Classic Vanilla Cake

vanilla cakeFinally, it’s cake time.

Welcome to part three of my raspberry filled vanilla cake! Last week, I teased* you with Italian Buttercream and Raspberry Filling, but today I’m sharing one of my go-to cake recipes and showing you how all three components come together to make one amazing cake. 

I’ve adapted this vanilla cake recipe from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Yes, the very same Magnolia Bakery that Carrie Bradshaw frequented on Sex and the City. Carrie and her Manolo-filled shoe collection may be fictional but the delicious desserts at Magnolia Bakery are 100% real. 

cake recipe

One of my favorite discoveries from this cookbook is also their best seller, vanilla birthday cake. To be honest, I’m a bit of a vanilla hater. In a world of peanut butter fudge and strawberry mint, why would you limit yourself to basic ole vanilla? My boyfriend, Sam, would chime in, “Because it’s a classic.” 

Well, Magnolia’s vanilla cake has quickly become a classic in my kitchen. This cake is sturdy enough to fill and stack but is still super moist and light. Another bonus, you probably have all the ingredients to this wonder in your pantry right now. 

vanilla cake

I like to bake this cake in single layers rather than filling the entire cake pan and cutting it down. I find that the cake bakes better and there is little to no waste. In an ideal world, you’d have three cake pans of the same diameter, and you would bake them off at the same time. I do not live in this ideal world, but thankfully, there is an easy fix.

I fill my 8″ cake pan with a thin layer of batter, about a cup and a half, and then bake it for about 20 minutes. I cover the rest of the cake batter with cling wrap and pop it in the fridge. When the cake is ready,  I let it sit for about 10 minutes, flip it out on a cooling rack, respray my pan, and bake the next layer. This process takes a little longer, but you can use that time to make your raspberry filling and Italian buttercream. Yay, multitasking! 

raspberry filling

Once all of my cakes are cooled, I level each layer. There shouldn’t be much to trim off though. Choose a layer as the bottom of the cake and place it cut side up on a cake board. Pipe your buttercream in a circle along the edge of the cake. Take half of your gorgeous raspberry filling and spread it into the center of the buttercream circle. Stack the next later cut side up and repeat. Finally place the last layer cut side down on top. 

vanilla cake

Is it just me or does this cake look gorgeous just like this? If you’re not comfortable with decorating cakes, this is a great option. Sprinkle the top with some powdered sugar and garnish with some raspberry to match the filling. Super easy yet super impressive looking. 

I went on to fully decorate my cake for a baby shower my friend was hosting. Can you tell it was for a girl??? The recipe listed below is for the lower tier. However, if you want to make a two tiered cake just multiply the listed recipe by 1.5. 

baby shower cake

Tart raspberry filling, surrounded by delicate vanilla cake, and topped with creamy Italian buttercream. I love the way this cake turned out, and it was a huge hit at the shower as well! Of course, it would also be a great addition to any birthday, anniversary, or just a night when you really want cake. 

Happy Sifting! 

*Personal Admission #34: Thanks for your patience. I am a fan of long draw out dramatics. My favorite movie is Gone With The Wind after all. 

Vanilla Cake
Makes one 3-layer 8 inch cake
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 2 3/4 cups flour
  5. 2 tsp. baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp. salt
  7. 1 cup whole milk
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8” cake pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom with parchment.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar, until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, scrape well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Scrape well after each addition.
  6. Deposit about a cup and a half of batter into the prepared pan. Cover the remaining batter with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake bounces back to your touch and pulls away from the sides.
  7. Allow the layer to sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Flip out onto cooling rack.
  8. Respray and line the cake pan and repeat steps 6 and 7 for the second and third layer.
  9. Allow layers to cool completely before decorating.
Adapted from "The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook"
Adapted from "The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook"
Sifting Through Life
 Vanilla Cake, perfect for any occasion!

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