A moist butter-based vanilla cake paired with a silky, smooth bakery-style vanilla buttercream. It makes for a perfect homemade vanilla birthday cake. Baked from scratch, this cake is surprisingly simple and easy to make from baking to frosting. And a few sprinkles make this a celebration cake for any occasion whether you are five or fifty.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
Finally, add the flour and buttermilk in three batches. Scrape the sides and bottom to ensure you have a smooth batter.
Divide the batter equally between the prepared baking pans. Pro tip - I like to use cake strips to ensure my layer cakes bake flat.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes clean.
Cool in the baking pan for 5 minutes. Invert and cool on a cooling rack completely before you decorate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Next, add cornstarch to the hot water and add it to the creaming mixture. Pro tip - Add the water to the cornstarch at the time you want to add it in the butter. Otherwise, it will become lumpy.
Continue to cream until it’s a smooth mixture again. Then, add vanilla extract and combine well.
Finally, start adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Once all the sugar is in – whip the buttercream for a good three minutes until light and fluffy.Pro tip - It is important to whip so you have a whipped-cream like consistency. Otherwise, the buttercream will be too soft to spread.
Prepare simple syrup – cool completely before using.Pro tip - Simple syrup is just sugar and water boiled for 3 minutes. It keeps the cake layers moist.
Once cooled, cut the domes off the cake layers using a serrated knife. Brush each layer with the cooled, simple syrup.
Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand.Pro tip - If you plan to move the cake again, it is best to use a cake circle under the cake, so you can pick the cake with its base and without any accidents.
Then, top the second cake layer on top followed by buttercream and the last cake.Pro tip - It is best to lift individual cake layers on pieces of clean cardboard or cake lifter so you do not break them from table to cake.
Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 10 to 15 minutes. Pro tip - Chilling the cake at this point will ensure the layers don't move when you frost the outside. Though, if you leave the cake uncovered in the fridge for too long it can dry out. So, 10 minutes is all you need.
Place the remaining frosting in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe swirls on top of the cake.
Decorate with sprinkles or as desired.
Fondant cake - This cake can be covered with fondant. It is a butter-based cake and works beautifully in tiered wedding cakes.
Lighter cake - You can whip the eggs separately to make the cake light and fluffy just as I have done in my recipe for light and fluffy vanilla cake.
Naked cake - This is a fairly simple recipe that can be used to make a naked cake. And yet, I do have a one-bowl vanilla cake recipe decorated as a naked-cake. Perhaps you can try using that recipe as a base.
Freezing the cake - Freeze it on a baking tray for a few hours then wrap well in cling/plastic wrap, followed by a parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Thaw wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours so the condensation will stay on the papers, not the cake.
Once decorated the cake does not need to be refrigerated.
It can stay at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Once cut always cover the cut side of the cake with cling/plastic wrap so the cake does not dry out.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you