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Best Vanilla Cake

There's a reason why this vanilla cake recipe is the best. Adding creamy vanilla bean paste into this moist, rich cake batter creates a power-packed vanilla flavor that can't be bought in stores. Try spreading vanilla buttercream frosting on top to finish it off. —Margaret Knoebel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl mix sour cream, vanilla paste and vanilla extract until combined. Let stand 10 minutes. Line bottoms of 3 greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper.
  • Sift cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together twice into a large bowl. Add butter and canola oil; beat until mixture is crumbly. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream mixture just until combined.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely. Frost cake as desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 399 calories, 16g fat (8g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 462mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Diane
    Jun 16, 2020

    This cake was disappointing. It was dry and dense and the flavors didn’t come together. It not as sweet as I thought it should be and had a flour taste rather than a rich vanilla taste. It was almost like a muffin base where i would have added bananas or blueberries.

  • Reenbytheshore
    May 17, 2020

    I was a little leery making this cake because of the expense of the ingredients. I thought let me give it a try. I am a very accomplished baker and I followed the recipe to the T. It turned out dry and dense and all I could taste was vanilla and flour. This recipe (and the Best Vanilla Buttercream recipe that goes with this cake) is the reason I have not renewed my subscription to Taste of Home.

  • Jane
    Apr 19, 2020

    This looked so good that i opted to make this for Easter instead of our traditional desserts. I was so disappointed. It was dry and dense like cornbread. This is the first time i ever saw a recipe where you add the butter

  • gaschoenecker
    Apr 13, 2020

    My family loved this cake. It was dense and moist with great vanilla flavor. The frosting was outstanding!

  • SweetsGuy
    Mar 22, 2020

    Big disappointment. Very dry and dense. Virtually tasteless. Took me more than 4 hours to finish, using exact ingredients and following exact instructions. Also quite expensive, with vanilla paste plus vanilla, more than 2 pounds of butter and 14 eggs! Definitely needs fresh fruit and purée poured over slices, otherwise too dry. Don’t waste your time and money on this one. You can use a cake mix or buy a better vanilla cake at the bakery. Fair warning.