Classic Vanilla Cake

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One stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pans

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pans

One teaspoon of baking powder

One teaspoon of acceptable salt

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Five large eggs at room temperature

One tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

1 cup milk


Three sticks (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted butter at room temperature

Pinch fine salt

3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk


Watch this class to try out the cooking class.

  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter both the bottom and sides of the two 9-inch cake pans. Dust with flour and tap off the excess.
  2. Whisk together the flour with baking powder and sea salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed for about five minutes until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs one by one.
  4. Then, alternately fold the flour mixture into the batter using a spatula. Add the flour three times and the milk twice, beginning and ending with flour. Divide the batter equally between the pans.
  5. Bake the cakes on the same oven rack for 35-40 minutes or until the tops are golden and the centers bounce back when touched. If the cakes are browning unevenly, rotate them about halfway through. Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in their pans, and then transfer them onto cooling racks.
  6. To make the frosting, while the cakes are cooling, use an electric mixer to mix butter and salt in a large mixing bowl at medium speed. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar gradually. After adding all the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until it becomes white and fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons of milk. Add the remaining milk one tablespoon at a time (the frosting should be spreadable but not runny).
  7. To assemble, place one cake layer upside down on a cake stand or plate and spread 1 cup of frosting. The second layer of the cake should be placed on top. Frost the sides and top of the cake using the remaining frosting.

Cook’s Note

You can also assemble and frost the cake the day before serving; let it stand at room temperature overnight, covered by a large bowl or cake dome. You can also frost and assemble the cake a day in advance. Let it sit at room temp overnight, covered with a giant cake dome or bowl.

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