Updated: Nov 26, 2018
I feel like I am forever on the hunt for the perfect vanilla birthday cake recipe. This one just might be the definitive vanilla cake--especially for the warmer months. I use my own frosting recipe that's less sweet (and lacks cream cheese, which both my kids really dislike). This cake is a winner: super light, fluffy and is perfection with berries.
DELICIOUS VANILLA BIRTHDAY CAKE
(adapted from Spiced)
For the Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 large egg
5 large egg whites
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
3 tsp vanilla extract
fresh berries (optional)
For the Frosting
2-3 sticks softened unsalted butter (I used 2 sticks for the cake pictured)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract (or substitute the vanilla bean with an extra tsp of vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon or 2 of heavy cream to get desired consistency. If you're mixing fresh berries into your frosting, leave out the heavy cream.
Grease and flour (2) 8” or 9” round cake pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined; set aside.
Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes on medium speed). Add the egg and egg whites; mix on low speed until well combined.
Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the milk, sour cream, vanilla extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.)
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to completely cool.
To make the frosting:
Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add vanilla bean and/or vanilla extract and mix slowly. Add fresh berries (pictured above: raspberries mixed in the frosting, giving it a pink color and light raspberry flavor). Add heavy cream if needed for desired consistency.