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vanilla cake slice
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4.87 from 15 votes

Vanilla Cake

This recipe makes three 6 inch layers.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla cake
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour (280 g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 sticks of butter (226 g) - room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar (280 g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (125 g) room temperature

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter (227 g) room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco) (100 g)
  • 6 cups sifted powered sugar (750 g)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Butter and flour three 6 inch cake tins and line with parchment paper.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients (cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) in a medium bowl, whisk together and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix the milk, sour cream and vanilla together. Set aside.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed (4) for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Whisk the egg whites together with a fork and slowly drizzle the egg whites into the mixture. Keep it on low speed (2) until all the egg whites are added and then increase the speed to high (8) for about 1-2 minutes until combined. (May look curdled but it will smooth out as you beat). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until barely incorporated. Then add half of the milk mixture and mix for a few seconds. Then add the remaining dry ingredients mixing for a few seconds and then add the remaining milk mixture.
    Turn off the mixer and mix it by hand with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is combined. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the pans (about a third of the way full). Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the cakes are cooked. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean then it's done.
  • Allow cakes to cool completely (15-20 minutes) and then gently remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to rest on a wire rack.

Make the Buttercream Frosting

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add half of the powdered sugar and beat of low speed for 30 seconds. Add a 1/4 cup of the milk and mix on low. Add the remaining powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Mix on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If is it too thick, add more milk.

Assemble

  • Add a layer of buttercream between each cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth the frosting. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and then apply another thin layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake.
    If desired, add food coloring to a small amount of frosting and pipe buttercream flowers on the sides.

Notes

Cake flour: If you don't have cake flour, you can make your own using all purpose flour. For this recipe, remove 4 tablespoons of the flour and add in 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. 
This recipe was updated on July 26, 2021. If you prefer the original recipe:
  • Add 1/4  baking soda to the dry ingredients
  • Add 1/2 cup sour cream (130 g) - room temperature to the milk