Best French Vanilla Cake Recipe from Scratch

I have more than the best homemade French vanilla cake recipe, check out more dessert recipes at the end of the page.

This homemade vanilla cake recipe from scratch is the one. Incredibly moist and tender, the taste is perfect - pure vanilla.

Here's a tip for this cake recipe: If the butter is not completely soft, you will have to beat it for several minutes to get the light and fluffy texture. 

French Vanilla Cake Recipe

Best Homemade French Vanilla Cake Recipe



1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 TBS pure vanilla extract

1 cup butter, softened
7 to 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 TBS pure vanilla extract


PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9 inch cake pans and dust the inside with flour and tap out excess. Line the bottom of the pans with wax or parchment paper. Put the cake pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat for easy clean up.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.

Beat the butter for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat thoroughly after each addition.

Start adding the flour mixture one cup at a time, and alternate with the milk; ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla, mix well and pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or when a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up. (These cooled cakes may be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months.)

Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat with 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and milk and mix well. Add another cup of powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency to spread; you may not need all of the sugar specified. Beat until light and fluffy; spread on the cooled cake.

Best French Vanilla Cake Recipe

French Almond Vanilla Cake Recipe

The French vanilla cake recipe (with almond flavoring) below is worth it's weight in gold and tastes just like a wedding cake. You can now make it at home and save money. It starts out with a basic vanilla cake mix and we "doctor it up" to taste amazing. Enjoy.

French Almond Vanilla Cake Recipe


1 box French vanilla cake mix
1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/3 cups water
4 egg whites
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp pure almond extract (no imitation)
1 cup sour cream


PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees, and grease/butter either two 8" or 9" cake pans - or even a 9x13 pan.

In a large mixing bowl, add first four ingredients in this recipe and make a well in the middle.

In a small bowl, mix the egg whites with the water and vegetable oil and add to the bowl. Mix for a few seconds and add the remaining ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes (time it) and pour into the prepared pan(s) a little more than half full.

Then drop the pans on the counter to bring the air bubbles to the top of the cake and pop most of the air bubbles in the batter.

Bake for approximately 36-40 minutes in a 9x13 pan. If you are using cake pans, check after 25 minutes or so, a jelly roll pan is approximately 22-24 minutes and cupcakes are 16-19 minutes.

Folks, these are estimates only because every oven is different so keep an eye on them and use a toothpick to check for doneness. It really tastes like it's a cake made from scratch, doesn't it?

You may use your own recipe for this cake, but mine is awesome - try it. Makes 3 cups.

The filling and roses were made using my Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting.

French Vanilla Cake Recipe (with almond extract) variations:

Chocolate Cake:

Use a chocolate mix and substitute 3 WHOLE eggs instead of the egg whites.

Berry Cake:

Use frozen berries. Thaw and reserve the yummy juice and use this juice for part of the water in the recipe.

Lemon Cake:

Use 1 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/3 cup of water. Use 3 whole eggs instead of the egg whites. Use 1 TBS of fresh lemon zest and 1 tsp pure lemon extract instead of the almond extract.

I have more than a French Vanilla Cake recipe.  Please check out more of my favorites below:

Easy Dessert Recipes

Cake Frosting Recipes

Cake Filling Recipes

Easy Cake Recipes

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BEST French Vanilla Cake Recipe

BEST French Vanilla Cake

"I have made this cake 3 times in the past 4 weeks and have been asked to make it again for St. Paddy's day and Easter! I should have it down to a science by then. It is simply delicious and I have received rave reviews! Thanks so much for posting what I consider to be the perfect vanilla cake recipe."  by Michelle

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"This is the best Banana Cake I have ever made. Thank you for sharing." by Elizabeth 

"I just baked this cake for the second time. My husband and I both love it!" by Nancy