Vanilla Cake

A Perfectly Sweet Vanilla Cake

PHOTO: Buddy Valastro decorates a cake as seen on Cake Boss.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

This is a home-cook-friendly version of the recipe I adapted from my father's old formula for an American-style vanilla cake. At home, as at Carlo's Bake Shop, it will produce the same moist cake and perfect grain every time. The custard cream is optional.

You might be surprised to learn that I use vegetable oil to take the place of the liquid shortening we use at the bakery, but it replicates the effects better than I ever could have imagined before testing recipes for this book. Use this cake as the basis for everything from birthday cakes to strawberry shortcake.

Be sure the batter is at the indicated temperature before baking or the cake will crown and crack.


  • 21/2 cups cake flour, plus more for flouring the cake pans
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for unmolding cake
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 21/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing two cake pans (about 2 tablespoons); nonstick
  • cooking spray or vegetable oil may be substituted
  • Cooking Directions

    Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Put the flour, sugar, custard cream, if using, vegetable oil, baking powder,

    vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle

    attachment. (If you don't have a stand mixer, you can put the ingredients

    in a bowl, and use a hand mixer with the blending attachments, but

    take extra care to not overmix.) Mix on slow just until the ingredients

    are blended together, a few seconds, then raise the speed to low-medium

    and continue to mix until smooth, approximately 1 additional minute.

    With the motor running, add 1 egg at a time, adding the next one after

    the previous one has been absorbed into the mixture. Stop the motor

    periodically and scrape the bowl from the bottom with a rubber spatula

    to integrate the ingredients, and return the mixer to low-medium speed.

    After all the eggs are added, continue to mix for an additional minute to

    ensure the eggs have been thoroughly mixed in. This will help guarantee

    that the sugar is dissolved and that the flour has been thoroughly mixed

    in, which will help produce a luxurious mouthfeel in the final cake.

    With the motor running, add the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stopping the

    motor to scrape the sides and bottom between the two additions. Continue

    to mix for another minute or until the mixture appears smooth.

    Before baking, be sure the batter is at 70°F to 73°F, or the cake will

    crown. (Test by plunging a kitchen thermometer into the center of the

    batter; if it is too warm, put the bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes;

    if too cool, let it rest at room temperature.)

    Grease two 9-inch cake pans (2 inches high) with the butter, and flour


    Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, using a rubber spatula

    to scrape down the bowl and get as much batter as possible out. Bake

    until the cake begins to pull from the sides of the pan and is springy to

    the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.

    Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes,

    preferably an hour. The cakes should be at room temperature before you

    remove them from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie

    sheet, top with sugar, and one at a time, turn the pans over and turn the

    cakes out onto parchment; the sugar will keep it from sticking. Refrigerate

    or freeze until ready to decorate.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Click here to check out Buddy's cookbook.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: cake flour, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, vanilla, extract, sea salt, extra large eggs, milk

    Course: Dessert

    More Recipes You May Like
    Rachael Ray's French Toast Cups with Fresh Fruit and Cream
    A Sweet Treat That Will Satisfy All Day Long
    Mindy Kobrin's Mini Pumpkin Muffins
    One Bit of These Won't Be Enough
    Lidia's Simple Sugar Cookies
    Try These Delicious and Simple Sweet at Your Holiday Party
    Disney Dream's Strawberry Cheesecake
    Indulge in This Delicious Cheesecake
    Kris' Vanilla Bean Cake Recipe
    Homeade Cake Recipe to Make 4th of July Cake Pops
    Lethal Peppermint Chocolate Cake
    The Cake Mix Doctor's Easy Desserts
    Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting
    The Cake Mix Doctor's Easy Desserts
    Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
    A Tasty Coffee Cake from the 'Cake Mix Doctor'
    Patriotic Confetti Cake Pops Recipe
    Kids Will Love This Fun and Festive 4th of July Dessert
    Mario Batali's Vanilla Cupcakes
    A Batali family favorite!
    Celebrate Mardi Gras With King Cake
    Celebrate With This Classic New Orleans Cake