Vanilla Wedding Cake

This is the queen of vanilla cake, it’s a great recipe and pretty enough for a wedding. Vanilla cake with vanilla pastry cream filling and vanilla Italian buttercream frosting swirled in the patter of roses.   

Vanilla Wedding Cake, sheet cake, 13x9 rectangle cake, @createdbydiane


This vanilla cake recipe will have you wishing you were enjoying a slice at your wedding, like the BEST wedding cake ever! 

I’m a hopeless romantic!

I like all the gushy movies and can watch them over and over again.

You can only imagine when someone tells me they are getting married how I might respond…

I offer to bring a cake of course.

It’s funny how my mind goes right to desserts, while the bride and groom said they would have never given cake a second thought…I look back now a  week later and realized I should have made them a “cheese cake” made out of wheels of cheese….what was I thinking?

I guess I was thinking I’d really like to have a piece of cake.

vanilla layer cake with Italian Buttercream Frosting Filled with Pastry Cream tastes amazing perfect cake

I recently posted about how I’m on a bit of a health kick, and that may be another reason I really have been dreaming of cake lately….this was great timing in my mind.

I think I’ll make them a cheese wheel cake for their Anniversary, once we all counted the cheese in our refrigerators and well I had 18 varieties, yep I LOVE cheese and so do they. I think we were about tied on the amount of cheese we each had.

But let’s face it, cake is pretty delicious so you can see why my mind might just have gotten led to cake vs. cheese first.

They enjoyed the cake and I was happy to bring something to the celebration!

Speaking of celebrations……

It’s Created by Diane’s 4th Anniversary.

I’m reminiscing about all that I’ve learned to this point. I’m happy my creative side gets to do what I love. I am certainly feeling grateful for each and everyone who takes the time to read my posts.

I’m often surprised that a person who needs to read things about three times to understand it, can challenge themselves to write….{yes, I’m describing myself} writing has NEVER been in me. I actually struggle to write every post. I much prefer talking. I don’t second guess what I say and well sometimes that NOT very good, but when I write I’m constantly checking to see if it makes sense the way I wrote it at all. I often miss my own mistakes and am glad I have such sweet friends who will gently point out my errors. (I recently posted a photo with a title on it and I misspelled a word, really??

I looked at it 50 times and never saw it! No surprise really, you could laugh at me all day long, I type my own name MANY times a day. I did not do well in typing and my parents still can’t believe I spend so much time typing. I’m most comfortable bring in the kitchen cooking and baking! Gathering my thoughts to write, compile the recipe so not just I can understand it, is another story. Photography is something I hope to get more of a handle on. I have the hardest time remembering the settings on the camera, how to get the camera to do what it did just days ago, it’s often like re-learning them for the first time, again and again, if you know anyone with an attention issue, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

the best vanilla cake recipe, filled with vanilla pastry cream and decorated with vanilla italian buttercream frosting 2 layer wedding sheet cake

 I like that blogging is NOT a sport. It’s not a competition. For me, it’s way more about community.

Some of my time is consumed by things I never thought I’d need to know, HTML, bandwidth….each week there seems to be a new social network. Trying to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and what is consuming my time and energy that shouldn’t be. Especially when I’d much rather be in the kitchen… website updates, hosting, heck even setting up a new computer is challenging, photo storage, backups, editorial calendars, emails…the list goes on and on. I end up smiling when I figure out the littlest thing! Then laugh when no one in my real life understands a bit of it.

I’ve made great friends whom I have a TON in common with…and now I just wish we all lived on the same block. I end up thinking with all the food I have in my house, I could feed my whole neighborhood on a moment’s notice if I needed to.

I often get asked…What do you do with the food you make? Well, we eat it or I share it with friends. Yes, I eat all the desserts, just not each and every one of them, I have one or two…ok, maybe three. It all depends on what it is. I have a choice, either buy bigger clothes or eat a salad for one meal a day and work out more. I chose bigger clothes at first, but nowI’m choosing the later for the past few months.

So this “little hobby” so many refer to it as is far better classified as a labor of love. I feel blessed to pour my energy into what I love!

I have over 700 posts, I typically post 3 times a week. There is more about me here.

Now, how about that cake…

How to decorate a Rose Cake @createdbydiane

Here is it all boxed up and ready to go.



I assembled the cake layers when they were out of the freezer for about 15 minutes. I piped some frosting around the edge of the cake so the filling wouldn’t slip out.

I spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom layer of the cake, then placed the top layer on the cake.

I coated it with a thin crumb coat of frosting and placed the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.

I then coated the sides and top frosting and took a small offset spatula to create horizontal lines on the sides of the cake, I was looking for a fairly smooth look with some texture and this technique would out perfectly.

I piped the frosting onto the top of the cake in roses with a 2D tip fitted in the piping bag, just like I do for my rose cupcakes I posted those three years ago with a how-to video so take a look if you need help with roses.

I started at one side of the cake and went diagonally so the roses would be varied and not in super straight lines. I wanted it to look like a bunch of roses gathered, just how you’d see a bouquet.

The color of the frosting is off-white the vanilla extracts are brown in color and gave the frosting the perfect soft, antique type of look I was going for. If you want a whiter look use a tiny dot of purple food coloring to counterbalance the creamy color, but only use a tiny dot to start with on the tip of a toothpick or you’ll frosting will get too much color.

vanilla cake recipe

The flavors of the three vanillas I used were just perfect. The flavors were layered. It didn’t have the same vanilla in each of the layers. Everyone asked what flavoring did I use in the cake as they thought there was something else. It was delicious. So either use my suggestion on vanilla extracts or try three of your favorites. I have learned that if you use different vanillas when doing layered items like this the results often end up better than you thought.

I will be making this cake, again and again, it’s not too difficult considering all the instructions, go ahead give it a try too. This cake is moist and delicious… not to fluffy. The type of cake where one piece is nice, three would be probably too much, and where one bite is NOT enough. The frosting is not overly sweet and the filling is rich and creamy.

I just LOVE celebrations, don’t you?

I declare we all EAT MORE CAKE!


How to decorate a Rose Cake @createdbydiane


Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Vanilla Wedding Cake

The most delicious vanilla cake, filled with vanilla pastry cream and decorated with vanilla Italian Buttercream Frosting, perfect enough for a wedding, delicious for everyday celebrating.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 50 slices


Vanilla Cake

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil corn oil or avocado oil work well also
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste I use Nielsen-Massey

Pastry Cream Filling

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk separated 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla

Vanilla Italian Buttercream Frosting

  • I made two batches of this. One batch fills a 5 qt mixing bowl so two batches was necessary as I couldn't combine them.
  • Be prepared with double the amount of ingredients below.
  • 2 cups sugar separated into 1 cup each
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 pound room temperature not soft butter (cut into tablespoon pieces)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 teaspoons Madagascar and 1 Orlando Natural Vanilla


  • Prepare 2 9x13 baking pans with parchment on the bottom and spray with a baking spray on the paper and on the sides of the pan. You will want the cake to come out of the pans, so be sure it's evenly coated.
  • In a bowl with a mixer, beat sugar with eggs.
  • Add in flour, baking powder, milk, butter, oil, and vanilla.
  • Mix until creamy.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for dark coated pans or 350 degrees for shiny pans for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out fairly clean, do not overbake, it's better to check it every minute that it is to over bake the cake. Remember the heat of the cake will continue to bake it for the next ten minutes out of the oven, so you don't want to take the cake out if it's underbaked, but don't allow it to be so dry, it will be to dry if the toothpick is completely dry.
  • Allow cakes to cool for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks.
  • Let cakes cool completely.
  • I then wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them.
  • It's easier to work with frozen cakes than it is to work with a soft, crumbly cake.
  • I bake my cakes at least a day ahead, but mostly two days ahead of the day I will need them and freeze them until I'm just about ready to decorate them, then I take them out of the plastic wrap for about 20 minutes so when I handle them, they are not still frozen solid, but very workable.
  • I prepare my filling and frosting the day I bake the cakes as well. It really helps elevate the stress on the decorating day.

pastry Cream Filling

  • In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt together, then add to it 1/2 cup milk and whisk smooth.
  • In a small bowl mix egg yolks, then add them to the mixture and blend until creamy.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the remaining milk to a simmer. (small bubbles around the edge, not a full boil)
  • Slowly pour the heated milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Allowing the egg mixture to slowly heat will prevent the eggs from scrambling. (you are tempering the egg mixture)
  • Place the mixture into the saucepan and heat on medium-low heat whisking until it comes to a boil and is smooth and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat, stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Place pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allow it to cool 15 minutes, then put it into the refrigerator to chill.

Vanilla Italian Buttercream Frosting

  • Separate egg whites into the bowl that fits a mixer. Use the whip attachment.
  • Whip the egg whites with 1 cup sugar until they form stiff peaks.
  • in a small saucepan, bring the other cup of sugar and the water to a boil and allow the temperature to come to 245 degrees.
  • Immediately remove the pan from heat and drizzle the syrup mixture into the whipped egg whites mixture on medium speed.
  • Once you've added all the syrup bring the speed up a bit and mix until the bowl is cool to touch. About 8-10 minutes.
  • Place the flat paddle blade onto the mixer.
  • Add the butter one tablespoon at a time with the mixer on high.
  • I drape a towel over the mixer so it doesn't splatter everywhere.
  • Keep adding the butter while the mixer is going, continue to mix until all butter is incorporated and the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  • If it looks curdled, or thin keep mixing. It may take a few more minutes to become thicker and more smooth.
  • Add in vanillas, then pour into a container with a lid.
  • This frosting can remain at room temperature for 2-3 days then it should be refrigerated.




Vanilla Cake for any occasion @createdbydiane


  1. Beautiful! Pinning. Maybey daughter will want this cake for her wedding.

    By the way, if you struggle with writing your posts have you ever thought of speaking them and recording, then type what you spoke? Just a thought since you mentioned you’re better at talking.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thanks, yes I have actually written post by talking them into the dragon dictation…I’ll have to do that again ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Happy Blog anniversary! What a beautiful cake! I would like to try just a 9×13 (one pan version) to see if I could do it.

    1. If you want to practice frosting, try doing it by placing the 9×13 pan empty, upside down and frost it like it’s a cake, then scrape it off and try again if needed ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    Such a beautiful cake. I need to try that tutorial on roses. Such a pretty presentation.

    And I love the idea of layering the different vanilla flavors. I never thought of that!
    Happy Blogiverary!!! <!:)

    1. Thanks Megan, layering the vanillas made a big difference and give the roses a try, I’m sure you’ll love them.

    1. Thank you and I’m POSITIVE you can do it, it’s not as hard as it looks. DId you see the video…give it try on the bottom of a glass to practice and you can wipe if off and start over to get the hang of it.

  4. Happy Blogoversary, my friend. I LOVE the comment about blogging not being a competitive sport. And that cake blows my little mind.

    1. I used his recipe to make my own wedding cake on 12/31/2016 (New Year’s Eve). One minor change I made was substituting all vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract throughout the recipe as I like the visual effect of the real vanilla bean flecks. The second minor change I made was replacing half of the vanilla in the cake, pastry cream, and frosting with almond EMULSION (it’s thicker, more potent/pure almond flavor than almond extract). This gave the cake a nice light almond flavor that complimented the vanilla bean. The color was a beautiful off-white and slightly antiqued or vintage look which is what I was going for. I did not want bright white.
      The cake is both heavy/dense but extremely moist (seriously moist) that held up very well. I used 1 1/2 recipes for the cake to make a 3 tier wedding cake which consisted of 12″, 10″, and 6″ rounds. I also doubled the pastry cream filling, and tripled the frosting amount (3 single batches) so I had plenty to work with with extra frosting to take to my venue to patch any boo-boo’s made during the transport. My family didn’t mind eating the leftover filling and frosting by he spoonful! If you follow the directions, this is a straightforward recipe. Pay attention to the frosting and don’t rush it. It was so delicious. I do not like the grittiness of powdered sugar butter creams, so this was a wonderful and light alternative which is my go-to frosting of choice now. I got so many compliments from my guests that this was “seriously the best wedding cake” they had ever eaten. EVER!! Even expensive custom bakery cakes. My 3 tiered cake was enough to feed 75. I only had 45 guests (I hate not having enough) and I only had about 4 leftover pieces. Many guests said they had seconds and thirds! It’s that good!! A co-worker even asked if I would make her daughters wedding cake (for 150 guests), yikes!! I’ll have to think about that one. This is a truly wonderful easy to follow recipe that every component was delicious and amazing. I purposefully did not save my top tier just so I can make another one for our anniversary.
      I wish I could post pictures because it turned out so beutiful.

    2. I’m so happy to hear the recipes worked out so well for you. A sure sign of a great cake is everyone wanting seconds. This really had become my go-to cake for all occasions! Thanks so much for coming back and writing such a nice comment. I’d love to see the cake feel free to email me photos, I love seeing how everyone else makes my recipes. My email is [email protected] alternatively you can share with me on my facebook page or tag me on instagram @createdbydiane but email works well so I’m sure not to miss seeing it!

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I tried this on a whim this evening and was my first attempt at an italian buttercream. My family really enjoyed it. I halved the cake and filing recipes and still made a lovely sized cake. I didn’t have different types of vanilla and I can see how much better it would have been to have the layering of flavors. It was still a delicious cake. It was moist, not too sweet but still very rich. I would like to try the italian buttercream with a raspberry flavor. Or maybe an almond cake with the vanilla buttercream.
    Again, thanks for sharing!!! And I’m totally digging your youtube demonstrations too!

  6. Thank you for this recipe! This has become my go-to white cake recipe! In the last month and a half I think I have made it 4 times! As a matter of fact I have a batch of cupcakes in the oven right now getting all baked up for my son’s birthday on Saturday (so worth making them ahead of time and freezing them!).

    1. Here is a conversion chart Depending on which size round cake you are looking to bake will determine the amount of layers. I’ve used this as chart as a guide before, but don’t recall if I measured this particular cake batter out. I’m still looking for my notes. I often measure it out, if I find my notes I’ll message you again. My 9×13 inch pans were baked flush to the rim when baked. My estimate is that this recipe is 15 cups of batter. I’ve baked it in a 16″ round pan. So that is 7.5 cups of batter went into each 9×13 pan. So 2-10″ pans will work, 4-8″ pans will work and so on.

    2. Thank you so much. I am making this as a birthday cake for my daughter’s 1st birthday. I hope it turns out right. Any tips or other suggestions.

    3. If you have any questions let me know, I try to give as much detail as I can when writing the post up, but I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.

  7. I am planning on making this for a wedding shower that I’m co-hosting for my best friend’s daughter. My question is, I am using an 11″x15″ pan. Do you think that one batch of batter, well actually, everything, will be enough for this size of pan? I can’t wait to taste it, I’m sure it’s going to be fantastic!

    1. Hi Pam, and 9×13 pan typically holds 10 cups of batter according to Wilton’s chart ( and an 11×15 holds 11.5 cups batter. I do not recall measuring cups of batter when I made this, sometimes I do sometimes I don’t when writing posts. You mention using an 11×15 pan, but don’t mention is you are baking one, or two. The cake I baked gave a nice amount of cake and filling as well as frosting. Since you aren’t using the same size it will be hard to figure out since I don’t know if you are planning on one or two layers. My best suggestion if you’d like the cake to come out the same as mine is to use the same size pans as I used, or use the Wilton chart to use something comparable. Feel free to message me back how many pans, and maybe I can help more.

    2. Diane,

      Sorry for omitting that tid bit of information! I was planning on making just one and cutting it into two layers. I really appreciate your help with this.


    3. It should work out fine, I haven’t baked that size cake with that amount of batter, but if you have then I’m sure it’ll work. If you haven’t I’d rethink baking all that batter in one pan, the temp and timing may need adjustments and if you aren’t going to do a test cake it may not come out exactly as planned and you wouldn’t want dry cake (a large cake has to bake a lot longer) but I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  8. I am making cupcakes for a friend’s wedding in September. Will this recipe work well for using as cupcakes?

  9. I am making cupcakes for a friend’s upcoming weddding Would this recipe work well to use as cupcakes?

  10. I am so excited that I found this recipe! I needed a recipe to make a lot of cupcakes, I had seen your recipe for the cupcakes first and then saw you had posted for a wedding cake, and because I am making 100 cupcakes for a donation for a fundraiser, this was perfect! I batch made about half of what I need. They are beautiful and taste great! Thank you!

  11. Hi from the UK ๐Ÿ™‚ i was just wondering what kind of flour and oil you use? Going to give this a go for my parents anniversary cake! Fingers crossed it comes out as beautiful as yours

    1. Hi, I use all-purpose flour and vegetable oil (avocado oil or corn oil will work well too). Feel free to share with me a photo when you’re done, I’d love to see it!

  12. I spent a lot of time trying different recipes looking for the perfect vanilla cake and this is it! I substitute buttermilk for the whole milk and put them in the freezer overnight for that lasting moistness. The tops taste like a sugar cookie and I always get rave reviews when I bake it. Works perfect as cupcakes too! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

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