April 29, 2015

Vanilla Butter Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

A few special events took place in our family lately. For us, special events mean special cakes. Rather than spending lots of money buying on at the grocery store on a cake that's not from scratch and probably doesn't have as wholesome of ingredients, I made them myself.

I've made four vanilla butter cakes with vanilla buttercream frosting in the past month. Each was so good and got rave reviews from the eaters. I didn't have to argue with guests too much to get them to take home the leftovers so I wouldn't eat it (though I really wanted it). A's co-workers got their own cake and devoured it. This cake is great for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions.
Vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream frosting
Vanilla Butter Cake

This recipe make three 8-inch rounds. You can stack them all, or make a 9x13 and one round, or a stacked two-layer and a single 8 inch. I've never stacked them all, I like having the extra cake in case more is needed at the party or to send to work with A.

    vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream frosting
  • Four large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour (must be cake flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (do not use margarine)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream frostingPreheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment, then spray parchment
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt
Beat butter until soft (about 2-3 minutes)
Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
Add room-temperature egg yolks, one at a time, beating as you go.
Add vanilla, beat until combined
Set mixer to low and add flour mixture and room-temperature milk in five parts-- flour, then milk, then flour, then milk, then flour
In a clean bowl, use electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat egg whites until foamy
Add cream of tartar, continue to beat until soft peaks form
Add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar gradually
Beat until stiff peaks form
Using silicone or rubber spatula, fold a small amount of the whites into the batter
Fold in remaining whites until combined, being careful not to over-mix or it will deflate
Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smoothing tops when done
Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove cakes from the pans and cool on the racks
Frost and decorate the cakes once they are completely cooled  

vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream frostingTo layer the cakes, put the first one top down, put frosting in the middle (I added sprinkles to one of mine as well), then put the next cake on, bottom down. This helps eliminate gaps and sliding. Keep frosted cakes covered in the fridge. 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine)
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, if desired


Combine butter, sugar, and salt. Beat until creamy.
Add milk and vanilla
Beat until smooth and creamy, at least 5 minutes
Add food coloring, if desired, beating until well-mixed

To make cakes easier to frost, I love using frosting knives. This set that I got doesn't cost very much and works great.

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  1. Oh my gosh!!!!!! This looks delicious.

  2. Homemade buttercream frosting is the BEST. This sounds delicious.

  3. Yum looks so good! My SIL makes the best buttercreams I just can't get enough!

  4. You had me at Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting! Awesome pics, thanks for sharing!

  5. You had me at Butter Cream Frosting! Awesome Pics! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I always buy but one of these days I'll try baking.

  7. This looks so good! I pinned it so I can give it a try later.

  8. Wow!! Those cakes look delicious! I love buttercream frosting, esp since it is so easy to make.

  9. This looks so good, I am going to have to try this out!

  10. Yummy! My son asked for an ice cream birthday cake last month. I obliged - buying him one at Dairy Queen. It was 25 DOLLARS! I will never do that again. He's totally worth it, but good grief! Homemade cakes are far better anyway. Your cakes look insanely good. :)

  11. My Nana used to make the best butter cream frosting. God rest her soul. Your photos look amazing.

  12. Love vanilla buttercream cake and I am going to have some tonight!

  13. Oh how divine! Looks delicious!

  14. i *always* mess up two layer cakes, I need your skills!

  15. So delicious! Planning on making a cake for teacher appreciation week :)

  16. Cake looks amazing! I will try this recipe! Tea

  17. Omg this sounds so yummy!!! Hubby has a birthday coming up so I have been on the search for a yummy cake to make!!

  18. Oh goodness, these look so yummy! Takes me back to the days when I was raising my kids and made special cakes like these often for special occasions.

  19. This looks great! :) Very yummy and one of my faves.

  20. The cake looks delicious. My daughter would be licking that icing if I'll make it.

  21. This cake and frosting look so good!! I am a huge buttercream fan so I will definitely be trying this one!!


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