This 8 Inch Round Vanilla Cake is perfect for any celebration! It's a professional bakery style cake with a moist and tender texture, delicious vanilla flavor, and creamy vanilla buttercream.
Everyone needs a go-to vanilla cake, and this 8-inch round cake recipe is exactly that. It’s moist and tender and layered with creamy vanilla buttercream. It’s the perfect cake recipe for any occasion.
It begins with an easy vanilla cake recipe, just like these vanilla cupcakes, but the flavor is far from simple. The buttercream whips up into a light and fluffy consistency that’s the perfect complement.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This recipe makes a tall 8 inch cake using 3 layers for a beautiful presentation.
- Bakes into a moist and tender cake that’s paired with creamy buttercream.
- It’s an easy cake to make using common baking ingredients.
- This cake pairs well with any flavor frosting.
Before You Begin
Take out the following baking equipment:
Digital kitchen scale
Three 8-inch round baking pans
Small bowls for measuring ingredients
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
Knife or offset spatula for frosting the cake
Allow all of your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe from start to finish.
This recipe for an 8 inch cake is made with everyday baking ingredients that probably are stock items in your pantry and refrigerator. Here’s what goes into the cake:
- All-purpose flour: gives the right amount of tenderness to the cake.
- Baking powder and baking soda: leavening agents that cause the cake to rise and give that fluffy texture.
- Salt: enhances the sweetness of the cake.
- Butter: use unsalted butter at room temperature (it should be slightly firm to the touch, yet leave the impression of your finger when you press into it).
- Granulated sugar: adds the right amount of sweetness to the cake.
- Vegetable oil: adds moisture.
- Eggs: add moisture, flavor, and richness.
- Vanilla: always use PURE vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Sour cream: yields a tender cake and its acidity activates the baking soda.
- Milk: moistens the batter and adds color and flavor to the baked cake.
- Powdered sugar: adds sweetness to the buttercream.
- Heavy cream: creates the perfect creamy buttercream consistency.
How to Make Vanilla Cake (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Note: Begin by greasing three 8-inch round baking pans with butter and dust with flour, shaking off the excess. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix in the oil until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream.
- In three parts, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk and beat until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350°F/177°C oven on the center rack.
How to Make Vanilla Buttercream (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Using a mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes until light and creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar to the butter and mix until evenly combined.
- Add vanilla and enough heavy cream for desired consistency and beat the buttercream for 5 minutes on medium-high.
How to Assemble 3 Layer 8 Inch Cake
- Slice a thin layer off the top of each cake to level.
- Place one layer of cake on your serving dish and spread 1/4 of the buttercream evenly.
- Top with the second layer of cake and spread another 1/4 of the buttercream evenly.
- Add the final cake layer and spread a thin crumb coat of buttercream over the entire cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Use the remaining buttercream to frost the entire cake.
Note: A crumb coat is a very thin layer of base frosting used to seal the crumbs so that they do not mix into your beautiful final layer of buttercream. Refrigerating the cake with the crumb coat is key before adding the final frosting layer.
The flavor and texture make this the best 8 inch round cake. Because it’s flavored with vanilla, it’s the perfect base cake recipe. Here are some ideas for variations:
- To transform into a funfetti layer cake for the perfect 8 inch birthday cake, mix 80 g (1/2 cup) sprinkles into the cake batter and finish with funfetti buttercream.
- For a chocolate chip vanilla layer cake, fold 140 g (3/4 cup) of mini chocolate chips into the batter.
- Instead of vanilla buttercream, you can decorate this cake with coffee buttercream, fudge frosting from these chocolate cupcakes, or cream cheese frosting.
How to Store
I love making this cake ahead of time for parties. Here’s how to prep it and store any leftovers:
- Cake Layers (Make Ahead): Wrap cooled cake layers in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature overnight. Otherwise, place wrapped layers in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and frost.
- Leftover Cake: Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze cake slices, individually wrap them with plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: I don’t recommend freezing whole decorated cakes. For the best texture, freeze the cake layers and decorate them up to 1 day before serving.
I would not recommend substituting cake flour. This 8 inch vanilla cake recipe was made specifically with all-purpose flour to get the perfect moist and tender cake.
The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. When you gently press into the top of the cake, it will spring back.
You can evenly divide this batter into two round 9-inch cake pans. Begin checking for doneness at the 35-minute mark.
This recipe is ideal for a cake and doesn’t create the perfect moist, bouncy, and tender cupcakes. Instead, try making funfetti cupcakes.
Baking Success Tips & Takeaways
- Use a kitchen scale for accuracy! If using standard cup measurements, make sure to spoon your flour into the measuring cup and level it with a knife.
- Use room temperature ingredients! This will allow you to properly mix your ingredients and create the perfect texture. Additionally, your cake will bake evenly.
- To prevent your cake from sticking to the pan, grease and flour your cake pans. I always use butter for greasing and tap the pan to remove any excess flour. Add a layer of parchment paper to the bottom of your pans.
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Please leave a starred rating and comment below if you make this 8 Inch Round Vanilla Cake Recipe. I love reading your feedback! And if you’d like to make this recipe later, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest! Happy Baking!Print