Vanilla Cake Recipe

Put your baking skills to the test with a simple yet decadent and delicious Vanilla Cake!

Is it your first time baking a cake? You can always start with a classic cake flavor that goes well with any other flavor. Everyone will surely want a slice of a cake that you bake from your heart.

Aside from the flavor, you will also love how soft and moist it is on the side. It’s the perfect cake to serve for breakfast, snacks, or desserts for celebrations, weekends, and any occasion. Baking a cake has never been this effortless!

vanilla sponge cake recipe

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In this recipe, you will learn everything you need to know about the best beginner-friendly Vanilla Cake recipe you can find. Don’t forget to have fun while baking it with love!

How to Make Vanilla Cake

The no-fail Vanilla Cake recipe is a must-try for every home baker. With a little bit of mixing and baking, you’ve got yourself the perfect cake that will make every moment with your loved ones special.

Are you excited to learn how to bake Vanilla Cake? Let’s go!

Ingredients

I’ve tried so many Vanilla Cake recipes before and so far, these are the ingredients that gave me the best results:

Self-rising flour

Instead of plain flour, why not use self-rising flour for your cake recipes?

Every cake recipe starts with flour. The good thing about self-rising flour is that it already comes with baking powder. It gives the cake its shape and form for a perfect round structure.

You will also need the flour to get the right texture for the crumbs. Meanwhile, the baking powder guarantees the puffy, light, and fluffy quality of the cake. It’s a leavening agent that allows the cake to rise as it bakes.

Self-rising flour is not just for cakes; you can also use it to make pancakes, cupcakes, bread, and other baked goods. I usually use this for other pastries, such as Puff Puff, Pancakes, and Bread!

Eggs

In any cake recipe, you will need eggs.

When it comes to cakes, the eggs have two functions: they bind the dry ingredients together and activate those ingredients to build the structure of the cake. These work wonders not just for flavor, but also in texture.

According to Le Foodist, the thickness of the egg yolks gives you a smooth batter and a perfectly-textured cake. In fact, it is also said that the eggs can be leavening agents too.

I always make sure to add eggs to Plantain Bread, Air Fryer Bread, and Pound Cake for the best results. Don’t worry; there are also egg substitutes available for you.

Milk

How important is milk in a cake recipe?

The milk activates the self-rising flour to allow the batter to rise as it cooks. Without milk, the cake will likely become dry and dense. It also adds a subtle sweet and creamy quality to the cake.

I Scream for Buttercream mentioned that milk can work wonders for moisture, texture, and flavor in the cake. You will surely get a moist, decadent, and mildly sweet cake when you add milk.

There are many milk options you can use for the cake. For instance, you can try fresh milk, evaporated milk, or even almond milk.

homemade cake
Vanilla extract

Let vanilla extract put the “vanilla” in your cake flavor!

It won’t be a Vanilla Cake recipe without vanilla extract. It’s the flavoring agent to infuse the cake with a rich flavor. Once it melts into the cake, it will have a hint of caramel and jasmine taste.

Without vanilla extract, the cake will likely taste bland. It also adds a pleasant fragrance to the cake, making it more irresistible and delicious. You can use the vanilla extract to make Vanilla Ice Cream, too!

Seasoning

Aside from the vanilla extract, you will also need spices or seasoning to make it taste better. The salt and sugar are great for balancing the overall flavors of the cake. With salt, the cake will not be too sweet from the sugar and vanilla.

On the other hand, the sugar adds a sweet and decadent quality to the dish. It even gives the cake a golden brown color for an appealing look.

Sunflower oil

You might be wondering why you need to add oil to your cake. King Arthur Baking mentioned that adding oil is a good way of giving the cake a tender texture. The cake will also stay moist and decadent for a longer time because of the fat from the oil.

Once you have these ingredients ready, you can cook Vanilla Cake anytime you want!

Directions

Before anything else, note that these measurements and baking time are suitable for a 20 cm (8”) by 7 cm (3”) baking pan.

  1. Use an egg separator to separate the egg yolk from the egg white.
  2. Whip the egg whites in a mixer until foamy and soft.
  3. Gradually add cane sugar in four parts.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sea salt
  5. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg white batter.
  6. Whip it until you achieve the soft peaks of the cream. 
  7. Sieve self-rising flour into the batter.
  8. Whisk the sunflower oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  9. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.
  10. Then, pour the batter into the baking pan.
  11. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 170°C for up to 25 minutes or until done.
  12. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.
  13. Transfer the cake to a plate.
  14. Decorate the Vanilla Cake and serve!
how to make cake

Baking your own Vanilla Cake recipe has never been easier, hasn’t it? Making a cake can be as simple as ABCs, especially if you start with the basics like this Vanilla Sponge Cake!

vanilla cake recipe

Tips

How to Separate Egg Whites from Egg Yolks

There are plenty of ways to separate the egg yolk from the egg white. You can use traditional methods, kitchen tools, or cooking hacks! 

Shell Method

This is one of the first methods used in separating eggs.

  1. You can crack the egg over a bowl and let the egg whites drip.
  2. Then, keep the yolk in the other half of the shell.
  3. Once the egg whites are filtered, put the egg yolks in a separate bowl. 
Hand Method

For this method, make sure that your hands are clean and dry!

  1. Crack the egg in a bowl.
  2. Use your hand to lift the yolk from the whites gently.
  3. Then, put the yolk in another bowl. 
Suction Method

Remember to properly wash and sanitize the plastic bottle to be used as a suction.

  1. Crack the egg in a bowl.
  2. Squeeze into the middle of the bottle.
  3. Then, hold the bottle’s opening beside the egg yolk. 
  4. Release pressure from the middle of the bottle to suction the yolk.
  5. Squeeze the egg yolks into another bowl.
Kitchen Gadgets

Alternatively, you can avail yourself of the convenience of kitchen tools like egg separators or slotted spoons. Simply crack the egg over the egg separator or slotted spoon, let the egg whites drip into one bowl, and transfer the yolks to a separate bowl. 

how to make vanilla sponge cake

Homemade Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour may sound fancy, but it’s just made of only three ingredients you can easily find in your pantry. Mix a cup of all-purpose flour with ½ sea salt and 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder! 

How to Check the Cake for Doneness

There are various ways to know when the Sponge Cake is baked.

  • You will notice that the edges of the cake will start to separate from the baking pan.
  • The edges might also appear darker or golden brown. 
  • Alternatively, you can conduct a touch test. Lightly press down on the cake using your fingers; if it naturally bounces back up, then you can take it out of the oven.
  • However, if your fingers leave indents on the cake, then bake it in the oven for another five minutes before checking again. 
  • You can also push a toothpick or small knife into the middle of the cake. If you pull it out and it’s clean, then you can take it out of the oven.
how to make sponge cake

Vanilla Cake Recipe Variations 

There are many ways to customize the Vanilla Cake recipe.

Instead of self-rising flour, you can use cake flour or all-purpose flour with baking powder. It is also perfectly fine to add the plain flour and baking powder separately.

In case you don’t want to put eggs into the cake batter, there are plenty of egg substitutes you can use. Meanwhile, the best milk options include evaporated milk, almond milk, or whole milk.

Use enough vanilla extract to truly give the cake its flavor. You can also use other kinds of oil or butter in the cake batter. There are also other seasonings you can use to complement the cake.

No-Oven Vanilla Cake

If you don’t have an oven, then there are other ways to make Vanilla Cake.

Steam
  1. Heat a large pot over a medium-high fire.
  2. Then, place a wire rack in the middle.
  3. Cook the cake over low fire for 50 minutes or until done.
Air fryer
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 165°C.
  2. Air fry the cake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • Oven: Bake the Vanilla Cake in an oven.
  • Hand mixer: Use a mixer to prepare the cake batter.
  • Glass bowl: Fold the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Spatula: Stir the mixtures with a spatula.
  • Baking pan: Bake the cake in a baking pan.
  • Cake tester: Check if the cake is baked perfectly. 
  • Egg separator: Use this practical tool to segregate the egg white from the egg yolk.
  • Sieve: Filter the flour with a sieve.
  • Parchment paper: Line the baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Wire rack: Let the cake cool on a wire rack.

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how to make vanilla cake

How to Serve Vanilla Cake

You can always make everyone’s day with a slice of Vanilla Cake!

There are many ways to serve the Vanilla Cake. You can serve it in slices along with some tea or coffee. I also suggest decorating it with your favorite toppings, ganache, or frosting.

If you want to add flavor to the cake, then slice it into layers and use ganache or any filling you want. You can try using custard, chocolate, buttercream, strawberry jam, and more.

It can even be enjoyed with Vanilla Ice Cream for a creamy and refreshing dessert. Enjoy this delicacy for brunch, snacks, or desserts! Check out these beverages to pair with a slice of this cake:

More Irresistible Cake Recipes

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Keep the cake in a container to last up to a week at room temperature.

make ahead

In the fridge: I do not suggest storing the cake in the fridge to prevent it from becoming stale.

To freeze: To freeze the sponge cake, put it in a container that lasts up to two months!

homemade cake

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vanilla cake made of?

It depends on the recipe. In this dish, I use self-rising flour, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, oil, sugar, and salt. Aside from baking powder, you can also add baking soda or bicarbonate of soda.

Is there a difference between white cake and vanilla cake?

White cake is made of egg whites that are folded into butter or cake batter. On the other hand, the vanilla cake is cooked exactly like a cake, but it is flavored with vanilla extract.

There are also color differences. The white cake has a pale white color, while the vanilla cake has more of a golden brown color.

Is vanilla cake yellow cake?

Not necessarily. Different cake flavors can be yellow cake. For instance, white cake can actually be yellow. The vanilla cake has a slightly golden brown color than a white or light one.

What compliments vanilla cake?

Since Vanilla Cake has a mild taste, you can pair it with foods with fruity, sweet, nutty, and tarty flavors. For instance, you can enjoy it with strawberries, apples, and pears.

You may also add lime or lemon to the batter for a sour and tangy taste. I also suggest using peanut butter or almonds to give it a better quality.

Vanilla Sponge Cake (With Video)

Are you looking for something different and delicious to spice up your baking? Look no further – this classic vanilla cake recipe is here to give your taste buds the kick they've been missing.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 126kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 120 g self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 45 ml sunflower oil
  • 45 ml evaporated milk
  • 5 ml vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Use an egg separator to separate the egg yolk from the egg white.
  • Whip the egg whites in a mixer until foamy and soft.
  • Gradually add cane sugar in four parts.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sea salt
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg white batter.
  • Whip it until you achieve the soft peaks of the cream. 
  • Sieve self-rising flour into the batter.
  • Whisk the sunflower oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  • Lined the baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Then, pour the batter into the baking pan.
  • Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 170°C for up to 25 minutes or until done.
  • Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the cake to a plate.
  • Decorate the Vanilla Cake and serve!

Video

Notes

  • Note that this recipe guide is for an 8-inch by a 3-inch baking pan.
  • If you have a larger or smaller baking pan, adjust the measurements and the baking time.
  • Use alternative ingredients for your dietary needs and preferences.
  • Incorporating the sugar slowly will prevent the cake from becoming dense.
  • Sieving the flour is essential to remove impurities or break down large chunks of the flour.
  • You can also push a toothpick into the cake; if it comes out clean, it is ready to be taken out.
  • You can use a spoon or a whisk instead as an alternative to a mixer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 12)Calories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 74mgPotassium: 43mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 89IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword amazing vanilla cake, best vanilla cake, classic vanilla cake, easy cake recipe, easy vanilla cake recipe, fluffy cake recipe, moist cake, perfect vanilla cake, simple cake, vanilla cake

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