Vanilla Sheet Cake (video)
This delicious vanilla sheet cake is soft, moist, and topped with a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream. It’s the ultimate dream cake for any and all vanilla lovers.
There is just something nostalgic about a simple vanilla cake. It reminds me of childhood birthday parties and other special celebrations. A good vanilla cake is bright and beautiful without being over-the-top fancy, which makes it suited for any occasion.
Why this recipe is so great:
- Easy to make – All you need is an electric mixer, handheld or stand mixer, and a little patience mixing the batter. Other than that, the process is super easy.
- Tastes amazing – This vanilla sheet cake is rich and buttery with the most lovely vanilla flavor. The buttercream is fluffy, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth good.
- Feeds a crowd – This sheet cake recipe can serve up to 24 people, which makes it great for parties and large gatherings.
- Can be made in advance – This cake can be made and fully assembled the day before so it’s perfect during any busy holiday season.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Cake flour – can be substituted with all-purpose flour in a pinch
- Baking powder & baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated & powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract and/or vanilla bean
- Milk – any kind
- Sour cream – plain yogurt or mayonnaise works too
How to make vanilla sheet cake:
(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)
- In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture and mix in the milk.
- Then stir in the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined 9×13″ baking pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Room temperature ingredients – Make sure to have all your refrigerated ingredients – not just the butter – at room temperature before you start, by removing them from the fridge an hour in advance. Having the eggs, milk, and sour cream at room temperature will help bring the batter together without it separating.
- Cake flour – Using store-bought cake flour really makes a difference with this recipe. However, if you are in a pinch, mix 2 & 1/4 cups AP flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch.
- Decorating the cake – Use the back of a tablespoon to spread the buttercream frosting on the cake. Twist your wrist to create swirls and just top with sprinkles along the edges to highlight the beauty of the buttercream, especially if you are using vanilla beans.
What is a sheet cake?
A sheet cake is a cake baked in a large shallow rectangular pan, such as a jelly roll pan. So a single layer 9×13″ cake is technically a quarter sheet cake but is often referred to as a sheet cake, nonetheless.
How do I substitute vanilla bean for vanilla paste or extract?
One vanilla bean is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.
How to store vanilla sheet cake:
Tightly cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature by letting it sit out on the counter for 1 hour before serving.
How to freeze vanilla sheet cake:
The cake can be frozen with or without the frosting. Tightly wrap the cake in a double layer of saran wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 hours. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
You might also like:
- Moist Vanilla Butter Cake
- Vanilla Chiffon Cake
- Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
- Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
- Vanilla Panna Cotta
Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.
Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 12-24
This delicious vanilla sheet cake is soft, moist and topped with a fluffy vanilla buttercream. It’s the ultimate dream cake for vanilla lovers.
- 2 & 1/2 cups (250g) cake flour, sifted
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 2 large whole eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (188ml) milk, room temperature
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 cups (500g) powdered sugar
- Sprinkles for decorating
- 4–6 tbsp milk or cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×13″ metal baking pan with parchment paper or grease and flour if using a glass or ceramic baking dish. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Slowly beat in the whole eggs and egg whites, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture and mix in the milk.
- Then stir in the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool fully before frosting.
- Beat the butter, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between. Add in the cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
- Beat on high speed for about 1 minute after the last addition of powdered sugar for a fluffy and airy texture. Spread on cooled cake and decorate with sprinkles if desired.
Leftover cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature by letting it sit out on the counter for 1 hour before serving.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Category: dessert
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vanilla sheet cake recipe
Recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Basil by Just So Tasty.
43 Comments on “Vanilla Sheet Cake (video)”
We have made this 5 times and it’s been a hit every time! Our oven does better with a little less cooking time, but this has been a crowd favorite every time. We prefer to pair it with a Swiss buttercream, but this is going into the family cookbook!!
I’m so happy to hear it’s such a big hit with friends and family! Thank you for your lovely comment, Joanna. xx
When reading the recipe for Sheet Whit Cake one of the ingredients calls for 2 large EGG WHITES.
When do you use these?
Thanks for catching my typo. In step 4, it should say “beat in the whole eggs and egg whites” My apologies for the error, but thanks again for catching that!
My grandson and I made this on day one of Granny Camp. We used gluten free flour and it was the best gf cake I have had. He was quite pleased with his baking skills.
Granny Camp, I love it! What fun, delicious, and great memories you are making with your grandson. Thank you for your kind words and thank you for choosing my recipe!
Can I half this recipe?
I made this cake for my granddaughter’s 7th birthday to take with her and her family and several friends for an overnight trip.
Well my goodness almost every single person texted me to say how delicious it was. And the icing was almost too wonderful for words.
Definitely a keeper
Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!!!!
You’re very welcome, Robin! So glad everyone liked it:) Thank you for your lovely review and happy belated birthday to your granddaughter!
I have to compliment you on this cake recipe, it’s very nice.
I baked my cake in 2 round 9 in cake pans for around 25 min because I wanted the layered look. Other than that I followed the recipe and the cake turned wonderful! VERY moist and flavorful… the perfect vanilla cake.
Thank you for your compliment, Mishka! I’m so glad you liked it. Enjoy and Happy New Year to you and your family!
This cake had an incredible flavor; however, it was a little dry. I was careful not to over mix and followed the steps carefully, but I still ended up with a dry cake. I will be making it again in the future because, like I said, it tasted delicious!
Perhaps try baking it for a few minutes less and see if that helps. Thank you for your comment and stay safe!
Can I leave the cake sit out all night after frosting it? (I used store bought frosting). Or should I refrigerate it? I’m taking it to work tomorrow. Thanks!
Store-bought frosting is meant to last forever, but I would refrigerate it anyway to be safe. You can leave it out once you get to work. I hope everyone enjoys the cake!
This recipe sounds amazing. Can this recipe be doubled in order to make a 12 × 18 without losing flavor like you sometimes can with recipes doubled?
I just realized I misread your question the first time around. I’ve never doubled this recipe before to fill a 12×18″ pan so I don’t know how it would effect the flavor. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
Hello, did you try this recipe doubled ? In 12×18? How did it come out? I would love to hear! Thank you!
Hey Vicki, in thinking about this question again. I don’t see why not. You should be fine doubling this recipe for a larger pan size.
I baked this for my daughter’s birthday and the guests loved it!
I’m glad everyone enjoyed the cake. Thank you for your feedback!
Can i remove the sour cream from the recipe.
You can substitute it with yogurt, mayonnaise or applesauce to make up for the moisture and volume. I hope that helps and feel free to email me back if you have any other questions. Enjoy!
Is it possible to make this is a quarter sheet pan or will I need to divide it between two quarter sheet pans? TIA!
This recipe is for a 9×13″ pan, which from my research is considered a quarter sheet pan, so you are good to go as is. Please feel free to email me back if you have any other questions, and I hope you enjoy the cake!
This looks like an amazing recipe! Two questions: can this recipe be baked in two round pans to make a double layer, round cake and if I do it as the sheet cake as shown in your recipe, will it stand on it’s own okay if I remove it from the pan for presentation? Thank you!
Yes, this recipe can be baked into two round pans. If you want to remove the whole cake from the sheet pan, just generously grease and flour the pan for easier removal. The cake is sturdy enough to stand on its own. I hope you enjoy the cake and happy Easter!
Can I used buttermilk instead of milk , I would loved to try this receipe I have never see or read of such beautiful cake I loved the ingredients that’s what caught my attention. Thanks you are good baker.
Yes, you can use buttermilk instead of milk in this recipe, and thank you for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the cake!
I want to make this but I don’t have a stand mixer. Are the paddle attachments available for a hand mixer? Because I can’t seem to find one
You can use a hand-mixer with it’s beater attachment for this recipe. Have a great week, and I hope you enjoy the cake!
You can’t go wrong with a sheet cake and sprinkles! Just checked out one of your friend’s posts (the cheesecake). I heard you invited her to co-host with you soon – I hope you both have a good time and she enjoys FF! I wondered what happened when we co-hosted together but I figured something happened where you could not suggest any features 🙂 Too busy sometimes…
I completely forgot about suggesting features (brain fart). By the time I got Angie’s email reminder it was too late. Sorry:(
Sprinkles always me smile and cake makes my tummy happy! I wish you could send me a slice or better the whole sheet! 😀 Thanks for bringing this with you, Lily! Happy Fiesta Friday! x
Sprinkles make me smile too! You’re welcome and thank you for co-hosting:)
This looks so light and fluffy as well as being very pretty! Yum.
What a deliciously spongy fluffy cake! 🙂 Have you tried making it with thick yogurt instead of sour cream? This sounds like the perfect cake for my boys – very different to the weekly cake recipe we use. Thanks for linking and sharing at Fiesta Friday.
You’re welcome and thanks for co-hosting!
It looks absolutely PERFECT!
So simple, yet it is so important to follow all these tips to get it amazingly fluffy!