Vanilla Cake with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

This is the kind of dessert that people sneak bites of before it’s dessert time. True story.

I don’t bake cakes often, especially multiple layer cakes. Maybe it’s because I dread handling two or more cakes that inevitably don’t look symmetrical and I can’t frost cakes to save my life. Or perhaps it’s because I don’t have many occasions that call for a cake and I don’t want to make a whole cake for just me and my husband. Let’s go with the latter reason. 😉

Now a one layer cake, that I can do. After all, it’s almost like making brownies which is a recipe that even beginners can succeed at. Mix up some ingredients, pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake. Viola.

This cake is absolutely delicious. It tastes like the perfect vanilla cake. By that I mean, this has got good flavor. I’m not a fan of eating yellow cake when it just tastes like yellow, i.e. nothing. Second, it’s moist and tender. No one wants a dry cake (at least no one that I know).

Just as a heads up, if you don’t already have it, you will need to buy cake flour. I’ve made a number of cakes with it and those cakes have a lovely soft crumb texture. It’s a main stream ingredient that you can find in the baking isle with the rest of the flour options. Trust me when I say that you will want any leftover cake flour handy to make this cake again.

This whipped buttercream frosting is out of this world delicious… and sweet. It took a lot of restraint to not eat it directly out of the bowl.

You can frost the cake with a variety of piping details. My mom is so talented and can make spectacular creations. Unfortunately I did not get that talent from her. I stuck with a simple “spread the frosting” approach here.

I added some sprinkles on top, which I think adds a pretty finishing touch. It’s hard to go wrong with sprinkles. I brought this cake to a family 4th of July BBQ so the sprinkles are kind of like fireworks. 😉 Of course you can use any color sprinkles to match any other holiday or occasion.

Everyone adored this cake. I knew I had a winner when multiple people made their way to where the cake was hiding with forks in hand to “test” the cake and go back and “test” it again a few more times before it was even time for dinner. It’s just that irresistible.

Vanilla Cake with Whipped Buttercream Frosting Recipe
(About 12 to 18 servings)

Ingredients for the Vanilla Cake:

  • 3 cups of cake flour (equivalent to 345 grams)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Ingredients for the Whipped Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar (equivalent to 540 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk because I had it for the cake and that worked just fine.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste (I used 1/8 teaspoon.)

Optional Toppings:

  • sprinkles on top of the frosting

Directions for the Vanilla Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk everything to make sure that it’s mixed well. (Note, the original recipe highly recommends sifting the dry ingredients so I followed that. Is it a necessary step? I’m not sure, but I didn’t feel like testing the theory.)
  3. Add in the butter, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of the milk and beat everything on medium speed until they are moist.
  4. In a separate small bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, sour cream, and eggs and gently whisk everything together, and then add this mixture into the large bowl in 3 phases. After each addition, beat the mixture for about 15 seconds. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl each time. Beat the mixture one last time just until the batter is completely combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish and bake it in the preheated oven for 30 to 36 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (In my oven, it took 36 minutes.)
  6. Let the cake cool completely before you frost it.

Directions for the Whipped Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In a big bowl bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until it’s creamy.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat everything together on low speed for about 30 seconds (until the powdered sugar is incorporated) and then increase the speed to high for about 5 minutes. Your goal is for the frosting to look fluffy.
  3. Spread the frosting over the entire cooled cake.
  4. (Optional) Sprinkle sprinkles on top.

Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction


  1. Victoria Cooke says:

    I love this recipe. The cake looks light and has a nice texture. I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much!

  2. Hi. Is this frosting stable in hot temperature?

    1. Tina says:

      I keep it in the refrigerator because I like my frosting firm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *