Cakes

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

Deliciously moist and fluffy vanilla cake baked in a rectangle pan, and topped with scrumptiously creamy vanilla buttercream frosting!

PIN IT FOR LATER!

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

Don’t you just love sheet cakes? All the tastiness of a layer cake, but without the effort of layering a cake. Sheet cakes are cakes that are baked in rectangle (or square!) pans, and are simply frosted or left plain. No need to frost and layer here!

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

So, today I bring you my Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake. Yes, I said perfect πŸ˜‰ The sponge is so deliciously moist, yet so fluffy and tender. I love to use buttermilk in my cakes, because the moistness it brings to the crumb just cannot be beat. And I always use cake flour for cakes and cupcakes, because it makes the most fluffiest, and tender crumb. If you cannot get hold of buttermilk or cake flour, you can definitely make your own at home, check my recipe notes below!

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

To top off my Vanilla Sheet Cake, I used my favourite vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s deliciously creamy and thick, and the sweetness just tops this cake off perfectly. I’m not the only one who wants to dip theirΒ finger into that frosting, right?

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

Β Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

I baked my cake in a 13×9-inch pan, so the cake came out quite thick. Of course, if you bake your cake in a bigger or smaller pan, the thickness will change, and they will need to be baked for more or less time.

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

Enjoy!

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction
5 from 2 votes
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Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yields 12 - 16 slices

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour* 300g
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups caster/granulated sugar 300g
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil 180ml
  • 1 cup buttermilk 240ml, room temperature**

For the Frosting

  • 4 cups icing sugar 500g
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226g, softened
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Butter or spray a 13x9-inch pan, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the eggs. Add the sugar, and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil, and whisk until combined. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread out evenly. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat together the butter and icing sugar on low speed until light and fluffy. On medium speed, beat in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth, and spreadable. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake, then slice and serve.

Notes

*Don't have cake flour? Measure out 3 cups (375g) of plain/all-purpose flour, remove 6 tablespoons, and replace with 6 tablespoons of cornflour/cornstarch. Sift well. **If you can't get hold of buttermilk, use 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, and 1/2 cup (120ml) sour cream.

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction

73 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda {Striped Sptaula}
    May 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    What a beautiful cake! I love that you’ve used buttermilk in it, it’s my favorite to use as well. There’s simply nothing like the crumb on a buttermilk cake!

  • Reply
    kushi
    May 30, 2016 at 12:57 am

    This one looks so beautiful, moist and delicious. Love the recipe πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Marsha
      May 30, 2016 at 8:51 am

      Thanks, Kushi! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Demeter | Beaming Baker
    May 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Marsha, this cake is exactly what the title promised: perfect. πŸ™‚ You really make the most perfect, fluffy and moist cakes! Also, don’t even get me started on the vanilla frosting… wow! Can’t wait to see what else you do with this perfect vanilla sheet cake. πŸ˜‰ Pinning!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      May 30, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks, Demeter! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Amanda
    May 31, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    What a dreamy cake! This would be great for a graduation!

  • Reply
    Megan - The Emotional Baker
    June 1, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’ve never made a traditional sheet cake, but that gorgeous slice has me seriously craving one! Can I have this for breakfast?!? Pretty please πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Megan! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry
    June 1, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I totally believe you! This vanilla sheet cake looks like absolute perfection.

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    June 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Sheet cakes are so dangerous, because for some reason I can never just have one slice! This vanilla sheet cake certainly looks dangerously delicious, Marsha! Pretty sure I will eat the whole thing! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Cheyanne!

  • Reply
    Zoe - Tea at Midnight
    June 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Your pictures always make me so hungry as it all looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    Maria
    June 3, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I am searching for a moist vanilla/ white cake recipe and have yet to find it. I will definitely try this! How easy would it be to make this into a layered cake? Will it hold up to stacking do you think? And lastly, if I substituted 5 egg whites for the eggs would it make it whiter?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      This recipe will make a 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake. 2 egg whites equals about 1 whole egg, so I would use 6 egg whites in this recipe. Yes, egg whites will make a cake whiter πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  • Reply
    tina
    August 30, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Hi. Being an Indian I don’t eat egg. So can u plz suggest with which thing I can replace eggs. So dat I can try all ur recipes. Thx waiting

    • Reply
      Marsha
      August 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Hi Tina! You can use 1/4 cup applesauce (63g) per egg (you won’t taste the applesauce!), or 1/4 cup mashed banana per egg, or even 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil per egg πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Susie
    September 13, 2016 at 3:14 am

    I love the idea of buttermilk. I would like to make this cake. Is it possible to cut in half and put a vanilla filling in before icing?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      September 13, 2016 at 9:57 am

      This cake is thick enough to slice in half and fill πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Erika
    October 15, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    How long should I bake it for if I triple the recipe?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      October 15, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      May I ask what you’ll be baking it in? I’m not sure if tripling the recipe will be too much batter for a 13×9-inch pan.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 9, 2016 at 3:44 am

    would I have to triple this recipe for a 11 x 15 x 2 cake sheet?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      November 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

      The recipe should be fine as it is, it’ll just turn out thinner. Here’s a website I use to adapt a recipe when changing pan size http://skillet.lifehacker.com/divide-multiply-or-adapt-any-recipe-in-one-click-with-1730632423 πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Sarah
        November 14, 2016 at 3:41 am

        thank so much <3

      • Reply
        michelle
        February 24, 2017 at 11:55 am

        I’m going to try this today in an 11×15 pan and will leave the measurements as is but i am making 2 separate cakes. One vanilla and i will add cocoa to the second and try to make a layer cake. Fingers crossed it works out

        • Reply
          Marsha
          February 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm

          Hi Michelle, let me know how it goes!

          • michelle
            February 24, 2017 at 8:48 pm

            Marsha it worked out great!! 25 minute cook time was enough for my pan. I used a 1/2 cup cocoa powder for one layer. I made some chocolate ganache frosting for in between the layers. A perfect match with your cake. Thank you again for sharing this recipe. This will be my go to cake batter. Everyone loves it!

          • Marsha
            February 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm

            I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe! The chocolate version sounds so good! πŸ™‚

        • Reply
          Rebekah
          May 1, 2017 at 3:41 pm

          Hi Michelle! I’m thinking of using your chocolate adaptation & am curious – did you add the 1/2c cocoa in addition to the flour or in place of some of the flour? And how was the flavor? Typical chocolate cake or more of a dark chocolate or what? Thanks so much!

          • Marsha
            May 1, 2017 at 6:46 pm

            Hi Rebekah! I replaced 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. It depends on the cocoa powder you use, as to whether it tastes like typical or dark, but I find the chocolate version of this cake has just the right amount of chocolate flavour πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    michelle
    January 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Looks so good! I just started baking and never thought to use buttermilk. I’m going to try this recipe. Can you please tell me if i should double the cake batter for a half sheet? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      January 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I would double the recipe for a half sheet πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        michelle
        January 12, 2017 at 8:47 pm

        Thank you for your response and thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • Reply
    Sheila
    January 17, 2017 at 2:56 am

    I’m sorry but this recipe didnt turn out moist and airy for me. It was dry almost cornbread like in texture. The taste was good. Could it be my convection oven? thanks!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      January 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I’m so sorry my recipe didn’t turn out for you. For convection ovens, you have a couple of options. Either bake at the same temperature for 20 – 25 minutes instead of 30 – 35 minutes, or bake for the same time at 325F/170C. I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Susan
      June 24, 2017 at 6:08 am

      Mine tasted like cornbread too, not in a bad way, but no vanilla cake taste?

      • Reply
        Marsha
        June 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        It’s definitely not meant to taste like cornbread, but it’s hard for me to tell you what went wrong. All I can say is, if you’re not already, weigh out your ingredients in grams instead of cups (more accurate), and be sure to use cake flour.

  • Reply
    andrea
    February 13, 2017 at 3:10 am

    can i double this recipe i need a whole sheet cake

    • Reply
      Marsha
      February 13, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Yes, you can double this recipe.

  • Reply
    Deirdre Coghlan
    February 19, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    This cake is good, moist and solid- meaning you can handle the layers if you choose to fill it. I don’t have access to cake flour so I did the cornstarch trick, I think it changed the texture of the cake for the better from my standard result. The other two ‘secret ingredients’ that make this cake good are the veg oil instead of butter and the buttermilk. My only problem was the baking soda. I could really taste it. No one in my family had a problem with the baking soda taste, and my husband thought the cake was awesome. But I will try this again using just baking powder. Hopefully it will rise just as well.

    • Reply
      Marsha
      February 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Gabriela
    March 30, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Hi Marsha,

    This looks great! I want to make a sheet cake that’s 18 by 13 should I double the recipe? And would it allow me to layer the cake in two?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      March 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

      Hi Gabriela, yes you would need to double the recipe for a 18×13 pan. Yes, you can create two layers πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  • Reply
    MarΓ­a Jimenez
    April 14, 2017 at 4:44 am

    I made this and decorated it for Easter!!!! Not only was it cute but also delicious!!!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      April 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Taylor
    April 20, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Hi! Do you think this will hold up well for a kids party? I want to remove it from the 13×9 pan and decorate it with cream cheese frosting. I believe I will 1.5 the recipe since i want to make a 13×9 plus an 8×8.
    Do you think that will work?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      April 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Yes, that should work just fine!

      The cake will hold up without the pan. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Taylor
        April 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

        great, thanks!

      • Reply
        Taylor
        April 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

        Hi again! What type of vegetable oil do you recommend? Canola, soy, ? I have also heard of using light olive oil, but I have never used that in a cake.

        Also, does this cake keep a day or two in advance?

        Thanks!

        • Reply
          Marsha
          April 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm

          Hi Taylor! I just use regular vegetable oil, but you can definitely use canola. I haven’t tried using light olive oil, so I can’t say. This cake will keep well covered tightly for a day or two, while the frosting can be kept in the fridge until ready to use. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Katerina
    May 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I tried this recipe but 5 minutes after I removed their from the oven, the cake list it’s shape πŸ™ At 35 minutes the toothpick came out clean and the color looked good, not sure why it didn’t work. Maybe I should have left it cook a little longer.

    • Reply
      Marsha
      May 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      It’s hard for me to tell you what might have happened without being there, but here are three main reasons a cake will sink/lose its shape.

      1. Underbaked. In your case, a toothpick came out clean, so this shouldn’t be the cause.

      2. Over-mixing the batter. Over-mixing until the batter is SUPER smooth and creamy strengthens the gluten structures too much and creates more air which causes the cake to rise and then fall again.

      3. Oven temperature. Checking in on your cake often messes with the oven temp, and can prevent the cake from cooking evenly, causing it to sink.

      I hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Katerina
        May 20, 2017 at 11:26 pm

        This is very helpful, thank you! I will need it another go.

  • Reply
    Aamna
    June 5, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Hi, Marsha! I want to make this cake in a 12×18; I like the thickness you achieved on your cake, will doubling the recipe achieve the same result or would you recommend a different ratio?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Aamna! Doubling the recipe should be fine, and will achieve the same thickness. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Monica
    June 16, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Hello, Marsha! For some reasons, your recipe ‘mocha bundt cake’ didnt get as moist as id hope so. This one though gets better each time. And as I am a huge coffee flavoring fan, i want to know if i can use coffee flavor (or nescafe granules) instead of vanilla in this recipe?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Monica! I’m so sorry my Coffee Bundt Cake didn’t turn out as moist as you’d have liked. To make this sheet cake a coffee one, I’d leave out the vanilla and replace with 4 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling hot water. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Monica
    June 17, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Thing is, when i made it first time, it worked out well. Still, it has a beautiful mocha flavour. Right then, I’ ll make this sheet cake recipe using coffee granules πŸ™‚
    Thanks for replying, its very nice of you to be so prompt:)

    • Reply
      Marsha
      June 17, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Let me know how it turns out! πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Monica
        July 10, 2017 at 9:13 am

        Ohhh, ive just made it with coffee, instead of vanilla. Its just perfect, so fluffy and full of flavour. This just made me realize that I can make a tiramisu ‘my way’ with this sponge. I want it to be round, so, can I use this recipe for a 9 inch round pan? Thanks once again, am very lucky to have found you!

        • Reply
          Marsha
          July 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm

          Such a sweet comment, thank you Monica, I’m so glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ If you wanted to make it in just one 9-inch round pan, I’d half the recipe. I’d love to see your creations!

          • Monica
            July 11, 2017 at 10:54 am

            I really like your recipes. And i’d love to show you my cakes, but im not as experienced as you are πŸ™‚ thanks for replying, I can’t wait to see how it goes. Enjoy your day, Marsha β™‘

          • Marsha
            July 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm

            You too, Monica! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    evelyn
    July 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    hi Marsha,
    I needed to bake a full sheet cake for my son who will be having his 8th birthday on the 23rd July. he requested a soccer field cake. do you think with your recipe can i decorate it as a soccer field cake? if i need to layered it to 2 layers and spread buttercream on the layering, can it work for this recipe?or shall i just double up every ingredients? i do have 9×13′ pan. would appreciate for your kind reply.
    thank you.

    • Reply
      Marsha
      July 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Evelyn! This cake is thick enough to cut in half and fill with buttercream, but you’re welcome to double the recipe for thicker slices. I would double the buttercream recipe, too. πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Evelyn
        July 15, 2017 at 6:57 am

        Thank you Marsha…will definitely try out your recipe first before adjusting the ingredients.

  • Reply
    Evelyn
    July 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Marsha I had just baked the cake that use 1/2 c of cocoa powder to replace the cake flour. This cake didnt rise too high like in your picture. It raised up like a dome and on top after 35mins with 170’c temperature. And the bottom of the cake had a loop hole in the centre of the cake. Can i know what has happened to my cake?
    When i whisk my eggs and sugar do i need to whisk till the eggs turn light and fluffy?
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Marsha
      July 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      I’m so sorry this has happened! You could try whisking the eggs and sugar until light, to incorporate in some air. This may help with the doming. Usually, overmixing the batter causes big air bubbles, as well as cold ingredients (such as eggs) instead of room temperature. I wish I could help more, but I hope this helps πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    July 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Marsha I need to bake this in an 11×15 cake pan for a graduation cake.. I need it to fill the whole pan should I do 1&12 of this recipe?

    • Reply
      Marsha
      July 19, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Hi Tiffany! Yes, 1 and 1/2 of this recipe should work πŸ™‚

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