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Vanilla Sheet Cake with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

This vanilla sheet cake recipe uses the reverse creaming technique, a simple method that guarantees a uniquely delicate and springy crumb with probably the most delicious buttery vanilla taste. Use this cake recipe as a birthday sheet cake or for anytime you crave a simple basic dessert. Prime the cake with whipped vanilla buttercream, a frosting constructed from butter, confectioners’ sugar, and heavy cream and whipped until additional fluffy.

In terms of classics like vanilla cake, the chapter by no means actually ends. You see, there’s 3 layer vanilla cake, vanilla cupcakes, vanilla naked cake, one layer vanilla cake (aka strawberry shortcake cake!), and even a vanilla/white cake hybrid. Each of these recipes use the same elements, only remixed and divided in several proportions.

But what a few easy vanilla sheet cake recipe?

That’s what we’re focusing on in the present day. This can be a pure and basic vanilla sheet cake with a delicate, springy crumb and unbelievable sweet vanilla flavor. It’s the straightforward birthday cake you need and buttery style you’re keen on. And let’s add an enormous fluff ball on prime– in any other case referred to as whipped buttercream. That is dessert nostalgia at its best!

vanilla sheet cake with sprinkles

Behind the Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe

My vanilla cake recipe (the most effective I’ve ever had!) yields an excessive amount of batter for a 9×13 inch quarter sheet cake, whereas the strawberry shortcake cake batter isn’t fairly sufficient. My 2 layer vanilla/white cake hybrid is super mild and fluffy and whereas it’s the right amount for a 9×13 inch quarter sheet pan, it doesn’t have the same buttery tight crumb as conventional vanilla cake. For as we speak’s recipe, I took what I really like about these desserts and combined them into the suitable quantity of batter to suit this basic measurement pan.

First, let’s walk via an in-depth tutorial of the blending technique. (Reverse creaming! You’re going to like it.) Though this can be a very simple recipe, I encourage you to learn by way of my ideas before getting started.

vanilla sheet cake with whipped buttercream frosting

Reverse Creaming Technique for Cake

Do you keep in mind once I shared Tessa’s Blackberry Lavender Cake? I just love her recipes! Prior to that cake, I had solely used the reverse creaming technique a handful of occasions. I liked her cake’s texture, so I replicated it with my strawberry shortcake cake not lengthy after. We’re going to make use of the identical technique with in the present day’s vanilla sheet cake recipe. As an alternative of beginning with creaming butter and sugar collectively like conventional cake recipes, the reverse creaming technique begins with the dry elements and ends with the eggs. This technique produces a lighter and tighter crumb with extra spring. The slices are tight like pound cake, but not dense in the slightest. It’s velvety smooth and virtually tastes creamy.

This technique is so unique, but very straightforward.

Sift the dry components, including the sugar, right into a bowl. Sifting with a high quality mesh strainer is imperative because it aerates the dry elements and leaves behind bigger sugar crystals. Keep in mind, we aren’t creaming sugar and butter collectively where giant sugar crystals are often broken down. Next, combine in cubed room temperature butter, somewhat milk, and vanilla extract. On this step, the butter coats the flour. The coating of fats minimizes the flour’s formation of gluten, which helps end in a finer cake crumb. You’ll taste the distinction.

By the best way, we coat flour with fats once we make biscuits and pie crust too. This apply helps produce an additional flaky (not dense) baked good.

dry ingredients and butter for vanilla cake

Success Tip: Cube the butter when it’s cold. Smaller pieces of butter will warm to room temperature a lot faster than a full stick of butter. Plus, it’s straightforward to chop cold butter into cubes as opposed to hotter room temperature butter.

After that, we’ll add the remainder of the liquids including the remaining milk, the bitter cream, and eggs. The photograph on the left (under) is our sheet cake batter. I promise it’s the creamiest batter you’ll ever work with. Keep away from over-mixing it.

Which Cake Pan?

Use whichever 9×13 inch pan you’ve gotten available. I often lean in the direction of a glass 9×13 inch pan simply because the cake seems additional lovely serving proper out of the dish. If utilizing a metallic baking pan, maintain an in depth eye on the cake. Metallic pans often mean a faster bake time, though my check recipes (in all totally different pans) each completed baking across the similar time.

cake batter

vanilla cake batter in 9x13 inch glass cake pan

Vanilla Sheet Cake Components

Whether you’re a beginner baker or professional, you’ll be comfortable to see that this vanilla sheet cake requires only a handful of tremendous primary baking components. Every one serves a function and for greatest results, I don’t advocate making substitutions.

  1. Cake Flour: Cake flour produces the softest cake. There’s merely no competitors. Cake flour is bought in the baking aisle with the other flours. You should use leftovers in any recipes utilizing cake flour.
  2. Sugar & Salt: Sugar sweetens the cake and salt adds taste.
  3. Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Keep in mind why it’s essential to use both baking powder AND baking soda in some recipes?
  4. Butter: Butter is the workhorse behind this entire recipe, especially the reverse creaming technique. It also adds taste. I recommend utilizing unsalted butter on this sheet cake recipe. Should you’re , here’s a publish I wrote on salted butter vs unsalted butter.
  5. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract provides flavor. Use a whole Tablespoon… belief me!
  6. Entire Milk: The cake’s crumb is additional rich and we now have the entire milk to thank for it. Keep away from lower fats or nonfat milks. Moist muffins want fats.
  7. Sour Cream: The moist maker! Because of bitter cream, this cake melts in your mouth.
  8. Eggs: To obtain a fluffier cake, I often add additional egg whites. Nevertheless, this sheet cake didn’t need it. Perhaps my ratios have been off, but my few check recipes proved that this mix of elements introduced together with the reverse creaming technique doesn’t want additional whites. Merely use Three full eggs. Truly, in one check recipe, I used 4 eggs with no bitter cream. The cake tasted heavy, so I finally swapped 1 egg with sour cream. The cake is far lighter and moister.

Whipped vanilla buttercream

Whipped Buttercream

Elevating this vanilla sheet cake is a stunning blanket of whipped buttercream. Use the identical elements as my common vanilla buttercream recipe, but add additional heavy cream and whip it for a number of additional minutes. A bit of additional cream and somewhat additional whip flip this frosting right into a buttercream/whipped cream duo. It’s mega creamy and fluffy, as in the event you borrowed a puffy cloud from the sky and slathered it on a cake. Speak about dreamy!

Couldn’t you get lost in these swirls?

vanilla sheet cake with sprinkles

Make a Flag Cake!

Before we finish up, let’s chat about turning this vanilla sheet cake into an iconic flag cake. Spread 2/Three of the frosting everywhere in the cake, saving the remaining 1/Three for piping element. Grab some recent blueberries and halved strawberries and line them up to mimic the celebs and stripes on an American flag. I used Ateco 32 piping tip for the piping between the “stars” and Ateco 844 piping tip for the piping between the “stripes.” Pleased 4th of July!

Flag cake

vanilla sheet cake

Would love to know when you do this sheet cake!!

Extra Quarter Sheet Cake Recipes



This vanilla sheet cake recipe uses the reverse creaming technique, a simple method that promises a uniquely delicate and springy crumb with probably the most scrumptious buttery vanilla flavor. Every ingredient serves a function and for greatest outcomes, I don’t advocate making substitutions.


  • 3 cups (345g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) entire milk, at room temperature and divided
  • 1/Three cup (80g) bitter cream, at room temperature
  • 3 giant eggs, at room temperature

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (540g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  • elective: sprinkles for garnish


  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt within the bowl of a stand mixer. (Or if utilizing a handheld mixer, any giant mixing bowl.) With the paddle attachment, beat the components collectively on low velocity for a number of seconds to gently mix. Add the butter, vanilla, and half cup of milk. Combine on medium velocity till the dry components are moistened, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the edges and up the bottom of the bowl. The combination will resemble a thick dough.
  3. Whisk the remaining milk, the sour cream, and eggs collectively in a medium bowl. With the mixer operating on medium velocity, add the egg combination in 3 additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the edges and up the underside of the bowl, then combine for about 15 extra seconds until batter is completely combined. Avoid over-mixing. Some small lumps are OK.
  4. Pour and spread batter evenly into ready pan. Bake for round 30-34 minutes or until the cake is baked by way of. Begin checking doneness at 28 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clear, it’s accomplished. Permit cake to chill utterly within the pan set on a wire rack. The cake have to be utterly cool earlier than frosting.
  5. Make the buttercream: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium velocity until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low velocity for 30 seconds, then improve to high velocity and beat for five full minutes. Add as much as 1/4 cup extra confectioners’ sugar if frosting is just too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is just too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is just too sweet. (I add 1/8 teaspoon salt.) Frosting must be additional fluffy.
  6. Unfold frosting in a thick layer on cooled cake. I exploit and advocate an offset spatula. If desired, use a piping tip to pipe some frosting and/or garnish with sprinkles. Slice and serve.
  7. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the fridge for as much as 5 days.


  1. Make Forward & Freezing Instructions: The cake may be baked, cooled, and coated tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting could be ready then coated and refrigerated in a single day. Let the refrigerated frosting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then beat with a mixer for 1 minute to deliver it back to a spreadable consistency. Frosted cake or unfrosted cake could be frozen as much as 2-Three months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge and convey to room temperature earlier than decorating/serving.
  2. Cupcakes: Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 19-21 minutes. Yields about 2 dozen. Or attempt my vanilla cupcakes recipe.
  3. 2 Layer Cake: If desired, you possibly can divide the batter between two 9 inch cake pans. Bake time might be a couple of minutes shorter– maintain an in depth eye on the muffins at 20 minutes and verify for doneness with a toothpick.
  4. Cake Flour: For the most effective results, I strongly advocate cake flour. You will discover it within the baking aisle and I’ve many more recipes using it. In the event you can’t get your palms on cake flour, you can also make a DIY version from all-purpose flour and cornstarch as instructed in these recipe notes. The cake won’t be as mild and fluffy.
  5. Why is the whole lot at room temperature? All refrigerated gadgets must be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read right here for more info.
  6. Sprinkle Cake: To make a sprinkle cake, fold about 2/Three cup (105g) of sprinkles into the cake batter. Avoid nonpareils (the little balls), which are likely to bleed their colour.
  7. Chocolate Frosting: If desired, swap the whipped vanilla buttercream with chocolate buttercream. The chocolate buttercream calls for beating for 1 minute, but for a fluffy whipped texture, whip for Three full minutes.
  8. Special Instruments: Metallic 9×13-inch Cake Pan, Glass 9×13-inch Cake Pan, KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Offset Spatula, Sieve

Keywords: vanilla, birthday, dessert

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