An oil based super simple vanilla cake using kitchen staple ingredients. This cake is soft, moist, supremely soft & fluffy and can be made with just a bowl and whisk!
Calling all cake lovers. Today’s recipe is one of the best! A simple and flavourful oil-based vanilla cake that uses basic kitchen staple ingredients and is failproof. This is one of the first recipes that I shared on my Facebook page. It was and still is one of the most popular recipes. So many of you have made it, both as cakes and cupcakes, and given rave reviews.
I’ve been making this vanilla cake for years. It’s one of the first recipes I learned how to make and I still use it when I have a sudden vanilla cake craving. Top it with literally any frosting and you have yourself a delicious treat.
The cake is so easy to make, requiring minimal, basic ingredients and is so insanely light and soft. More times that not, I find myself missing ingredients that a moist and fluffy cake requires like butter or sour cream. This recipe is a life saver because it can be made with the simplest ingredients. You don’t even need a stand mixer or a hand mixer as the batter can be made using a regular whisk. The result is just as delicious.
How to make an easy vanilla cake
- Beat eggs & sugar until fluffy: this is a trick I use to lighten the batter and give the cake a fluffy crumb. You only need to whisk them together for a minute or so but it makes a difference.
- Oil: Although we’re using oil, you can substitute half of the amount with melted butter. The flavour and texture of the crumb will be slightly different.
- Baking powder: needed for a nice lift for the cake. Since we’re not using any acids like sour cream, we only need baking powder to react with the rest of the ingredients.
- Large eggs: make sure you’re using good quality large sized eggs.
- Vanilla extract: you can add other flavours to the batter such as lemon or orange zest but don’t leave out the vanilla. Add a good amount as that’s the star flavour.
- Whole milk: since we’re not using other fats like butter or sour cream, the cake really needs whole milk to ensure moisture and structure. You can use yoghurt or buttermilk in the place of milk but the texture may be slightly more dense.
Another thing to love about this cake recipe is that it can be frosted and topped with anything. It’s so practical and delicious, you can pair it with any flavour frosting like strawberry, peanut butter, caramel etc. For an all vanilla cake, I like it best with my favourite vanilla frosting. It doesn’t have to be a fluffy frosting, you can top with just glazes and icings, top with nuts or cake crumbs.
Tips for success
- Use good quality ingredients. There’s not many ingredients going into this cake so you really need to make sure that each ingredient used is fresh.
- Use room temperature ingredients. This makes a difference in mixing the batter as the ingredients will emulsify better. This is essential for the eggs because room temperature eggs will mix best with the sugar becoming nice and fluffy.
- Fresh ingredients always. Again, there’s not many ingredients in this cake so the flavour will shine through according to the ingredients used. Fresh eggs, baking powder and milk are a must.
This is a very simple recipe so there is plenty of room to play around. Adapt the recipe to your liking and have fun creating different flavours and textures.
- Oil: you can use butter instead. Experiment using melted butter or softened butter and creaming it with the sugar.
- Sugar: substitute some of the white sugar with soft brown sugar. Add about 1/4 teaspoon baking soda if you plan to use brown sugar.
- Whole eggs: have fun switching a whole egg with egg yolks or egg whites for a variation in the crumb.
- Milk: replace the milk with sour cream, buttermilk or Greek yoghurt. Alternatively you can use some citrus in place of some of the milk such as orange juice. Remember to add some baking soda if you use any of these substitutions as it will be needed to react with the acids.
Have and fun enjoy!
If you make this or any of my other recipes, tag me @dutchbakerblog or hashtag #dutchbakerblog on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook so I can see your dutchbaker bakes 💙
Supremely Soft And Fluffy Vanilla Cake
8 – 12servings
This recipe yields enough batter for a layered 8 or 9 inch layer cake, 24 cupcakes or a 9 x 13 inch cake. Recipe can be easily halved.
3 cups (375gms) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250mls) oil
1 1/2 cups (300gms) sugar
4 Large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (250mls) whole milk
- Top with vanilla frosting
- Grease and flour or line with baking paper two 9 inch cake tins. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Whisk for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on medium speed until the mix has slightly thickened and lightened in colour. Whisk in the oil.
- Add the flour mix and milk to the eggs/sugar mix in alternating batches, starting and ending with flour mix. Be careful not to over mix.
- Divide batter evenly between pans and bake at for about 25 – 28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Do not over bake. Cool completely in an airtight container before frosting.
- If you are using a smaller size cake tin such as three 8 inch, start checking for doneness at around 18 – 19 minutes.
Thank you for sharing! I’ve been trying to find a good base cake recipe and this one is going into my rotation very soon. I live at high altitude, so would you recommend any tweaks to this recipe for that reason?
Hiya 🙂 thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂 I think you should be fine, just don’t bake for too long. It’s a very simple recipe so you shouldn’t have any problems. Let me know how it turns out! God bless ❤
These look absolutely delicious😋
Thank you! This is one of the best 🙂 thanks for your lovely comment xx
The cake really looks fluffy and yummy ♥
Thank you! It truly is 🙂 thanks for the lovely comment xx
Every home cook needs a good vanilla cake recipe. Thank you for sharing your winning recipe Linda. The cake looks so moist! I am a vanilla lover too!
Thanks Johanne 🙂 love your name <3 yep this is one of the best, I do have others I use that call for butter and sour cream etc but its always great to have a simple, always on spot recipe 🙂 thanks for your sweet comment xx
The cake looks great!
Thank you! It really is a great cake and super simple to make 🙂 thanks for the sweet comment xx
I like that word; supremely. I’m gonna be using this word all day today.
God these look as delicious as you described, woooo!!
Hahaha thanks Dana! I know when I was thinking about what word to use to describe the texture of the cake, I wanted something good but that isn’t always used 😉 took me a while to come up with it! And yes these cakes really are delish! Especially if your in a ‘Im too lazy to make something but I need something sweet!’ 😉 😉 thanks for the sweet comment xx
That word deserves to be used over and over again, haha!!
Thank you for the word of the day!!
Vanilla cakes are one of my favourites. Thanks for this share.
Your welcome <3 this is a very personal recipe for me because it's the first one I prefected when I discovered my passion for baking and it has stuck with me since 🙂 thanks for all your sweet comments xx
Nothing beats a good old vanilla cake, doesn’t it? 🙂
Hii 🙂 you’re totally right! A good old vanilla cake is gold <3 thanks for your lovely comment xx
You’re welcome 🙂 xx