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5 from 1 vote

Perfect Vanilla Cake with the Best Chocolate Frosting Ever

I’m not kidding when I say this might be the best cake I’ve ever made! Vanilla cake with the "opposite" chocolate frosting makes the best cake for birthdays.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate buttercream, chocolate frosting, perfect vanilla cake, vanilla birthday cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 804kcal


For the cake

  • 1/2 cup skim milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla flavoring I use Wilton
  • 5 large egg whites plus 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour sifted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes (store in refrigerator until ready to use)

For the frosting

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature (plus more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 round 8-inch cake pans by brushing with homemade pan release* (goop), lining with parchment rounds and brushing on more goop.
  • Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large measuring cup, add the egg and egg whites. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Place dry ingredients in medium bowl. With an electric mixer on low, combine the dry ingredients (about 20 seconds).
  • Take the butter out of the refrigerator. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one cube at a time. Mix on low until you have achieved fine crumbs.
  • With mixer on low, add the milk, cream and vanilla mixture. Continue to mix on low for 5 minutes Then gradually add the eggs in several batches. Mix on low for 3 more minutes.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans with equal amounts in each pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (a few crumbs on toothpick is ok). DO NOT OVERBAKE! Let cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Then remove from pans and cool completely on cooling racks. Frost when cooled. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. To keep it fresh longer, store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • *Goop is homemade pan release. You can easily make it by combining 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco), 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Brush on pans to prevent sticking. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for months. Or you can use non-stick cooking spray. To cut the parchment circles, place a clean pan on top of parchment paper. Use a sharpee marker to trace the outer edge of pan onto paper. Cut with scissors.

For the frosting:

  • Place butter in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add half of the sugar and cocoa powder, then half of the cream. Beat on low until combined. Add the remaining sugar, cocoa and cream. Add vanilla. Beat on low until combined. Then turn speed up to medium high and beat for 2-3 minutes. Frosting should be creamy and slightly shiny. If it's dull looking and too thick, add a little more cream. Try 1-2 more tablespoons, then beat again on medium for about 30 seconds. Repeat, if needed.


Cake recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.com
Goop recipe adapted from Iambaker.net
Frosting recipe adapted from SallysBakingAddiction.com
Note: This recipe makes 2 layers of cake and enough frosting to fill and frost the 2 layers.


Calories: 804kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 1165IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg