10 December 2019 Lorraine 0Comment
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I have been baking cakes for years.. Somedays they turn out wonderful and other days a complete flop. A friend, who is a baker and bakes the most amazing novelty cakes, shared some of her tips with me. I wanted a soft, light and moist cake. Well after following some of her tips this Vanilla Birthday Cake with Buttercream has turned out perfectly everytime.

There were just two little things that I had to change and it made all the difference. Firstly she said I had to whip my egg whites and add it to the cake batter at the very end. The second tip was that I needed to use water instead of milk. Trust me these two little changes have done wonders for my cake. This is the only Vanilla Birthday Cake with Buttercream that I will be making from now on.

All my guests loved the cake when I baked it for my son’s birthday. I was even asked for the recipe which I promised to share. This cake makes 4 layers, i divided my batter into 4 x 22cm round cake pans. Another trick I learnt a while ago and because I hate wasting. If your cake has a little dome on top, press it down gently with a clean kitchen towel straight after it’s taken out the oven. You will have a perfectly flat cake.

If you don’t have enough cake pans you can reduce the recipe in half and bake two at a time. I don’t suggest you leave the batter lying around before baking.

Another trick is to beat your eggs and sugar for a long time, until it’s light in colour and double in volume, 4-5 minutes. If you follow all of these steps your cake will turn out amazing and you will never have to buy a birthday cake again. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I am busy baking another birthday cake for my dear friend’s son. As you all know I am not a great decorator but I try. Well, as long as the kids are happy, that’s all that matters. I will give you a little sneak peak of the M&M cake when it’s all done. Can’t promise what it will look like though. I’m such a confident baker….aren’t I….haha! I guess it’s all in the taste, never mind my poor decorating.

I had forgotten to get nice pics of the inside of the cake but I will post some soon.

If you love cake as much as I do then you have to try these recipes too:

Super Moist Chocolate Sheet Cake

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Soft, light and moist vanilla cake with the most delicious vanilla buttercream
Course Dessert
Cuisine General
Keyword soft moist cake, vanilla cake, vanilla cake with buttercream
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 25


  • 1 cup/250g butter melted
  • 8 large eggs separated
  • 2&1/2 cups/625ml castor sugar
  • 2 tspn vanilla essence
  • 4 cups cake wheat flour
  • 4 tspn baking powder
  • 2 cups water

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  • 375 gram butter
  • 4&1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2&1/2 tspn vanilla essence
  • 6-8 tbsp fresh cream


Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease 4x22cm cake tins with some oil and line the bottoms of the pan with parchment paper
  • Separate the egg whites and yolks in 2 large bowls
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Set aside
  • Add the castor sugar to the egg yolks and beat for 4-5 minutes until it's light in colour and doubles in volume
  • Mix in the vanilla essence
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder, add half the melted butter and half water and combine using the electric mixer. Add the other half of the liquids and mix again, just until it's all combined. Do not overmix
  • Add the egg whites, a little at a time and fold it in gently
  • Pour 4 equal portions of the batter into the greased cake pans. Use a scale to weigh them. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean
  • Allow it to stand for 5 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a cooling rack

Vanilla Buttercream

  • Beat the butter until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Start on a low setting and increase to high speed after a minute
  • Add the icing sugar, a little at a time and beat until light and fully, about 4 minutes
  • Add the vanilla essence and the fresh cream, a tablespoon at a time until the buttercream is light in colour and fluffy. Add enough fresh cream to reach the desired consistency.

Assemble and Decorate

  • You can cut the tops of the cake to create a smooth surface or if you have already flattened them with a kitchen towel you can get straight to decorating
  • Place one cake layer on a cake board or cake stand
  • Use a quarter of the icing to cover the first layer. Using a spatula you can spread it evenly on the cake or pipe it around the cake and smooth it out
  • Place the next layer of cake on top. Add another 1/4 of icing on top and smooth it out
  • Repeat with the next layer
  • Place the final layer on top and use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake
  • Decorate as desired
  • Cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days


  1. If you want to bake the cakes ahead of time, you can bake the day before and store them in an airtight container. Place some parchment or wax paper in the container to prevent the cake from sticking. If you stack the layers in one large container you will need to separate each layer with parchment paper 
  2. You can also make you buttercream ahead of time and refrigerate. When ready to use bring it back to room temperature and beat it again before use
  3. I prefer to make each layer separately, it is easier to work with than to try and cut the layers
  4. Using water does give the cake a much lighter texture
  5. You can add food colouring to the layers if you prefer a different colour
  6. Please use your discretion when adding fresh cream to the buttercream mixture, sometimes you may require more or less depending on the consistency you want your buttercream. If you are piping the buttercream be careful not to add too much liquid to it as it will become too runny


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