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The Best Vanilla Cake

The Best Vanilla Cake. All bakers search for the best vanilla cake recipe. After 30 years, I developed my own moist, buttery, perfect vanilla cake; with Marshmallow Frosting too.

The best vanilla cake, single slice on white plate.

The Best Vanilla Cake

The best vanilla cake recipe is something every curious baker spends plenty of time searching for. I’ve tried dozens over the years and have conducted many experiments.

I tweaked each recipe trying to get the result I want. This one is the best I’ve tried so far.

It is quite moist and has a good density but not as dense as pound cake. I like the balance of texture that is achieved by using a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour. It is important not to over measure the flour.

One essential ingredient in this recipe is real dairy butter; margarine just won’t cut it. I’ve used whipping cream in other recipes but this one gets a lot of richness from using undiluted evaporated milk instead.


Pure vanilla extract is so much better than artificial.

Finally, the vanilla flavouring is crucial. DO NOT use artificial vanilla flavouring! In fact NEVER use it! Use the best quality, real vanilla extract that you can find for real, exotically fragrant vanilla cake.

Vanilla paste is also delicious in this recipe. You use an equal amount to vanilla extract.

The frosting on this cake is a family favourite which goes by many names but is referred to at our house as Marshmallow Frosting. It has been featured several times on this site.

You can find our terrific recipe for Marshmallow Frosting here. It is the perfect frosting for this cake.

Looking for more cake inspiration?

Love homemade cakes from scratch? We’ve put together a collection of the 25 Most Baked Cakes of the last 12 years on Rock Recipes. You are sure to find several to love.

Top Ten cake recipes photo collage with title text for Pinterest

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The best vanilla cake, single slice on white plate.
Yield: 16 servings

The Best Vanilla Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

All bakers search for The Best Vanilla Cake recipe. After 30 years, I developed my own moist, buttery, perfect vanilla cake; with Marshmallow Frosting too.


  • 1 1/2 cups cake or pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted.
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. For this recipe it is very important to be sure to sift the flour very well before measuring. Flour that is too compacted can cause a denser, heavier cake. If you do not have a flour sifter, put some flour in a bowl and whisk it for a minute before spooning the flour into the measuring cup to measure. Do this for both types of flour in the recipe.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after every addition.
  6. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  7. Gently fold in the dry ingredients in three equal portions, alternately with the evaporated milk. When adding dry and wet ingredients alternately in any baking recipe, always begin and end with the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour batter evenly into 2 well greased and floured 9 inch cake pans.
  9. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Watch it carefully, you will not want to over bake this cake, as soon as the toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in the pans for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


As with all my cake recipes I recommend using aluminum cake pans for gentle even heating with much less chance of over baking.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

one slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 407Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 100mgSodium 224mgCarbohydrates 54gFiber 1gSugar 36gProtein 6g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Wednesday 11th of July 2018

How long would it take in 2 8 inches I want to try this!

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 15th of July 2018

I can't be sure it would fit. Just trust the toothpick test.


Thursday 10th of May 2018

Hi Barry, novice baker here. When you say fold gently, which mixer speed should I be using? I have a Kitchen Aid mixer. Is it slow speed? How about for creaming the butter and sugar? Thanks in advance!

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 17th of May 2018

slowest possible or by hand, preferably.


Monday 5th of March 2018

This Cake is definitely the ultimate vanilla cake! I could eat it without frosting, like I would eat pound cake! The vanilla flavor is just the right amount, and the cake is so moist! A lighter frosting, like Barry's marshmallow ( as he suggested) will be good, I'm sure. I think buttercream would be too sweet. I haven't made a frosting yet. I'm thinking a blackberry frosting that is not too sweet to use up some berries. I will definitely make this recipe over and over, but next time, Barry's marshmallow frosting it is! Thanks Barry!


Thursday 14th of December 2017

Thank you so much for this recipe, It's the best cake I've ever made.


Monday 4th of December 2017

I want to use this recipe for making 4 tier wedding cake. I will frost with buttercream and cover fondant icing. Will it be okay that way?

Barry C. Parsons

Tuesday 5th of December 2017

Openly internally supported it should be fine.

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