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Classic Vanilla Layer Cake

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 servings 1x




  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk (I used cashew, use what you love)


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • About 2 tablespoons milk (I used cashew, use what you love)


  1. Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Like the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, oil, and vanilla bean paste. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Once light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Distribute the batter as evenly as possible between the 2 prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan.
  4. Once the cakes are cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. A stand mixer will work as well. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. When about half the sugar has been added, add the milk. Continue adding sugar. If the frosting is too thick, very slowly beat in more milk. If it is too thin, add slightly more sugar. Finish with the vanilla bean paste.
  5. Place one cake on your serving dish. Top with a couple generous scoops of frosting, spreading it to the sides. Top with the other cake. Dollop the remaining frosting on top. Cover the top of the cake and spread the frosting down the sides, leaving no cake showing. Slice and serve.
  6. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.


Additional cooling time is necessary

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes