Simple & Classic Vanilla Cake

One of the last social events we did before quarantine was a small birthday party for one of my life long friends. My gift to her was providing the cake. It was the perfect opportunity to throw this recipe together. I've made tons of vanilla cakes in my day, I think it's safe to say this is my favorite recipe so far!

This simple vanilla cake recipe is super versatile. It works as a base for any event or occasion. It can be as minimal as a naked cake, it can be simply decorated with icing flowers, or even add fondant characters for a child's birthday cake. This is my new go-to recipe for any vanilla cake lover.

As always, you'll need only simple ingredients, pantry staples! Make sure you use a really good vanilla; I use Rodelle. It's a little more pricey than some of the other brands, but it makes a huge difference!

Buttermilk can be hard to come by, if you can't get your hands on any it's very easy to make your own substitute. For each cup of buttermilk needed, simply add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup and then add milk until it measures up to one cup.

Let the mixture sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the milk has thickened and begun to curdle.

Now that you've gathered your ingredients, the rest is easy. For this recipe you'll mix your dry and wet ingredients separately, than combine them gradually.

Once you've baked and cooled your cakes completely, it's time to ice them. Of course you can use any kind of icing you want, but I stuck with a simple vanilla buttermilk frosting.

Be sure to do a crumb coat and chill it in the refrigerate for about 20 mins before doing your final layer of frosting. Now decorate to your hearts delight!

Since I made this cake for an adult party with no theme, I decided to do a simple design with fresh berries and a few swigs of mint. I topped it all with a dusting of powdered sugar.

This cake recipe is fantastic for any occasion, it's very easy to multiply or reduce the recipe to fit your needs. It's easy to make and beats a boxed cake mix any day! We might not be making large cakes for a while so make sure you pin this recipe for later. Happy Baking!




  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, (softened)

  • 1 Cup Sugar

  • 2 Large Eggs

  • 2 Cups Unbleached Cake Flour

  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder

  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 1¼ Cup Buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons Rodelle Reserve Vanilla


  • 1½ Cups Unsalted Butter - softened

  • 6 Cups Powdered Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons Buttermilk



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and generously grease 2 round cake pans ( 8 or 9 in).

  2. Mix butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs.

  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing in buttermilk alternately.

  5. Mix in vanilla.

  6. Divide batter between 2 prepared cake pans.

  7. Bake 25 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

  8. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


  1. Whip the butter for about 1 minute until light and fluffy

  2. Add the powdered sugar gradually, 1 cup at a time.

  3. Add vanilla and buttermilk.

  4. Mix vigorously (or on medium/high speed) for about 4 to 5 minutes. Frosting will be light and creamy.

  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, than whip once more before frosting the cake.