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Vanilla Cake with Easy Chocolate Frosting

Moist, fluffy vanilla cake layers, smothered in a creamy chocolate buttercream frosting, topped with sprinkles... this is what birthday dreams are made of!

This nostalgic cake is the homemade, from-scratch, version the boxed mix and canned frosting version I grew up on... only, like a zillion times better! 

The cake is so absolutely moist and soft inside, with a rich and tender crumb from the butter and egg yolks. It stacks up just beautifully and pairs perfectly with this frosting. 

This homemade chocolate buttercream is one of my absolute favorites! It is light and fluffy, with that sweet chocolatey flavor that you won't be able to not lick the bowl after you make it! 

Pile it on and frost away! The cake is nice and sturdy and holds up perfectly to this simple buttercream.

I use a turntable for decorating because it makes it so much easier! This is a great one you can get online:

You can decorate it however you like, but I like to keep it classic and simple, with a smooth finish and little swirl on top, all dressed up with some sprinkles! 

I created my own Custom Sprinkle Blend for this cake, to make it extra fun and festive by using pastel flowers sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils and confetti sprinkles.

No matter how you decorate it, this traditional combo will bring you back to sweet memories of your childhood, after blowing out the candles. Slice it up, serve and enjoy!

Vanilla Cake with Easy Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 8 servings; 2-layer cake
(cut recipe in half to make one 8-inch or 6-inch layer)

  • 2 1/2 cup (280g) cake flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 1 3/4 cup (336) granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 whole large eggs + 2 yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream, room temperature

Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/8oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 cups (1lb) powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 6-8 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)
  • 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • Bake Easy spray or Cake Release:
  • Cake flour:, weighed or spooned into cup and leveled
  • Pure vanilla extract: OR Vanilla bean paste: 
  • Bake even strips:
  • 6" pans:
  • turntable, cake scraper, off-set spatula, piping tips:
  • more supplies:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans*.

In a medium bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add softened butter and oil and mix for about 1 minute to coat the flour, until mixture resembles wet sand.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and sour cream. Slowly pour in 2/3 of the wet mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Beat in remaining wet mixture and beat for about 30 more seconds until fully incorporated.

Distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes*, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pans for about 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Let cool before frosting.

*Bake 25-30 minutes for two 9-inch rounds, 40-45 minutes for two 6-inch rounds, or 30-35 minutes for a 9x13-inch pan

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time on low speed until fully incorporated. Beat in 2-4 tablespoons of cream, until smooth. Sift in cocoa powder. Add in remaining cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.

Frost completely cooled cakes. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.