Basic Vanilla Cake

Total Time:
1 hr
30 min
30 min

two 9-inch cakes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and salt in a bowl until combined. Beat 2 sticks butter and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. (The mixture may look separated at this point.)

Mix 1/2 cup water with the cream in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are lightly golden on top and the centers spring back when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.

Photograph by Levi Brown

Although Food Network Kitchens tests all our recipes multiple times, users thought we could make this one better. We've adjusted the recipe in response to valuable feedback. Thanks!

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3.0 40
Great recipe!! I mixed in some raspberries and chocolate chips and it's delicious!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good G item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed recipe taste like a thick coffee cake. expected more, don't know if elevation (5800 ft) requires changes item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe. If u follow it correctly it's a mix between pound cake n moist..I think it's perfect. I have made cake n cupcakes item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made cupcakes, and they were divine!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This batter came out very thick- so I added a small amount of water & cream to thin it slightly. It baked up so well and firm inside. I would rename it "Almost Poundcake" and top with something(fruit). Otherwise I felt it was a good recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am sad by this recipe. I saw that some reviewers had said that it was disappointing and then the Foodnetwork had adjusted the recipe due to reviewers comments. i followed the recipe as is and it came out on the dry side and not fluffy but not dense. I am glad i cut down the sugar otherwise it would've been super sweet like a pound cake. it's ok though because there are many other recipes i tried on this website that is AMAZING. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yumm! Those were the best rasberrie's I've ever had! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cake is flavorful, moist, and dense! I would suggest that if you are going to frost it you cut down on the sugar a little bit. If I make this again I will use a scant cup sugar. I frosted it with an almond butter cream, and fresh peach peach slices are going between layers! It looks amazing! Yum :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe because it was named 'basic' and I just needed a cake for my son to experiment frosting. I was FAR surprised by how great it was. This is one of the best cakes I have tasted. I cannot stand the taste of box cakes. More than that, this cake - while yes, more dense than box cake - was moist for days and received compliments from people who got 2-day old leftovers. I agree that it is something like a pound cake. I don't quite see how so many complain of it being dry, not sure what went wrong. I will say, based on another recipe I'd heard of, I added 1/2 box of instant french vanilla pudding mix (dry) to the batter. Maybe that gave it a soft kick. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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