Perfect Vanilla Butter Cake

This is the only Vanilla Butter Cake recipe you’ll ever want or need. Mixing technique can make a big difference when making cake batter. Find out the best way to get a light and tender cake.

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When I was developing the base recipe for my wedding cake business I wanted a tender and melt-in-your mouth layer cake that could be stacked into a multi-tier wedding centerpiece or carved into a detailed 3-d creation. This Vanilla Butter Cake recipe was the basis for most of the cakes I sold at Cake Art Studio.

Recipe Ingredients

Vanilla cake ingredients in bowls with text overlay on the photo identifying the ingredients.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cake Flour – Has a lower protein content than all purpose flour so it makes a softer cake. I prefer bleached cake flour. Bleached cake flour is acidic which tenderizes the cake and allows the batter to absorb more liquid for a moister cake.
  • Sour Cream – Is used instead of milk as the “liquid” in this batter. Because sour cream is acidic it tenderizes the crumb of the cake and the added fat enriches the batter.
  • Eggs – Extra egg yolks in the batter enriches the cake and emulsifies the batter for an even and soft crumb. The whites are whipped and folded into the batter for an extra light and soft cake crumb.
  • Cream of Tatar – This acidic ingredient stabilizes the whipped egg whites and acidifies the batter for a softer crumb.

Professional bakers use the “Baker’s Percentage” to balance the ingredients in a recipe. You can find the exact percentages for this Vanilla Butter Cake recipe in this all-encompassing post describing how to create the best cake recipes.

How to make Vanilla Butter Cake

See the recipe card for detailed instructions and measurements.

A sheet of parchment paper with a circle cut out.
  • Draw an 8″ circle on parchment paper using your cake pan as a guide. Cut out two circles and use them to line your cake pans.
  • If you don’t have parchment paper butter and flour the bottom of the cake pan only, not the sides.
A bowl with eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  A bowl of flour, salt and baking powder.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the yolks, sour cream and vanilla.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  • Mix the dry ingredients on low speed and add the butter. Mix until it forms a thick paste. Add the reserved sour cream.
  • Mix the batter on high speed until it is light and aerated. Scrape the bowl and beater.
  • With the mixer running on low, add the yolk mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Whip the whites with the cream of tarter and the remaining sugar. Do no overwhip the whites.
  • Fold the whites into the batter in two batches.
  • Fold just until there are no streaks of whites.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the two pans. Smooth to even level then use the tip of your spatula to make an “X” in the center of each cake. This will help the cake rise more evenly in the oven.
  • Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then cool completely before icing.
  • Visit this page to see how to assemble a perfect layer cake.

What’s the difference between vanilla cake and yellow cake?

Most people use the terms “vanilla cake” and “yellow cake” interchangeably. Vanilla is the flavoring in the cake. The cake is yellow because of the eggs in the cake.

That being said, not all vanilla cakes are yellow cakes. If you eliminate the egg yolks in the cake and make white cake flavored with vanilla, it too is a vanilla cake.

The Reverse Creaming Technique:

I always make my butter cakes using the “reverse creaming” method of mixing. When I developed this recipe for my cake business I only tested it using the reverse creaming technique since that’s the only way I make butter cakes.

Before posting this recipe I decided to do a quick kitchen experiment to back up my claims that reverse creaming is the way to go for this cake.

I used the same ingredients and mixed them with traditional creaming, reverse creaming and reverse creaming with the eggs separated and the whites whipped and folded in.

There were distinct differences between the three cakes.

  • Cake 1 (traditional creaming method) had an open and regular crumb, but was not as tender as I would like and it had a slightly oily mouth-feel.
  • Cake 2 (reverse creaming) was very tender, velvety and soft.
  • Cake 3 (reverse method with whipped whites) had a slightly irregular but very tender crumb. It was not quite as velvety as cake 2, but it was lighter and quite tender.
Three slices of vanilla cake side by side on a white background.

Three cakes with the exact same ingredients, but different mixing methods. Left=Traditional Method, Middle=Reverse Creaming, Right=Reverse with Whipped Whites

This is a really great all purpose yellow cake that is tender yet strong enough for stacking or carving. For more information about cake batter, visit the Baking School page.

Watch the recipe video to see how to do the “reverse creaming” method for a light and tender cake.

I like this recipe filled and iced with Italian Meringue Buttercream or Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

You might also like my Chocolate Butter Cake recipe. Can’t choose? Then make Marble Cake.

Now that you’ve made this recipe what should you do with all the extra egg whites? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra whites for some great ideas.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.

beauty shot
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4.49 from 312 reviews

Vanilla Butter Cake Recipe

Perfectly tender and buttery vanilla cake layers. Super soft, yet strong enough for sculpted or wedding cakes.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
16 servings
Save Recipe


  • 6 large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 8 ounces sour cream (1 cup, room temperature, divided)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar (1 ½ cups, divided)
  • 9 ounces cake flour (2 cups, see note)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two 8"x3" round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pans only, not the sides.
  • Combine the yolks, 1/2 the sour cream and the vanilla in a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
    6 large egg yolks, 8 ounces sour cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Into a mixer bowl put 1 ¼ cups of the sugar, sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed for 10 seconds to distribute the leavening. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Mix on low until the butter is incorporated and the batter looks like a paste. Add the other ½ of the sour cream to the flour and butter mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix about 3 minutes until the batter lightens in texture. If you're using a hand mixer add another minute or two to the total time.
    12 ounces granulated sugar, 9 ounces cake flour, ¾ teaspoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add ½ the egg yolk mixture. Mix until mostly incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of the egg yolk mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix until incorporated.
  • In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium high until they form soft peaks. Turn the mixer to medium low and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Turn the mixer to medium high and whip the whites to full peak. Fold the whites into the base in 2 parts, folding just until there are no streaks of egg whites.
    3 large egg whites, ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • Divide the batter between the 2 pans and spread so it’s level.
  • Bake until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Cool 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack. When fully cooled, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before filling and assembling the cake with your favorite frosting.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The cake is very soft the day that it’s baked. If you’d like to trim the crust and split the layers allow it to chill in the refrigerator until it’s firm enough to handle without breaking.
The filled cake can be kept at room temperature for several days (unless it has a perishable filling).
The cake cake be frozen for a month.


Serving: 16g | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The reverse creaming method is excellent. It gives me the best results for multi-tiered wedding cakes and its texture is very, very pleasant and accepted.
    Thank you very much, Eileen!!! ❤️❤️☺️

  2. Thank-you /Eileen.

    I would appreciate your help.

    First of all, my cake was NOT TENDER. What would cause this?

    Next, the cake TASTED GHASTLY. Yes, I put in the sugar. I am wondering about the baking soda and baking powder?

    I looked at the photo of your cake after it has been baked, and mine look the same.

    It would be nice to get the final result of a TENDER CRUMB.



    1. Well, I can’t say for sure but “ghastly” is such a strong term it definitely sounds like something happened with the ingredients. In what way was it ghastly? Was it not sweet? Salty? Bitter? This is a very tender cake because of the reverse creaming, the sour cream and the whipped egg whites.

    2. @Eileen Gray, “ghastly” as the chemical reaction went awry and the hocus pocus made it not bitter and certainly not sweet. It’s as though I forgot the sugar and perhaps put in way too much salt. However, I measured the ingredients as indicated by the recipe.

      I used Kosher salt.

      Oh, the cake result was not moist but dry to touch.

      I watched the video and I also use your photos.

      May play with this cake recipe after the holidays.

  3. 1 star

    This is the WORSE cake I ever made in regard to the taste and texture. It baked beautifully but did not yield the height for layering. Though, it did bake to the “Layered” height needed.

    I reviewed the ingredients and instructions, and I did follow both explicitly.

    All put together: curd, cake, frosting, and coconut – it looked beautiful. As I stated in my first review “Dreamy Coconut Cake” the curd was delectable as the frosting was feathery light and fluffy.

    Irene Rodriguez

    1. Well, I can’t speak to whether it is a matter of the cake is not to your taste or that something went wrong with the recipe. If you baked the cake in two 8″x3″ pans each cake should bake up to about 3″ tall. Each cake is then split into two thinner layers. This is the exact recipe I used for my custom cake business for 10 years and it was always loved by my customers. Sorry if you were disappointed. If you have a question about how the recipe works I’d be happy to help.

      1. 4 stars
        Hi, my cakes each only baked up to 1.75 inches each. I used 8×3 pans and followed the instructions to a T. The cake layer was also taller in the oven, but once I removed it flattened some. This often happens to me when baking cake, what can I try next time? Thanks

        1. The cakes will settle once they come out of the oven. Often they looked humped as they’re baking, but will flatten a bit as they cool. If it’s sinking a lot it could be that the center of the cake is not quite baked through.

  4. We made this cake and it was delicious but the recipe was a bit confusing. It calls for 9 ounces of cake flour – 2 cups wouldn’t 2 cups be 16 ounces?

    We just added 2 cups and it came out delicious but I just want to be sure I’m understanding the recipe correctly. Is it 2 cups or 9 ounces?

      1. I tried to find the answer in the comments, so sorry if I missed it. It says to divide the sugar, and only put 1 1/4 cup into to batter, but then the recipe doesn’t describe where the rest of the sugar goes..have I missed something?

        1. Hi Tara, the rest of the sugar is whipped with the whites. Step 5: “In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium high until they form soft peaks. Turn the mixer to medium low and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar.”

  5. For the amount of sugar, the measure is given in grams, ounces, and cups, but I don’t think the three values are equivalent. 340g=12oz, but these aren’t 1.5 cups (300g). From what I can tell, 340g would be 1.67 cups for sugar. Would you please check/clarify the sugar amount? Thanks

    1. I use the conversion of 8oz per cup of sugar. So 1 1/2 cups would be 12 oz or 340g. 300g per 1 1/2 cups would be closer to 7oz per cup of sugar. When I dip a cup of sugar into the bin and fill it, then level it flat I always get very close to 8 oz per cup. So that is the conversion I use.

    2. @Eileen Gray, Thank you for replying. As a novice baker desiring to make a yummy cake for my mom’s birthday, I spent several days researching recipes and techniques (thank you for all the great info on your site). Although your 8oz per cup resulting in 12oz=1.5 cups makes sense, I’m still confused about the weight in grams. Every site I’ve seen with both cups and grams listed shows 1 cup of sugar weighing 200 grams (or 2 cups weighing 400 grams, etc). So why would 1.5 cups of sugar weigh 340 grams instead of 300? Thanks for your patience with my question. I want to be sure I don’t mess up mom’s cake (and in case you couldn’t tell, I’m very nervous about it).

      1. The weight in grams is based on the weight in ounces. 12oz of sugar x 28.3 (there are 28.3g per ounce)= 340g. So my assumption is that those other websites assume a cup of sugar weighs 7 oz not 8 oz (200g/28.g=7.06). But the actual weight of the sugar in the cup will be dependent on how the cup is filled. Unlike water, which is always 8 oz per cup because a liquid doesn’t leave any gaps, “solid” ingredients like flour or sugar can hump up in the cup, or there can be air pockets or one brand of sugar may be more finely ground than another so fills the cup more densely. For my recipes, I always assume a cup of sugar will weigh 8oz (or 225 grams). This is based on how I fill up the cup and rounding up a tiny bit to 8 oz for simplicity (I generally get 7.5 – 7.75oz). If another recipe writer tends to slightly underfill a cup of sugar it might weigh less (7 oz as in your example of 200 grams per cup). Go ahead and put a measuring cup on your scale. Zero out the scale. Now fill that cup with 7oz of sugar by lightly spooning it into the cup. See if it’s full to the very top at 7oz. Then take the same cup and dip it into the bin of sugar, overfill it, then level it off. Weigh it now. It will probably be different. It will probably be closer to 7.5 or 8 oz. So while an ounce (or gram) of sugar is always the same, a “cup” can be different based on how the cup was filled.

    3. @Jeanette, I agree with you that most websites indicate 8 fluid oz of sugar weighs ~7.05 oz, but when I measured out a leveled cup of sugar, it actually weighed closer to 8 oz (more like 7.8 oz). I guess it depends on the density or crystal size of the granulated sugar, as well as how settled it is in the measuring cup. All the more reason to weigh our ingredients rather than using measuring cups.

  6. Can you use whipped cream as icing on outside of cake and buttercream when making dams?
    I’m going to make the “luscious lemon mousse cake”.
    You write such nice clear directions. Do you have whipped cream icing recipe?

    1. Yes, you can use whipped cream. But do keep the cake refrigerated until serving so the cream doesn’t soften too much. I don’t have a particular whipped cream icing recipe. I sweeten a cup of whipped cream with 2 tablespoon of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. At the store (if you’re in the US) try to buy “heavy” cream rather than “heavy whipping cream” because it has a higher fat % and will be more stable.

    2. @Eileen Gray,
      Thank U so much for answering. I’m looking fwd to making in future.
      You are so clear in directions…I’m ordering your baking book from Amazon.
      Thanks again.
      Diane V.

  7. My daughter in law always requests yellow cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday. I have yet to find success with any recipe I’ve tried, last years attempt had the consistency of play doh. Is this recipe considered yellow cake?

  8. Hello! Im really new to baking so I enjoyed learning about the process. I don’t have cake flour can I use all purpose flour instead?
    Thank you!

  9. It turned out really oily and all the egg went to the bottom of the pan. It was flat and gooey like an undercooked crepe and a nightmare to get out of the pan. Is there perhaps a typo or something wrong in the recipe?

  10. Hello!

    Is there any way to make this recipe red velvet? Would I just add about 3/4 cocoa powder to the dry ingredients? And red food coloring to the end?

    1. I have a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. Very soon I will also be posting a recipe for Red Velvet Bundt cake with a cream cheese filling. Keep an eye out for it. If you haven’t already you can sign up for my newsletter and then you’ll get notified of any new recipes.

    2. @Eileen Gray,

      Thank you so much! i will check it out. definitely will sign up for your news letter.

      Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Tara, I haven’t made this recipe with GF flour, but I have made my Perfect Pound Cake with gluten free flour with pretty good results. You can read about it in my post about Flour in Cake Batter. The one caveat is that you don’t want to do reverse creaming with GF flour. Without the structure added by the gluten, you should use the traditional creaming method instead to get a lighter cake.

    2. @Tara, heyheyhey i’m gluten free and i’ve made this cake a lot of times, using 1/2 gf flour and 1/2 gf baking mix (i used king arthur’s but you can use gf bisquick or whatever), i’ve found that works better than fully gf flour. hope this helps you!!

  11. Hello, I followed your recipe to the T but it still came out rubbery and dense… any ideas? It also collapsed pretty significantly. I didn’t open the oven during baking. Google says rubberiness is caused by overmixing. I wonder if creaming the butter and sugar first like most recipes call for would be better.

    1. Using the reverse creaming method makes it less likely you’ll overmix the batter since you’re coating the flour with fat to prevent too much gluten formation. If you overwhip the egg whites then fold too long you could loose volume in the cake.

  12. Hi! You mentioned best of both worlds whipping egg whites plus reverse creaming. What about creaming butter and sugar, then coating the flour? Another best of both worlds??!?

    1. Do you mean adding the flour after creaming butter/sugar but before adding the wet ingredients? I haven’t tested it. It’s possible the sugar would draw out and absorb water from the butter, which could then start gluten formation when the flour is added. Again, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure.

    1. You can, but if you have cake flour I would just use cake flour as listed in the recipe. If you don’t have quite enough cake flour the, yes, you can fill it in with bleach ap flour.

  13. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, you have really helped me take my baking to the next level! I have just a few questions:
    First, I’ve made this Vanilla butter cake both as cupcakes and as the recipe directs (both turned out perfectly). I’m making a 6-inch birthday cake next, and was wondering if I should divide the recipe in half for three 6-inch pans?
    Second, your American Buttercream recipe from your blog is amazing! I recently purchased your cookbook from Amazon and I noticed the recipe differs in your cookbook from the one on your blog, just wondering which recipe you would recommend. I live in Key West, so it is VERY warm and humid here, if that makes any difference as to which recipe you would recommend.
    Last, this is more of a side note for any potential readers- the first time I made the IMBC, I used salted butter, typically I prefer the extra salt in my stuff, but it RUINED the buttercream. My friend recommended I try it again with unsalted butter, and it made all the difference! The salted butter caused the frosting to taste like a straight stick of butter. Yes, I should definitely follow the recipes as written, but never has substituting salted for unsalted butter made such a difference before! Thank you for reading.

  14. I am interested in baking in a sheet pan. Would this recipe work in a half sheet pan? I’d like to still have the ability to cut in half for layers. I’d like to use this base cake for different flavors of flavored layers/icing.

    1. This recipe make a four layer cake. I bake it in two 8″ pans and split each cake to have four layers.

  15. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I would like to ask what do you think of subbing heavy cream for the sour cream? Or use half of both ? Thanks

    1. Heavy cream would give a different outcome since you won’t have the acidity you have with sour cream. Also, there would be more moisture. The cake might be fine, but it would have a different texture. I would say that greek yogurt would be the best substitution.

  16. I’d like to ask a question. I’ve read that generally you need 1 teaspoon of baking per cup of cake flour but few recipes use that much. How do you decide how much to use especially in the beginning of recipe development.

    I do enjoy reading your class with-ups.

  17. Hi Eileen
    Really love your teaching here
    So educative
    Please can you guide me on how to watch your videos? I’ve been trying all my possible best to get those videos but I couldn’t find them on this page and I can see people commenting on how the video has helped them. What can I do please?


    1. If you have an ad blocker running the video player won’t start. Turn off the ad blocker and the videos will run. Also, the video player is “sticky” so it will move on the page.

  18. Hi Eileen,
    Does this cake stay moist in the fridge? I live in indonesia where is very humid & ppl here are so hung up on putting cakes in fridge. But as u know the cake hardens when cold (its almost inedible). Or do u have any recommendations; using oil in place of spur cream? And how to incorporate that to the recipe? Thanks so very much

    1. The refrigerator will accelerate the staling process. If you can’t keep the cake at room temperature, your better off freezing the cake. Once the cake is filled and iced you can refrigerate it, but it will harden when cold. Take the cake out an hour or two before serving so it has time to come back to room temperature before serving. The sour cream helps keep the cake moist and tender so I would leave it in.

  19. Hi! I am attempting this recipe for my daughters birthday cake. If I’m wanting to do a 8in, 4 layer cake will I need to double this recipe? The picture shows 4 layers, but I didn’t know if the two layers in the recipe are cut in half or if I need to double it to make it the height of the picture. TIA

  20. Hello! How much sprinkles would you add to this cake to make it a confetti cake?? Thank you! I love your recipes!!

    1. I couldn’t say exactly since I haven’t made it. Maybe start with 1/2 a cup and see how it looks.

  21. Once again, thank you Eileen, for your reply. I went ahead and made my 9″ round cake using 1.25 times the 8″ recipe. I didnt have cake flour but substituted by removing 2 tablespoons of the plain flour and adding 2 tablespoons of cornflour per cup as you suggested. I made 2 cakes – the first one, I forgot to add the sugar until after blending in the butter and I added it then. I thought the first one did not rise very well because of this error. For the second one, I followed the recipe and method to the letter, the only deviation being that since I have loose botttom non stick tins, I lined both bottom and sides with baking parchment but only greased and floured the base. When I checked for ‘doneness’ in the oven towards the end, the cake looked very promising, rising nicely and very soft to the touch. It even looked good when I removed it from the oven but then it began to shrink back. I removed it from the tin to further cool as you suggest. The cooled cake ended up only being 3cm high (loosing about half its initial height) and seemed quite dense to me although it was soft. Is this how it should be or have I done something wrong? The only other observation I could make was, in the first cake, I whipped the eggs whites and sugar ’til they were really thick and glossy but in the second cake I just stopped whipping when the mix was at stiff peaks. Is this difference significant? However, when comparing both cakes, there was very little difference in terms of height and texture. I have taken pics but don’t seem to be able to attach them here.

    1. Hi Maria, I got the photos. A couple of questions and comments. First, no need to put anything on the sides of the pan at all. I only put a round of parchment at the bottom of the pan and don’t butter and flour at all. This allows the sides of the cake to grip the pan as it bakes and get a better rise.

      What did your butter look like when you began to mix the batter? I often notice that many bakers interpret “room temperature” butter as very soft and warm. Room temperature butter is pliable, but not melting. You can see the texture of the butter in the video. It’s firm enough to hold it’s shape in cubes. The ideal temperature is between 65°-70°F (18-21c). If the butter is too soft it will affect the outcome of the cake. (You can see an example of how the temp of the butter makes a big difference in this shortcake post.) While room temp butter will coat the flour to prevent gluten formation, if the butter is very, very soft and melty the flour will be unable to mix well with the liquid in the recipe.

      Did you watch the recipe video? Did your batter look similar through the process? You say the cake was very soft to the touch towards the end of baking. Did you use the touch test to see if the center was baked? Press the center of the cake and it should spring back.

  22. Hi Eileen,
    I want to make your Vanilla Butter cake recipe for my sister’s birthday and want to do it in 9″ round cake tins. How do i increase or modify the recipe, temperature and timings to accommodate that size of cake? Do you have a generic rule or guideline for modifying the recipe for different cake tin sizes. Your knowledge and experience are brilliant and I am loving reading everything to do with baking which I love. Thanks so much.


    1. If you bake this recipe in 9″ pans the layers will just be a little shorter. I would go ahead and just bake the recipe in the pans. The baking time might be a couple of minutes shorter, but the baking time is always just an estimate. Go more by how the cake looks than the time listed. When you press in the center of the cake it should spring back.

      1. Thank you very much Eileen for the speedy reply. I read on Linseycakes website that I can multiply an 8″ recipe by 1.25 times to achieve the same height of cake. I don’t want the layers to be too thin,so do you think that would work? I was going to ask you about egg sizes but have found the answer above.. I’m going to be brave and get started on this cake!

        1. Sure, you can multiply the recipe. Yes, eggs in my recipes are always large. I’ll try to update that as I see it is needed.

  23. Hello!
    I reaized that ai had accidentally written in the “review” section instead of “comments.” Oops! Sprry! The rating still holds! So here is the question:
    I absolutely love how this cake tastes and melts in your mouth – it is a favorite in our household! In you book, you mentioned this recipe can make 24 standard cupcakes. Every time I do, however, after they are done baking they “shrink” while cooling. Why is that? It drives me crazy! They still taste amazing, but don’t keep their shape. I’d send a picture, but I don’t think it is possible here. Thank you for writing that amazing book! We love the recipes!

  24. Hi, after reading the reviews I am definitely going to try this recipe for a wedding cake this summer! I’m a home baker who follows the directions to a T every time. My question is about eggs, as the size of eggs vary so much. Most recipes call for large eggs but what is the definition of a large egg? In another recipe I did, the author actually put a gram weight and I was surprised to find my “2 large eggs” were actually less than what the recipe called for. Since then I’ve always wondered if the eggs I’m incorporating were enough, as it is such an important ingredient in cake. lol. My question is, Do you have a general gram weight for the egg whites for this recipe? As I double-check everything, and use my gram scale religiously, I would love to check my egg accuracy with a scale. Thank you so much! And one other quick question…Is there any advantage to using superfine sugar (not confectioners) opposed to regular granulated sugar? I’ve seen that in other recipes and wondered if it improves the cake or just a bunch of hooey. Thanks!.

    1. Hi Cynthia, if you are based in the US then anything labeled “large” eggs will be a fairly consistent size. There may be a few gram difference between any two large eggs, but not enough to worry about. If you want to weigh to be sure you can estimate about 1.75 oz (50g) for a large egg (out of shell), about 1/2 oz (14g) for a yolk and about`1.25 oz (35g) for a white.

      If you were doing the regular creaming method I would say that superfine sugar would actually be a disadvantage since you need the sugar crystals to aerate the butter. Doing my research for my “Sugar in Cake Batter” post I compared cakes made with regular granulated sugar vs. confectioner’s sugar. There was actually very little difference between the two. I used the reverse creaming method so I don’t think the crystal size really mattered. But I don’t see any advantage to using superfine over regular sugar.

  25. Hi Eileen,
    Thank you for all the tips, they are very useful, i’ve tried vanilla butter cake, chocolate butter cake, they were superb. Now, can you please send me a recipie without eggs, as some people here are vegetarians.Thanks

  26. I am absolutely loving your recipes. I’m so happy I found your blog. I have two questions. 1. If I’m using both butter and oil in a cake, do I cream the butter in the dry ingredients and put the oil in with the egg mixture or put both the butter and oil in the dry ingredients. 2. If I am using only oil in a cake recipe and I’m separating the egg yolks and whites (to whip the whites later), do I add the oil in with the egg yolks? Thanks.

    1. I would follow the directions in the recipe as to when to add the fat. Just make sure to find reliable and well-tested recipes.

  27. If I make this recipe into cupcakes or mini Bundt pan cakes , what would be the baking time ??? Thank you

  28. Hi Eileen,
    I just noticed that the cake looks very light with the frosting; but in the 3 comparison cake slices, they look bright yellow.
    I just wondered if this cake is the pale yellow or the brighter color? I would like a more pale color… so wondered if there is a tip for being able to achieve the more pale color?

    Thank you!

  29. Thank you for your quick reply, Eileen. My pan is smaller than the 13×18 pan.. I am using an 11 x 15 x2.
    — Would I still double the batter?
    I know my husband would like some coffee flavor so thought I could use your Cappuccino Cream filling.
    — Would I only need 1 recipe for this?
    And I would like to make the Italian Meringue Buttercream and add some espresso I think to it but would not want the frosting to be too intense or dark in color.
    –How much buttercream should I make?
    –And how much espresso and tips for adding the espresso to the frosting?
    And lastly, turning out a 11×15 cake without it breaking and then slicing it in half… Or, should I bake 2 separate layers?
    What are your tips for that?

    Thank you for your patience with my questions.

    1. I think the 11 x 15 pan is close enough to a half sheet that I would still double the batter. It would probably be easier to bake two cakes (each with a single batch of batter) rather than trying to split one thicker cake. The cappuccino cream filling is a great idea. I think 1 recipe would probably be enough to fill the cake. The IMB takes espresso really well. Would you be using instant espresso powder? I would melt it in a little hot water before adding it to the buttercream. You can add it a little at a time until you get the flavor you like. To increase the coffee flavor you could make an espresso syrup and sprinkle it onto the cake layers. If you’re OK with alcohol a little Kahlua in the syrup and buttercream would be nice. One batch of buttercream should be enough to ice an 11 x 15 cake.

  30. Hi Eileen,
    I would like to make your Perfect Vanilla Cake for my husband’s surprise retirement party this weekend. But I am using an 11” x 15” x 2” pan.

    Should I double this recipe? Any other tips I should consider?

    Thank you for your help!

    Blessings, Jill (North Carolina)

    1. Hi Jill. One batch of the vanilla cake makes enough batter to fill a 13×18 half sheet pan and bakes up to about a 1″ tall layer. So, whether you’re planning to bake a thicker one layer cake or two shorter layers, I would suggest that you double the recipe. You can either bake the double batch as one thicker cake or two thinner layers.

      I like Italian Meringue Buttercream with the vanilla cake. Also, at this time of year whipped cream and berries makes a nice filling for the cake.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. I check comments a couple of times per day.

  31. Hello Eileen.
    Thanks for your recipe, I use it to sell my cakes and everyone loves it.
    I wanted to know how long before I can make the cake without filling it. Because sometimes I have to make many orders.
    Thank You!!

    1. If you want to work ahead I would suggest freezing the cake. If you double wrap it in plastic you can work several weeks ahead. Just defrost in the wrapping them proceed to fill the cake. Even if you only work a day or two ahead I would freeze rather than refrigerate the cake. The refrigerator make the cake go stale faster.

  32. Hi, I’m looking to bake a cake and put guava & cream cheese as my filling, frost it in Italian buttercream. I was wondering if this yellow cake would pair good with the filling I want to use if not which cake would be good for this filling?

    1. Yes, this cake would be great with that filling. I used this cake as the base for a coconut/guava cake that was on the menu for my wedding cake business. I would suggest using a buttercream dam with those softer fillings.

  33. Hi,

    So, the pan is about 1/3 to 1/2 full as it’s a 3 inch deep tin. As I rarely bake anything larger than 9″ I’m afraid I’m stuck with the non-stick one I own, though I do understand that will affect rise. Everything was room temp, though I admit I didn’t use a thermometer to test the temp. I was very careful about scraping the bowl down thoroughly. After creaming the flour/butter, after 1-1.5 min after sour cream addition and before egg mixture, and 3 times during the egg mixture addition process. I definitely had consistent batter texture when it was placed in the pan – thick but still pourable with assistance. I was very careful not to overbeat the batter after adding the eggs or when i added the egg whites (yes, stiff peak) as I’m having to use modified all-purpose so I didn’t want to enhance the gluten more than what I’m dealing with! I do have an oven thermometer, it read 350F when I put it in and the couple of times I checked – and I didn’t open the oven until 35 minute mark (as I noted the first time that at 25 it still really hadn’t finished setting and was quite jiggly). Cakes were fully cooled on a wire rack then wrapped and refrigerated for 1-3 hours before I torted them. I’m baffled. I mean, I don’t run a business, but I’ve been baking for 20 years and I make novelty cakes regularly. My 12″ (chocolate) baked beautifully, but the vanilla cakes I’ve made have all been disasters. The only thing I can think of left is to use the convection oven which I avoided as that was terrible with the regular creaming method, but I’m guessing from your comments that you don’t normally bake the 10″ longer than the 8 inch…. Thanks again for being so helpful and so quick

    1. Honestly, I’m a bit baffled myself. It’s so hard when you’re not right there with someone to see what’s happening. I just had a friend email me this weekend to say she made this recipe with great success. Did you watch the video to see what the batter looks like? I’ve baked this recipe with both convection and non-convection. Personally, I do tend to prefer the convection. As far as how long to bake, I definitely recommend that you rely more on how the cake looks than the number of minutes. If you have a 3/4 full 8″ pan it might take the same or longer than a 1/2 full 10″ pan. There are so many variables that the visual cues are your best gauge. The chocolate cake that you have success with, is that my chocolate butter cake or another recipe? When you say you have trouble with vanilla cakes, is it just this recipe or vanilla cakes in general?

      1. I must confess it is not your chocolate cake. It’s one I’ve used for several years and is a traditional creaming method using some cocoa + water to replace the flour. For smaller chocolate cakes I use a milk (+vingar)+ melted chocolate in coffee one. I had read your blog previously – the articles breaking down the ingredients’ import (excellent posts, BTW!) -, so when I had problems with a vanilla recipe using a traditional creaming method (same problem, centre of the cake undercooks whilst the outside virtually burns) I thought I’d try yours. Also, I didn’t like the slightly greasy mouth-feel of the traditional method. I love the texture and flavour of yours where it’s cooked through. The only 10″ I’ve made in the past is Victoria sponge. Had no problems with that, same tin, same oven, baked up lovely. But the bride has asked for a lemon cake, so I was opting to go with a lemon flavoured vanilla recipe and lemon curd rather than a sponge. But yes, it appears that vanilla cakes flummox me. Carrot cake, chocolate cake, banana cake, oatmeal spice cake – all no problem. I don’t really want to keep extending the baking time given the cake retracts so much already…

        1. Where are you from, Jennifer? Perhaps your sour cream or some other ingredient isn’t the same as what I’m working with here. Are you in the UK?

          1. American expat living in U.K I’m not aware of the sour cream here being different, though buttermilk definitely is as it’s much thicker with far less liquid. Butter is 80% milk fat I believe, and I’ve not had problems with that previously. The only real difference I know is the AP + cornstarch (cornflour) rather than cake flour. I was reading on another science-y baking blog last night that if the wets aren’t room temp you can end up with collapsed, gooey cake, so perhaps I need to pull out my thermometer and confirm they’re 70F. . They feel it, and they weren’t causing problems with the chocolate cakes, but maybe my sour cream hasn’t warmed up as much as I think it has. They did suggest the whole cake would be affected, and not just the centre, though.

  34. Hi, As noted by one of the other commenter’s we don’t have cake flour in the U.K. I assume this would affect the texture of the cake, but would all-purpose flour be ok? Other flour options here include self-rising and ‘pastry’ flour (though I’ve not used the latter and so am unfamiliar with it’s properties). Cheers!

    1. To replace cake flour you can use a mix of all purpose flour and cornstarch. The texture won’t be exactly the same, but it will be good. For each cup of cake flour use use 3/4 cup of all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. So to replace the 2 cups of cake flour in this recipe use 1.5 cups of all purpose flour and a 1/4 cup of cornstarch. If you work by weight that would be 170g of all purpose flour and 30g of corn starch. You can read more about the different types of flour in this post and more about flour in cake batter in this post.

      1. Hi,

        You are so good at responding quickly, but given the 5 hour time difference I needed to start before you replied. Having read your other posts I did essentially what you’ve advised. I measured out 4 Tbsp of cornstarch then made up the rest with all purpose. So far they look great. Just took the last one out of the oven, but they look much better than what I had been getting with traditional creaming recipes. Will see when they’ve cooled and I’ve torted them how well I did… Thank you, though, for clarifying, as it makes me feel better about what I’ve already done!

          1. Hi Eileen,

            Sorry, this is really long! So, I ultimately ended up making 3 cakes, as the first one was raw in the middle. I am baking (or trying to) a 10″ layer cake. Following your advice to one of your other readers I simply ‘doubled’ the recipe (I didn’t as I only have 1 10inch pan, so I made the same volume as given and baked them one after the other). However, every time they are coming out either raw in the centre or what I feel is under-cooked. About 2inches around the perimeter the cake is lovely, light, moist, just gorgeous. Then there’s about what amounts to a 6″diameter round centre that is dense, collapsed, and tastes (I tried it on the scrapped cake) undercooked. I baked them for 40 minutes, 350, no convection, and both the bounce and toothpick tests came back good. The top of one actually started to burn. They also didn’t particularly rise well (once cooled they come in about 1.5″ high), though that may be as I’m using a Wilton 10″ non-stick pan. How long should I be baking these for? I took the one out because it was starting to burn on top. Both retracted from the sides quite extensively, as well, though they both settled to completely level on top. I do have a fan-assisted oven, but I avoided it as the last 2 attempts to bake vanilla cakes in it resulted in very thick and dense crusting on the sides, bottom and top so there was huge amounts of cake loss. I also tried a flower nail on the last cake, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. Any advise would be helpful and very welcome as this is for a friend’s wedding… which I’m starting to regret having agreed to!

          2. Ok, so lets see if we can work our way through this. I have baked this recipe from cupcakes to 14″ across without any issues. As long as the pan is about 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter the size of the pan should not be an issue. But, the non stick pan is not my favorite for baking cakes. I like the cakes to stick to the sides a bit to help the rise. As far as being baked in the center and then an underbaked ring around the center, I can’t really guess. When you say “raw in the center or what I feel is under-cooked” are you waiting until the cake is completely cooled to cut it open? A warm cake will squish and become dense if cut before the starches have a chance to gel. When you mix the butter and sour cream into the flour and then let it beat for 2-3 minutes to aerate you’ve got to carefully scrape the bowl and beater before and during adding the eggs. If you notice in the recipe I repeat 3x that the bowl and beater should be scraped. If you don’t do this step you could wind up with pockets of dense batter. When I had my cake business my oven was a convection oven so I’ve baked this recipe 1000s of times with the convection fan on with no problem. I do recommend reducing the heat by 25 degrees when using convection. Do you have an oven thermometer to check if your oven temp is accurate? The flower nail generally works very well for getting the cake to bake evenly from the middle (less humping). Other issues to consider, remember that room temperature for the butter, eggs and sour cream is about 70 degrees. Too warm or too cold can change the batter. Are you whipping the egg whites to full peak and folding just until it’s combined. Streaks of unfolded whites or over-folding can affect the texture of the cake.

  35. Eileen
    I just made your Vanilla Butter Cake and I have some questions.. My batter came out very thick. It was pudding -like, would not pour nor level on its own. Is this how it normal or is more liquid needed? I used a food scale to measure the flour( Bob’s Red Mill super fine) and the sugar. I did use bakers sugar 1:1 instead of granulated. I baked in 8″ rounds which were filled to about half. When removed from the oven they had risen to just above the top of the pan. Upon cooling however they shrunk dramatically in all directions. They are now 7.25″ in diameter x 1.25″ tall. I did use baking strips. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Craig. This is a thicker batter. It’s not “runny” at all so it does need to be spread in the pan. Did you watch the video? You can see the texture of the batter and the baked cakes in the video. I don’t know what Bob’s Red Mill super fine is. Is that super fine flour or super fine sugar? By baker’s sugar do you mean powdered or confectioner’s sugar? I’ve never made this recipe with powdered sugar so I’m not sure how that would change the batter. The cake can shrink back a bit when cooling, but it sounds like yours shrank more than usual. Was the cake baked through when you cut into it?

      1. HI Eileen,
        Wow thanks for the super quick response, Its so wonderful that people like you take time to share their expertise.
        Bob’s Red Mill is a super fine cake flour and the superfine sugar is C&H Sugar’s baking sugar. It is not a powdered sugar, just the granules are smaller than regular granulated sugar. I missed the video but will watch it now. I have not cut into the cake yet as I was going to use it to make your Lemon mousse cake and was waiting to make sure it was cool enough to split in half Thanks again

        1. Oh, I see. Let me know how the cake is when you cut it. This recipe can shrink back as it cools but it’s usually fine when you cut into it.

        2. Also, I looked up the Bob’s Red Mill flour. It is an unbleached flour. I always used bleached cake flour. Using unbleached flour will change the batter since bleached flour is more of an emulsifier than unbleached flour. You can read more about that in this post and this post.

          1. Eileen,
            I cut into the cakes and found that one was fine, the taste was wonderful, texture was fine even though ti had shrunk quite a bit. The other cake baked baked at the same time, same batter, oven etc. except in a different brand of cake pan was under done as you had suspected. This cake shrunk had more than the other.
            I think one of the reasons for the shrinkage was due to the fact that I used cake strips. Even though I did not grease and flour the sides of the pans, I think the cooling effect of the strips didn’t allow the batter to properly “climb” up the sides of the pans.
            Another reason is using the unbleached cake flour and its ability to emulsify the fats more than a chlorinated bleached flour (as you mentioned). Thanks for the posts you referenced explaining the various type of flours and their effects upon the final product
            I will try the recipe again using half unbleached and half bleached cake flours, I will add one more egg white to the whipped egg whites. Also i will omit the baking strips. I will update you when the results are in.
            Thanks for your support and to the search of why things happen. You must have been a Chemistry major in college

          2. I was actually an English major, ha, ha. But my dad was a chemist and I used to love talking baking science with him. Let me know how your kitchen experiments turn out. Have fun!

  36. Eileen, I do have your book and this recipe is a little different in the book than here. In the book I see it calls for only 255 g flour, not 285 g. which recipe is correct?

    1. Hi Jim, First of all, thanks for buying the book. Writing a book with editors really made me be even more accurate than ever when converting volume-oz-grams. 9 oz (252g) is the correct amount. I’ve changed the recipe in the blog post to the correct numbers. Thanks for the catch!

  37. This cake sounds amazing ! Can’t wait to try it. We don’t have cake flour here in uk , will using plain flour affect the texture of the cake? Thank you!

  38. Bonjour
    Pouvez-vous s’il vous plait me donner en grammes le dosage de la levure du sel du bicarbonate?
    Les bâtonnets de beurre c’est pourquoi ?
    Et il faut séparer le blanc du jaune de tous les oeufs?

    Je suis pas sûr de la traduction..

    1. I believe you are asking the weight in grams for the baking powder and baking soda, something about the sticks of butter and whether all the eggs are separated. I’ll try to answer the best I can. 3/4 of a teaspoon of baking powder weighs 3 grams, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda weighs 1.5 grams. In the US a stick of butter is 4 oz, so 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons is 9 oz of butter or 255 grams of butter. Yes, all the eggs are separated. The yolks go in with some of the sour cream and the whites are whipped and folded in at the end. Hope I am answering your questions correctly.

  39. Bonjour
    Je vais essayer votre super gâteau aux pépites de chocolats.
    Pour le gâteau à la vanille la farine à gâteau c’est de la farine classique ou de la farine avec la levure incorporé (spécial gâteau)?
    Le sucre granulé c’est comme le sucre cristal en France?
    Le sucre brun c’est la cassonnade? ou est-il fin?

    1. I ran your question through a translator so please forgive me if I don’t get the question exactly right. I believe you’re asking about make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. The question is about the type of flour used and the type of sugar. The flour is cake flour with no leaveners added. It’s a soft, bleached flour (7%-8% protein). I did a little research and it looks like the closest French equivalent would be “type 45” flour. I found a wonderful post describing the French and American sugar equivalents on David Levovitz’s blog. Hope that helps.

  40. Hello Eileen, thank you for the recipe and all the baking knowledge your blog continues to offer. I was wondering if (a) I could make your recipe in a 9×13 inch pan as a sheet cake. If not, I was wondering if (b) could I use the reverse-creaming method on this recipe and (c) whether you could advise me as to how many whole eggs, egg whites, and egg yolks would be best for the reverse-creaming method for the linked recipe.
    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, Stephanie

    1. Hi Stephanie. You could bake this recipe in a 9×13 pan. If you want to use Sally’s recipe it should not be a problem using the reverse creaming method. You don’t need to change any ingredients to try mixing it with reverse creaming.

      1. Thank you, Eileen, for your prompt reply and valuable advice! I think I’ll actually go with your recipe — your close-up crumb shots convinced me 🙂

    1. By bakers sugar do you mean confectioner’s sugar? If so I would say you get away with it. I know there are those who would cry foul, but since this recipe uses the reverse creaming method the grains of sugar are not as necessary as they are with traditional creaming. In fact, when I was testing for my Perfected Pound Cake recipe I made a cake with powdered sugar in place of granulated sugar and there wasn’t a huge difference in texture. One big caveat, you’ll have to weigh the sugar not measure by volume. A cup of granulated sugar weighs about 8 oz and a cup of powdered sugar weighs about 4 oz. You can even use powdered sugar in whipping the egg whites, again always working by weight.

  41. Hi Eileen,

    Can’t wait to try this recipe for a bridal shower next weekend.
    I need to make a 10″ layer cake. How do you adjust the amounts without actually doubling?
    Is there a formula?


    1. Hi Michele, believe it or not, a 10″x2″ round cake pan has almost double the volume of an 8″x2″ round cake pan. I know it seems crazy since it’s only a 2″ difference, but an 8″ pan has a 6 cup volume and a 10″ pan has an 11 cup volume. I would double the recipe for a 10″ cake.

  42. I can’t find where you click to watch the lemon mousse cake. I’m going to make it for my granddaughter’s wedding in August. I need to practice. Also have you ever made a “birch” look wedding cake? This is what she wants.

    1. Hi Vicki – the Lemon Mousse Cake post has a video showing how to put the cake together. I have done the “birch” look a few times. Are you working with a buttercream finish? The way I did the design was to ice the cake with buttercream then pipe random, short horizontal lines of brown buttercream to create the birch look and then smudge the lines a little.

  43. this is my go to vanilla cake recipe and I have made it dozens of times. I am curious why does sometimes the cake shrink up so badly and other times barely at all when I make the same every time ? Is there a way to prevent so much shrinkage?

    1. I have found that the cake shrinks more if it’s slightly over baked. Take it out of the oven as soon as the middle springs back when pressed.

  44. Hi Eileen, could you please suggest the best way to modify this recipe to create a lemon flavour. I would prefer to use lemon over extract, do I need to alter any of the ingredient measurements. Also, is buttermilk interchangeable with sourcream?

    1. Hi Jerrie, to make this cake lemon-flavored replace the vanilla extract with lemon extract and add the zest from one lemon, finely grated. Use a rasp grater if you have one. Lemon zest has more lemon flavor than the juice because of the oils in the skin. You could use buttermilk in place of sour cream. Since buttermilk has more liquid than sour cream, I would reduce the amount from 1 cup to 3/4 of a cup.

  45. I’ve made this cake before and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately at the time I made it I forgot to measure how much batter the recipe made. I’m making my sister’s wedding cake and need 34 cups of batter total to make a 4 tiered petal shaped cake. Do you know how many cups the recipe makes?

    1. Hmmm, I don’t know total cups. How many servings are you looking to make? What pan sizes you you using? When I was making wedding cakes I estimated 20 servings of cake per batch of batter. Of course, that depends on how you estimate your servings.

  46. Eileen, How do I love this recipe? Let me count the ways. The lemon blueberry I’ve already commented on. Then for Mother’s Day, I added diced strawberries and half-teaspoon of strawberry emulsion; so good. Today I made cookies and cream, adding one cup coarsely GROUND Oreos to the batter and FINELY ground oreos to the IMBC. I think these are the best yet.
    I’m considering bananas next. Oh, by the way, I also made the chocolate butter cake/cupcakes as well and loved them as well.
    This recipe tastes like real food, not those light airy cupcakes that taste like paper. I guess you can tell, I really really like these cupcakes. I saw your recipe for marble cake; so that’s on my radar as well. Thanks again for sharing; you’ve given me confidence to bake.

    1. Oh wow, Judy! Thanks. You think like a pastry chef. We don’t reinvent the wheel. Get one good recipe and adapt!

  47. I love your recipe. It is very tasty. But just one thing i wonder. I tried this twice but whenever i unmold the cake it shrank. And the side also not straight. Why this is happened? The inside is baked well though.

    1. Because this cake is so tender, it will shrink back a bit as it cools. There is less shrinking if you don’t butter the sides of the pan. I always trim the top and sides of the cake so I don’t mind. Also, as you layer the cake you can even up the sides with the icing.

  48. Thank you for taking time to share this useful information. If I do not have a mixer can I do this by hand.

  49. Eileen, I followed your advise for the lemon blueberry cupcakes and they were exceptional! I made 1 1/2 times the recipe and made 4 dozen cupcakes. Of course, they were loaded with blueberries. And since I placed the berries by hand, the cupcakes stayed beautifully white and only my hands turned purple. This is such a yummy tender recipe, it will now be my go-to. (I make cupcakes every week for Sunday School.) Thanks so much.

  50. Eileen, I just discovered your site; where have you been all my life! I want to make lemon blueberry cupcakes for a baby shower. Can I use this recipe? I plan to add lemon zest and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Also, I would stir in blueberries just before filling the cups. What adjustments should I make to the cake recipe?

    1. Hi Judy. This recipe will work just fine for lemon-blueberry cupcakes without any special changes other than the flavoring. Zest is great but I would use extract instead of lemon juice. Most the the lemon flavor is in the oil in the zest. The juice is mostly tart but not especially lemony. If you want an extra burst of lemon zing you could sprinkle a little lemon syrup on the baked cupcakes. Here’s a recipe for simple syrup. Just stir in some lemon juice to make lemon syrup. Adding the blueberries just before filling the cups is a good idea. You can put a tablespoon of batter into each cup before adding the berries. That way you won’t have blueberries stuck to the cupcake wrapper. That little bit of plain batter should give you a cushion from the sinking blueberries.

  51. It’s me again Eileen, please do you have a recipe for an excellent Red Velvet cake. Thing is, I don’t even know if the perfect Red Velvet cake should be more moist than fluffy or vice-versa.

    Thoughts on my dilemma?
    Thanks so much.

    1. I have a Red Velvet Cake recipe I’ve been working on but isn’t published yet. It will be in the future. As far as moist vs. fluffy, that will always be a matter of taste. I prefer moist, but not gummy and wet.

      1. Hahahahaha, now it’s hard to get that balance really… I can’t wait to see what you come up with Eileen. Thanks so much again.
        PS: I prefer moist as well

  52. Hi Eileen, I really appreciate the painstaking time and effort you put into getting at perfection.
    In this recipe there’s no mention of milk or buttermilk, can I ask why? Cos I’ve seen either (especially the latter) used in recipes for this same cake by others.
    A detailed explanation would be really awesome.

    1. Hi Tobi, the sour cream takes the place of milk or buttermilk. I like it because it adds fat and the acidity tenderizes the cake crumb.

      1. Oh really?
        Thanks… I can’t get sourcream here, can I use normal yoghurt instead (no Greek either)?

          1. Hi Eileen, I have the same problem as Tobi, I would love to do this cake but in my country (Argentina) we don’t have sour cream. So, can I replace it with the same amount of plain yogurt? Is there another option to replace the sour cream? Thanks!

          2. Hi Marina, Yes, you can use plain yogurt to replace sour cream. I don’t know what yogurt is like in Argentina since the texture can vary. Here, regular yogurt is a little thinner than sour cream. Greek yogurt is very rich and thick, more like sour cream. I would suggest using a full fat yogurt to get as close to sour cream as possible.

          3. Hi Eileen,

            I have the same problem as Tobi because where I live (Argentina) we don’t have sour cream. So, can I replace it with the same amount of plain yogurt? Can I replace it with something else? Thanks!

  53. Good Morning! I was so excited to find your post. My granddaughters, 8 & 9 this year, always request I make their cakes, and I decided it time to make a good homemade cake instead of a box cake for them. This year my challenge is a unicorn and mermaid cake, so I need a cake that will make and hold up to layers (6″ cake).
    I have tried both the vanilla and chocolate butter cakes. I had trouble with both cakes, but especially the chocolate cake falling after taking it out of the oven. It has the consistency of a brownie instead of a cake. The vanilla did the same thing but not to the same extent. I personally prefer the vanilla, it was delicious! I have also tried the Italian Buttercream Icing. LOVE it! I must admit the first batch I made with the vanilla cake, I used salted butter by mistake and I could taste the salt. Some people liked it, and it was good, but I could taste the salt. So this time with the chocolate cake trial run I made sure to use the unsalted butter, much better (for my taste) Interesting lesson to learn.
    Can you give me any insight as to why the cakes fell or compressed? I did use the reverse creaming method and folded in the egg whites.
    I appreciate your time and look forward to your reply.

    1. Hi Tina. I’ve been making the vanilla and chocolate version of this cake for more than 10 years and have never had a “brownie” type of texture for the cake. The cake will “settle” once it comes out of the oven. It may bake up with a hump in the middle that will settle down as it cools. But it should still be the texture of a cake, not a brownie. Did you butter the sides of the pan? I’ve found the cake bakes better if the sides of the pan are not buttered at all.

      1. Thanks Eileen, I did butter the bottom of the pans, but not the sides. I read more this morning and I am going to try just the parchment paper, no butter on my next try as you suggested. I don’t think that brownie is the best description, but the chocolate was not as light as the vanilla, but still very tender and moist. I can ‘t wait to try it again! My co-workers don’t seem to mind!!!

        1. Hi Tina. If you’re used to baking from a cake mix, this cake does have a different texture than a box cake. It’s not as light as a cake mix because it’s more buttery. My Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake has that lighter texture if you want to try that recipe. The cake also should be eaten at room temperature, not cold. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

  54. Hi Eileen! Thank you for such a wonderful website. This recipe says “Turn the mixer to medium low and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.” Do I add the 1/4 sugar to the batter or to the whipped egg whites? I added it to the whipped egg whites but was not quite sure. The cake turned out incredibly delicious although I inadvertently left out the 1/4 baking soda. Hence, the cake fell a little when I removed it from the oven, but still incredibly moist and yummy.

    1. Hi Kay. You did it exactly right, the last 1/4 cup of sugar goes in with the egg whites. This type of cake always “settles” when it comes out of the oven. If you read the update at the end of my White Cake post it explains why.

  55. Hi Eileen!

    I just found the Baking Sense site because I will be making my brother-in-law’s wedding cake this fall. Your site is so informative and easy to understand! Would you recommend this cake for a semi-naked style presentation? I know that the edges have to caramelize a bit so you can see the color of the cake but you also don’t want to drag a lot of crumb during the smoothing process so it has to be somewhat dense (and probably chilled during the frosting process I would think). Additionally, are there any frosting recipes you would suggest for the semi-naked style cake? Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Hi Brittany. I’ve used this recipe for semi-naked cakes. Personally, I prefer to lightly trim the edges so the sides are less brown when they show through. You can see a video in this post that shows photos of how I trim the sides of the cake. Yes, it is easier to trim and stack the cakes when they’re chilled. I’ve done the semi-naked cakes with both whipped cream and Italian Meringue Buttercream filling/frosting.

  56. Hi Eileen!
    My name is Dewanya Gray, and I just had to tell you THANK YOU! I am an exceptional cook, but I have been trying to learn how to bake a vanilla butter cake from scratch.
    I’ve tried many online recipes.
    All the cakes come out dense or get super hard lol.
    I made this recipe last night.
    I followed every step, just like the video and as you wrote in your blog.
    I used every ingredient just like you directed.
    It’s so good, I can eat it as is so my 16yr old daughter says
    Super tender, mines is sort of like a pound cake.
    Thank you, Eileen!
    Great cake…

        1. Hi Margi, Margarine’s can vary quite a bit so I can’t say exactly how the cake will turn out. But it’s worth a try. If the margarine is salted you might want to eliminate the salt from the recipe.

  57. Hi, there – thanks for posting this recipe! I am on a search for a delicate cake to make a special Valentines Day dessert. One question: I’d like to bake this as a 9×13 sheet so I can cut smaller circles for layer assembly later – will this work? Any suggestions as to changes in baking times?

    1. Hi Jen, I’ve baked this recipe in sheet pans hundreds of times. It will bake faster. I would start checking at about 10-15 minutes. Depending how evenly your oven bakes, you’ll probably want to turn the trays half way through baking. This recipe will make two quarter sheets (9″x 13″) or one half sheet (12″ x 17″).

  58. Hi, I have been looking into making your chocolate chip cookie layer cake and have been looking at the ingredients and method of all the sections. The only part i’m a bit unsure of is the cakes in this cake recipe as they don’t state the size of egg needed for the egg white & yolk. In the UK we have small, medium, large, extra large and I imagine size will affect the recipe as it would increase/decrease quantity. Would you be able to clarify the size of egg needed for this recipe?


    1. Hi Ryan, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I always use large eggs. I’ve edited the recipe to note the correct egg size. You are right that using the wrong size eggs would change the outcome.

  59. I am making a carved pirate ship cake covered with buttercream and thin fondant layer. I will use my 8” or 9” square cake tins for the cake building blocks. Would you recommend this recipe or one of the pound cake recipes from your ebook? Thanks and LOVE your site.

    1. This is the recipe I used for all my carved cakes for my cake business. I’ve carved everything from a dolls head to a sitting dog with this recipe, so it should work for your pirate ship.

      1. Ok great…I will try it. Would this quantity fit in a square pan? I have a variety of sizes from 8” to 10” square. Any suggestion for baking time? Sorry to bombard with so many questions… It’s just really great for a hobby baker to ask an experienced person! I did try the perfect pound cake recipe whipped cream version. I put it in an 8” square pan. That worked really well. Many thanks!

  60. If I’m making cupcakes and don’t need that much batter, could you just do half of everything?! And do you happen to know the difference between a butter cake and a vanilla cake. I have a client wanting a butter cake but to my knowledge it’s the same as vanilla….

    1. Hi Chantel. A butter cake is made with butter as opposed to oil or another fat. Vanilla is just the flavor. Any type of cake can be vanilla is that’s the flavor in the cake. You could halve the ingredients for a small batch. I would guess a full batch would make about 1.5 dozen cupcakes (that’s just a guess it could be a few more or less).

  61. Hi Eileen, I’m so glad I found this page. I have been trying out a pound cake recipe that uses the reverse creaming method (sort of) .The dry ingredients are mixed together and then the butter and half the liquids(eggs+ milk + vanilla) are added to the dry ingredients and mixed on low speed for about 30sec till combined; then speed is amped up to medium speed and mixed for 60secs, Remaining half of liquid ingredients are added in two turns and mixed for about 30 secs each.
    Well the cake turned out very moist and light and tastes really nice, not as dense as some other traditional pound cakes I made, but I noticed the bottom of the cake had a dense appearance, like the middle cake in the picture above; if you look closely you will notice a thin dense layer at the base which is exactly what my cake had,slightly thicke than yours though. It’s as if some fat had settled at the base or some portion of the batter was not properly mixed (but I made sure my scraping and mixing was thorough though). I just can’t place it. What do you think is the problem, that is, if it is a problem.
    And well, my cake didn’t crack; my pound cakes never seem to crack well; sometimes all I get is a feeble attempt at a crack.

    1. Hi Ev, the process you describe is exactly reverse creaming. The cake in the middle (in my photo) was made using reverse creaming method. My preferred method is to use reverse creaming but also whip the whites and fold them in at the end. That is the method used for the cake at the right. I do sometimes see that slightly dense bottom like you mentioned. I’m not sure exactly what causes that. Maybe the batter at the bottom melts and settles a bit before it bakes. But usually I find that it’s not noticeable when I eat the cake. I bake this recipe as a layer cake, not in a loaf pan. Here’s my Pound Cake recipe that also uses the reverse creaming method.

  62. What are you referring to exactly when you say leavening?

    “Into the bowl of a stand mixer put 1 cup of the sugar, sift in the flour, leavening and salt.
    Mix with the paddle on low speed to distribute the leavening”

  63. The flavor is very good. Not overly sweet, just perfect with vanilla. Love the sour cream. This was my first time trying the reverse creaming method with folding in the whipped egg whites. My cakes took longer to bake, about 35 minutes at 325*. And I used three 6” pans (the dark nonstick Wilton ones). They did fall flat and the middle bottom (when cut in half) was not quite baked. I tried to read most of the reviews, but I didn’t see anything about not filling them too much.

    I wonder if that’s why mine fell flat. Smaller pans, filled at the half way mark. They rose nicely in the oven, but once I took out to rest, they fell.

    I will try again. Not filling up all the way. And perhaps bake at 350* for 25 minutes.

    1. Hi Jesse. Thanks for the feedback and questions. As long as you don’t fill the cake pans more than 1/2 to 2/3 using a 6″ cake pan should not be a problem. If you filled the pans more than that it could cause a problem with how they bake. From what you’ve shared I can see few other things that could cause the cakes to not bake properly; I’ve never baked this recipe in a non-stick pan. I imagine that the slick interior of a non-stick pan could prevent the cake from rising properly. Did you butter/flour the pan? Did you set the oven to 325F with convection or without? The recipe says 325F convection or 350F regular (no convection). Baking at the lower temperature would make it take longer to bake. Since you say the middle of the cake was not quite baked that could cause the cake to fall once it’s out of the oven, and I also suspect that the non-stick surface didn’t help either. Did you use the “toothpick” test or “press the middle” test to check if it was done?

      1. I did not butter/flour the pan. But I will this time since all I have are nonstick pans. I think I messed up by baking at 325* when I have a conventional oven. (dont know why I did it lower). I used the toothpick test. Came out clean. I will make your white cake version today with the right temperature. Will report back. Thanks for answering !

        1. Great. I hope it works this time. I just made the vanilla cake again yesterday and it was perfect. I’ve made it, literally, thousands of times without fail. I would also suggest that in addition to the toothpick test try gently pressing on the middle of the cake. It should spring back. If it leaves a dent let the cake go a few more minutes. Let me know how it works out.

          1. I’ve attempted both the white cake and the butter cake twice, and same results. Puffs up nicely in oven, but once I take it out, falls. What wonderful flavors though. Perhaps it really has something to do with dark nonstick pans.

          2. When you say they “puff up and fall” do you mean the cake is humped in the oven and then becomes level while cooling? Or you do you mean totally falls and becomes concave in the middle. I just made the vanilla cake again last week and it had a slight hump when it came out of the oven and then became level when cool. I prefer a level cake since that means less trimming before I assemble. If you could email me a picture of the cake that would be great!

          3. I didn’t think to take photos before I scrapped it. But it puffs up, nice and golden brown. Passes the toothpick and poke test. Then falls deeply once cooled. I like leveled cakes too, easier to ice, but when I split cake in half, the bottom middle is not baked. Not raw, just under baked by maybe 8 minutes. But if I cook it longer, then the sides and top get almost burnt. Even with covering tops with foil.

          4. Hmmm, all I can think is that is has something to do with the pans or your oven, especially since the cakes don’t seem to be baking evenly. I have never had this type of problem with this cake, so I’m kind of at a loss. I wish I could give you an answer.

  64. Hi Eileen! I LOVE this cake recipe!! Is there a way that I can make it without the yolks and still have a super moist cake? I want the cake to be super white like a wedding cake. I tried substituting 1/4 cup of oil for the yolks and the cake didn’t rise properly. Also I didn’t have sour cream, so I tried 1 cup of yogurt + 1 tsp of baking soda (I found on the web).

    1. Hi Ceeny, Replacing the sour cream with yogurt is fine. Just use equal proportions of yogurt to replace sour cream. Adding a teaspoon of baking soda will make the cake rise too fast, then collapse. So I’m not surprised the cake didn’t rise properly. A teaspoon of baking soda is quite a lot, enough to rise 4 cups of flour! Not sure where you found that substitution on the web, but maybe it’s not the most reliable source. Replacing the yolks with oil will not work, as you found out. Oil is a fat which tenderizes the cake. Yolks, while they do add some fat, also contribute to the structure of the cake. Yolks also have emulsifiers in them, which help distribute the liquid in the batter. To make the cake whiter, use 6 egg whites and no yolks. Add 3 of the whites with the sour cream, and whip the other three whites and fold in, as described in the recipe. You can also replace some of the butter with vegetable shortening. Vegetable shortening has emulsifiers like yolks. The original recipe uses 9 ounces of butter. Try using 6 ounces of butter and 3 ounces of vegetable shortening. This will also help whiten the cake. The “Eggs in Cake Batter” class in the Baking School link has more information about how to switch out eggs and yolks in cake batter.

          1. I made your suggested adjustments and my cakes came out soooooo much better! They still took about 1 1/2 hours to bake. And they still collapsed, only slightly, in the center and were a bit dense. I measured my pans and they are actually only 7-1/4 inches! Would that be part of my problem? Should I put less batter in the pans or cook at a different temperature? My pans are aluminum and I don’t have a convection oven.

            Would fresh baking powder make a big difference? Mine is probably a year old.. Also, my climate is hot and humid (indoors is normally around 80-85 degrees). Would my baking powder go bad faster in that climate?

            I’d still like to get my cakes whiter. My butter here is a bit yellow. Would it taste bad if I just used all shortening? Should I leave out the vanilla? Btw I LOVE your cake batter classes! I love that you do so much detailed testing! You are amazing!!

          2. Hi Ceeny. The cake pan size would make a difference. I generally fill the pans 1/2 to 2/3 full. The weather shouldn’t matter. My commercial kitchen would often be extremely hot on baking days with no adverse affects on the cakes. The cakes can be baked with our without convection. Aluminum cake pans are exactly what I use. I don’t think the baking powder is the issue. The oven temperature should be 350°F or 175°C. Have you checked your oven temperature with a oven thermometer? I just recently realized my home oven was running 50°-100° too hot. Maybe your oven calibration is off and the temp is too low. My cakes generally bake in about 20-25 minutes. Thanks to your questions I am currently developing a “white cake” recipe. I hope to post it next week. I’m trying versions with both butter and shortening and with different ways of adding the egg whites. Thanks for your questions! I love the input and the questions often spark ideas for new recipes.

          3. Ah, I wasn’t sure if the oven is better to be hotter or cooler since my pans were so full. I do have an oven thermometer. The temperature would drop down to 325 or even 300 when I opened the oven door. I thought it would be okay at a lower temperature. I’ll keep an eye on it and make sure it stays closer to 350 now. I’m so excited that you’re doing a “white cake” recipe! I can’t wait to try it!! 😀

  65. Hello! I made the recipe many times and every time I take it out of the oven the cake is lowered and reduced from the sides 1 “.The temperature is correct, do not replace any ingredient.I made the recipe as is.
    If shrinking from 15 “to 13”

    1. Hi Daian, the cake will shrink a little bit as it cools. Make sure you just bake the cake until it is set in the center. If you bake it a little too long it will pull back from the sides of the pan. You might be over baking a bit. To test if the cake is done press the center of the cake. If it springs back, it’s baked. If it leaves a dent let it bake a bit longer. You can also use the “toothpick” test. Poke a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out with just a few crumbs but no raw dough the cake is ready.

      Baking the batter in a larger pan, like 15″, is a little more tricky. Personally, even for wedding cakes I never baked anything larger than 14″ since it’s hard not to over-bake the edges in a very large pan.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  66. Hello,

    I cannot have gluten or milk/cream. Based on what I have been reading I was planning on:

    -not doing the reverse creaming method, sticking to the “traditional” method
    -use 230 oz of GF flour and 50 oz of cornstarch (to mimic Cake Flour)
    -eliminate the sour cream and the corresponding baking soda

    Is this the right approach? Do you have a recommendation on how to better proceed?

    Thank you!!

    1. Replacing the GF flour for regular flour is a 1:1 swap. In my testing I used GF flour to replace cake flour and did not use corn starch. I don’t think you need to use the corn starch, just the GF flour. Yes, I do recommend the normal creaming method when using GF flour. Can you have butter? I’m assuming not since you can’t have cream. Do you plan to replace the butter with vegetable shortening? You can eliminate the sour cream but I would recommend adding another liquid in it’s place. Can you use nut milks or coconut milk? I would add a 1/2 cup of another liquid in place of the sour cream. If you eliminate the baking soda up the baking powder to 1 teaspoon.

      1. Thank you for your response! I can have butter, just not milk, cream, or cheeses. I typically use an almond milk or a coconut cream if a recipe calls for it, but I have not figured out the best way to replace sour cream. Would you recommend keeping in the Baking soda and just replacing the sour cream with 1/2 cup of almond milk? I only thought of using the starch as a way to get the GF flour to mimic the cake flour properties vs an AP flour, but if you think its unnecessary I won’t do it. 🙂 I really would like to thank you! I have been searching everywhere for a way to learn about the chemistry behind baking and your blog has been exactly what I have been looking for! I am so thankful that you took the time not only to share your knowledge through the blog, but to answer my questions. Thank you genuinely!

        1. Hi Vicki – If you can have butter that’s great. Butter will make the cake taste better. The reason to use corn starch with all purpose flour is to lower the protein content to make the cake more tender. Since GF flour doesn’t have gluten (the protein in flour) there really is no reason to use the corn starch. Just replace the all purpose flour with GF flour 1:1. If you use almond milk instead of sour cream you can use all baking powder instead of baking soda. The reason to use baking soda is to neutralize the acid in the sour cream. I would use about half as much almond milk as sour cream since there is more water in the almond milk.

          I’m so glad the blog is helping you. It’s exactly why I started Baking Sense Blog.

  67. This post is so informative. I can’t wait to try the reverse creaming method. I’m going to go check our your baking series too. Pinning!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. As I always say, even if you don’t care about the science, if you follow the recipe it will work.

  68. Mmmmmm. Vanilla. A moist and tender cake. I don’t think I need anything more. Thank you for taking the time to compare methods to find the best technique!

  69. What a fantastic post, I have to say I love your cake series, every post is so informative and I always take away at least one thing I didn’t know! I will be using the whipped whites method from now on, look at how fluffy that cake is!

  70. I suppose, with the reverse creaming method, the leavening would not be activated till you add the sour cream? Sure makes a beautiful cake!

    1. Hi Nicole. The baking powder is activated once it gets wet and again when it goes in the oven (double acting). So, yes, it starts to get activated with the eggs (there’s not much liquid in the sour cream) and then again in the oven.

      1. Thanks so much for sharing, I usually use this recipe but a client complained that it’s too soft. What do i do?

        1. Personally, I wouldn’t change my recipes for one client’s opinion. I ran a cake business for 10 years and occasionally someone said they preferred a different style of cake. I understand that not everyone has the same taste. They should find someone who makes cakes to their taste.

  71. What an informative post, I really like the idea of the reverse creaming method, sounds perfect for a wedding cake.

  72. Nice info! Just wondering how it would end up with the traditional way and whipped whites. I’m not such a baker but I love to learn about it science. It’s a nice experiment you’ve done there! Surely those wedding cakes are popular with all that fluffy and light vanilla texture!

    1. I think the traditional way with whipped whites would work well too. The advantage of reverse creaming is that the flour gets coated with fat before the liquid is added. So no gluten can form, making a very tender cake. Those wedding cakes were very, very popular for 10 years. Thanks!

  73. Wow this is so fascinating! I’m not much of a cake baker, but I think it’s because I don’t understand the science behind it. This is awesome! I may just go bake a perfect cake today!

    1. Thanks, Nicole. Even if you don’t care about the science behind it, just follow the recipe and you’ll get a great tasting cake.

  74. Thanks for such an informative post. I’ve used reverse creaming before but only when recipes specifically call for it. Do you think I can try the reverse creaming method with other cake recipes and get similar results? I have searched high and low for a good strawberry cake recipe that doesn’t rely on boxed mix and weird ingredients like jello. I finally found one that has a good flavor and decent texture, but I found the crumb wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. The cake was moist and fairly tender but had a very open, holey texture and I was hoping for something with a that is tender but still with a fairly fine crumb, if that makes sense. More like the reverse creaming with whipped whites in your pictures. Also, are there any pitfalls to be aware of when using the reverse creaming method? I’m making my daughter’s birthday cake on Saturday and would hate to screw it up! Here’s the recipe in question:

    1. Hi Lindsay. I would say that any recipe that uses the “creaming” method could be made with the reverse creaming method. I looked at the recipe you want to use and it looks like a pretty balanced recipe. There is a fairly high percentage of liquid in the recipe with the eggs, strawberry puree and sour cream. If you add an emulsifier to the batter that will help the texture of the batter and the cake crumb. Egg yolks are great emulsifiers. You might want to try using 4 whole eggs plus 3 yolks instead of 5 whole eggs. You can still separate the whites and whip them as described in my recipe. There is a lot more information about cake batter in the Baking School section here at Baking Sense. If you review the Pound Cake Perfection class you’ll learn about the Baker’s Formula and about balanced cake recipes.

  75. I’ve been using this recipe with success, however, the last time I used it the tops were so sticky and I had a little accident with one layer after torting it – I made the mistake of laying the sticky side down and then it stuck to the foil where I laid it while I filled the other layers.

    I’ve always torted this cake and the tops have never been this sticky. What do you think made it sticky? I have to make a wedding cake and would like to use this recipe again but would like to avoid the stickiness.

    1. Hi Ana. If you refrigerate the cake before torting, the crust on the top can get a bit sticky. Especially if it was wrapped while still warm. What I do is unwrap the cake and peel off the sticky layer on top. Next time, if it sticks to the foil just put it in the refrigerator and let it get cold. Take it out and flip it over so the foil is on top. It should be easy to peel away the foil before flipping it back over. Since this cake gets firm when chilled (because of the butter) it’s super easy to handle when it’s cold. Also, I always use parchment paper instead of foil because it’s less sticky. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. Eileen

      1. Hi thanks for your response. I froze the cake and the foil was just the outer layer that I happened to place the cake on after torting it. To freeze I wrap in plastic wrap and then again in foil.

        Do you think I should let it cool completely before wrapping and freezing so it’s not as sticky?

        1. I do think if you let the cake cool completely it will stick less. But I never mind when the outside sticks because I trim that off anyway. Personally, I don’t like the brown crusty part in the cake. When the outside sticks I just peel it off with the plastic wrap. Have you looked at this post? You can see detailed photos of how I trim and assemble the cake. Hope that helps.

          1. Awesome – thank you!! Had never really thought of peeling that piece off – will test it out.

  76. Hi Mrs. Coachman – If you’re trying to avoid separating the eggs I would recommend using 5 whole eggs instead of the 6 yolks and 3 whites listed in the recipe. Hope that helps. Let me know how it turns out.

    1. Ok thanks so much!! I will let you know how it turns out I don’t mind the separating process I just noticed there was nothing about the egg amount for (the basic ) and the (reverse method without egg whites) I want to try all of them so will it be 6 whole eggs for the basic method as well? Last question! My favorite texture cake is something moist and velvety which method fits that description best?

      1. The reason the original recipe has more yolks than whites is because the extra yolks give the cake more richness and a more tender crumb. You can use the same proportions and just not whip the whites or you can use all whole eggs (5). To me, I think reverse creaming with whipped whites give the most velvety texture. It’s the way I always mix my cakes. This week I will be publishing a series of “classes” all about cake batter. Each “class” will go into detail about the ingredients in the cake batter and how to change ingredients around to fix the texture of a cake.

        1. O wow!!! Ok that’s sounds great I will be LOOKING out for that video you are so sweet to do that and thanks for the egg and texture tips

  77. Hello and thanks for taking the time to explain all that wonderful advice I have not used your recipe yet but I’m interested in the reverse method without the whipped egg whites I have a QUESTION regarding the amount of eggs would I just use 6 eggs? Or do I use 9 in replace of the 3 egg whites?

  78. Hello,

    How would you add dulce de leche to this cake? Would it be a sub ingrediant or just added in addition at the end?


    1. Hi Vicki – I’m not sure exactly what you have in mind. I wouldn’t add ingredients directly to the batter because it would change the texture of the cake batter. You’d need to revise the recipe to accommodate the new ingredient. I’ve drizzled cajeta, which is similar to dulce de leche, onto cake layers and let is soak in. You can see an example of such a cake in the cajeta post. You could also add the dulce de leche to a buttercream filling to create a buttercream with that flavor.

  79. Hi Eileen,

    I’m a mother who likes to bake her kids’ birthday cakes and have been on a quest for the perfect cake. Your recipe sounds delicious and I’m going to try it but was wondering if it’s possible to reduce the sugar content without compromising the taste and texture of the cake.

    1. Hi Stephanie-Sugar doesn’t only add sweetness to cake batter, it also contributes moisture and helps make the cake more tender for a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I wouldn’t reduce the sugar to less than the amount of flour in a recipe. This recipe calls for 10 ounces of flour and 12 ounces of sugar. So I wouldn’t reduce the sugar by more than 2 oz. If you reduce much more than that you’ll get something with a texture more like a muffin or quick bread, rather than a cake.
      I’m currently writing a series of articles for American Cake Decorating Magazine looking at the role of each ingredient in a cake batter. I’ll be doing the series in my blog as well. This should help anyone looking to change a recipe to suit their own tastes.
      Hope this was helpful. If you try reducing the sugar, let me know how it turns out.

  80. Hi,
    I love baking and I will definitely try your butter cake recipe… Actually I was searching for a butter cake recipe using reverse creaming method because I want to see how is it done… I found this vanilla buttermilk bunds cake that used reverse creaming method… I’ve made this recipe countless of time and turned out well every time. Moist, soft in the inside and a lil crispy on the outside. However, I’ve baked using the same recipe a few times recently but unfortunately doesn’t turned out as desired. Soft on the outside and didn’t cooked evenly on the inside…. Btw, the reverse creaming method used in this recipe has called to add butter and half of liquid mixture (buttermilk, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla essence) in the flour mixture, beat well and then the other half of the liquid mixture. What do you think I would have done wrong?

    1. Hi Sakinah,
      I’m not sure what could be going wrong if you’d been getting good results until recently. Did you change anything about how you make the batter? Did you change the type of pan that it was baked in? If you switched from a Bundt pan to a round pan it could affect the baking time and give you a different result.

  81. Fascinating … I’m new to baking and love to experiment and can’t wait to try this. I Love to bake cupcakes. Would you recommend this recipie and method for cupcakes? Also, you did not mention the all in one method in this blog. Is there a reason for that?

    1. Hi Julie, I have used this very same batter to make cupcakes and they bake up beautifully. I fill the cupcakes pans about 2/3 full and end up with a nicely domed top. I have not tried the all in one method. The reason the two stage or reverse creaming makes a tender cake is because the flour is coated with the fat before any liquid (eggs) is introduced. I’m concerned that mixing all the ingredients together might make for a less tender cake since the liquid goes in with the flour from the beginning. I do plan to do some experimenting with the traditional pound cake recipe so I might give this method a try to see the results. Thanks for reading and happy baking!

  82. 5 stars
    Beautiful! I stumbled upon this blog by accident and am quite glad I did!! I am now a stay at home mom who was a trained pasyry chef as well. At one of my shorter lived jobs I made a recipe I was given to test for the best vanilla cake I habe ever tasted. The problem is I cannot for the life of me remember the exact recipe. It was a dense cake but very moist with a not too tight crumb. I do remember it had mayo (i know… Usually only in chocolate cakes your grandmother made) AND buttermilk! Do you by chance know how to “sub or add” mayo into a cake? It still had a few eggs in it so I am guessing just throwing it in addition? Any thoughts would be helpful. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Alexandra. Hmmm, I haven’t made a mayo cake in years. The ingredients for Hellman’s Mayo lists oil as the first ingredient and eggs as the second ingredient.If I were experimenting with this recipe and wanted to add mayo I think I’d start by substituting some of the sour cream to exchange the fat in the mayo for the fat in the sour cream. You might even eliminate the sour cream and add a mix of mayo and buttermilk and then tweak it from there. If you experiment I’d love to know how it goes.

      1. Thank you for the advice! I will let you know if I test your cake with the changes 🙂 I am on the search for the perfect birthday cake for my son in a few months!