2 1/2 cups cake flour or all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, room temp
3 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring or 3 packets of vanilla sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Prepare cake pans by coating the inside with PAN RELEASE and put parchment paper in place if you are using it. This recipe will be enough for two 8" rounds, two 9" rounds, two 8"x8" squares, or a 9"x13" sheet pan.
Use a sifter or whisk to aerate and lighten the flour before you begin measuring. Spoon flour into a measuring cup, without packing it in. Once the measuring cup is full use a knife to level it off. If you dip the measuring cup into the flour, it may be too densely packed adding more than you need for the recipe. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to combine, set aside.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Measure sugar and butter into your mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, make sure it is locked into place. If you are using an electric hand mixer, hold on to that bowl! Start to cream butter and sugar on low speed and continue onto medium until both ingredients look well combined. Add oil and continue on medium speed until the mixture looks pale yellow and has a fluffy texture, it'll take a few minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and ensure each one is incorporated before adding the next. Add your vanilla flavoring along with the last egg. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula to bring up any sugar from the bottom of the bowl. Give it another quick mix. Make sure all ingredients are incorporated well before moving on to the next step.
The dry ingredients are going to be added in gradually alternating with buttermilk. Start and end with flour. Mix gently after each addition on the lowest speed, avoid overmixing. (Once flour is introduced to the dough, gluten starts to form. More gluten = tough cake batter.) Right before your last flour addition, scrape down the bowl and bring up any batter from the bottom of the bowl with your spatula. After the last addition of flour, scrape down the bowl again and fold batter by hand.
Divide batter evenly into your greased cake pans. Position on center rack of your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with few or no crumbs. Thicker cakes take longer, thinner layers bake up quicker, watch your cakes closely! Oven temperatures vary.
Allow cake to cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove from pan. Run a dinner knife, butter knife or offset metal spatula along the sides before flipping.
If your cake plan is super relaxed, you can leave it in the pan and swirl frosting on top when it is completely cooled.
If you plan on enjoying the cake in a single layer, you can flip it onto your serving plate or cake stand before frosting the cooled layer.
If you want to go the extra mile and plan to fill the cake layers, the most important thing is that the cake is cooled. The process can be sped up in the freezer. Invert your cooled cake onto plastic wrap and wrap well covering all exposed surface. Allow it to rest on a flat surface in the freezer for a few hours. Stacking and frosting cold layers is much easier than fragile warm layers. If you try to frost a warm cake, your buttercream frosting will melt into the cake. Trust me, I know from experience!
This Vanilla Cake is perfect for any occasion. I hope you'll give it a try! If you do, let me know on FB or IG.
This recipe can easily be reduced to half for less servings. A half recipe will fit nicely in two 6" rounds, one 8" round, or one 9" round.
Colorful sprinkles can be added for a funfetti cake
Zest of one orange or lemon
Up to 1 cup of your favorite nuts, finely chopped
Oreo or Biscoff cookie bits