The Ultimate Birthday Party Planner

Foolproof Vanilla Cake

14 to 24 cake slices or 24 cupcakes

Prep Time:
10 minutes

Cooking Time:
8" or 9' squares: 20 to 30 minutes
13" by 9" rectangular cake: 35 to 40 minutes
2-quart ovenproof bowl: 25 to 30 minutes
24 cupcakes: 12 to 15 minutes


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 1: Spray baking pan(s) with oil; set aside.

Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla; add to the butter mixture and combine. Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients one third at a time, scraping the bowl frequently.

Step 4: Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool, then frost.

Perfect Frosting In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 Tbs. vanilla extract, 2 Tbs. light corn syrup, and 1 Tbs. milk. For chocolate frosting, substitute 3/4 cup cocoa for 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar.

Nutritional Facts:

Each slice or cupcake (with frosting): 305 calories, 3 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (9 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 63 mg cholesterol, 42 mg calcium, 1 mg iron, 27 mg sodium.

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