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Easy Simple Vanilla Cake

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Easy Simple Vanilla Cake with buttercream icing and sprinkles. Sometimes you only want it plain, but still super delicious and this is it

Master the art of baking with this Simple Vanilla Cake recipe

Deliciously Simple Vanilla Cake

A simple vanilla cake embodies elegance through simplicity, capturing hearts with its comforting flavor and the versatility it offers in the world of desserts. Whether you seek a base for experimental baking or a classic treat, this cake serves as a canvas, ready to adapt to any occasion. Its preparation merges the ease of basic ingredients with the opportunity for creativity in decoration, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced bakers.

Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe

Begin by gathering your ingredients: 4 large eggs, 1 cup of milk, 2 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 3 cups of flour, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 cup of unsalted butter. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Ready two 8″ cake pans by greasing them and lining them with parchment paper.

Combine eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Using a stand mixer at low speed, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, add butter and the remaining milk, mixing until the batter is light and fluffy. Gradually incorporate the egg mixture in three parts, blending for 30 seconds between each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean. Let the cakes cool completely after they come away from the pan sides easily.

The main points to remember about this Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe:

  • Foundation of Baking: Vanilla cake is a basic yet versatile dessert that lays the groundwork for creative baking.
  • Simple Ingredients: Utilizing everyday ingredients, this cake emphasizes ease in baking.
  • Customization: Offers endless possibilities for decoration and flavor adaptations, perfect for any event or personal preference.

Scrumptious Buttercream Icing

Begin crafting the buttercream icing by meticulously cleaning your mixing bowl and whisk. Start whipping 10 large egg whites at a low speed until they form a foamy consistency akin to the head on a beer. Gradually increase the speed, adding 2 cups of granulated sugar bit by bit. Once fully incorporated, escalate the mixer to high speed, continuing until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy, indicative of a well-formed meringue that maintains its shape when the whisk is lifted. Integrate 2 1/2 pounds of room-temperature unsalted butter into the mix, cutting it into small pieces before blending at medium speed. During this phase, the mixture may seem to curdle or separate, resembling cottage cheese, but persistence with the whipping will eventually yield a cohesive, smooth icing.

For storage, the buttercream icing can comfortably sit on the counter or be refrigerated, based on your immediate needs. If not applying the icing straightaway, remember it firms up when cool. Therefore, ensure it reaches room temperature before applying it to the cake for optimal spreadability. This method equips you with a lusciously light and subtly sweet icing that marvelously complements the vanilla cake’s delicateness, crafting a harmony of flavors and textures that cater to a wide range of palates.

Irresistible Cake Decor Tips

Transform your vanilla cake into a visual masterpiece with buttercream icing as your canvas. Follow these decor tips to elevate not only the look but also the flavor profile of your dessert.

  • Colorful Swirls: Use food coloring to divide your buttercream into batches of different colors. With a piping bag, create swirls or flowers to introduce a vibrant contrast against the cake’s base color.
  • Textured Effects: Employ various piping tips to add texture. A star tip can produce rosettes, while a petal tip helps to fashion ruffles. These details bring dimension to your cake’s appearance.
  • Edible Toppings: Adorn your cake with an assortment of edible decor such as fresh fruit, nuts, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles. These add a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor.
  • Themed Decorations: Tailor your cake to an event theme by adding specific decorations like sugar flowers for a garden party or fondant figures for a birthday celebration.
  • Drip Effect: For a touch of elegance, add a ganache drip along the edges of your cake. The contrast between the buttercream and a chocolaty drip does wonders for both presentation and taste.

Easy Simple Vanilla Cake

an image of an Easy Simple Vanilla Cake with colored sprinkles

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5 from 1 review

Craving something sweet? Try this Easy Simple Vanilla Cake recipe. It’s perfect for every occasion or just a casual dessert at home.

  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Icing and decorating: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices depending on size 1x
  • Category: Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies and Tarts
  • Method: Easy


Units Scale

Cake Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter

Buttercream icing:

  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar.
  • 2 1/2 pounds unsalted butter at room temp


  1. Heat your oven to 350°F / 180°C and get two 8-inch cake pans ready (grease them and line with parchment paper).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, ¼ cup of milk, and vanilla.
  3. In a stand mixer set to low speed, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  4. Add butter and the remaining milk. Increase the speed and mix until the batter becomes light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the milk mixture in 3 parts, mixing for 30 seconds between each addition.
  6. Scrape down the bowl again, give it one final mix, then pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  7. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. The cake will slightly pull away from the sides of the pans, making it easier to remove.
  9. Let the cakes cool completely.
  10. Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are perfectly clean before making the buttercream.
  11. Whip the egg whites on low speed until they become foamy, like the foam on a beer. Increase the speed to medium and gradually add sugar.
  12. Once all the sugar is added, switch to high speed and whip until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny.
  13. The texture should resemble a meringue and hold its shape when the whisk is lifted.
  14. Now, gradually add small chunks of butter at medium speed.
  15. At first, it might look like the meringue is breaking, resembling cottage cheese.
  16. Just keep whipping, and after a few minutes, it will come back together.
  17. Depending on the weather, this process might take anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes.
  18. When the buttercream is ready, it will be smooth.
  19. If you’re not using the buttercream right away, you can store it on the counter or in the fridge.
  20. However, it will firm up when cold, so always bring it to room temperature before spreading it on the cake.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 1153
  • Sugar: 55.6 g
  • Sodium: 239.4 mg
  • Fat: 90.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 55.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 81.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 9.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 296.1 mg

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The nutrition facts provided are automatically calculated. They might change depending on the specific ingredients you use or any adjustments you make to the recipe. If these numbers are significant to you, it’s best to calculate them yourself.

an image of an Easy Simple Vanilla Cake with colored sprinkles
Bake, enjoy, repeat. Try this Easy Simple Vanilla Cake today

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18 thoughts on “Easy Simple Vanilla Cake”

  1. Oh my goodness! I am drooling at the butter icing – I love cake, but the icing is always my favourite bite! 🙂 Vanilla cake is so versatile and will still always be so yummy! Sim x #SSPS

  2. Interesting–I have never tried buttercream with egg whites! I love the simplicity of this cake because, as you mentioned, you can add to it easily–themed decorations, edible decor, etc. Thanks for sharing this post with us at the Will Blog for Comments #38 linkup. Hope to see you next week at #39, too!

  3. Esme, I have pinned this recipe. This is also a recipe I can make. Did I ever mention, I can not cook. My husband is the chef in our family. However, I can do this one!!! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing.
    Take care and best wishes.

    • Thanks for pinning this one Debra, and I am sure you can cook and bake. Baking to me is more of a science than cooking. Anyway, hope you will enjoy this cake.


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