Moist Vanilla Cake

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This vanilla cake recipe is moist, light, and airy, probably the best cake you will ever make. Delicious on its own but even better when filled and frosted for a celebration. Perfect to cover with fondant or stacked for tiered cakes.

Slice of cake on a plate.
Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

As a professional cake decorator, I have been using this cake for many years and have always received rave reviews of how delicious and moist yet light and airy it is. Often people are surprised that this cake is made from scratch and not from a box!

It is also a very versatile cake. You can use it with frosting as well as fillings such as strawberry, blueberry, or other fruit fillings. One of my favorite cake filling with this is custard or pastry cream filling.

If you need a stable cake to stack at the bottom of a 4 tier wedding cake? This is it! I have used it to cover with fondant as well as modeling chocolate.

Ingredinets and substitutes

  • Flour – I like cake flour for this recipe becuase it lends a wonderful soft cake with a tender crumb. If you do not have cake flour you can make your own cake flour subsitute
  • Sour cream – while Greek yogurt is a great substitue for sour cream, you can aso make your own at home.
  • Vanilla – I think vanilla bean paste is perfect to use for this cake but you can certainly use vanilla extract or subsitute some of the sugar for vanilla sugar.
  • Fat – a combination of butter and oil makes this cake stable as well as light and airy.
A slice of frosted cake on a plate with vanilla frosting.
Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Frequently asked questions

How long will this cake keep?

Unfrosted this cake will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Well wrapped in the fridge it will keep for a week. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Once frosted, it will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. In the fridge for a week and can be frozen for up to a month.

How to freeze cakes?

If you can’t use a cake immediately, I always recommend freezing rather than chilling. I find the freeze does a better job of locking in moisture as compared to the fridge.
Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then in parchment paper. If you plan to freeze it for longer, wrap it in aluminum foil again. The parchment will prevent freezer burns while the aluminum will keep the smell of other foods from getting into the cake.

What is the difference between a white cake and a vanilla cake?

The main difference is the use of egg whites as compared to whole eggs. The absence of egg yolks in a white cake gives it a lighter and brighter batter which bakes whiter than other vanilla cakes. Using white butter or oil makes a white cake appear whiter too!

Can I use this to make 8-inch cakes?

Absolutely! the recipe card below will calculate this recipe from 6 to 16 inches for you. Just use the automatic calculator below
1 x makes 2 x 6-inch round cakes
2x makes 2 x 8-inch round cakes
3x makes 2 – 10 inch round cakes
4x makes 2 x 12 inch round cakes, etc

A slice of vanilla cake on a plate.
Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe
Pinterest image for vanilla layer cake.
Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Slice of cake on a plate.

Moist Vanilla Cake

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Decorating time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Calories: 134kcal
Custom Cake Size: 12 servings


This vanilla cake recipe is moist, light, and airy, probably the best cake you will ever make. Delicious on its own but even better when filled and frosted for a celebration. Perfect to cover with fondant or stacked for tiered cakes.

Please note the values – 1x= 6-inch cake, 2x =8-inch cake, 3x =10 inch cake, etc,


2 x 6-inch round cakes

    Cake batter

    • ¼ cup (60 g) Butter room temperature, unsalted.
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) Cooking oil
    • 1 cup (200 g) Sugar
    • 2 cups (250 g) Cake flour
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
    • 1 tsp Baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp ( ) Salt
    • 2 Eggs separated
    • ½ cup (120 ml) Sour cream
    • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract

    Vanilla buttercream

    • 1 cup (227 g) Butter room temperature, unsalted.
    • 4 cups (480 g) Powdered sugar
    • ½ tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
    • ¼ cup (59.15 ml) Milk or water

    Simple syrup

    • ½ cup Sugar
    • 1 cup Water
    • 1 tsp Lemon juice
    ADJUST SERVINGS HERE – 12 servings


    Cake batter

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F /165°C/ Gas Mark – 3
    • Grease and line 2 x 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
    • Dry ingredients – Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and oil. Whip for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    • Next add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla bean paste or extract.
      Pro tip– adding eggs one at a time will prevent the eggs from curdling. If the batter does curdle just add a tablespoon of flour to help stabilize it.
    • Next, add the flour and sour cream in three batches. Combine well but do not over mix.
      Pro tip – we do not want to activate the gluten in the flour so work gently once you add the flour.
    • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
      Pro tip – using baking/ cake strips for your pans will prevent a dome and excess caramelization around the edges which looks better for layer cakes.
    • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
      Pro tip – always cool cakes completely before decorating otherwise the frosting will melt on warm cakes.

    Vanilla buttercream

    • In the bow of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
    • Then, add the salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is in add the water or milk and vanilla extract.
    • Continue to whip for 2 to 3 minutes until the buttercream is pale but light and fluffy.

    Sugar Syrup

    • To prepare the simple syrup, boil the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil a minute more – then cool completely.


    • Using a bread knife or cake leveler, level each cake layer by cutting the domes off. Brush each layer with simple syrup.
      Pro tip – Watch a video – how to level, torte, and fill cake like a pro.
    • Place the first layer on the cake board or cake stand. Add a dollop of buttercream and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Then, place the second layer on top. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
      Pro tip – chilling the cake will help hold the two layers together and prevent them from moving while frosting the outside.
    • Add more frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the buttercream as best you can.
      Pro tip – an offset spatula for the top and a straight-edged spatula for the sides of the cake does a better job of smoothing. You can also dip a bench scraper in warm water for final smoothing
    • Transfer any remaining buttercream to a piping bag with a piping tip. Pipe a border on the top and bottom of the cake. Alternatively, this cake can be coved with fondant as well.

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    Nutrition Information
    Nutrition Facts
    Moist Vanilla Cake
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 134 Calories from Fat 45
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 5g8%
    Saturated Fat 3g19%
    Cholesterol 58mg19%
    Sodium 79mg3%
    Potassium 64mg2%
    Carbohydrates 19g6%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 11g12%
    Protein 3g6%
    Vitamin A 190IU4%
    Calcium 22mg2%
    Iron 0.7mg4%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

    Keywords – Vanilla, Vanilla Sponge Cake
    Did you make this recipe? or use a tutorial posted here?Mention @cakedecoratingtutorials or #tag on Instagram #cakedecoratingtutorials

    More vanilla cakes by Veena

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    1. Loved this recipe so much. We made it for our daughters birthday. Of course, my decorations were not so great but the cake was delicious. I also used your Velvet Buttercream which is out of this world

      1. Thank you, Chris. Happy you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you, for coming back to write this feedback.

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