The Perfect Vanilla Cake Recipe

You decorate cakes and want a delicious cake for your guests to bite into but if you make it from scratch you find it can be too dry and have to use a cake soak OR if you make it from a box, it’s too moist and crumbles when you try to crumb coat.

Making cakes from scratch requires the perfect lab environment: the right temperature eggs, ingredients poured out to the exact measurement, and the flour folded at just the right moment.

One distraction and the cake is toast.

If you have a job (πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ), kids (πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ), or any other distractions ( πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ), creating a cake from scratch has too many variables that can go wrong.

Plus, let’s face it, their taste never beats the taste of a cake mix cake.

This is why I create cake recipes with cake mix incorporated.

Cake mixes are a hit because they make up for human error.

When I’ve made a cake using cake mix, I get RAVE reviews and when I make a cake using cake flour, I get so-so reviews.

I’m proud to present the easiest and most delicious vanilla cake recipe you’ll try. You don’t even have to tell people you used a cake mix – just wait to hear what they say.

Here is my recipe perfect for a 6-inch, 3 layer vanilla cake:

The Perfect Vanilla Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For the cake

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 cup sifted, all purpose flour (+ flour for dusting pans)
  • 1 package (15.25 oz) white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines as it doesn’t have pudding but you can choose a cake mix with pudding)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole egg
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbl spoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla (I use Mexican vanilla)

For the frosting Follow my American butter cream recipe  Supplies

  • (3) 6-inch round cake pans (must be at least 2-inch deep)
  • Large mixing bowl for the dry ingredients (I use my KitchenAid Mixer for this)
  • Large mixing bowl for your wet ingredients
  • Large wire racks to cool the layers
  • (1) 6-inch impermeable cake board
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk
  • Spatula


Directions

  1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. With a pencil, trace the bottom of the pans on parchment paper so that you have (3) 6-inch diameter round parchment papers.
  3. Grease the inside of each pan. Press the parchment paper into the inner bottom of each pan.
  4. Flour the inner sides of the pans.
  5. If you’re using a mixer, grab that bowl, if not, choose a large mixing bowl. You will be mixing your dry ingredients together first.
  6. Place the cake mix, sifted flour, granulated sugar and mix to combine ingredients. It should look like a uniform mixture after 2 minutes.
  7. Now you will combine your wet ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl.
  8. In this mixing bowl, place the water, sour cream, whole egg, egg whites, oil, and vanilla.
  9. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer until you have a uniform mixture (about 20 seconds).
  10. Continuously stirring on low speed, pour about 1/3 of the wet mixture into the dry mixture. When fully incorporated, turn off the machine (or stop your arm from stirring) and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  11. Repeat with another 1/3 amount of the wet mixture, and then the final 1/3.
  12. Now increase your speed to medium until the batter is uniform and smooth. Should take about 2 minutes.
  13. Ladle 1/3 of the cake batter into each prepared baking pan.
  14. You want to get the air bubbles out of the cake batter in order for it to bake evenly. So lift each pan about 3 inches into the air above the counter and slam it back down on the counter. Repeat this with each pan. You’ll notice the air bubbles popping at the surface.
  15. Bake the layers until they just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the tops are brown. Should take about 40 minutes.
  16. Transfer cake pans to wire racks to cool. Take an offset knife and run it around the edge of the cakes.
  17. If you are serving the cake within 24 hours, then you can allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans, then pop them in the freezer (still in their pans, you don’t even have to cover them with foil). I’ve done this 100 times and if they are in the freezer for 24 hours, they will come out perfectly fine.
  18. If you are building your cake more than 24 hours later, then after pulling your cake out of the oven and running the offset knife through, invert the cake on a wire rack and pull off the pan. Then, using another wire rack, invert the cake again so the cake is standing up on a flat edge. Let the cake cool for about another couple of hours (I put them in my cold, second oven so that neither my toddler nor my dog get the urge to go for them), then wrap them in plastic wrap and place in fridge.

I’d love to hear how your cake came out and what you celebrated with it!

Layered Chocoflan Cake

This cake is simple and elegant and different. I’ll show you how to make this Mexican classic cake with an edge.

My suggestion: do not, and I mean do not, try to make this more complicated by doing it from scratch. Buy a cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines) and make your life easier.

What you’ll need

For the cake:

  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the flan:

  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 box (8 oz) of softened cream cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for the caramel)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Tools:

  • 2 – 8″ cake rounds
  • 1 large cookie sheet
  • 1 – 7″ round cutter (I use Ateco brand)
  • Cake Mixer
  • Small sauce pan to warm sugar
  • Heat proof spatula

Directions:

  1. Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Turn on heat to medium high for sauce pan
  3. Pour sugar in sauce pan and DON’T stir it. Otherwise it will crystallize. Wait until it is a clear liquid and then stir with your heat proof spatula. As a warning, caramel is EXTREMELY hot so be very careful.
  4. Coat the bottom of your pans with the sugar. It will harden almost immediately and it won’t look even, that’s totally fine!
  5. For the cake: pour in your mixer all of your dry ingredients and mix on low.
  6. Pour in one by one your wet ingredients stirring slowly in between each ingredient.
  7. For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
  8. Pour your cake batter into your cake pans with equal amounts in each.
  9. Pour the flan mixture into each of the pans slowly. The mixtures will separate on their own in the oven.
  10. Put the cookie sheet in oven and pour enough water for there to be 1/2″ of water in height.
  11. Carefully place the prepared cake pans on the cookie sheet and bake 40 minutes until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Remove cakes from water bath and let cool for an hour at room temperature and then place in fridge for a day.
  13. When ready to serve, create a water bath of hot water and place the pans in the water bath for a few minutes. This will melt the caramel.
  14. Run a spatula around the rim of the the cake and then flip the first pan onto your serving plate. If your cakes came out different in size, put your thicker cake as the first cake on the serving plate.
  15. Do the same with the second cake but this time you’re going flip the cake on the first cake so they’re stacked.
  16. This is where your cake will take a right turn from the traditional bundt cake. Grab your 7″ round cutter and place it smack in the center on top of your cake. Push it down all the way until all the edges have been cut smooth.

    By cutting it with the round cutter, you give it a smoother look than the traditional bundt look.