• Jeremy Scheck

ASB Basics: Favorite Vanilla Cake

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

This is the same amazing cake recipe from my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes, with the recipe scaled up for more layers.

What makes this cake so perfect?

  • The reverse creaming method (mixing softened butter into the flour mixture, not just with sugar) used gives the cake a fine crumb

  • The cake uses half vegetable oil (for moistness) and half butter (for flavor and crumb structure)

  • The greek yogurt (or sour cream) tenderizes and moistens the cake

  • The cake flour (I use Swans Down or King Arthur) gives it a lighter texture

Adapted, improved, and simplified from http://www.cupcakeproject.com/

Ingredients for three 8" or 9" layers or 40 cupcakes.

  • 2-2/3 cups (350g) cake flour (not self rising)

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (this is equal to 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups (450g) granulated sugar

  • 1 stick (113g) butter at room temperature

  • 4 eggs

  • 2/3 cup (150g) full fat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola, avocado, or grapeseed

  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1–1/3 cups (320ml) whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. Butter and flour the round cake pans you have chosen to use. To be sure my cakes release easily from the tin, I line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. For best results, grease the pans, add the parchment paper to the bottom, grease again, then flour.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with hand beaters, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

  4. Beat the softened butter into the dry mixture until it is in tiny crumbs resembling sand well dispersed in the flour mixture.

  5. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, briefly whisk together the the oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry. Beat until incorporated.

  6. Pour in the milk and mix until smooth. The batter should be quite thin.

  7. Divide the cake batter among the prepared pans.

  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cakes are lightly browned and spring back when lightly pressed. Keep in mind that all ovens are different and that the amount of cake pans you choose affect baking time.

  9. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, and then take the cakes out and cool completely on the rack before icing. You may need to run a knife around the edges to help release the cake.

  10. Use my 5 tips for icing a cake.