The only vanilla cake recipe you’ll ever need, this Fluffy Vanilla Cake is simple and made from scratch. This dreamy cake is soft, fluffy and topped with the creamiest vanilla buttercream frosting. I guarantee you’ll love it.
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease 2x 8-inch cake tins. Line the bases with baking paper the dust the sides with flour before tapping out the excess.
Combine the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Whisk well to aerate and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric beater (or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat together the butter, sugar and roughly half the oil until pale and creamy. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl a couple of times during.
Add the two whole eggs and beat on low-medium until combined. Scrape around the bowl again.
Add the egg whites and beat on medium-high for 1 full minute - it should look a bit like shiny whipped cream at the end.
Swap to a spatula and gently mix through ⅓ of the flour mixture until just combined.
Add the remaining oil and vanilla and mix again until just combined.
Repeat this process three more times - flour, milk, flour. Each time stir through until only just combined.
Pour evenly between the two tins.
Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a crumb or two attached.
FOR THE FLUFFY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
In a small saucepan whisk together the milk, flour, roughly half the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Heat over low heat for 5-6 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency. It's thick enough when it takes a good few seconds to merge together again after you stir and the smell of uncooked flour has disappeared.
Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap is touching the paste (this will stop the top from forming a skin), then let it cool to room temperature. You can speed it up in the fridge but make sure it’s at room temperature when you use it.
Once the milk paste is completely cool, beat together the butter and remaining sugar until really light and creamy (5-6 minutes). Make sure to regularly scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the milk / flour paste one tablespoon at a time, just mixing to combine after each.
Beat on high for 5-7 minutes. If it looks like it separates at the start, don't worry, keep on beating and it will beat up into an almost whipped cream consistency.
Add the salt and quickly beat through.
Once it’s thick, whipped and the sugar grains have gone, use a spatula to stir and press the buttercream against the side of the bowl to help the air bubbles to dissipate. Now it’s ready for frosting.
For this design, split the buttercream into thirds. Add colouring as you like, then transfer to piping bags with different piping tips. Pipe rings of frosting over one layer, then use a spatula to even it out.
Place the second layer on top and pipe little stars and flowers randomly all over the top.
Suggested equipment: sandwich tins, offset spatula, silicone spatula, stand mixer, electric beater.
I use a combination of flour and cornflour to create homemade cake flour simply so that I don’t have to keep another container of flour on hand. Feel free to use 2 ¼ cups of cake flour in place of the combined flour and cornflour in this recipe.
All ovens vary – always test for doneness 3-5 minutes before the recipe suggests
For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
If you'd like to frost the sides of the cake, 1.5x or double the buttercream recipe.