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Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe (with Oil)

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I adore a moist cake, it’s timeless and always delights a crowd and you’re going to love this Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe! Crafted without butter, this cake uses oil and a meticulously balanced mix of ingredients to create a tender, moist, and fluffy crumb. It’s sure to impress anyone who tastes it!

For your convenience, the recipe card is located at the top of this post. Scroll down for step-by-step images, expert tips, FAQs, and more!

Best moist vanilla cake with sprinkles cut into squares.
Moist vanilla cake recipe on pink plate.

Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe (with Oil)

Samantha Pickthall
This Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe is created to deliver a perfectly tender, fluffy and moist crumb. This timeless cake is a surefire hit for any celebration or gathering!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 squares
Calories 305 kcal


Vanilla Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups (410g / 14.4 oz.) all-purpose flour, scoop & leveled
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g / 12 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 226 g (2 sticks / 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g / 14.8 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream / thickened cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles, optional


  • For best results, I recommend using the weight measurements with a kitchen scale. Measuring cups can vary between regions and brands, leading to inconsistencies. A kitchen scale will ensure precision and contribute to the perfect cake every time.

Vanilla Cake

  • Prepare the Oven and Pan: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan Note: Alternatively, if you have a non-stick pan, line just the base with parchment paper and liberally grease the sides with soft butter and dust it with a light layer of flour. This will leave your finished cake with smooth sides.Set aside.
  • Sift and Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the salt. Set aside.
  • Combine Sugar and Wet Ingredients: In another large mixing using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attached, add the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute until well combined. Scrape down the sides.
  • Add Yogurt and Milk: Beat in the yogurt and milk for about 20 seconds until smooth.
  • Incorporate Flour Mixture: Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beat on low speed until just combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat on low until fully incorporated, ensuring not to overmix, about 10-15 seconds. Use a spatula to gently incorporate extra flour from the sides of the bowl back into the batter.
  • Transfer Batter To Tin: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake: Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat Butter: In a large mixing bowl using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attached, beat the softened butter for 2 minutes until pale and creamy.
  • Add Sugar Gradually: Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well (about 15 seconds) after each addition.
  • Add Cream and Vanilla: Add heavy cream and vanilla extract, then beat for 2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Frost Cake: Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the vanilla buttercream frosting evenly over the cake. Add Sprinkles.
  • Serve: Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!


Calories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 89mgPotassium: 87mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 318IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe

Every bite of this moist vanilla cake is a taste of pure bliss. The secret to its irresistible texture lies in the precise balance of ingredients, ensuring each slice is as fluffy as it is moist.

This vanilla sheet cake serves as the perfect canvas for a variety of toppings.

Whether you choose to layer it with this classic vanilla buttercream frosting, a tangy cream cheese frosting, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, or even top it with fresh berries, this cake adapts beautifully to complement your favorite flavors.

Finally, sharing this cake with friends and family turns any gathering into a celebration. It’s large enough to feed a crowd and there’s something incredibly special about presenting a homemade moist vanilla cake, made with love and care.

Vanilla cake square on plate.

Best Vanilla Cake Recipes

  • Basic Vanilla Cake – A simple yet delightful recipe that’s perfect for any baking enthusiast looking to master the classic vanilla cake!
  • Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe – Quick and foolproof, this recipe is ideal for beginners and offers a delicious result every time!
  • Raspberry Vanilla Cake – Infused with fresh raspberries, this cake offers a fruity twist on the traditional vanilla flavor!
  • Eggless Vanilla Cake – Perfect for those with dietary restrictions, this cake uses alternative ingredients to achieve a soft, moist texture!

What Type of Vanilla Should I Use?

You can use either pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for a rich, authentic flavor. The choice depends on your preference for the intensity of vanilla taste and the specks of vanilla bean.

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!

Must Have Tools

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

Expert Tips

  • Ingredient Temperature: Ensure all your ingredients, especially milk and eggs, are at room temperature to achieve a uniform cake batter.
  • Gentle Mixing: Once you add the flour mixture, mix gently to avoid developing too much gluten, which can make the cake tough. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated.
  • How to check the cake is baked: Test the cake’s doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it’s clean or has a few crumbs, you’re good to go!
  • Use Room Temperature Butter: For the creamiest frosting, ensure your butter is at room temperature. This makes it easier to beat and results in a smooth, fluffy texture.
  • Sift the Sugar: Always sift your powdered sugar before adding it to the butter for your buttercream frosting. This prevents clumps and ensures a silky-smooth frosting.
vanilla buttercream frosting preparation.

What oil makes cakes moist?

Vegetable oils like olive, canola, sunflower, and safflower are great choices for making cakes moist. These oils are neutral in flavor and have a high fat content, which adds moisture to the cake without overpowering other ingredients.

Vanilla sheet cake with frosting and sprinkles.

Which ingredient makes vanilla cake moist and fluffy?

The ingredient that plays a crucial role in making a vanilla cake both moist and fluffy is typically the fat used, such as butter or oil.

Oil is especially effective for adding moisture, as it remains liquid at room temperature and distributes moisture evenly throughout the cake.

For fluffiness, eggs are essential as they help to incorporate air into the batter, particularly when beaten well, and add structure to the cake as it bakes.

Combining these with the right leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda ensures the cake is not only moist but also has a light, airy texture!

Three slices of cake on plate.

Day of Baking

Delight in a day of baking with these hand-picked recipes designed to bring variety to your day including this moist vanilla cake for afternoon tea!

Breakfast: Fluffy Vanilla Pancakes

Morning Snack: Pistachio Chocolate Fudge

Decadent Dessert: Lemon Tart Using Jar Of Lemon Curd

Hot Drink: Chocolate Syrup Hot Chocolate 

Squares of vanilla sheet cake with frosting and sprinkles on marble platter.

How to store moist vanilla cake

Store: Keep your cake in an airtight container at room temperature, where it will stay fresh for up to three days.

Freeze: For extended storage, wrap the cake well and freeze it for up to three months.

Thaw: When ready to serve, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours at room temperature until soft.

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

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