You guys probably know by now how much I love to bake…and one of my favorite things to bake is a simple vanilla cake! I just love the simplicity of it. It’s literally the little black dress of the cake world, if I may. If you have a great vanilla cake recipe in your back pocket, you’re pretty much set for a variety of life situations.
But, the unfortunate thing is that there are so many sub-par vanilla cake recipes out there. Take it from me. I have tried them. It’s so awful when the perfect looking vanilla cake you find on Pinterest and make for your kiddos birthday party lets you down, am I right? Sometimes the texture can be just off — almost gummy, in my opinion.
Well, I really don’t want that to happen to you again. I have tasted enough cake to know a good one and this, my friends, is a GREAT basic vanilla cake. It is incredibly light, not overly sweet and very moist.
I feel like I need to emphasis again how light this cake is. It’s really one of the lightest I have tried. I just love it. Chocolate cake should be dense, friends. Vanilla cake should be light. You can turn this into a layer cake, into cupcakes, into sheet cake…the list goes on. I love it baked in a 9 x 13″ pan so I can cut perfect little “snack cake” slices.
The secret to this cake is the buttermilk! Even Adam, who is much more into chocolate desserts than anything else, absolutely loved this.
Anyway, I hope you love this cake as much as I do. It only takes about 40 minutes to make, start to finish, and I love topping it with a creamy whipped cream frosting and berries in summer! It actually would make a fantastic strawberry shortcake. I’m mentally noting that for next time. 😉 In the winter, I might opt for a richer chocolate icing.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups heavy cream very cold
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray or butter well.
Cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix batter until only combined then spread it out in your prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
To make the frosting, whip the COLD heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla on high until peaks form. Spread on the cold cake (if cake is still warm, frosting will melt and run all over the place). Decorate with fresh berries and eat immediately.