Simple Vanilla Cake Recipe

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The beauty of this Vanilla Cake recipe lies in its simplicity. See, it’s so simple that it works in lots of scenarios — Christmas brunch, summer barbecues, and of course birthdays.

We call this Kindergarten Cake in our family because it’s the cake that the kindy teachers made for birthdays when my kids were in elementary school. (Makes life simpler if everyone gets the same treat!) It was beloved by the kids, and the teachers guarded the recipe closely.

We have discovered that this cake is even better if you freeze pieces of it and then toast them. You don’t need to defrost them first. The outside gets slightly crispy and the inside is this incredible buttery texture. Ten out of ten.

I always slice off the bottom of the cake, the part that rises up above the edge of the pan, before I turn it out to cool completely. It makes the cake look a little prettier, and I put that part in the freezer to toast later. See how I did that? I can have my cake and eat it too!

I use this Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, but I really want to make some mini cakes with this pan. Of course, you’ll need to adjust the baking time for a different size or shape pan.

Ingredients for Simple Vanilla Cake recipe

Simple Vanilla Cake Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 people


  • Bundt Cake Pan


  • 1 lb unsalted butter, softened plus 2 tablespoons for buttering pan
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature any fat content
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • nonstick spray (optional)
  • powdered sugar for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter and flour pan, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
    Butter and flour bundt pan for vanilla cake
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy.
    Cream butter and sugar for vanilla cake
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Set this bowl aside.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Measure out the milk, add the vanilla, and stir.
  • Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well between each addition, but only until just blended.
    The breakdown of adding the ingredients looks like this:
    • 1/3 of the dry ingredients
    • 1/2 of the milk mixture
    • 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients
    • the rest of the milk mixture
    • the rest of the dry ingredients
  • Pour the batter into the bundt pan and smooth the top.
    Bake the cake for 50–60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a plate to cool completely.
    Top with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream and strawberries.
    Let the vanilla cake cool in the pan

If you enjoy baking, check out my recipe for the Best Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies, and definitely try my Pavlova recipe.

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