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


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


Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake | Marsha's Baking Addiction
5 from 1 vote

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

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


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


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.


*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


54 comments on “Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake”

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

    • 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!

  3. 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

    • 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™‚

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

    • 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™‚

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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?


      • 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?


        • 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!

  10. 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.

    • 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!

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