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Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake – Deliciously moist and fluffy vanilla cake recipe baked in a rectangle pan, and topped with scrumptiously creamy vanilla buttercream frosting!

Two slices of Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake served on white plates.

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

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 pans, and are simply frosted.

No need to frost and layer a cake here!

So, today I bring you my Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake. Yes, I said perfect. 🙂 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.

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake in a rectangle baking pan before being frosted.
Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake in a rectangle baking pan topped with vanilla frosting.

How to make Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake:

For the cake, you’ll need:

  • cake flour (see recipe notes to make your own!)
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • eggs
  • caster/granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil
  • buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • icing/powdered sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • milk
  • vanilla extract

To make this sheet cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

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.

Pour the batter into a greased 13×9-inch 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, beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. 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.

The printable recipe card with the FULL list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.

NOTE: For best results, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup measurements.

Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough, and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.

Close-up of the vanilla buttercream frosting on the Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake.

This Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake is:

  • deliciously moist and fluffy
  • quick and easy to make and decorate
  • can easily be sliced to fill with more frosting!
  • perfect for ANY party or special occasion

How long will this sheet cake last? This cake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 – 3 days.

Can I freeze this cake? This cake also freezes well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and hashtag it #marshasbakingaddiction. I’d love to see!

A slice of Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake served on a white plate with a fork.
Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake - Deliciously moist and fluffy vanilla cake baked in a rectangle pan, and topped with scrumptiously creamy vanilla buttercream frosting! #vanilla #sheetcake #cakerecipes #recipe

More cakes to try next!

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Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

Perfect Vanilla Sheet Cake

Yield: 16 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

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

Ingredients

For the Cake

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

For the Frosting

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

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease 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 until light and fluffy.
  2. 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.

**To make your own buttermilk, simply measure out 1 cup (240ml) of milk, and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes until the mixture starts to curdle, then it's ready to use!

Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 - 3 days.

After the cake has cooled completely, it can be wrapped in clingfilm and refrigerated/frozen overnight, ready to be frosted the next day. The frosting can also be refrigerated overnight.

Frosted or unfrosted cake freezes well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 slices Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 531Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 0gSugar: 57gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @MarshasBakeBlog on Instagram and hashtag it #marshasbakingaddiction

Charis Miani

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

Hello,

Have you tried making this in a large 12x18 sheet pan? I need to make a cake for a large crowd. Would you double this recipe? Thank you!

Marsha

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

Yes, I would double the recipe. Enjoy!

Flora

Friday 23rd of July 2021

Hi I LOVE this recipe! I’ve made it twice and everyone loved it! Thank you :-)

Valerie Lilley

Monday 17th of May 2021

I'd like to use your recipe for a half sheet cake layer cake I'm making. If I double your recipe, will it be alright for a 12×18 pan? I'm going to fill with lemon curd and strawberry bits.

Marsha

Monday 17th of May 2021

Yes, doubling the recipe should work just fine for that pan. That sounds lovely!

Lor

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Hi Marsha, I would so appreciate your input on something I noticed in your recipe. It says that 3 c. cake flour weighs 300 g. I did tons of double check measuring and weighing, and checking online, and learned that 3 c. of cake flour or any flour weighs more than that. No matter what, I couldn't make 3 cups of cake flour weigh only 300 grams. I learned that 3 cups cake flour weighs between 375 and 390 g. This is because 1 cup weighs between 125 and 130 g. ----- Sooooo I made your cake with the minimum of 375 g of cake flour aaaaaand it is now my new favourite way to make white Birthday Cake!!! It turned out amazing! So maybe that's what you meant to write originally. (This could balance out the baking soda taste someone was tasting too.) I am really particular about measurements and also have a really strong sense of taste, and my cake tasted delicious! Thank-you for posting your recipe! Please tell me what you think! Does the recipe need an edit?

Marsha

Friday 12th of March 2021

Hi Lor, thanks for bringing this up for me. Yes, it now seems that the online conversions show that 1 cup cake flour is about the same as 1 cup plain/all-purpose flour. Back when I wrote this recipe, they read a little differently. I will go and correct that!

Debbie

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

I followed recipe exactly as instructed and like some other reviews, this cake was extremely "dry". I'm not sure what others consider moist, but this was not moist and yes I followed all instructions to the exact measurements.

Lor

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Could it be because of the way the flour was measured? Scoop spoonfuls of flour and lightly sprinkle them into the measuring cup, and level off the top with a knife's straight side.

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