Let me begin by saying I am NOT a cake decorator or talented cake maker. I am the average everyday mother just trying to make something special for my children’s birthday without spending a fortune. So there is no better excuse than to share with you the most delicious classic vanilla cake recipe I used to create my daughters chosen unicorn theme. This classic is very easy, quick for the time poor and probably the best tasting vanilla cake I have ever tasted!
Very Vanilla Funfetti Birthday Cake
Adapted from The Cake Merchant with a few changes and healthier options
Makes one 6 inch deep pan cake or approx 36 cupcakes.
For the Cake:
1 x 500g box vanilla or white cake mix (I used betty crocker)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vanilla sugar or normal sugar
3/4 tsp salt 4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups water
2 x tbsp vegetable oil – you can replace oil with applesauce, mashed banana or yoghurt
1 cup (250g carton) sour cream or natural greek yoghurt
1. 5 tablespoon vanilla bean paste – can use extract
1 tsp almond extract – Optional*
Optional: Your desired amount of sprinkles to make it a funfetti cake
For the Frosting:
450g unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
WARNING: This makes a heap of frosting, you can half this if you require.
To make the Cake:
1. Preheat the oven the 160 degrees celsius. Line the cupcake pans with paper liners or the bottom of your cake pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
3. Add the wet ingredients and beat on medium low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes. At this step I also added in some sprinkles to make it a funfetti cake
3. Poor the batter into your cake tin. You can also separate this batter and cook it in two smaller tins to make a layered cake. Or you can use an ice-cream scoop and pour the batter into cupcake tins.
4. This took me about 45min to 1hr to cook a whole solid cake, 30min for individual layer cake and around 20min for cupcakes. Each oven is different.
5. Cool your cake completely before icing.
To make the icing:
1. With an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until it becomes pale and creamy (2-3 minutes).
2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium, about 3 minutes. Add the cream or milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
Options: You can get creative and add colours to your icing like we did below for our unicorn. For this particular cake I evenly separated the white icing into 4 different bowls and mixed in a small amount of desired food colouring into each. I then layered the icing into my piping bag and piped it onto the cake using the star attachment.
3. Pipe or spread the icing on top of the cooled cupcakes.
4. Decorate as you wish, with whatever you would like. Good thing about vanilla it goes perfectly with everything! In the past I have made this into a minion cake, an elsa cake, and a barbie doll cake – its very versatile.
And that’s it! Your simple, easy and delicious classic vanilla cake! Perfect for your next birthday party or afternoon treat.
*The recipe calls for almond extract, which helps to enhance the flavour (no it doesn’t make the cupcake taste like almonds), but you can definitely leave it out if you prefer.