The Best Ever Vanilla Cake

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Show of hands, who loves vanilla cake?! My hand is definitely up! When I was little, I used to look through my mom’s cake decorating box with envy. I wanted to know how to make the most perfect little icing rosebuds and how to make icing look like a basket weave. She had a bunch of those Wilton molded cake pans, little bottles of colored dye to make icing every color of the rainbow, icing bags and tips in every shape and size. It looked like so much delicious fun! When I was older, married, but not yet a mom, I took a set of cake decorating classes at a craft store. There were 4 courses to complete their trainings, each course with about 6 classes. I got to learn how to make those little icing rosebuds, mastered basketweave, and even got to delve into the world of two-tiered cakes. Now, with two-tiered cakes, I appreciate having a nice, dense cake to work with. It can handle the abuse of all the decorating and won’t crumble under multiple layers. I’ll do a post on how to do tiered cakes later on, but, for now, let’s focus on the actual cake. This recipe is one of my absolute favorites to use for simple layer cakes or tiered cakes. It’s dense, full of flavor, has just the right amount of sweet, and pairs fabulously with vanilla buttercream icing. I used this recipe to make these cakes among many others; I just happened to have these photos in my Facebook album and couldn’t resist a chance to show off my creations!

The Best Ever Vanilla Cake

My absolute favorite vanilla cake! 

Author Caffeine & Fist Bumps


  • 1 18.25 package of white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract feel free to swap out vanilla extract for a different flavor such as orange or lemon!
  • 2 eggs if you want the cake to be more of a white color, use 4 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your cake pans.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, empty the package of white cake mix and add all dry ingredients. Stir together until combined. Then, add all wet ingredients and mix until no longer lumpy. I prefer to use my stand mixer, but you could definitely use a mixing bowl and a large spoon.

  3. Pour batter into greased and floured pans, filling them about halfway up to allow for cake to rise in oven.

  4. Bake until top is golden and a toothpick, inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. Timing will vary based on the size pan you use, so keep an eye on the cake as it bakes.

  5. Before frosting, allow the cake to cool.

Recipe Notes

I often double this recipe if making a tiered cake. As an example, a double batch made enough for this 2-tiered cake (three 8" layers on the bottom and two 5" layers on the top). I also had enough left for 1 additional 5" layer.

This recipe does well for cupcakes, too!

Let me know when you get to try this recipe! Tag me on Instagram if you post a picture of your deliciousness!


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1 Response

  1. August 31, 2018

    […] I make a cake like this Best Ever Vanilla Cake, I almost always use this vanilla icing recipe. It pairs with pretty much every single flavor cake […]