The Perfect 8-Inch Vanilla Cake

This 8-inch vanilla cake is soft and fluffy, full of vanilla bean flavor. It’s a double-layer cake that’s a breeze to put together! I top mine with a decadent toasted milk powder buttercream.

A good vanilla cake recipe is a staple to have. I’ve been making a small-batch version of this cake for years and it’s such a good one. Light and soft, not too sweet, and you can really taste the vanilla. You only need basic pantry staples too! My one big recommendation – use a good vanilla. I use vanilla bean paste.

I use a mix of butter and oil in the batter. The butter gives the flavor but the oil keeps it moist. There’s a splash of vinegar in the batter too (or you can use lemon juice). This acidity helps stop gluten formation for an extra tender crumb.

You can sandwich the cake layers together with whatever frosting you like, but I LOVE making a toasted milk powder buttercream.

Here’s how it’s done

  1. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  1. Beat oil, butter, sugar and vanilla until it goes light in color.
  1. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In a cup, mix milk with a bit of vinegar.
  1. Add the dry ingredients and milk mixture, in stages.
  1. Fold together into a thick batter. Divide over the cake pans and bake.
  1. Once the cakes have baked and cooled, add on your favorite frosting.
  1. Decorate how you like.

Frosting Ideas

An 8-inch vanilla cake like this is the perfect vessel for all sorts of frostings! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Slice of vanilla cake.

Perfect 8-Inch Vanilla Cake

Elien Lewis
This 8-inch vanilla cake is soft and fluffy, full of vanilla bean flavor. It’s a double-layer cake that’s a breeze to put together! I top mine with a decadent toasted milk powder buttercream.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Cakes
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 610 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Vanilla Cake

  • 310 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 113 g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 54 g neutral oil
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 180 g whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or lemon juice

Toasted Milk Powder Buttercream

  • 60 g heavy cream room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted milk powder
  • 226 g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 450 g powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a medium bowl and electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, and granulated sugar on high speed for around 3-4 minutes until it's very light in color and creamy.
  • Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat in after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar.
  • Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stir them in, then add half the milk. Use a rubber spatula to stir it in well until well combined. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and milk mixture.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly amongst the cake pans and smooth down the tops of the batter with a small offset spatula.
  • Bake the cakes for around 30 minutes until the tops spring back when touched and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes in their pans, then turn them onto a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

Frosting

  • In a small bowl combine the cream and toasted milk powder and stir to combine.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter until light, smooth and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and heavy cream mixture.
  • Whip at low speed to combine the sugar, then beat at high speed for 5-8 minutes until it is thick and fluffy. The longer you beat it, the fluffier the frosting will be.
  • Place one cake layer on a cake turntable or cake stand. Scoop on some frosting and use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting on top of the cake layer. Add on the second cake layer. Placing the top layer upside down will give a nice, smooth top to work with.
  • Add a few scoops of frosting on top, spread it out with the spatula, and add a thin coat of frosting around the cake. Use a bench scraper to smooth it out, then chill the cake for around 20 minutes in the fridge until the frosting has firmed up.
  • Add a thicker layer of frosting to the cake and use a bench scraper to smooth it out. Then, you can use a serrated bench scraper to make patterns on the side of the cake if you wish.

Notes

*The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use a kitchen scale and grams.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 610kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 5gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 1gSugar: 59gVitamin A: 870IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 2mg
Keyword vanilla cake
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