cake layers to come out cleanly.
I like to test if a cake is done by touching the center of the cake. If it springs back when you touch it, it is done. You can also use a toothpick to test it.
Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
What is the Difference Between All-Purpose Flour and Cake Flour?
Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour which leads to a softer cake. I highly recommend cake flour for this recipe for a tender homemade cake. All-purpose flour is great for breads, muffins, pancakes and even some cakes. But if a recipe calls for cake flour, you should definitely use it for the best results.
Can I Substitute Anything for Vanilla Extract?
Yes, you can use almond extract, rum extract or even a fruit extract if you’d like a different flavor.
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
Looking for a gluten free version of this cake? You’ll find it right here.
Frosting for Vanilla Cake
Tools to Make This Cake
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- 9” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
- Straight Icing Spatula: The long straight spatula makes it easy to smooth frosting.
- Wire Cooling Racks: This will help your cakes cool more quickly.
- Wilton 1M Tip: For piping pretty swirls on cupcakes.
Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups cake flour* (345 grams spooned & measured carefully)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk ( 2% milkfat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup egg whites plus 3 tablespoons*
- Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until they are stiff and form peaks. This may take a minute or two. Pour the egg whites into another bowl and place them in the refrigerator until you're ready to add them to the batter.
- Using the same bowl that you used to beat the egg whites, place the softened butter in and cream the butter for about 2 minutes (using the beater blade attachmenuntil it is white in appearance.
- Add the sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy (about another 1-2 minutes).
- In a small bowl, combine the flour (measured carefully*), salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture alternately with the milk.
- Add the stiffly beaten eggs to the cake batter. Fold the egg whites in gently. Do not overmix at this point. If you do, your cake will become more dense.
- Grease and flour 2 9" round cake pans. Pour the cake batter equally into the prepared cake pans.
- Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes or until the top bounces back when you touch it.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and remove them from the pans to a wire rack, allowing them to cool completely.