I’ve tried several white cake bases, and have found a few favorites. However, this vanilla cake recipe blows them all out of the water!! It’s delicious, moist, and best of all, it keeps its shape!
The layers bake with smooth sides that are perfect for stacking and frosting. I now use this as my go to white cake base recipe, and color or flavor it as needed. I HIGHLY recommend it! Another perk is that it can be made in one bowl! That’s right, ONE BOWL!!! You can see a full tutorial on exactly how I make the batter below.
The recipe is adapted from Kara’s Couture Cakes, and can be found below.
NOTE: The thing that make this recipe an amazing layer cake recipe (baking flat), cause it to make terrible cupcakes! They stick to liner and don’t rise enough. If you want to make vanilla cupcakes, I highly recommend using my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe.
Vanilla Cake Ingredients:
- 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) all purpose flour
- 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (226 grams), room temperature
- 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
- 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.
Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife. While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too if I’m working a super special partnership 🙂
Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart. Below is a full tutorial showing how I trim my layers:
These layers can be made in advance, and can be stored in the freezer for up to 5 days! If you do plan to freeze them overnight, be sure to either place them in an airtight container, or wrap them tightly in saran wrap.
I also love to color my cake batter using Americolor gel food coloring (I order it on amazon), and used this recipe to make this checkerboard cake. The layers turned out perfectly! Level, delicious, and perfect for stacking!!