How to make the best vanilla birthday cake with this easy and delicious recipe which is one of my favorites with this chocolate birthday cake recipe.
Made with a soft vanilla sponge cake filled with mascarpone frosting and vanilla buttercream frosting.
This vanilla birthday cake recipe is probably the simplest and most delicious recipe to celebrate a birthday with your family.
Made up of 3 preparations, a soft and light classic vanilla cake layers with an unctuous whipped mascarpone frosting filling and a smooth outside finish with a simple buttercream frosting and its pretty sugar sprinkles decoration.
This Best vanilla cake recipe is perfect for all occasions and celebrations, especially birthdays, you won't be able to resist this sweet vanilla-flavored combination.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Ultra simplified recipe in step by step and my advice to succeed.
- Strong vanilla flavor for a cake that will seduce all tastes.
- Very easy recipe for all beginners in pastry.
- Easy to adapt to everyone's taste with some ideas for recipe variations.
Material you need for this recipe
Here is the list of ingredients that I use and that I advise you to get for the best success of this recipe at home.
- 6-inches / 15 cm Cake pan (you will need 3 pans for this recipe)
Stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, essential to make the mixtures.
- Cake leveler or a saw knife to cut the top of the genoise.
Piping bag with 1B nozzle for top decoration or another piping tip.
- Cake turntable is a must-have for assembling cake layers.
Cake scraper, is essential for a perfect finish.
You will also like: Best 10 cake decorating tools for great cakes !
Composition of this recipe
Here is the exact composition to make my best birthday cake recipe and possible substitutions for each recipe, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
I chose a simple, fluffy, light vanilla cake for this recipe with the "reverse creaming" method of mixing the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the liquids.
You can replace it with a simple genoise sponge, a vanilla sponge cake or this delicious Molly Cake recipe.
And for a chocolate flavor, you can try a chocolate cake instead like buttermilk chocolate cake, chocolate sponge cake or chocolate genoise.
I like to fill my layer cakes with mascarpone frosting instead of buttercream to have a lighter cake and this mascarpone whipped cream is perfect.
You can replace it with a cream cheese frosting like my buttercream cream cheese frosting recipe or a vanilla diplomat cream, or a chocolate frosting like this whipped ganache or a simple chocolate ganache recipe.
For finishing and piping decorations the American buttercream is perfect, it's an easy, quick and great recipe for beginners. You can also use a Swiss meringue Buttercream or Italian meringue instead.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to Make This Easy Birthday Vanilla Cake recipe
- Preheat the oven to 320°F / 160°C and line 3 round cake pans of 6 inch/ 15 cm diameter with parchment paper.
- Place the liquid ingredients in a medium bowl, eggs, milk, and vanilla exctract.
- Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, cake flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
- Mix the dry ingredients for 10 seconds using the paddle attachment.
- Add the chopped unsalted butter to the dry ingredients and mix on high speed until you have a sandy mixture.
- Add half of the liquid ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the other half of the liquid ingredients and mix again for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Divide the mixture into 3 and fill the prepared pans.
- Bake for about 30 - 45 minutes until golden brown on top. (check for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean)
- Allow the cakes to cool slightly before removing them from the pan and cooling them completely on a cake wire.
- Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Mascarpone whipped cream
- In a medium bowl place all the ingredients, powdered sugar, cold mascarpone cheese, cold heavy cream, and vanilla extract (or the seeds of a vanilla bean).
- Beat with an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes until you have a thick cream.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble.
- Place the butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until the butter is white and creamy.
- Add sifted powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla and mix again with mixer for another 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Finish mixing at slow speed with a paddle attachment and set aside until ready to assemble.
Assemble the cake
- Place the first layer of sponge cake on a cake board and on your cake turntable.
- Fill the inside with a layer of mascarpone whipped cream and smooth with an angled spatula.
- Place a second layer of cake and repeat the previous step then finish by placing the last layer of sponge cake.
- Apply a layer of American buttercream over the entire cake and smooth first with the angled spatula and then finish with a frosting smoother.
- Make swirls with a pastry bag filled with buttercream and a star nozzle.
- Sprinkle with colorful sugar sprinkles.
- Let your cake rest in the fridge.
- Take the cake out 20 minutes before serving.
You will also like : How to frost a cake for perfect finish !
Storage and tips
In the fridge: Store your vanilla cake only in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days in an airtight container or under plastic wrap.
Freezer: Leftover cake can be stored in the freezer wrapped in storage bags for up to 3 months, let them thaw gently in the refrigerator overnight.
Add fresh fruits: Chopped fruits inside such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Remember to take the cake out of the fridge about 20 minutes beforehand so that the buttercream is more soft.
More birthday cakes
- Salted caramel cake
- Lemon meringue cake
- Strawberry whipped cream cake
- Strawberry layer cake
- Chocolate naked cake
- Carrot layer cake
- Kinder cake
- Coconut layer cake
- Chocolate vanilla cake
- Gingerbread cake
- Berries naked cake
- Chocolate strawberry cake
- Gingerbread house cake
More vanilla recipes
Did you like this recipe? Don't forget to rate it and leave me a review in comments! And to not miss any recipes follow @sweetlycakes on Instagram and tag me to share it if you make this recipe 😊!Print
Classic vanilla birthday cake
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 10 slices
An easy vanilla birthday cake made off a soft and moist vanilla sponge cake, fill with a mascarpone whipped cream and deocrate with a American buttercream frosting (for a 6 inch / 15 cm diameter cake - about 8-10 parts)
Vanilla sponge cake
- 390 g Flour
- 290 g Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 175 butter (at room temperature)
- 312 ml Milk
- 4 eggs (medium)
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
Mascarpone whipped cream
- 125 g Mascarpone (cold)
- 150 ml Heavy cream (cold)
- 20 g Confectioner's sugar (sifted)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
American buttercream frosting
- 170 g butter (cut into pieces and at room temperature)
- 315 g confectioner's sugar (sifted)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
Vanilla sponge cake
- Preheat oven to 320°F / 160°C and line 3 6 inch / 15 cm cake pans with parchment paper.
- Mix together the liquid ingredients, eggs, milk and vanilla.
- Place the dry ingredients in the stand mixer bowl, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and mix on high speed for 10-15 seconds.
- Add the chopped butter and mix for 1 minute on high speed until sandy.
- Add half of the liquid mixture and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Then add the other half and mix again for 2 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into your 3 baking pans and bake for 30-45 minutes. Check the cooking with a toothpick by sticking it in the center, it should come out clean.
- Let the cakes cool a bit before unmolding them and letting them cool completely upside down on a cake rack.
- Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
American buttercream frosting
- Place the room temperature butter, cut into pieces, in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Add the sifted confectioner's sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt and mix on high speed for another 3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- Set aside at room temperature until ready to assemble.
Mascarpone whipped cream
- Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, the cold mascarpone cream, the very cold heavy cream, the sifted confectioner's sugar and the vanilla.
- Mix with an electric mixer for 4 - 5 minutes until you obtain a thick and homogeneous preparation.
- Set aside in a fresh place until ready to assemble.
Assembling the cake
- Place a first layer of sponge cake on a cake plate placed on your cake turntable.
- Garnish the inside with a layer of mascarpone whipped cream and smooth with a spatula.
- Cover with the second layer of sponge cake and repeat the previous step. Finish with the third layer of sponge cake.
- Apply a layer of buttercream over the entire cake and smooth with the spatula and then an cake scraper.
- Decorate the top with a pastry bag filled with buttercream and a star tip.
- Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles and place your cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: cake, Dessert
- Cuisine: americain
- Calories: 799
- Sugar: 64
- Sodium: 393
- Fat: 43
- Saturated Fat: 27
- Carbohydrates: 95
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 180
Keywords: vanilla birthday cake, vanilla cake
What a lovely recipe!
Can I also use a cake pan with a diameter of 18cm? Do I need to change the measurements of the ingredients?
Thank you in advance!
Hello Sara, thanks ❤️ , yes as I use a 15 cm pan in this recipe you can use a 18 cm pan your cake will be just a little less high.
This cake looks amazing, thank you for the recipe.
Quick question, which flour did you use for this recipe?
Thank you very much, for this recipe I used homemade cake flour, if you have any use cake flour or simply all purpose flour will work too.