Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Birthday Cake

These comments are from their cookbook: “At Magnolia we decided to make our cake not quite a traditional yellow cake or a traditional sponge cake, given the use of whole eggs in our recipe. We’re sure you’ll agree this recipe is moist, delicious and makes a beautiful layer cake or cupcakes for birthdays or any celebration. Frost with pink buttercream icing and lots of colored sprinkles as we do, and feel as though you’re at your seventh birthday party all over again!”

Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Birthday Cake


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease and lightly flour three 9 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. In mixing bowl, cream the butter until smooth *use a medium setting.
  4. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, and mix until combined
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition,
  6. Combine both types of flour and add in four parts, alternating with the milk, beating well after each addition.
  7. Divide batter among the cake pans.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  9. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
  11. If you’re making cupcakes, line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  12. Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters full.
  13. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
  14. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on a rack before icing.
  15. When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake.
  16. To make the icing – place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
  17. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.
  18. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  19. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may NOT need all of the sugar).
  20. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
  21. Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled.
  22. Can store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Comments (4)


please could you convert the cup measurements into grams or ounces please? and which milk do you use skimmed? semi skimmed/full fat? thank you


OMG - Just made these for cupcakes after my go to vanilla cake recipe did not work as cupcakes.....they are so light, fluffy and delicious!!!  And really easy to make!!  I am making my first wedding cupcakes for a friend - had buttermilk for my chocolate cupcakes, and used it in these - only change I made - no need to waste the buttermilk :)  Thank you for sharing!!