Let's Bake

Small Vanilla Cake

Yield Serves 4-6 1x
Prep: 60 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 30 minutes

Soft and buttery 6-inch Vanilla Cake topped with vanilla buttercream.


Vanilla cake

  • 105 grams (3/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour, sifted
  • 80 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) full fat or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream

Vanilla frosting

  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 125 grams (1 cup) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon full fat or whole milk, room temperature
  • A handful of mini M&M’s and confetti sprinkles, optional


  1. Small vanilla cake
    Grease and line one 6-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk briefly. Add butter and beat with an electric mixer on low speed, until butter is broken into small pea-sized pieces and completely covered in flour.
  3. Add egg and vanilla while continuing to mix on low speed. Then, add milk and yogurt. Start to beat on low speed and then turn up to medium speed until batter is creamy and smooth.
  4. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Carefully transfer cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Vanilla frosting
    Add butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add vanilla, sugar, salt and 1/2 tablespoon of milk, and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. If frosting is too thick, add extra 1/2 tablespoon of milk.
  7. Spread frosting on top of cooled cake. Decorate with mini M&M’s and sprinkles, if using. 


Reverse creaming method: This recipe uses the reverse creaming method to help create a soft and fluffy cake every time.

Weigh your ingredients: For best results, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients using a baking scale.

Make ahead: This cake is best served on the day it is made. It will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap and freezing it once it’s completely cooled. To serve, let it thaw at room temperature and then frost it.

You can make the vanilla buttercream ahead of time too. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw for 15-30 minutes, then use an electric mixer to beat it briefly until smooth and creamy again. Add a touch of extra milk if needed.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 slice Calories: 401 Sugar: 38.2 g Sodium: 24.5 mg Fat: 19.9 g Carbohydrates: 52.5 g Protein: 3.8 g Cholesterol: 81.4 mg
Nutrition information is a guide only.
Author: Jessica HolmesCategory: CakeCuisine: Australian
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