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Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting is simply delicious! A wonderful celebration cake!

slice of Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting on a green and white plate

Vanilla is too often overlooked in the baking world. But that simple flavor is one of the very best flavors there is. Period. This simple cake is such a great way to enjoy vanilla in all its delicious glory!

We’re also awarding bonus points here for how wonderfully quick and easy it is to make. It’s all made with basic baking ingredients you are likely to have on-hand if you bake frequently. That makes it a perfect candidate for a go-to dessert!

overhead view of slices of Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting on colorful plates

I like to keep things simple by baking this cake in a rectangular pan. That makes it easy to decorate, serve, store, and transport. The recipe will also make two 9-inch round cake layers if you want to go that route.

I find that this is plenty of frosting for this cake. It adds sweetness without being overwhelming. As is the case with many frostings, this one is pretty sweet, so a thicker layer might be too much for a lot of people. But feel free to scale the recipe to make more if you’d like and extra kick of sweetness.

slices of Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting on colorful plates

I like to add sprinkles for some color and fun, but you can leave it unadorned for a simpler presentation. If you’d like a bigger splash of color, you can add a little food coloring to the frosting. Other frostings pair well with this vanilla cake, too, if you’d like some variety. Use one of your favorite frosting recipes, or find some other frosting options in the Recipe Index.

This Vanilla Cake is such a wonderful celebration cake. It’s perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any other fun reason you have to celebrate!

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Vanilla Dessert Recipes

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Yield 12 to 20 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting is the perfect cake for most any celebration!

slice of Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting on a green and white plate


For the cake:

  • 3 & 1/4 cups (390g) cake flour
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (296ml) milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups (275g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
  • sprinkles, for garnish


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan with parchment paper. Grease (or butter and flour) the paper and any exposed parts of the inside of the pan.*
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of milk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of large air pockets.
  6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

  1. Beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla. Continue beating, adding a small amount of milk at a time until the frosting is the desired consistency.
  3. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Top with sprinkles.


*The parchment can be used to make a "sling" that you can use later to remove the cooled cake from the pan.

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    6 Comments on “Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting”

  1. Do do you have a book I can purchase ?

  2. I made this cake exactly as directed, including using the parchment paper.  My advice on the parchment paper, Don’t.. Do. It!  
    The cake is extremely dry, as in dry toast. All those good ingredients wasted. I baked it for 33 minutes in my 4- year old oven. Maybe I should have baked it for 20 minutes?
    Also, put in some flavoring; lemon would be nice, and make more icing, cream cheese icing would be much better, with or without flavoring. Just get some flavor in there. 
    I went to a wedding a couple of years ago where the vanilla cake was to die for. It was very mouse and just delicious without any other flavoring. I had hoped this would be like the wedding cake. It was not. 😢

    • I’m sorry you had troubles, Carol. I just had this cake again yesterday, and I don’t find it dry at all. I find it wonderfully soft and moist. If you didn’t change anything at all about the recipe, my first thought was perhaps your cake flour was self-rising. Otherwise, perhaps check the freshness of your ingredients and the accuracy of your oven’s temperature.

  3. There’s so much I could say…..but I’m going to try and practice what I preach. EVERY SINGLE food blogger I follow, including Jennifer, has taken constructive criticism with grace and accepted feedback and questions with the utmost professionalism and patience. And EVERY SINGLE food blogger I follow has had a recipe or two that didn’t float my boat……if you know what I mean. Each recipe I choose not to make again has always been edible and halfway decent, just not better than another I may have come across. To each his own I say. You simply cannot please everyone all of the time. I never classify any recipe as a “waste of time” because I learn something new every time I try a new recipe……even if that means learning that I don’t want to make that particular recipe ever again. Bottom line: KINDNESS IS A CHOICE. SOMETIMES IT IS A CHOICE WE HAVE TO MAKE EVERY SINGLE DAY, MAYBE EVEN EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thank you Jennifer for your wonderfully positive and fun blog. I look forward to checking in weekly and seeing what new recipes and helpful tips you have in store for us.

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