This Easy Vanilla Cake is sweet, moist, and perfect for dressing up on various holidays! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, whip out those heart shaped sprinkles and decorate this homemade cake for someone special in your life. Whether it’s for your kids, spouse, or gal pals, everyone will want a second slice of this classic vanilla cake!

A pink frosted cake is presented on a white cake stand and topped with pink, white, and red sprinkles.

Easy Vanilla Cake

To be totally honest, I’m pretty guilty of using box cake mixes probably more than I should. They’re easy, and usually pretty tasty! With that being said, some cake recipes deserve your time and effort more than the others, and this is one of those cakes. Vanilla cake is classic, and there are an endless amount of brands that have their own vanilla cake mix. But not a single one of them make a cake this good!

There are plenty of ingredients that go into making this cake batter bake into the most moist, thick, yet fluffy vanilla cake. But don’t worry – they’re all very simple ingredients that won’t break the bank. After all, vanilla cake should never be expensive, homemade or store-bought! This tried and true classic recipe might be pretty simple, but that’s also what makes it so beloved.

Even the pickiest eaters on this planet can’t deny a slice of this stuff… Especially when it’s smothered with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. Believe me when I say you’ll be fighting with your loved ones over who gets to lick the frosting spoon! This buttercream is deliciously sweet, creamy, and oh so complimentary to the cake itself. Plus, you can make it pretty for Valentine’s Day so easily!

A fork is removing a bite sized portion of vanilla cake with frosting from a pink plate.

Ingredients for Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting

For the cake, you’ll need –

  • FLOUR: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • BAKING SODA: 1 tsp baking soda
  • SALT: 1/2 tsp salt
  • EGGS: 4 large eggs
  • SUGAR: 2 cups granulated sugar
  • BUTTER: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • VANILLA: 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • SOUR CREAM: 1 cup sour cream

And for the buttercream frosting, you’ll need –

  • BUTTER: 1 1/4 cups butter, softened
  • POWDERED SUGAR: 5 cups powdered sugar
  • HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM: 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • VANILLA: 3 tsp vanilla extract

A layer of vanilla cake on a white cake stand is topped with light pink frosting.

How to Make Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting

PREP. Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray.

MIX. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

BEAT. Beat together the eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.

Two cake pans are filled halfway with cake batter.

KEEP BEATING. Add the butter and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on low speed until well blended.

COMBINE. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed. Do not over mix the batter!

ADD SOUR CREAM. Add the sour cream, continuing to beat until smooth. Note that the cake batter will be on the thicker side.

BAKE. Fill the prepared pans halfway with cake batter and bake for 23-25 minutes.

Pink frosing is being mixed in a glass mixing bowl.

BEAT. To make the buttercream frosting, start by beating the butter for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.

KEEP BEATING. Add the powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Increase to high speed and continue beating for 3 minutes.

A slice of layered vanilla cake with pink frosting is presented on a spotted pink plate.

Tips for the Best Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting

  • Do not over mix the batter! This could cause the cake to not bake to perfection. In fact, the cake could fall completely flat and not rise if the batter is over mixed.
  • You can make the frosting any color you’d like. I recommend using a gel food coloring, as they typically require less drops than traditional food coloring options and yield more vibrant results.
  • Check the doneness of the cake by the tried and true toothpick method. If a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry, your cake is fully baked.

The step by step cake batter instructions are presented in six separate blocks. The first is whisking the dry ingredients, the second is beating eggs and sugar, the third is adding butter and vanilla, the fourth is combining the wet and dry, the fifth is adding sour cream, and the last image is of two cake pans filled with batter.

Cake is kinda my thing. If you’re a cake lover too, you need to make my favorite Cinnamon Sugar Cake as well! And if that doesn’t float your boat, I’ve got plenty of other options like Banana Cake, Orange Creamsicle Cake, and Cherry Almond Cake.

4.91 from 11 ratings
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Servings: 12 servings

Easy Vanilla Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
This Easy Vanilla Cake is sweet, moist, and perfect for dressing up on various holidays! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, whip out those heart shaped sprinkles and decorate this homemade cake for someone special in your life. 
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  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray (2) 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer on medium speed, beat eggs and sugar for 2 minutes until LIGHT and CREAMY.
  • Add the butter and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for about 1 minute, or until well blended.
  • Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed until just blended. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  • Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. CAKE BATTER WILL BE ON THE THICKER SIDE.
  • Fill prepared pans HALFWAY with cake batter. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack before frosting.


  • Mix softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more cream if needed for spreading consistency.


  • Assemble the 2 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Then apply a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides. Place the cake into the freezer to harden the frosting for about 10 minutes. Apply one final thick and even layer of frosting around the outside of the cake.


  • STORE: Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • FROSTING: I highly recommend using heavy whipping cream because it will give the frosting a thicker texture, but you may use milk.
  • EXTRA BATTER: You will have some extra cake batter leftover, what I like to do is make cupcakes with the extra batter. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.
Calories: 810kcal, Carbohydrates: 104g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 26g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 165mg, Sodium: 390mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 83g, Vitamin A: 1360IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Cakes + Cupcakes
Author: Jennifer
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