This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake Recipe from scratch is so moist, flavorful, and versatile! Sometimes I just crave a slice of good old fashioned vanilla cake, don’t you?
This is a great recipe to have on hand as it can be dressed up or paired with just about any filling or frosting you can think of! After all, everything goes with vanilla cake!
How to make the BEST Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
- We are using the traditional method of mixing for this recipe (rather than the Reverse Creaming Method), which makes for fluffy, flavorful cake layers (or cupcakes)!
- Start off by whisking together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and salt for 30 seconds so that everything is well combined.
- In another bowl, add your buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. I love recipes with buttermilk not only for the hint of tanginess, but also because it’s acidity interferes with gluten formation, yielding a softer, more tender cake. We’ve added a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the recipe to ensure that we have plenty of vanilla flavor. You can’t skimp on the vanilla in a vanilla cake!
- Next, let’s add some buttery goodness. Mix the butter until nice and smooth, then add your sugar until it lightens and becomes fluffy! Although our recipe also calls for vegetable oil which is wonderful for the moistness of the cake, I love the boost of flavor that the butter gives us. Next, add the eggs one at a time.
- Almost done! Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over-mix the cake batter as that can toughen up the texture.
- Once ready, divide the luscious vanilla cake batter between three prepared 8 inch cake pans. You could make two cake layers if you would rather, you’ll just need to bake them a bit longer.
Freezing Cake Layers for Moistness
Pro Tip! You may have heard me say this before, but we love to freeze our cake layers to maximize the moistness of the cake!
Cool your freshly baked cake layers (still in the pan) on the cooling rack for about 10 minutes, and then flip them onto cake boards, individually wrap the warm cake layers tightly with plastic wrap, foil, and freeze!
When ready to use, thaw on the countertop still wrapped, until condensation forms on the wrapping. Then unwrap and decorate! (I often begin assembling and filling my cake layers while the layers are partially frozen. They are less fragile this way!
What frostings pair well with Vanilla Buttermilk Cake?
We frosted our cake with our Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting but so many frostings would be perfect with this cake! Other great options are: Classic Chocolate Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting, Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, and more!
Don’t miss our full collection of favorite cake and frosting recipes in our Recipes Section! If you are interested in learning more about cake decorating, definitely check out our Free Cake Tutorials Section (which includes a category of Free Cake Videos).
Or, for full access to hundreds of video tutorials, you should become a member of My Cake School! We would love to have you. Find all of the details here: Joining Information
Other White and Vanilla Cake Recipes that You will Love!
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake Recipe
- 1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened ( holds it shape but dents when pressed)
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled off) If you do not have cake flour see substitution in Notes below.
- 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 1/4 cups (296g) buttermilk — if you do not have buttermilk, see substitution below
- 1/4 cup (54g) vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8×2 inch round pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
- In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Set aside..
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid).
- Do not mix above medium speed or over mix the cake batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
Substitute for Buttermilk: No Buttermilk? Here is a substitution: To a measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. Add milk to the 1 1/4 mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
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