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Basic Vanilla Cake (8 inch single layer)

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This Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe is a simple yet flavorsome vanilla butter cake that is created in one bowl. Paired with fluffy vanilla-infused buttercream frosting. Consider this your go-to basic vanilla cake recipe that can be dressed up with different flavored frostings of your choice. 

The full cake baked and frosted with the buttercream before serving.

Vanilla Cake Recipe From Scratch

My easy vanilla cake is another simple and delicious option to add to your collection and should be in all home baker’s recipe repertoires.

Like my Basic 8 Inch Chocolate Cake and this delicious Moist Chocolate Walnut Cake.

I just love easy one layer cakes. They’re great to make instead of a double or triple layer cake, which have excessive amounts of frosting.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • An easy round 8 inch vanilla cake. 
  • Plain and simple. 
  • One layer. 
  • Uses 10 basic ingredients.
  • Paired with a quick vanilla buttercream frosting. 
A bite taken out of one slice.

The Beauty Of A Basic Vanilla Cake

It’s light and fluffy crumb and potent vanilla flavour will keep you coming back for more.

That’s what’s amazing about these basic vanilla cakes, they don’t have to be boring. Keeping it simple and going back to basics is always a winner.

Some plain vanilla cakes also lack flavour and structure, that is why I kept testing this recipe until I was 100% happy to share it with you. With two and a half teaspoons of vanilla bean extract in the cake, you certainly know it’s vanilla flavoured.

You can also make a Vanilla Cake Without Eggs!

The cake on a serving stand.

I’ve included a basic vanilla buttercream frosting in this recipe as well. Or you can use a 3 ingredient cream cheese frosting. You may have one on hand already or you might want to use a different flavour. Otherwise this buttercream is perfect for a basic vanilla cake such as this one. 

For a cupcake version of this cake, I have created a Small Batch Vanilla Cupcake recipe with whipped buttercream vanilla frosting.

Essential Ingredients

The essential ingredients listed below are affiliate links on Amazon so you can easily find and see the exact products I recommend for creating this recipe!

Picking up one slice of cake.

Must Have Tools

For crafting the perfect vanilla cake recipe from scratch, it’s essential to have these Amazon affiliate tools at your disposal.

How To Make Vanilla Cake (with photos)

How to make this basic 8 inch vanilla cake from scratch in 7 easy steps!

Step one: Whisk together your flour, baking powder and the salt in a mixing bowl. Set this aside. 

Step two: In a large mixing bowl, using either electric beaters, beat together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.

Whisking together the dry ingredients and creaming together the butter and sugar.

Step three: Add eggs one at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides as needed. 

Step four: Pour in your milk, oil and the glorious vanilla. Beat for 15 seconds until it’s well combined. Scrape down the sides again. 

Beating in the eggs and wet ingredients.

Step five: Add the dry flour mixture and beat until incorporated, ensuring not to over-beat.

Beating through the dry flour mixture to form a smooth cake batter.

Step six: Spread your cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

The cake batter formed and spread into the cake pan to bake for 30 minutes.

Step seven: In a large mixing bowl beat together the frosting ingredients until it’s thick and smooth. Spread frosting over the cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!

The baked cake cooling then being spread with the frosting.

Expert Tips

  • Ensure your refrigerated ingredients come to room temperature.
  • To achieve the best vanilla flavor, be sure to use the best quality vanilla bean extract.
  • Don’t over-mix your cake batter. You want the cake to remain light and fluffy, avoid over-mixing it and you will achieve just that 🙂

How much frosting for 8 inch cake?

For an 8-inch cake, you’ll typically need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of frosting to cover the top and about 2 cups to cover the sides. My easy cream cheese frosting is also perfect for this vanilla cake!

How big is an 8 inch cake?

An 8-inch cake typically refers to a round cake with a diameter of 8 inches.

A slice of cake with frosting ready to be eaten.

How many people does an 8 inch cake feed?

An 8-inch round vanilla cake can serve approximately 8-10 people, depending on the size of the slices, making it a popular size for small gatherings.

How long to bake an 8 inch round cake?

An 8-inch round cake usually bakes between 25-35 minutes at 350°F (180°C), but it’s best to check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center that comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.

The frosted cake before slicing.

How To Store Vanilla Cake?

Store cake in an airtight container, in a dry dark pantry, for 3-4 days. Transfer to the refrigerator after a few days if needed to keep it fresh from humid temperatures.

Freeze this vanilla cake without the frosting by allowing it to completely cool after baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap it again in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

To defrost, remove it from the freezer and place it in your refrigerator, still wrapped, for several hours or 24 hours until it’s thawed. To serve, make the frosting, spread it over the cake and serve.

FAQ’s

Can I make this gluten-free?

You can try using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend perfect for baking, such as a 1:1 flour blend. I haven’t tested this recipe myself using gluten-free flour.

Can I double the recipe to make a double layered cake?

Yes! Simply double the recipe to create two 8-inch cakes baked in two separate baking tins using the same baking time. Double the frosting and spread it in the middle of both cakes and on top!

Can I use a different frosting?

Absolutely! Pair your vanilla cake with any frosting you desire such as chocolate, lemon or strawberry!

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

8 inch single layer vanilla cake

Basic Vanilla Cake (8 inch single layer)

Samantha Pickthall
A simple yet flavoursome 8 inch vanilla butter cake that is created in one bowl. Paired with a fluffy vanilla infused buttercream frosting.
4.22 from 169 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices
Calories 532 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Vanilla Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain all purpose flour scooped & leveled
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup golden or white caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, approx. 55g-60g in shell, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla bean extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (300g) icing/confectioners sugar scoop & leveled
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract

Instructions
 

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a round 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, set aside. NOTE: Alternatively, if you have a non-stick pan, liberally grease it with melted butter and dust it with a light layer of flour. This will leave your finished cake with smooth sides.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using either electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add softened butter to the bowl.
  • Beat butter for a few seconds to break it up and it begins to turn creamy. This makes it easier on your beater when the sugar is added.
  • Add sugar. Beat with the butter for 2 minutes until pale and creamy. Scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Pour in milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 15 seconds until well combined. Scrape down the sides again.
  • Add half of the dry flour mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and add remaining flour. Beat until incorporated, ensuring not to over-beat, just until the flour has combined then turn off the beater. If some excess flour is still visible around the sides of the bowl, gently fold it in with a spatula. If you over-beat, the cake can turn tough and dense after baking.
  • Pour into lined pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and it’s golden all over.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, using either electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add softened butter to the bowl.
  • Beat butter for a few seconds to break it up and it begins to turn creamy.
  • Add icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat until well combined, creamy and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Spread frosting over cooled cake. Set aside and allow to set.
  • Slice into triangles and enjoy.

Video

Notes

Make sure to measure your baking ingredients accurately to achieve the best results. Check out my helpful guide on how to measure basic ingredients.
Ensure your cold ingredients come to room temperature before making your cake and frosting. The butter, eggs, and milk. Using cold ingredients in cakes will not emulsify and blend appropriately with the rest of the ingredients, which results in problems with the final product.
Do not over-mix this cake batter as it will result in a tough cake texture after baking.
Store cake in an airtight container, in a dry dark pantry, for 3-4 days. Transfer to the refrigerator after a few days if needed to keep it fresh from humid temperatures.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 206mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 668IUCalcium: 98mgIron: 1mg
Keyword 8 inch cake, cake, single layer cake, vanilla cake
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great vanilla cake! I did bake this recipe twice, since the first time, the skewer test did not work, and so, my cake collapsed in the middle as it cooled. The second time though, I increased the baking time and used the spring test. I also checked the centre with a paring knife and made sure it was a golden brown color. it was perfect!

    it’s good with cakes to do more than one test.

  2. 4 stars
    The cake was very tasty however, the skewer test did not work. It indicated that the cake was done but after cooling the center collapsed. Also, there is a math error in the frosting recipe. 2 cups of frosting sugar (at least the brand I used) was only 240 g, not 300. If you are measuring by weight be sure to check your package and verify the weight per cup. I will definitely make this again but be sure to let it bake a little longer.

    1. Hi Lynette, thanks for trying the vanilla cake and sharing your feedback. I’m sorry it collapsed after cooling—it likely needed more oven time. For future attempts, press the cake’s middle before removing it; it should spring back slightly to indicate doneness. Regarding the powdered sugar weight, I always specify grams for accuracy. I recommend adhering to the weights provided in the recipe (including any other recipe), as they may differ from familiar measurements. Good luck on your next attempt, and I hope this helps! Kindest, Sam

  3. Can you confirm the 125 grams of butter, thats almost one stick and seems a lot for a single layer cake? It seems one stick is used in many 2 layer cakes. Just don’t want to have it fail on me, thanks.

    1. Hi Jennifer, yes that is correct, 125 grams of butter. I found this to be the perfect quantity during testing. The volume of batter is just right for an 8-inch cake tin. Hope that helps and you give this recipe a try! Sam 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. So simple and the batter was absolutely creamy. The layers of cake were beautiful right out of the oven. This will be a fave cake recipe in our house. Thank you sooooo much! xox

    1. Hi Xavierism! So happy to hear you made and enjoyed this vanilla cake recipe. It’s a staple cake recipe for the family! Thanks for sharing, Sam x

  5. 5 stars
    Amazing how spongy and light it is. I loved how precise the directions were. This will be a keeper? Thanks for sharing this perfect cake recipe!

  6. I made this cake today, and it was absolutely delicious. My husband and I recently moved into an 800sf home, and we have countertop appliances to cook with. This was my first try at a small batch recipe, and I will make this again and again. The cake is moist and the icing is super flavorful. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

4.22 from 169 votes (165 ratings without comment)

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