5 from 9 votes
Best Vanilla Cake from Scratch
Perfect Vanilla Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
This is the only vanilla cake recipe you'll ever need! It bakes up soft, buttery, and moist, with a fine, delicate crumb. So easy it's practically foolproof, and it all comes together in just one bowl. Simple, versatile, and so delicious!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, vanilla, vanilla cake
Servings: 8
Calories: 414 kcal
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour *
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt sour cream or buttermilk** can be substituted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist three 6-inch cake pans*** with non-stick spray, and line them with circles cut from parchment paper.
  2. Place the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the butter, mixing on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 1 minute.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. Add the yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
  6. Mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, to aerate the batter and build the cake's structure.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

* Learn more about cake flour here: Why Use Cake Flour?
** If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute by stirring 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice into 2/3 cup of regular milk. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened and slightly curdled.
*** This layer cake can also be baked in two 8-inch or 9-inch diameter cake pans. The cake layers may bake up slightly thinner, and the bake times may need to be adjusted. Click here for the cupcake version of this recipe: Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from Scratch.

Some other cake recipes you might enjoy:

Nutrition Facts
Perfect Vanilla Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 414 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 352mg 15%
Potassium 150mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Sugars 26g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 12.3%
Calcium 7.4%
Iron 5.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.