A slice of vanilla cake being taken out of a whole cake.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Every Bold Baker needs a Master Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. A vanilla cake recipe is a must-have in your repertoire. I promise you this cake recipe will never fail you and you will have it for years to come.

Seriously, this birthday cake recipe for all your future birthday parties to come. It’s moist, perfectly frosted, and loaded with sprinkles — which are optional, but in my eyes, are actually mandatory. 

My Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting covered in sprinkles.

What Makes A Cake A Birthday Cake?

You serve it on a birthday, of course! This means, technically, any cake can be a birthday cake if you really want it to be.

Jokes aside, there’s nothing more classic than a vanilla cake, covered in buttercream, and decorated with sprinkles — a festive cake like this begs to help someone celebrate their birthday.

What You’ll Need To Make Your Birthday Cake

  • Three cake pans and parchment papers
  • Large jug
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer with paddle attachments (and whisk attachment if you need to make the frosting) and bowl
  • Cake tester
  • Wire racks
  • Serrated knife
  • Cake Turntable
  • Small spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons

A top-down view of my vanilla birthday cake recipe.

How To Make A Birthday Cake

This birthday cake recipe is a classic with a lovely vanilla flavor. It is soft and light and the buttercream helps make it a simple, big slice of heaven. Here’s how you make it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Butter and line three cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk egg whites, whole egg, milk, and vanilla extract in a large jug.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in an electric mixer’s bowl using the paddle attachment on low.
  4. Add in cold butter and continue to mix on low.
  5. And liquid into the bowl in two batches. Fold until the batter of the bowl is incorporated.
  6. Divide the cake batter into the cake pans.
  7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cake tester comes out with only a few crumbs.
  8. Once baked, cool on racks for 20 minutes before removing from tins.
  9. Use a serrated knife to cut off the top of cake layers.
  10. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake turntable.
  11. Spread chilled buttercream frosting on top with a spatula.
  12. Place the second cake layer on top and spread frosting on top of this layer.
  13. Add the third cake layer. Spread frosting all the way down the sides until the entire cake is covered.
  14. Chill the vanilla cake for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove from refrigerator and apply the final coat of frosting. Decorate the big cake with sprinkles.

How To Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Whip butter in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment for 7 minutes on medium/high speed.
  2. Add icing sugar one spoon at a time at medium speed.
  3. Add vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and cream.
  4. Whip on high for three minutes.
  5. Use the buttercream frosting right away or refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Decorating A Birthday Cake

I know my strengths as a baker and cake decorating is not one of them. So what I do is use the simplest technique to get over-the-top results like this beautiful Birthday Cake covered in sprinkles. 

Vanilla Cake Slice coming out of the cake.

Don’t worry if you are not a great cake decorator. Adding sprinkles covers a multitude of sins. Your cake will look flawless with my method.

You cannot beat a classic vanilla cake, which is easily one of my favorite recipes. The sprinkles on this cake make it over-the-top amazing!

Tips And Tricks For The Best Birthday Cake Recipe

  1. When making your next celebration cake remember you cannot go wrong with Sprinkles! Just when you think you added enough, add more.
  2. My best-ever birthday cake is best served at room temperature. The flavors and texture will be much better.
  3. Be careful not to over-bake. This is where your cake tester comes in handy.

A slice of vanilla cake on a plate.

How Long Does Birthday Cake Last?

Once decorated, your big birthday cake keeps well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. And while most cakes are safe to eat on the counter for roughly the same amount of time, with the frosting, our vanilla cake should ideally be placed in the fridge.

I wouldn’t suggest leaving your cake out on the counter for more than 24 hours.

Can I Freeze My Birthday Cake?

The answer to this is yes! Birthday cakes are perfect for storing in the freezer. This Vanilla Cake freezes really well and can be kept for 4 weeks in the freezer. First, allow the birthday cake to freeze for an hour and once it’s solid, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.

And no need to worry about whether or not the frosted cake will be freezer-safe. Buttercream frosting is perfect to freeze. Just when you’re ready to enjoy your vanilla cake, allow it to thaw completely for eight hours in the fridge.

Find my complete Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe here. And you can use this cake to make my Lemon Meringue Cake recipe. I really hope you give my recipe a go and enjoy the best vanilla cake recipe!

A slice of moist vanilla cake with a forkful taken out of it.

Make More Cake!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

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