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Vanilla mini cake decorated with slice out of it.

Mini 6 Inch Vanilla Cake Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla mini cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 1052kcal
Author: Kara @I Scream for Buttercream
A moist scratch mini 6 inch vanilla cake recipe you can make as a small layer cake for yourself, a small birthday party, or dessert for two.
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For the vanilla cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 4 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk (may add in another tablespoon if needed)


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or spray) two, 6 inch round cake pans that are 2 inches deep.
  • Set the butter out, cut it into chunks and allow it to come to room temperature. Don't microwave it, it needs to come to room temperature on its own.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and whisk together.
  • In another bowl, add the liquid ingredients (oil, eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla) and whisk together until smooth.
  • Add the chunks of butter to the dry mixture slowly and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed as you add the butter. Mix until the mixture resembles a coarse, sand-like texture.
  • Add half the liquid to the dry mixture and mix on medium until well combined.
  • Add the second half of the liquid mixture and mix on medium until well combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again just until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Be very careful not to over-mix. (Mixing for a minute or more is too long.) Batter will be a little thick.
  • Pour into prepared pans and smooth level. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 40-45 minutes. The cake layers are baked when they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, or clean, but not raw batter.
  • Cool on a wire rack, in the pans, for about 10-15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and allow them to cool completely before covering with buttercream.
  • The tops of these cake layers will flatten out as they cool, but the tops can be leveled with a knife if needed in order to decorate.

For the buttercream:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the confectioner's, salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk and mix on low until combined, then on medium to medium-high until well mixed.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  • Check the consistency. If it's too thick add another tablespoon of milk and mix well.
  • Spread buttercream onto completely cooled cake and decorate as desired.


This cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for 2-3 days. After that, to prolong freshness, it can be stored in the refrigerator, well covered, for another 2-3 days.
This cake is a butter cake and will firm up in the fridge. It's best served at room temperature though, so if cold, pop a slice in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
Nutritional values are an estimate.
Piping tip used: Wilton 4B
Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer questions you may have.
*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 1052kcal | Carbohydrates: 131g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 105g | Vitamin A: 1812IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg