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Vanilla Butter Cake from The Mermaid Bakery

This is a scratch cake recipe that makes a cake comparable to the texture and taste of a box mix....only better. It makes a tender crumb that, when cool, carves easily, and stacks well. It's versatile too. I use it for my rum cakes, substituting 1/2 cup of rum for half of the milk, bake in a bundt pan, and then brush with a sugar/rum syrup.

Vanilla Butter Cake from The Mermaid Bakery


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature 1 Tbls white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup, at room temperature 1 tsp Creme Bouqet or 1 tsp Vanilla 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 1/4 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, put oven rack into center of oven.
  2. Grease and flour pans (9X13, 3=8", 2=9", or 1=10")
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Mix the Creme Bouqet or Vanilla into the milk. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl. Add flour to butter/sugar/eggs in two parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating well after each addition. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Comments (73)

Update to this recipe: add 1 small box of vanilla pudding and 1/2 cup more milk. I like to use the creme bouquet and the vanilla, for a nice depth of flavor. Double the recipe for a 12X18" cake layer and use a flower nail in the center.
is this good for cupcakes as in it melts in your mouth?
This is my go to butter cake.
Best butter cake I've ever made. Very yummy!
Excellent Recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I believe it is key to have all ingredients at room temp!
I have made this recipe three times, and felt the need to comment on how lovely it is when a person makes it the correct way! LOL The first two times went badly, believe it or not. BUT it was mostly my error! First, don't bake this cake too long! I had fairly large sheets to make, so I reduced the temp to 325 from 350. It resulted in the middle being concave, and the cake turned out dry due to excess baking time. I wrestled with using flower nails as heat cores, and that did help but the dryness was killing me and I wanted it to have a bit more flavor as well. Moving on, to the third time is a charm. The success came after I raised the temp to 350, and added a teaspoon of almond extract to the recipe with the vanilla. That is what really did it for me! The difference in taste is astronomical, it is moist and easy to handle/carve. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, I appreciate it SO much. Take Care! Jessie
This cake is not move until 1oo% cooled tho as it's v soft when first cooked and I broke my first one....much to my family's delight as I had to remake it whilst they scoffed the original!!
can this cake mix be simply doubled?
Regarding the almond extract...if someone has a nut allergy, can the almond extract be used? Thanks.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake for carving. I made my first carved cake stress free... well as stress free as if could get. lol. Has anyone ever made this cake into a marble cake? feedback?
Kel58, I have made this in marble, and it is so good. I just added cocoa to a portion of the batter I divided and then mixed it in. So good!
Is it possible to use Buttermilk in place of the milk and vinegar?. Rvercher23, if you don't mind sharing, how much cocoa do you add to how much of the batter?
I made this cake tonight for my Wilton class on Friday. I followed the directions exactly except I used coconut milk in place of the regular milk (still included the vinegar). And I used cake flour instead of the all purpose flour. The cake turned out wonderful...although I have not been able to taste it as it is for class. It looks like it is going to be really moist! It got a little crusty around the edges as I had to bake it a little longer to get the middle done. Will post again to let everyone know about the actual moistness and taste! :)
@Jemoiselle i also want to try adding a different flavor to my cakes but fear that i might put too much. i read somewhere that when adding flavor, the vanilla should be skipped altogether. For this recipe, did you use 1 tsp each of the vanilla and almond extract?
Okay, so I baked this cake today and everyone said it's better in terms of taste and texture compared to the yellow cake recipe i use, which agrees to most of the comments here about the cake being soft, moist, and delicious! However, a part of me says it's a bit undercooked because the center is almost wet and has no holes. another part of me says this is how it should be because when i inserted a toothpick on the thickest part of the cake, it came out clear. What do you think?
I tried this recipe. I thought it was dry, but had a good flavor. It just wasn't as moist as i'd like.
@Sherlocklui, I added the teaspoon of almond extract in addition to the vanilla teaspoon. This cake has the best taste yet, but I still wrestle with it being moist enough. I thought I had it perfected, but then my client told me it could have been more moist and I was crushed! I will go back and play with this one when I have some time to breathe, too many cakes now! LOL If anyone has an idea of why this is turning out dry for me, please let me know =) The tops were nice and moist though, hehe. I STILL recommend people try this one, it really does taste incredible.
Made this cake, loved it, but it seemed to taste a little bit "flour-y"... If i can figure out a way to get past the floury ness, it would be my favorite cake ever. Has anyone ever tried using slightly less flour? Or maybe I will try using cake flour like someone else did...hopefully i can figure it out!
hi, im wanting to try this recipe but im in uk and dont understand the cup measurements also the bouquet thing? What is this and where can i get it? I need 3 really tasty flavour cakes for my 1st wedding cake for my brother next month and would really like to try this recipe?
I baked this cake today and it result a complete success. I love the texture and flavor. It melts in your mouth. thank you for sharing. Next I am planning to try the rum version.
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