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Favorite Vanilla Bean Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, vanilla cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 452kcal
Author: Kara @I Scream for Buttercream
This cake is my absolute favorite vanilla bean cake. It's a scratch cake that is moist, full of vanilla bean flavor, rich and buttery with a hint of almond flavor.
Print Recipe


  • 3 cups cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (slightly cooler than room temp)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond emulsion
  • 3 eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (You're going to turn the oven temp down to 325 degrees once you put the cakes in the oven.)
  • Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans. (If making cupcakes, read notes below)
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk.
  • In another bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, oil, vanilla, almond and eggs. Mix well with a whisk.
  • Now cut your butter into chunks. Turn your mixer on low and add in the butter slowly to your dry ingredients. Mix on low to medium until all the flour is coated with the butter and the mixture is crumbly.
  • Pour in about a third of the liquid mixture. Mix on low to medium until combined. About 30 seconds to one minute. (Some reverse creaming recipes call for mixing 1-2 minutes at this stage, but be careful about mixing longer than a minute as mixing for too long will cause a dense cake.)
  • Pour the last of the liquid mixture and mix again until well combined. Don't overmix the batter at this point. Stop mixing once everything is well incorporated.
  • Use a rubber spatula and scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix again for only about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Slide into the oven and turn the oven temp down to 325 degrees. (Unless you're making these as cupcakes, in which case you'll want to read the notes below.)
  • Bake approximately 40-45 minutes.
  • Set on wire racks to cool for ten minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and let them cool out of the pans completely.


Cake layers can be frozen for later use.
For cupcakes: Fill the cupcake wrappers just slightly over half full. Bake at 350 degrees (don't turn the oven down to 325 like the cake). Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
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Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 154mg | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 0.6mg