Best Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

I’ve tried several vanilla cake recipes, and have found a few that I liked. However, this vanilla layer cake recipe blows them all out of the water!! It’s delicious, moist, and best of all, it keeps its shape!

This recipe is a butter cake recipe, and not a sponge cake recipe. This is important to note, because it has a denser texture than a fluffy sponge cake.

It also means that you don’t have to worry about whipping up egg whites, or carefully folding in dry ingredients.

In fact, this recipe is so easy to make, I call it a fool-proof recipe! My vanilla cake recipe comes together in one bowl!

The butter and buttermilk in the recipe give it an amazing taste. I now use this as my go to white cake base recipe, and color or flavor it as needed.

Stacked vanilla cake layers - this recipe is to die for, and can be made in one bowl!!

The Secret Ingredient: Buttermilk

What is the secret ingredient to this vanilla layer cake recipe?? BUTTERMILK! I don’t know what is is, but I’m absolutely crazy about buttermilk.

I love baking with it, and use it in most of my cake recipes! It makes such tender cake layers, and adds so much moisture! It also gives my cakes a delicious tang.

While buttermilk can be found in most grocery stores, some parts of the country or foreign countries don’t sell it! If you’re having a hard time getting your hands on buttermilk, don’t worry.

You can make your own buttermilk! For each cup of buttermilk that the recipe calls for, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to fill 1 cup. 

You also can use plain, low-fat yogurt as an equal substitute, cup for cup.

Making Layers Ahead of Time

One of the best things about this vanilla cake recipe is how easy it is to make. This entire recipe can be made in one bowl.

I’m a big fan of one bowl recipes, or anything that helps reduce the amount of dishes I have to do! Another great part about this recipe is that the layers keep insanely well!

These layers can be made in advance, and can be stored in the freezer for several weeks if properly wrapped!

If you do plan to freeze them, be sure to either place them in an airtight container, or wrap them tightly in saran wrap.

Rainbow swirled cake, made with my vanilla layer cake recipe

Coloring Your Cake Layers

If you want your vanilla cake layers to be a super vibrant color, I highly recommend using gel food coloring. Liquid food coloring can work too, but you won’t be able to get as strong of a color.

You also can throw off the consistency of the vanilla cake batter if you add too much liquid food coloring.

Gel food coloring is incredibly concentrated, so it allows you to use less. A tiny drop will create beautiful, bright colors like the ones in my Peeps cake below (or my rainbow swirl cake above)!

Gel coloring is also thicker, and won’t change the consistency of the cake batter. My favorite brand of gel food coloring is Americolor, but any brand will work.

IMG_7391 (2)

How To Bake Flat Cake Layers

Another fantastic aspect of this vanilla layer cake recipe? It bakes super flat! This is mainly due to the way the recipe is formulated. I also like to rotate my cake layers halfway through baking.

This helps ensure that the hot spots in my oven don’t cause any sides of my cake layers to bake higher than the others.

Another trick to bake flat cake layers is to wrap wet baking strips around your cake pans.

Believe it or not, I have a mini oven and can barely fit 4 cake pans in my oven! I’ve found that baking strips don’t really work for me since my pans are so close to the edges of my oven.

However, you all have let me know that in a standard oven, baking strips work great with this recipe! Baking strips reduce the amount of caramelization around the sides of the cake layers, and also help them bake flat.

Trimming and Torting Cake Layers

If you want to completely remove any caramelization from your cake layers, you can use a serrated knife to clean them up! I like to trim my cake layers for my cake videos, to help the vibrant colors of my cake layers shine through.

If you do decide to trim your cake layers once they’re baked, be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. The layers will fall apart if you try to cut them while they’re still warm.

You can also level your cake layers, by trimming off the top of each layer.

This makes it easier to built a straight, level cake! While this is by no means necessary, it can be an important step if you’re building a tiered cake.

Another option with this recipe is to torte your cake layers! Torting cake layers means you cut them horizontally, to create multiple layers.

I like doing this, because it creates an amazing cake to frosting ratio. A great example of torted cake is my snowflake cake.

Below is a video showing exactly how I trim and level my cake layers.

Tips for Making This Vanilla Cake Recipe:

  • Mix your cake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated; this will ensure your cake layers are tender and fluffy
  • Make sure you are properly measuring your flour! Spoon fluffed flour into a measuring cup, and level with knife. Or even better, use a kitchen scale 🙂
  • Use a serrated knife to level your cake layers once they’re fully cooled, to make it easier to assemble and frost your cake

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try my vanilla layer cake recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂

Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets on social media so that I can see your amazing creations!

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe is adapted from Kara’s Couture Cakes, and can be found below.
  • One batch can be used to make three, eight inch cake layers, or four, seven-inch cake layers
  • If you want to make a cake with 6 inch cake layers using this recipe, I recommend making 2/3 of a batch of batter
  • I do NOT recommend using this recipe to make cupcakes! What makes this cake recipe amazing is that it bakes flat, which 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.
Yield: 24 servings

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

Best Vanilla Cake Recipe

This vanilla cake recipe is made in one bowl, and is super moist! One batch makes 3, 8-inch cake layers, and is frosted with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)
  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (345 grams)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
  • gel food coloring (if desired)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (678 grams)
  • 11 cups powdered sugar (1375 grams) - or about 1.5 lbs
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (75 grams)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract (18 grams)

Instructions

Vanilla Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans or three 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until fully combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  5. 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 low speed for about 15 seconds (the key is to mix until the ingredients are JUST incorporated, so that the batter isn't over mixed). 
  6. If desired, add in gel food coloring. Mix the color in by hand using a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (about 450 grams per pan). I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, to make sure the layers are the same height.
  8. Bake for 34-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  9. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  10. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
  3. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 TBSP at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  5. If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully made, and beat on low until it reaches the desired color

To Assemble The Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the cake, to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  4. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!

Notes

One batch of cake batter makes about 1800 grams, so when I'm making a cake with four layer, I add 450 grams of batter into each pan.

Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife.

These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.

Since this frosting will be used to decorate a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.

You can also stir the frosting in a bowl with a rubber spatula, pushing it from side to side, to get rid of any air bubbles.This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

The frosting recipe above is 1.5 batches of my American buttercream, which is the amount I usually make for 7 or 8 inch cakes. This makes enough buttercream to add a generous amount between the cake layers, and to have leftover buttercream for any special decorations. If you have extra buttercream you don't use, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24 slices

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 571 Total Fat 33g Saturated Fat 20g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 11g Cholesterol 86mg Sodium 297mg Carbohydrates 66g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 54g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 4g

841 thoughts on “Best Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

      1. So, I ended up making 1.5x the recipe but it was too much. It didn’t even come close to fitting in the mixing bowl so i had to split it into 2 batches at the last minute, which was a pain but luckily worked out fine. And then the cake was way too tall so I had to trim the layers anyway lol. Next time I’ll definitely stick to the recipe without increasing it at all! The biggest problem was that it was so good and my boyfriend and I couldn’t stop eating all of the cake i had to trim off….

  1. Hi Chels! First off I absolutely LOVE all your videos on YouTube and Instagram, I literally check it daily lol. I love to bake cakes for friends and family and I get so many cool ideas! But I was wondering how did you color the cakes, I mean I know to add the food coloring to it. But I was told to pour the batter immediately and start baking or else it will turn clumpy and not bake correctly. So did you mix the coloring while it was in the baking pan, or you put it aside? Just curious….thank you!

    1. You’re too sweet 🙂 I color my cake batter by dividing it into individual bowls, then coloring with gel food coloring (I use americolor). I have never had any problems with clumping or it incorrectly baking! I have even refrigerated colored batter, then baked the following day and had no issues. However, I usually bake the batter right after coloring. Hope that helps 🙂

  2. I just found you on youtube, and I love your stuff! I want to make this cake and was wondering something…I’ve always heard to use cake flour for best results. Does it matter in this recipe? Would plain all-purpose flour be ok? Thanks!

    1. Cake flour does result in a tender cake with a very light texture, but all-purpose flour cakes can also turn out great if you use the right recipes! They also stand up better to thick, american buttercream, which is my frosting of choice. I always use all-purpose flour 🙂

  3. Do you frost your cakes the same day you bake, or do you do it the next day? My same day cakes seem to fall apart when I frost (too fresh?)

    1. I do both! Depends on the situation, number of cakes I’m making, tiers, etc. Either way, I always free my layers before frosting them! It makes it so much easier to frost 🙂 Hope that helps!

  4. Hi. How many layers is this recipe for? How do you adjust it for larger layers?
    Thanks much. Enjoyed your winter wonderland cake video.

  5. First off, let me say that I never, ever leave reviews. But after trying this cake I just HAD to. I’ve been looking for a go-to vanilla cake recipe for years and I was hesitant to try this because of the 7″ pans and all the egg whites. Silly, right? Well I made this recipe last night and had the cake today…10/10 recommend!!! Hands down the BEST vanilla cake I’ve ever had. I made a three layer 8″ and also a three layer 10″ cake (I did 1.5 recipes for the 10″) and it came out perfectly for both! I made the cake for two different wedding showers and everyone RAVED about them! I love how moist and smooth (weird adjective for a cake) the texture is. And the flavor is perfect. I was and am still blown away! Thank you for this recipe!!!

    1. Aww so happy to hear that!! I also used to always avoid recipes with egg whites, but this recipe is worth it! Happy that you love this recipe as much as I do 🙂

  6. Hi again! Just a quick question- I’m making a neapolitan cake and wanted to use this cake recipe but I’m looking for a strawberry taste for just one of the layers; could I divide the batter and substitute in a few teaspoons of strawberry extract in for vanilla to get that flavor? Or do you recommend finding a completely different cake recipe for a strawberry layer? Thanks!!

  7. Hi! Love your videos! I’m from Kyrgyzstan and I don’t understand what “a cup” means. How much gr is in one cup. Can you please write in grams how much flour, sugar and butter do I need for this recipe. Thank you.

  8. Hey Chelsea, does your quantity for your recipe for American buttercream recipe is enough to frost a layered cake and then do rosettes to cover it? Or should I double the recipe? Thanks!

  9. Hey Chelsea, have you had success with halving this recipe for only 2x 8inch cake layers? Making a four layer cake this weekend, but they want two flavors (vanilla and strawberry), so I am plan on separating each of the two layers with a cake board for two different choices of cake flavor in one cake.

    1. Unfortunately the only cake batter itself that I’ve flavored strawberry involved strawberry jello! I wasn’t a huge fan, so I didn’t share it. A good strawberry cake is on my to-do list this summer one berries are back in season!

      1. I was going to ask the same question. I’ve made strawberry cake quite a few times and I blend down strawberries into puree and one recipe said to add a packet of strawberry jello which I didn’t care for either, so I used strawberry pudding mix and liked that much better. If I use your vanilla cake recipe (which I LOVED), where should I substitute the purée in?

  10. Have you tried a recipe for a lemon cake? I haven’t tried your Vanilla yet but plan to this weekend! From all the rave reviews I’m sure it will be amazing!

  11. I just made this cake in three 9 inch rounds and it was perfection??btw I have never made a 3 layer cake I usually do cupcakes. Wish I could post a pic of it

  12. Hi!
    I was wondering how long you let your frozen cake layers thaw before frosting them? And if they are still cold, once they are frosted, do water droplets “sweat” ever form on the frosting or crumb coat?

    1. I usually let them sit for about 20 minutes. The frosting is at room temperature, so once I”m done frosting the cake is slightly chilled, but not cold enough to sweat. hope that helps!

  13. I found this cake slightly heavy and dense. Is that normal or is there a way to make it lighter while keeping it level. Everyone loved this recipe!!

    1. It is more dense than a sponge cake! You can try to mix the batter on high at the end, to incorporate more air into it! This can help make it slightly less dense. Hope that helps!

    1. My pans are usually 2 inches tall, and usually 7 or 8 inches in daimeter. I think they would probably fit in your pans but i’m not 100% sure! I’d just be sure not to fill them too full! and I’d make at least 4 layers, if not 6!

    1. I used it to make two rectangular sheet cakes that were about 10×14 inches. So I think it would work for 12×15, but it would make a super thick layer! Maybe don’t use all the batter if it looks like it’ll be too thick! I usually fill my pans about 1 inch high. Hope that helps!

      1. Great!. Thank you!.
        Also what brand of butter do you use in your buttercream to get it white?

  14. Hi Chelsea, I was wondering if I can replace egg with milk in this recipe? If not, then what would you suggest to be a good substitute for eggs?

  15. Hi Chelsey, I’m actually making my wedding cake and would LOVE to try this recipe. I was just a little nervous about doing the different layers since they are bigger than the 7 or 8 inch rounds. I think we are going to do 12 10 and 8 inch rounds. Would I need to increase the batter by just half or how would you suggest doing this??

      1. It looks like double works for 1 12″ pan so that was perfect. LOVE the cake though! Thanks so much (:

  16. I am looking to make a birthday cake for my friend this weekend. She is wanting a lemon cake with a chiffon/berry filling. Have you made this as a lemon cake before? Also are you familiar with Ermine frosting?

  17. Seriously the easiest and best tasting cake recipe! I was in awe when I saw that you didn’t have level the tops of your cakes!! I am currently in the process of making the 4th of July cake you made! So far, so good! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  18. I love this cake recipe! I added a box of banana cream pudding for my banana pudding cake and it came out great! It’s dense and delicious especially with bavarian filling. Thank you!

  19. I’m looking in to purchasing cake pans but can’t afford a lot, do you prefer 4 8″ pans for most of your cakes using this recipe or 4 7″? Also, how many 6″ pans would you recommend someone having? And if you were to do a 3 teir wedding cake what dimension of pans would you recommend? Also do you have a favorite place to purchase them? Thank you!

  20. Hi Chelsea! I’m planning on making this recipe next week, as well as your American Buttercream. I want to make them cinnamon flavoured. Should I replace the vanilla with cinnamon, or add both cinnamon AND vanilla?
    Thanks!
    P.S. Love you live streams and vids! Can’t wait to try this recipe out.

  21. Hello!
    Mine didn’t come out flat. The middle rose and the sides were in the same place it started. Suggestions?

      1. Hello!
        I used the balloon attachment, not the one in the video. I don’t think my food processor came with that attachment.
        I also cooked at 180 degrees not 190 which 375 degrees Fahrenheit converts too. I really don’t think 10 degrees difference should matter though?
        Thank you though for your response. I will try again and maybe see if it’s my oven as every cake I make always rises like that.

  22. Hi, I’ve just started following you and your cakes are brilliant. I’ve followed your recipe for this vanilla cake and I’ve used four colours to make an ombré effect however the sides baked quite crusty and the colour didn’t quite reach the sides. I’ve improvised and cut the crusts off the cake but wondered if you know what I might have done wrong. I’ve followed your you tube video and double checked my measurements into uk grams… the bits I cut off taste good!

    1. I usually trim the caramelization from the sides of my cakes when I bake them! you can also use wilton baking strips to prevent the caramelization <3

  23. Im wanting to make your taco cake you made but dont want to waist so much cake since i know I need one vanilla and one chocolate. Any suggestion on how I could convert this to just a one 8inch layer cake? Or is there a different recipe you suggest for that cake?

  24. Hi Chelsey!

    Will this recipe work if I just cut everything in half? I think I just want to make a shorter two layer cake instead of the four layers because I know a lot of it would go to waste.

    Thanks in advance!

  25. Hi Chelsea! I never leave reviews but I just wanted to comment and say this is the first time I’ve made vanilla cake and frosting from scratch that I actually thought was better than boxed cake mix. I’ve been so discouraged because every recipe I’ve tried has resulted in a dense, dry and crumbly cake and I didn’t see the point of making cakes from scratch. Your recipe came out amazing, thanks!! I love your website and Facebook page!

  26. Hi Chelsea

    I have made Kara’s cake recipe and it was great except it came out a little more dense than I would like for a regular cake(not sculpted). What does adding buttermilk do to the recipe that’s different?

  27. Hi Chels! Would this recipe work well for a 4- tier cake? Just want to make sure it holds up with stacking multiple tiers! Thank you!

  28. Hi Chels…
    As I’ve told you before, I loveeee your work! I am looking for a cake recipe that I can use under fondant. Can I use this one?

    Thanks… Sheila

  29. First, I love your site, recipes, and videos! Thank you for the inspiration! Second, I understand freezing the layers before and during frosting/decorating. My question is how do you store your decorated cake before serving? I’d like to bake my layers 2 days before serving and decorate 1 day before serving. Thanks again!!

  30. Hi Chelsea! Just wondering if baking this recipe in 2 tins and for longer, would it still turn out? And then slicing them in half to get the four layers? Thanks! 🙂

  31. Made this for a semi-naked cake and got rave reviews! I was so excited to see how even/flat all the layers were when it was cut into. I’ve never had a cake look so uniform on the inside! Thanks 🙂 This will be my go-to vanilla cake recipe now.
    Also, I know you love your American buttercream but if you’re looking for something with less sugar this is amazing! It’s light and fluffy and I would never have guessed it until I tried it.
    http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/thate28099s-the-best-frosting-ie28099ve-ever-had/

  32. Would this recipe work for a sheet cake? I’m needing to make a 12 x 18 sheet cake and just wondering if I could use this but double or triple the original recipe.

  33. Do you place your cakes in the freezer or fridge once cooled on the backing rack before decorating. Watching your videos your cakes look like they barley have crumbs and recently the ones i have baked are almost falling apart and pure crumbs on the side with no “crust” and VERY hard to decorate. Also what kind of pans do you use?

    1. I do freeze my cake layers fully, and let them thaw for about 20 minutes before frosting. It
      makes it WAY easier to frost! Mine form a pretty solid crust on the sides, I use wilton and fat daddio’s pans!

  34. Hi Chelsweets! Greeting from Malaysia ?? ?

    I have a few questions regarding this cake;
    1) would it be okay if at the end of the mixing process, the granulated sugar hasn’t been dissolved at all?
    2) i only have two 8″ pans at the moment. But i want to make a 4 coloured rainbow cake. Is it okay if i bake the first two colours and just let the remaining uncook batter aside during the baking?

    1. yes! The sugar doesn’t dissolve, but the batter should me smooth / fully mixed. Yes, you can bake the two layers first, and leave the batter out until you are able to bake it in the next batch!

  35. It’s the best vanilla cake recipe I have ever made – and I’ve done a lot. Can’t thank you enough! Used it for my daughter’s unicorn birthday cake and she loved it! Wish I could send you a picture. Thanks again for sharing!

  36. Hi! So I just made this cake tonight, and it tastes absolutely delicious. My only question is the thinkness of the cake layers. I used four 8 in pans that are 2in deep. The layers cake out a lot thinner than what I expected based off of your videos…. is this something I could prevent, is it the size pan, or is that how they come out when using one patch of the recipe above??

  37. Hi, I made this cake the other day and absolutely loved it, best recipe I have used by far. Would it be possible to use this recipe for cupcakes or am I best to use your vanilla cupcake recipe??

    1. So happy to hear that! sadly what makes it a great cake recipe (baking flat) makes it a terrible cake recipe! I highly recommend using my classic vanilla cupcake recipe instead 🙂

  38. Hi, Chelsweets! I have a quick question, I can never get my batter even in my baking pans. I only bake using 6 x 3 size pans. Do you have any suggestions on how much batter i should use in a 6×3 pan OR 8 inch cake pans as I would like my cakes to be even .

    1. I usually just scoop that batter in the pans one spatula at a time! I add one scoop to each pan, then repeat until I have used all the batter! Doing that I usually end up with equal amounts of batter in my pans!

  39. Hi Chelsea
    I plan on making this tomorrow with 2 9 in rounds and a few cupcakes with the rest of the batter. I just bought a new box of cake flour I’d like to use. Do I need to adjust the amount or anything to do so? Also I maybe have a 1/3 cup of buttermilk left can I use soured milk for the rest the recipe calls for? hank you in advance so much!

    1. I’m not sure what soured milk is, but I’d recommend just using a bit of regular milk if you don’t have enough buttermilk! I’ve never made this recipe with cake flour. It will definitely change the texture of the cake though, and I’m not sure if it will turn out! I highly recommend just using regular flour!

      1. Thank you it’s currently in the oven. Soured milk is a version of homemade buttermilk. I use 1 TBSP vinegar/lemon to 1 cup of milk.
        Thank for the info.

  40. Hi Chelsea!! Greetings from México!!!
    I tried these recipe today, and it was delicious. I have tried almost 6 different recipes, and this one is really delicious, the best of all the recipes a have tried. I have been looking for my go to vanilla recipe for cupcakes and cakes for a long time, and it has been quite difficult!!!
    I made cupcakes with the left batter, only to see how they turn out, but cupcakes didn´t make a big dome and some cupcakes sink in the middle , the flavor was delicious but not the appearence. I saw that you have a go to vanilla cupcake recipe (only using oil), so I would like to know if you recomend this recipe only for layer cakes and the other one for cupcakes??? I hope you can help me.

    1. Definitely only use this recipe for cakes! it’s great because it bakes flat, and that’s also why it makes TERRIBLE cupcakes! I highly recommend my classic vanilla cupcake recipe instead if you want to make cupcakes 🙂

  41. Hi Chealsea, just wondering if this makes a moist but sturdy cake when cut into coffee/dessert servings or if it is a soft cake that may fall apart easy when sliced. Loving your chocolate cupcakes btw, they’re so good! & thank you for being a baker that will answer questions when you can.

    1. it’s definitely not as sturdy as a sponge cake, but it should be easy enough to slice through! My cakes are usually slightly chilled when I cut into them, which makes it easier to slice!

  42. I want to make two layers with 8 inch pans and two additional layers that are in 6 inch pans. Will this recipe work in the 6 in pan as well?

  43. Hi Chelsea! I love your cakes and wanted to try your receipt. I’ve made it a couple times now and the middle always falls. Do you have any tips that might work to prevent it? The cake tastes great I just can layer them. Thank you

  44. So made this recipe today and I think I failed. I halfed the recipe to make it in two 8 inch pans….. the cakes came out pretty flat. I sifted the flour….could that have been it? I’m going to try again

    1. On the other hand I made the buttercream and it’s amazing!!! My son was watching the video and telling me the steps. He’s 4 and loves your videos!!

    2. The whole point of this recipe is that it bakes flat!? That way you don’t have to waste tons of cake by trimming off huge domes. This isn’t a sponge cake recipe, its a denser, buttermilk based cake!

  45. Hi chels! Im dying to do this cake but I have a question: the flour is All Purpose?
    I live in Panamá, very humid climate and I dont know if I should use a special type of flour.
    Thank u!

      1. could you link me to your Wine Glass Spill cake? I want to make it for my mom’s birthday and can’t find your instructions

  46. Do you happen to have a high-altitude version of this recipe? I live in Denver and cake recipes usually turn out pretty dry!! 🙁 thank you!

    Shelby

  47. Hi Chelsey! Love your Instagram and all your videos!
    I’m planning on making your vanilla cake for the first time this week and I’m really excited after seeing all these good reviews on it, especially since it’s important to me that the cake is moist and stays moist. Just wondering if you ever tried using egg whites from eggs instead of from the carton and if you ever felt that there was a difference?

    Part of me is afraid that using egg whites from the carton might prevent the cake from rising enough (since for meringues and smbc, I’ve been advised to not use carton egg whites) so I’ve never tried it for a cake!

    Would love to hear your response~

    -From a fellow New Yorker!

  48. Hey there! Just a quick question. I like to bake using weight as well and I see that you have 3.25 cups of flour as weighing 416g… which breaks down to 128g per cup, but when I look up flour weight per cup, I find it to be 120g a cup… which would mean using 390g of flour. Help me solve this discrepancy?!?!? Thanks in advance

  49. Hi Chelsea , love your recipes , I’m wanting to do this recipe for an engagement cake that would be two tiers , would this work for a 9 or 10 inch for the bottom tier ? Or would there not be enough ingredients ; any advice would be much appreciated ! Thank you

  50. I have been using this recipe for a very long time. I love it but I ran into a problem is there any way I can make the cake less dense? I have some clients who don’t like the texture.

    Instead of mixing the butter with the flour Can I cream the butter and sugar first

  51. I haven’t made this cake yet but I would very much like to. I was wondering if you use planning flour or self-raising flour. Also, what would happen if I used ordinary milk instead of buttermilk.
    Thankyou in advance!

  52. Also, I have made many vanilla cake recipes before and they have never rised that well, how do you get it to rise so much or is it just the recipe?
    Thankyou!

  53. Hey Chelsea. Great videos. Going to be trying your vanilla cake for the first time. I’ve been measuring out the ingredients and then confirming their weight ( scooping the flower into the measuring cup so it doesn’t compact ), but it doesn’t seem accurate to the gram weight that you have listed next to your ingredients. Can you confirm the weights in your measurements are accurate?

    1. If you’re in the US, I would focus on the cup measurements provided. I added in the grams for international bakers who don’t have US cup measures. However, the weight should be accurate, as a lot of people have made this recipe using them and the cake turned out great! Hope that helps. Thanks!

  54. Great recipe! If I wanted to make this recipe in a 3-layer 12″ cake, how much should I multiply the recipe by? Thanks in advance!

    1. I approach this considering the area/ volume of a pan. if the area of a circle is ?r2, and the recipe makes 4 8 inch layers which are about 1 inch thick, that’s about 201 cubic inches. For 3 12 inch pans, that’s 339 cubic inches. I’d recommend doubling the recipe. and either making the layers slightly thicker, or using the extra batter for a different project. hope that helps!

  55. Hey Chelsea! I’m looking to make a 2 tier cake with either 7″, 8″, or 9″ pans for the bottom layer. What size would you recommend using for the top layer so the tiers look proportional? Thanks!! I’ll be using your cake recipe!

  56. Hi Chelsea, I have been looking for a new vanilla layer cake recipe and can’t wait to try this one! If I am using 10 inch round pans, I am guessing this recipe will make two 10” layers but I may want to make a double batch as they’d be a bit thin, would you agree?

  57. Hi Chelsea! With this recipe dose it make 3 or 4 layers if I were using 8 inch pans?
    I love your videos! You are so creative!!
    I’m wanting to make this for Thanksgiving.
    And will one recipe of the buttercream cover the cakes or would I have to make more than 1 recipe?
    Thanks!!

    1. sadly you can’t! what makes this such a great layer cake recipe makes it a terrible cupcake recipe!!! The cupcakes bake super flat and stick to the liners. My cupcake recipe also uses buttermilk, and i think it also tastes great, so i recommend trying that <3

      1. Would you add your choc recipe to your vanilla? Or the other way around? Youre choc recipe is more liquid than the vanilla-Im just concerned it wont look right- thank you for your help! Love your site and ig!!

  58. Hello!
    I want to make your geode cake for my brother’s birthday, but we have a few lactose intolerant people in the family. I usually just use almond milk with vinegar in it to replace buttermilk in other recipes with good results. Have you ever tried making this dairy free? Butter doesn’t bother them, so I would only need to find a good substitute for the buttermilk.
    Thank you!

  59. I am looking for a good yellow cake to use for decorating and I LOVE tall cakes. However, I struggle with the outside rim baking before the middle, resulting in a dry cake. I usally put simple syrup on my cakes but I really want to figure out how to fix this issue. Do you have any tips on how to bake thick cake layers without them drying out? Thanks!

    1. it really comes down to the cake recipe you’re using! No matter what, the sides of a cake layer will always bake first! but if the cake is dry and it’s a sponge cake base, simple syrup is a great way to add moisture! I don’t add simple syrup to mine, as it’s a butter cake base that’s pretty moist and is denser than a sponge cake!

  60. I love your cakes!!! I’ve learned most of what I know from you :). I’m baking a cake for 40 people to be served at a restaurant . Advice on how big and how many layers?

    1. Oh geeze! really depends on your expected serving sizes! I’d make two batches of this cake batter, and that should feed 40! You can either make 10 inch cake layers, or do a 2 tiered cake! Best of luck, and happy baking <3

      1. Thanks Chelsey 🙂 I just pulled out my 10 in baking pans before i read your response. About to start. I’m thinking of doing 4 layers of 10in cake using 2 batches of this recipe?

  61. Can I only make a two layer cake with this recipe? Just starting with the whole learning how to decorate cakes and would like to possibly start small.

  62. I’m looking for a recipe for a coconut cake and wondered if I could adapt your vanilla cake recipe as I use this all the time and love it – it also stands decorating with fondant… what would you recommend?

  63. I love the flavor so much, and the recipe was so easy, but I found my first attempt to be too dense(almost snapped my cake leveler). Is there any way you’d recommend to make it less dense?

  64. I have made this cake several times and like it but was wondering about the amount of sugar. I’ve never made a recipe that had almost equal amounts of flour and sugar. 3 cups of sugar sounds high..have you ever tried it with less?

  65. Is there a way I can turn this into a strawberry champagne cake? Sub in gelatin or puree somewhere for the strawberry and champagne for liquid?

    1. exactly! i’d swap mayb 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk for champagne, add in a packet of strawberry jello in place of about 1/2 cup of sugar, and add in a tiny bit of strawberry puree! The champagne can make the batter curdle initially, but it will come back together as you stir 🙂

  66. Love this recipe! Nice even layers ! I’ve made it before in 8 inch pans. If I bake this recipe in 4 x 6inch pans do you think it’ll be okay?? I’ll bake them for longer at 320degrees.

  67. Hi Chelsweets! 🙂
    I quartered this recipe so I could test it out as I am doing a wedding cake for my brother-in-law and his wife. They requested a semi-naked style cake and you have wonderful recipes and tutorials for this! When I baked it, the sides failed to get brown. Maybe it’s because I quartered it and it’s not as accurate? I used an 8″ Nordic ware cake pan. Do you think I should try using a 7″ like you do and possibly just halfing the recipe?

    1. That’s crazy, I’ve never had that happen before! Did you bake then for the full 35 minutes?? I’ve never quartered the recipe, but I have halved it and it worked fine! So maybe try that next, hopefully it’ll work! Happy baking 🙂

  68. I am using 10″ x 2″ pans. Do I need to increase the batter that I make for this size pan? In other words, do I need more than 1 recipe for 2 of these pans?
    Thanks

      1. I tried doing 2 recipes with the first 2 cakes I baked and ended up making a dozen cupcakes – which is not necessarily a bad thing! The next 2 layers, I did 1 1/2 recipe and it worked fine.

  69. Hi! I was wondering how many batches of your cake recipe you typically use. Your cakes seem to always be 4 layers and a decent height. 8” pans I’m assuming?

  70. Hi,
    This recipe sounds delicious, thanks for sharing it. Any idea on how it’ll hold up as a 3-tier semi naked cake? I’ll make a 6″, 8″, and 10″ x 4″ height tiers, but want to make sure that the weight will hold up using the standard wooden dowels and cakeboards for support.
    Thanks!

      1. I did a test run on this cake today and I can’t express how impressed I am. The cake looks perfect, crusts beautifully, and it’s the best I’ve ever tasted! I’m over the moon. My husband also loved it. THANK YOU so much Chelsweets!

  71. Hi! I am planning to use your recipe, but instead of 8″ pans I’m going to be using 9″. Will it still make 4 layers and will the temp and cook time need to be adjusted? Thanks!

  72. Hi !
    first i want to thank you for all your recipes and your teaching methods..
    i want to ask can i use regular milk instead of the buttermilk in the (BEST VANILLA LAYER CAKE RECIPE)

  73. Hi!! I was wondering what the adjustments would be for high altitude? I’m at about 4500 and newly here from the ocean so I’m finding all my recipes need various tweeking…

    1. I’ve actually heard that this recipe works well at high elevations! I would try it as is! it’s a buttermilk cake recipe so it’s on the denser side of the cake spectrum.

  74. I made a version of the recipe with all ingredients halved:
    • 1.5 cups + 2tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt?
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or 1 sticks, room temperature?
    • 1/2 cup egg whites?
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp cup vegetable oil

  75. Hi just found your site, I love, love the site!!!!!, I only have 2 7-inch pans, would it be better for me to invest in buying 2 more 7-inch pans and bake all 4 layers at one time? can i reserve the cake batter for the other 2 layers while the first 2 layers are baking?

      1. Thanks!!!!, i made the cake for my daughters birthday, i made the batter according to the recipe. I divided it in two 9-inch pans and baked for about 5-8 minutes longer, came out perfect. Then I half the second batter i made and it was just enough for a single layer, baked the same way. This cake was a HUGE HIT!!!!, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. no! It bakes very flat, which is great for making layer cake, but terrible for cupcakes. It also sticks to the liners. I have a vanilla cupcake recipe up that’s great, and I recommend using that instead 🙂

  76. I’m going to be making BB8 cake. I have a 13 inch round and 10 inch round. Will 2 batches of your white cake work? They will be 1 layer cakes. I think I will need 16 cups of batter. Thank you!

    1. 1 batch of my cake batter makes 4, 8 inch layers that are about 1 inch tall, so based on the area of a circle (pie x radius squared), I think you’d need closer to 4 batches!! 13 inch layers are huge!

  77. Hi! I love your YouTube videos and I ended up here! I want to make a two tiered cake (for around 50 people) with this recipe, I have an 8″ and 6″ tins, how many layers? Three/four each?
    Enough with two batches?
    Thinking about your buttercream for a seminaked cake, should be enough with your recipe for everything or I need to change something?
    Thank you so much!

    1. I usually make my tiered cake with 3 layers, but if you want to feed 50 people I’d recommend making 4 layers of each size! two batches of cake will def be enough to make the layers! since you’re making two tiers, you’ll probably need about 2 batches of frosting if you’re making it semi- naked! Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  78. Does the baking and pan sizes work the same with the chocolate version of this? How many 10 x 2 inch cakes ( the cake actually being 2 inches tall) could you make with one batch? How long and how high temperature would you have to bake it at? Thank you.

  79. If baking this in smaller round cake pans like 6in and 4in what would you recommend the baking time and oven temp to be?

      1. Thank you so much!
        Do you have a sponge cake recipe as well? I am looking for a cake that is less dense

    1. I would wrap them in saran wrap or place them in an airtight container, and freeze them! I let them thaw for about 20 minutes the following day before frosting. they’re easier to frost when they’re chilled!

      1. Thanks! I made a semi-naked cake with this cake recipe and your buttercream frosting recipe and everyone loved it!! Turned out perfect!

  80. Hi! I also found you through you tube. I definitely want to make your cake for my daughters birthday coming up. I live in South Africa however and we do not seem to have all purpose flour. Could I use cake flour instead?

      1. Made your recipe using cake flour, and it worked out beautifully! Will definitely be using it again!

  81. Hello! I made the chocolate cake recipe this weekend and had the mixture in two cakepans rather than four. The cakes looked good at first when it baked, but at the end it kind of fell together and was more like a brownie rather than a normal cake. Have you experienced this before? I don’t have room for 4 cake pans in the oven at the same time, so i thought i could cut them in half when baked. But that didn’t turn out well. How do you bake yours?

    1. I always bake mine in four separate pans! If it fell into itself, it sounds like it may have been underbaked! you would have to bake them for super long if you put all the batter in 2 pans!

  82. I’ve made this recipe using round cake pans! I’m making sheet cakes for a wedding! Do you think this recipe would yield a half sheet cake or full?

      1. I did this and while it did fill the half sheet pan it was nowhere high enough. I do believe it would take 2 batches to produce a half sheet cake and 4 batches for a full sheet one layer cake. If you want to make a two layer full sheet cake it would take 8 batches. Using a single batch in the half sheet pan the cake was barely an inch tall.

      2. I guess that’s where we had the disconnect! I actually wanted me layers to be about an inch tall!! I like them that height, in terms of the cake to frosting ratio! That way I can stack two layers on top of each other.

    1. I just made a half sheet tonight using one batch of this. I plan to make a full sheet double layer so three more batches of this should do it!

  83. Hi Chelsey, I am a huge fan of your cakes! Is there any way I can turn this cake into a marble cake?If so, what do you recommend for the cocoa powder measurements?
    Or do you recommend something completely different? Thank you so much!

  84. Hi chels !
    Love love love your videos !
    Everything I’ve learnt so far is from your tutorials !
    I just did this in 3 9 inch cake tins however they really didn’t rise much at all, did I need to double the batch or have I done something wrong in the mixing process ? It’s going to be the bottom tier of a two tier cake and I’m worried it won’t hold the weight of the top tier ?
    Thank you

  85. Hello Chelsweets, I would like to know how many whole eggs I can use and will it change the texture of the cake? Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  86. I love watching your videos! Will this recipe work for four 6″ x 2″ cake pans? I’m thinking I will have too much batter. I want to try this recipe, but these are the only pans I have.

  87. Hi! How do I upscale this recipe for a 12 inch tin? Also when doing a layer cake (naked one) do you recommend baking each layer individually or just slicing a whole cake up? Thanks! x

    1. I always bake my layers individually, which i think is best with this recipe! The area of a circle is pi x radius squared. If this recipe makes four 7 inch layers that are 1 inch thick, it’s volume is about 153.86 cubic inches. The volume of a 12 inch pan is 113 cubic inches. So based on how many layers you want to make, you can calculate how many batches you’ll need.

  88. 2 questions.
    Do i need to change anything for this for the cake since I’m at high altitude (4600 ft)?

    Also if i only have 2 cake pans and I’m doing 4 layers will the batter be ok sitting out while the first 2 bake and cool then do the next set? Or do i just need to go buy more cake pans?

    1. I’ve actually heard that this recipe works great at high altitude! Since this is a denser, buttermilk cake base, it is fine to sit out for a little bit. But I’d recommend baking the second batch as soon as possible!

  89. Hi, Can I make this recipe with 5 layers? Also, just to clarify, the pans are 8 x 1 inch? Not a higher pan? I need to serve about 35-40 people.

    Thanks!

  90. Hi Chelsey! I love this recipe!! It works perfect every time!! I have to make a couple batches of cupcakes and I’d like to use this recipe. Will it work ok?
    Thank you!!
    D.D.

    1. That’s so great to hear! As great of a cake recipe as this is, it makes terrible cupcakes! They stick to the liners and bake so flat! I’d recommend trying my classic vanilla cupcake recipe instead, it makes great cupcakes!

      1. Thank you!! I was doing a little more research and found that recipe!! Perfect!! You are a joy to watch and learn from!! Because of you I had a very successful experience making my daughter’s birthday unicorn cake!!?

  91. I love this cake recipe for vanilla layers! If I wanted to make an almond cake, could I just replace some of the vanilla extract with almond extract?

    1. It can definitely be baked in advance, but I wouldn’t recommend letting the batter sit for long! You can bake and freeze the layers, up to a week in advance! Just be sure to wrap them really well with saran wrap, or place them in an airtight container.

      1. I haven’t tried out your cake recipe yet, but I’m going to this weekend. I used another recipe for a layered sheet cake I did a month ago. I froze the layers overnight and in between frosting steps. I was actually invited to the party I made the cake for and it was super dry and I was really dissapointed! Some of my cupcakes I made that weekend were also dry. I used a different recipe for them. I thought it was because I froze them. Have you had this problem before? Ever since then I have been very careful and usually made the cupcakes the night before delivering, without freezing in fear of them drying out. Any suggestions? (I did switch my cupcake recipe btw)

      2. Freezing cake layers shouldn’t change anything, as long as they’re wrapped properly in plastic wrap! It sounds like it might be an issue with the recipe. I haven’t really run into problems like that from freezing!

  92. Hi Chelsey!

    I am making a two tiered naked cake with this recipe- i saw on your naked cake YouTube video that this was the best because of the carmelized sides!

    If i plan to make 8” and 6” tiers how much of this recipe should i make?

    Thank you!

    1. I would recommend making 1.5 or 2 batches, depending on how thick of layers you’re after! 1.5 batches will make thinner layers, with 2 batches you’d have layers that are 1 inch tall after being leveled 🙂

  93. I’m wanting to use this for my son’s birthday cake next week. There are a lot of people so i want to do 4 layers but use 9 inch pans. How much more batter will i need?

  94. Hi Chelsey.
    I’ve made this recipe several times now. Your right the taste is amazing but each time I make it I have problems. Mostly that the cakes sink in the middle before their time is up.
    The oven door never opens so I don’t know what makes them do this. All I can think is that due to the tins being 3” deep (plus I line them a bit higher) is that there is too much batter in the tin? I fill to around an inch from the top rim.

    I always bake 2 tins whatever the diameter. So for instance today I made this recipe x 4. This was heck of a lot of eggs and other ingredients.
    I filled 2 x 10inch pans and 3 x 6inch pans…it’s to be part of a 4 tier wedding cake.
    Even if there is a 2” deep pan, I line it and fill it the same as I would a 3” pan.
    It doesn’t matter if I make the batter for 7” or 8” pans either. They all sink in the middle. Creating a heck of a lot of waste when I torte them.
    I’ve tried knocking down the temp to 160c fan assisted and extended the bake time. (For example today’s bake took over two hours). Is this recipe only good for shallow baked?

    1. they definitely need to be baked longer if they’re sinking in the middle! I only ever bake single layers, no thicker than an inch once baked! I don’t torte my layers, I’m not sure this is the best recipe for torting!

  95. Hi Chelsey!

    I love all your videos and tutorial!! Super helpful and they gives me great inspiration for my decorating!

    I’m planning on trying this recipe for my birthday cake this weekend! Will it still work well if I use regular milk instead of buttermilk? And before icing your cakes, do you soak them in a simple syrup first?

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, it will! it will be a bit drier than if you use buttermilk though! I don’t use simple syrup with this recipe normally, since it’s already pretty moist! however, if you do plan to use milk, adding a bit of simple syrup might be a good idea since it will be a bit drier. Happy baking!

    1. no, it makes terrible cupcakes! they stick to the liners and don’t really rise. I’d recommend using my go to vanilla cupcake recipe, which is amazing!

  96. Thank you for your response Chelsey. I love that even after all this time you still take the time to answer everyone’s questions and comments. So thank you very for that. It’s reallg appreciated.

    And yes I think you’re right about this recipe being not so good for deep pans. I’m going to try doing shallower bakes and see where that gets me because I can’t go on with the problems a deep bake gives me. Sinking in the middle before they’ve even reached the extended time limit Plus the time it takes to bake deep pans is sooo long (over two hours for 2×10” pans).
    The only problem is now I need two more sets of every span size in both square and round if it’s no good for torting ! (I like to have deep 6” tiers with at least 4 layers Gah ?)

  97. Hey! Is there anyway I can use this recipe and turn it into a yellow cake ? If not do you have any good yellow cake recipes ?

    1. sadly I don’t! I’m not really a big yellow cake recipe fan , so I haven’t made many!! I’ve never tried to alter this recipe for that, so I’m not sure how it would turn out with egg yolks…but I think it would be rather dense, since it’s already pretty heavy with just egg whites!

      1. Thanks so much ! I’m not a fan either but it’s for a customer. I just used box yellow cake added milk butter vanilla and an extra egg instead of the box directions.

    1. This recipe should not be used to make cupcakes! It bakes very flat, which makes great cake layers but not the best cupcakes. they also stick to the liners. I’d recommend using my vanilla cupcake recipe!! It makes amazing cupcakes 🙂

  98. Hi! Can I make 3-8″ layers your vanilla cake? Also, embarrassed to ask but you do take the layers out of the pan before freezing them in the cooling process? Thank you!

    1. Yes you can!! That’s actually a great question. Most people do remove the layers from the pans, then wrap and freeze them. Some times I do just throw the whole pan in the freezer (after running an offset spatula around the sides to loosen the layer from the pan)! I let the layers cool completed, then bang the pans lightly (upside-down) on my counter, until the layers pop out! but you can do either, whatever you prefer!

  99. How can I turn this into a coconut cake for a semi naked cake for a wedding? I’d like to use real coconut if possible, not just flavoring

    1. You can add toasted coconut between the layers as you assemble the cake! You could also add it to the batter, but I’m not sure how this would affect the texture of the cake since I’ve never tried it! I usually just add extract to the layers, and then sprinkle actual coconut between the layers!

  100. I made the cake using 5 whole eggs like you mentioned in a Previous comment. It was probably the best vanilla cake I’ve ever made other than the fact it was dense like a pound cake. I still loved it! Then I made it by the recipe using only egg whites and it came out a completely different cake. I felt like the oil gave it an odd aftertaste and in your vanilla cupcake recipe as well. What is the purpose of the oil?

    1. Just wanted to see if it was normal to give the cake an oily aftertaste and/or if possibly I could leave it out or substitute something for it (:

    2. The oil just helps lighten it a bit! But you can omit it if you don’t like the taste. It’s not an absolute must for my cake recipe, I just like it better with a bit of oil!

  101. Hi!
    I’ve got two questions:
    1. Can I use fresh egg whites (saperate the eggs on my own) insted of using the carton?
    2. Where did you get the cake pans? I’d like to buy them too.

  102. Hi Chelsea!

    How many servings does this recipe yield?
    Also, I’m using Americolor too, should I keep adding drops until it reaches the color I want or does the color get stronger when it bakes?

    Thanks in advanced for your time 🙂

    1. If you bake this recipe in 7 or 8 inch pans, It feeds about 20 people. The color does get a bit deeper when that batter is baked, but you want to get the batter pretty close to the final color you want!

  103. hello Chelsea!! So we have to fill the pans only an inch deep? how tall will the batter rise then? Thank you 🙂

    1. the batter doesn’t rise much, i’d say it rises about 1/3 of an inch! the height you fill them depends on how many layers you’re making and what size of pans you’re using! the most important thing is to make sure that each pan has the same amount of batter (I like to use a scale)

  104. Hi Chelsea!

    Will this recipe work for a funfetti cake if I just fold sprinkles into the batter? I know you have a funfetti recipe on the site, but this one seems like your go-to, so wondered if you thought it would work.

    Thanks in advance!

  105. Hi Chelsea!

    Do you recommend using this recipe for a funfetti cake by folding sprinkles into this batter? I know you have a funfetti recipe posted on the site, but this one seems like your go-to, so thought I’d ask!

    Thanks in advance,
    Scott

  106. Hi Chelsweets! Love your videos!

    I have made the vanilla cake a couple of times and the edges get brown and well done- crunchy.

    Is it the oven temp? the pans? the fact that I live in AZ and there is no humidity?
    Thanks in advance!

  107. Love your posts so helpful. Going to try your reciepe but a question could the mixture be divided in 2 x 8” pans and once cooked split to make 4 layers ?

      1. Hi everyone. I used the Wilton Cake strips around my pans – you know – the ones that you soak im water before applying them. This prevented a lot of the caramelization.

        Angel

        ________________________________

  108. Hi Chelsa
    This is my new go to recipe. I love it. I am baking a 10” shower cake. I want to make it at least 4 layers. How much batter would I need to put in each pan to have them come out 1” thick like yours?

  109. Hi! I’m a huge fan!
    My cakes didn’t rise to 1 inch! They are probably only half an inch, I followed the recipe so I’m not sure where it went wrong. So I’m just wondering if this have happened to you before? and what method do you use to even distribute the batter between the 4 pans? Do you weigh them? ??

    1. My 1 inch layers are when I use 7 inch pans! If I use 8 inch pans, the layers are thinner. What size of pans did you use? I do use a kitchen scale to make sure my layers turn out the same height!

  110. Hi Chelsea, this looks like the perfect recipe I was after to make a tall layer cake for my daughter’s christening with ombre colouring!
    I would normally bake cakes ahead and freeze, but my husband filled our freezer with meals this week so now I’m out of space. If I were to bake and frost them on a Thursday try and keep moisture in, will it still be good to eat on Saturday? I need to deliver the cake to the venue on Friday, would have preferred to frost the frozen layers on Friday. So annoyed

  111. Hi there
    This looks like the perfect recipe I was after to make a tall layer cake for my daughter’s christening with ombre colouring!
    I would normally bake cakes ahead and freeze, but my husband filled our freezer with meals this week so now I’m out of space. If I were to bake and frost them on a Thursday try and keep moisture in, will it still be good to eat on Saturday? I need to deliver the cake to the venue on Friday, would have preferred to frost the frozen layers on Friday. Thanks

    1. definitely! As long as the cake is fully covered in buttercream, it’ll stay moist if stored in the fridge for several days! The buttercream keeps everything nice and fresh 🙂

  112. Hello,
    Can you please let me know how much batter i need to add to a 8” round pan to get a 1” high cake?
    Thank you.

  113. Hi!! So love your cakes! I made this vanilla recipe this Saturday and it was sooooo good but I was only able to make four 6 inch rounds. I’m I doing something wrong?? And it was not crazy dense but it was kind of thick. Is that normal? Please let me know

    1. Usually the layers are somewhat dense, but I use this recipe to make 4 7 inch or 8 inch layers all the time! if you used one back to make 4 6 inch layers, they must have been super tall layers!

  114. Hello! I LOVE how responsive you are. Thanks for all you do!
    I am going to try to use this recipe to make a 3 tiered wedding cake for my cousin.
    We are planning for 130 people about.
    I am super bad at figuring out the math for this and don’t want to get it wrong! I will be doing two practice rounds of course. Could you recommend how much batter, the sizes of the pans, and how many layers for each size?

    I really really appreciate it. Thanks SO much!

  115. Hey lovely. Wondering if i can turn this recipe into pistachio one. Cs i saw the pistachio recipe you got but i vsmt find pistachio pudding . Thanks heaps x

  116. Hi! I know you explained some cubic squares method to figure out how much you need for a 12 inch cake but I suck at math lol – I need two layers, 12 inch round cakes height 4 inches total. How many batches of this recipe would I need?? Thanks!!

    1. Sorry for the insanely delayed response! I’m actually going to share a guide this week on how much batter you need for different sized pans!! Stay tuned <3

  117. Hi
    Can’t wait to try your recipe!
    Small question- their is no bettermilk in my country, is there enything I can put instead that would bring the same result?

  118. I made your recipe and it was a huge success. One thing that I could not figure out was after taking the cakes out of the freezer (just overnight), did I let them reach room temp first or frost right away. I let them reach room temp but they were very sticky. I had a hard time frosting them without pieces of cake mixing into the frosting. Fortunately it was a pink flamingo cake, so the bits of pink cake looked nice with the white frosting, but wanted to know your trick to avoid cake pieces in the frosting. Thanks!

    1. I only let them thaw for about 20 minutes before I decorate them! they’re easier to frost when they’re chilled!!

  119. Hi, I’m doing a wedding cake soon and they want a 1/2 sheet cake also. Do you happen to have measurements for a 1/2 sheet cake for your vanilla cake batter?

  120. I make this cake often and everyone loves it! Love how even it bakes! I’ve been asked to do a sheet cake, do you know if this will work or how many batches I’d need? Thanks!

  121. Hi! Love the recipe, thank you for sharing! I do have two questions though 😉 I have two 10″ pans, how long would you recomend baking them? And the second question; is it also possible to freeze the entire cake after layering and frosting it? (so you can make it in advance, a few days before your event)
    Thank you so much for your help!

    1. I’d put a flower nail in the center to help it bake more evenly, and would bake them for about 40ish minutes!

      yes, you can freeze a frosted cake. I’d recommend refrigerating it instead though, to minimize the temp shock!

    2. i recommend adding a flower nail into the pans to help the layers bake more evenly and quickly! with them, it shouldn’t take more than 35-40 minutes to bake! without them it can take a lot longer. you can def freeze an assembled / frosted cake, but be sure to transfer it the fridge a day before you plan to cut into it, to help reduce the temperature shock <3

    1. def! it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a month, or the freezer for several months! just give it a good stir once it’s back at room temp <3

      1. Thank you for your replies!
        Just one more question, with 10 inch pan how long should I bake for?

      2. I think I usually bake them for 40-45 mins, with a flower nail inserted in the center to help them bake more evenly!

  122. Please Help Me!!!, This cake is awesome!!!, i have a request to make a cake using a 11×15 inch pan, they would like it two layers. I would like to make two flat layers instead of making a large cake and then torte it in half. How may cups of batter should i use or do you suggest making batter x 1-1/2 or x 2 for each layer. please help me

    1. I don’t really look at it as cups of batter, I more so consider how many batches of batter I need to fill the pan to the right height! One batch makes 2 layers that are 1 inch tall in 9×13 inch pans, so I think you’d need at least 1.5 batches of my cake batter for your size of pans.

  123. I want to decorate my cake like this with the pink do you have a video to that ? Also for the icing, how to make it

  124. I so want to make your recipe! But I live in a high altitude area (6000 ft) and I have never had luck with anything but boxed mixes 🙁 and I would like to make a cake from scratch! Any advice on how to keep it from sinking in the middle when it bakes? I usually use 8 inch rounds. Thanks!!

    1. I’ve actually heard my recipe works great at high altitude! So this should be good to use as is, without modification!

  125. Ni Chelsea; Is 3 1/2 of flour to 3 cups or sugar right ? More sugar in weight Tham flour; is this ratio correct?
    Thank you un advanced

  126. Hi, I’m attempting to make this cake next week for my son’s 1st birthday. I had a question about the baking time. Is the 35-37mins for baking all 4 layers at the same time? Or should the time be reduced if I’m baking 2 at a time or individually (I only have 1 cake pan!).
    Thanks!

    1. Yes, I bake all 4 layers at the same time! I’ve honestly never baked only 2 at a time or individually, so i’m not sure! I’d just keep an eye on the first layer, and test is a few minutes before you pull it out to ensure it’s not overbaked. Happy baking <3

  127. Hi there, I made this cake and the taste is awesome!! But they fell in the middle. What happened? I am at 6500 ft. What changes should I make ?

  128. Hello, is the baking time of 35-37mins for baking all the layers at the same time? What would it be if I was baking 2 x 8″ cakes at a time as I only have 2 tins.
    Also, what temperature should I use in a fan oven?
    Thanks

  129. Hello, how much batter would be needed for four 9inch round 2.5 inch deep cake pans, and how many cups per pan to have them come out even. Thank you 🙂

    1. I don’t really look at things by cups of batter! but one batch of my vanilla cake batter makes 2 nine inch layers that are about 1 inch tall once baked! I make sure I have the same amount of batter in my pans by weighing them. It’s much easier than dealing with cups! 🙂

  130. Hello Chelsweets ,
    Love your cakes , I decided to give your vanilla cake recipe a try i made 2 batches and both batches the batter curdled im not sure what im doing wrong i still put in the oven and they came out good but when i seen that i thought they would not bake correctly. Im not happy with how the batter looked so i know im doing something wrong just not sure what it is do the eggwhites need to be room temp as well , im thinking it was buttermilk because it happend after adding the buttermilk each time ?

    1. my batter sometimes will separate a bit if it sits out for a while, but normally is pretty smooth when I make it! Yes, all the ingredients should be at room temp, to help them mix together better.

  131. I LOVE watching your vids and have learned so much from you… so thank you!! A question on this… if I only have two pans should I leave the remaining batter to be used out at room temp or put it into the fridge? Also, do you freeze after baking and then again after a crumb coat? Thank you in advance for your help 🙂

    1. You can leave the remaining batter out at room temp, as long as you plan to use it right after the first wave of layers bake. I do freeze the layers once they’re baked, and freeze the crumb coated cake for a bout 5 minutes, to help it firm up. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  132. Hi Chels, sometimes i have orders for two or three cakes for the week, I would like to know if i make my cakes say on a monday for the order on say saturday and sunday will it be ok to bake them a week ahead, wrap will good and freeze until the next week for decorating? How far in advance can i make my cakes and freeze if using your recipe, it is sooo!!!!!Awesome. Thank YOu

  133. Hi I’m making a wedding cake, and my usual batter recipe is too moist, I’ve come across lots of recipes but yours looks fab and I’m going to try it this weekend. I’m making 12” 10” 8” and 6” layers and I’m super confused as to how much batter I should use in each. I’m only working with one of each size tin also so going to make different sizes at the same time, hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. i’d use the area of a circle to calculate it (pie x radius squared)! if you know that one batch of batter makes 4 7 inch cake layers that are 1 inch (once leveled), you know one batch of batter makes about 154 square inches. You can then calculate the total area of each tier, and then determine how many batches of batter you will need 🙂 hope that helps, happy baking!

  134. Hi Chelsey! I need to make a cake that needs 6 inch layers. Have you used this recipe for 6 inch pans? If so how long do you think I should bake them for and how many pans did one batch fill? Thank you for this recipe, can’t wait to try it!

  135. Have you ever used the Wilton cake strips to avoid the cake carmelization along the edges? Did you have to extend the bake time?

    1. gluten free baking is always such a challenge! I actually have one gluten free cake recipe up which i recommend using instead!

    1. exactly! I’d bake it for 35- 40 minutes, and add a flower nail or two to the center to help it bake more evenly and quickly.

  136. I love your stuff; I am doing a semi naked cake for a wedding Saturday, baking them off today… can you give me advice on how to plan out and freeze, I was thinking to frost and stuff tomorrow and let it freeze, the venue is outdoor and I’m afraid it will melt. With that said, I don’t know if naked cakes sweat like traditional buttercream cakes do? Help, lol.

    1. They will sweat too. I do NOT recommend freezing it! It will increase the temperature shock once the cake is outside, and cause tons of condensation. I’d say just chill the cake in the fridge once it’s made! You can def make it in advance. Hope that helps!!

  137. Hi – I’m making 4 layers of 12inch x 2inch round cakes – how many batches of your cakes would I need? I also suck at math so I’m sure I’d miscalculate what I need lol

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it!! If you pour out the amount you need and let it sit for about 30 minutes, it’ll warm up pretty quickly! I’d recommend doing it closer to when you plan to bake the cake <3

  138. I made his tonight and it was super good but tastes like corn bread? What did I do wrong, any ideas? Thanks! Love you and you’ve taught me so flipping much!

    1. interesting!! maybe it’s the brand of flour you’re using?? It will have a bit of a tang from the buttermilk, but def shouldn’t taste like cornbread 😛

  139. Hello! I am from the UK and we typically use caster sugar for baking as it is a finer sugar. UK granulated is normally used to sweeten tea or coffee. My understanding is that American granulated sugar is typically finer than UK granulated sugar…which brings me to my question. As I am in the UK, should I be using caster sugar instead of granulated sugar for this recipe? I’m concerned that it will influence the texture of the sponge. Thank you!

    1. I didn’t even consuder this, I’m in Australia and made this last week using caster sugar. The cake had a lovely, fluffy texture

    2. I didn’t know that!! I honestly have no idea which would be better to use, but I think as long as you weight it out and are using the right amount, it should turn out fine with either! 🙂

  140. Hi, I love all your videos and recipes, does it matter if a used low fat buttermilk I couldn’t find any other in the supermarket.

  141. I am looking to make a 4 layer 8″ drip cake decorated with flowers on top for a bridal shower so I would like to get as much height as possible. I don’t know if I should just use 1 batch of batter and spread evenly in 4 pans or prepare 1 1/2 batches and spread in 4 pans for a slightly thicker layer. How high do you typically fill your pans-1/2 way or 3/4 of the way? How high are your layers after they are baked?

    1. I usually fill them about 1 inch high with batter! They don’t rise a ton, and they end up being about one inch after I trim and level them. I like the thickness one batch makes in 7 inch pans, so if you want nice thick layers, I’d recommend 1.5 batches to ensure you get lots of height (especially if you plan to trim/level them). Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  142. Hi! I hope I’m not repeating any question I’ve looked through and didn’t find it.
    I love this recipe for stacked cakes, but was wondering if you had a lighter recipe for just single tiered cakes?

    1. I have a small batch recipe, but it’s just a half version! I usually use to make small, 6 inch cakes with three layers. When you say single tiered cake, do you mean single layer cake?

      1. Thank you for replying. I just mean I like to use a lighter, less dense cake for non-stacked cakes. I was wondering if you had a recipe for a lighter cake?

  143. I can’t wait to try this recipe. One quick question after I assemble and ice the cake can it sit over night in a cake box in the fridge. I usually let the cakes sit out 4-5 hours next day before serving.

    1. That should be fine! I always make my cakes in advance, but usually let them sit out for about 2 hours before cutting! I find it’s easier to get clean slices when the cake is still a tiny bit chilled 🙂

  144. Just quietly, thank you so much for including the gram conversions. I’m in Australia and our cup measurements are different to US one and this makes it SO much easier! Love your work 🙂

    1. I really recommend baking powder, to ensure the recipe turns out the way it’s supposed to <3 if you want to make a 6 inch cake, I recommend making a half batch of this recipe!

  145. On the small batch vanilla cake recipe – using three 6″ pans – do you cook for less time than the full batch recipe? Thanks, Cindy

  146. Hi, from your home state! I’m in Seattle. 🙂

    I’m really excited to try this recipe for our Halloween party. I’m nervous about leaving things out. Just so I’m sure I understand, if I want nice, strong color for dyed layers, I leave the batter sitting out overnight? In the fridge or on the counter? After baking, it’s: cool ten minutes, freeze 45, and then thaw 20 before trimming the layers? Then if I want, I can refreeze them for a few days, thaw them 20 minutes, crumb coat, freeze 5 minutes, and then frost. Then, I put the cake in the fridge until about two hours before serving. Does all that sound like the right plan? If I have to have the cake out longer than two hours, will that be ok? I’m making it for a work party and our fridge at work isn’t big enough, so it will be out from about 9 am-1:30 before I serve it. PS- just discovered your blog and love it!

    1. The color deepens with frosting if you let it sit, but I def don’t recommend letting your batter sit out! It should be baked right away. If you use gel food coloring, your layers should turn out very vibrant.

      Correct on the layer prep, and cake assembly! You can def leave the frosted cake out for more than 2 hours, 2 hours is just the minimum for it to warm back up to room temp 🙂

  147. Chelsea, im in Australia. If using self raising flour for this recepie (it already contained rasing agent), do I omit the baking powder? Or, should I really be using what we call plain flour and still use the baking powder as the raising agent?

    1. I guess so! I’ve never tried a self rising flour before, so I’m not quite sure how it’ll turn out! I’d recommend plain flour + baking powder for best results 🙂

      1. Chelsea, in regards to using self raising four, I did it and it turned out perfectly. Just to confirm if others have the same question – I used the same quantity of flour requested by the recepie, but used self raising flour and left out the baking powder. Thank you.

    2. Hey. Thanks Sarah for finding this out. I’m in UK. We have self raising flour here too. I’ve always used plain flour and baking powder as recipe states – but now I know you can use SR I’m never going to panick and run out to buy Plainfield’s I’ve only got SR in.
      I use this recipe for Lemon cake, Victoria sponge cake and Coconut cake. Basically any
      White cake I need to make and then I just modify with flavours and extras.

  148. The cake came out great! People wanted to know where I bought it. 🙂 I used this cake recipe and your recipe for black frosting. The electric purple gel coloring from americolor wasn’t as vibrant as I would have liked for my purple layers, but the orange and green layers were cool. This is my very first tiered cake, first time stacking layers and trying to smooth frosting like you do. I could not have done it without your tutorials. Thank you!

  149. If I can’t bake all three layers at the same time, should I have the batter out st room temp or in the refrigerator in between baking layers!?
    Thanks

  150. Hello. I would like to use your recipe but I am making a 4 layered 8inch and a 4 layered 6 inch. Should I double the recipe or would that mess with the consistency? Appreciate any help! Thank you

    1. You can double it, as long as you have a large enough mixer! my kitchen aid can only do a 1.5 batch, and even that is pushing it to it’s absolute max capacity!

  151. Hi Chelsea! I love your blog and your videos. I’ve been watching for a while. This past weekend was my first attempt at a layer cake where I really focused on the technique. I used your vanilla layer cake recipe and your buttercream recipe. Love the flavor of both!! For the layer cake, mine came out very dense. The sponge wasn’t crumbly or airy. Do you think I over-beat the batter? Is it supposed to be very dense? I also had some trouble smoothing out the buttercream so it was all even. Any extra tips for that? Should I try adding a thicker layer possibly?

    Thanks for any advice!!
    Kate

    1. My cake recipe isn’t a sponge cake recipe, it’s a buttermilk cake recipe! So it’s definitely going to be less airy than a sponge cake. But if it was super dense, i would recommend trying to beat the batter less next time. In terms of getting smooth buttercream, here’s a full tutorial where I walk through each step I take to make my frosting super smooth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg7CRfLRWEg

      Hope that helps, happy baking!

  152. Hi Chelsea! If I wanted to turn this into lemon cake, how much zest would I add? I’m worried adding lemon juice will mess with the consistency. Thank you!!

    1. I’d add in the zest of 2 medium lemons if you don’t plan to add any lemon juice! you can add some, and just reduce the amount of buttermilk you add by the amount of lemon juice 🙂 That way the consistency should be just fine!

  153. Hi! I tried this and the recipe was a bit sweet for me but I loved everything else about it. If I reduced the sugar would that mess up the recipe? Have you ever tried that?

    1. Sadly i’ve never tried that!! I’m not sure how it would turn out, but i’d love to hear how yours goes if you decide to try it!!

  154. Hello Chelsea! I am a great fan of your baking. I am just wondering why you use only egg whites in this vanilla cake? I am used to use the whole egg in my cakes. Is there a reason for this? Thank you so much for your response!
    Thanks for advice!
    Gabriela

    1. it just helps make the cake a bit lighter! it’s a rather dense cake, and i like the texture best when i make it with egg whites 🙂