Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze

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Vanilla Cake From Scratch — Move over chocolate, because vanilla has arrived. This no mixer, easy vanilla cake is topped with a browned butter glaze that’s impossible to resist!

Vanilla Cake From Scratch

Moist Vanilla Cake From Scratch

Some of my fondest birthday cake memories growing up are of white sheet cakes with inch-thick pink frosting and big frosting roses that my mom had made for me from a local bakery. Some people avoid thick, abundant frosting, but those are the pieces I seek out.

In honor of its 125th birthday on September 28, McCormick has released a new vanilla extract, Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract, to help celebrate. McCormick marks its 125th anniversary by celebrating the role flavor plays in all of our lives, inspiring flavorful conversation, and giving back to communities around the world.

The new vanilla is 25% stronger than classic vanilla, and it’s a perfect balance between sweet caramel and bourbon-rummy flavors. For a vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and rum fanatic, it’s absolutely perfect and made this easy vanilla cake taste extra vanilla-ey.

Coupled with the same vanilla bean browned butter glaze I recently made for my Banana Bread Bars, I was in vanilla happy-land. I didn’t miss chocolate one bit as I was going to town on this moist vanilla cake.

This no mixer, easy vanilla cake recipe is adapted from my favorite buttermilk cake base that I’ve used for so many cakes. I love the cake base because it’s fast and easy to make, and the cakes always turn out supremely moist, springy, and fluffy thanks to buttermilk, sour cream, and oil. That trifecta of moisturizing and tenderizing ingredients makes it impossible to have a dry cake.

The vanilla glaze really helps make this from scratch vanilla cake recipe out-of-this-world amazing. The secrets are browned butter and glorious specks of vanilla beans. If you’ve never browned butter, don’t panic — it’s so easy! The 5 minutes it takes is the best 5 minutes you’ll spend all month.

Between the browned butter and vanilla beans seeds, the flavor just explodes from the glaze and helps boost the overall vanilla flavor profile to the next level. The glaze seeps down and soaks into the vanilla bean cake, making it even moister, softer, and richer tasting.

slice of moist vanilla cake with vanilla glaze with bite missing on a plate

Homemade Vanilla Cake Ingredients

For this vanilla cake recipe from scratch, you’ll need the following: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract

And for the browned butter vanilla glaze, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla bean paste
  • Salt
  • Cream or milk 

homemade vanilla cake slice on a white plate

How to Make Vanilla Cake From Scratch

To make the moist vanilla cake, combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in another. Using a spatula, gently stir the wet mixture into the dry. Turn the batter into a greased 8×8-inch baking pan and bake until the center is set and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Once the cake is done baking, let it cool most of the way before adding the vanilla glaze on top. 

To make the browned butter glaze, you’ll first need to cook the butter over medium-high heat until it’s amber in color. Transfer the browned butter to a large mixing bowl and add in the rest of the glaze ingredients. 

Using an electric mixer, whisk until the glaze is smooth and thick, but easily pourable. Pour the glaze onto the homemade vanilla cake and use a spatula to smooth it out, if needed. 

slices of Vanilla Cake From Scratch on white platter

Tips for the Best Vanilla Cake From Scratch

When making the vanilla cake batter, it is so important that you don’t over mix the batter. Stir the wet and dry ingredients until just combined, and no more. If you over work the batter, the cake will be dense rather than fluffy. 

Note that you should watch the butter very carefully as it browns. The only hard part about browning butter is that is goes from perfectly browned to burnt quickly. So once you begin cooking the butter do NOT move away from the stove. 

You’ll know when the butter is ready to come off the stove once it smells nutty and is amber in color. It’ll go through stages of hissing and spitting as it cooks, so don’t let that scare you! 

Lastly, the glaze recipe calls for vanilla bean paste. If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you can use the seeds from a vanilla bean pod instead or extra vanilla extract. Just use whatever you have! 

Vanilla Cake From Scratch — Move over chocolate, because vanilla has arrived. This no mixer, easy vanilla cake is topped with a browned butter glaze that's impossible to resist!

More Cake Recipes From Scratch: 

  • Homemade Funfetti Cake with Funfetti Frosting — The recipe is as close to cake mix Funfetti that I’ve been able to replicate at home. I love that stuff, but it’s nice to be able to pronounce all the ingredients and make a scratch cake in literally 5 minutes.
  • Triple Chocolate Layer Cake — This is the chocolate layer cake to beat all and the best. It’s rich, decadent, and everything you want in a chocolate cake.
  • Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake — The cake is coated with cinnamon-sugar and there’s a cinnamon-sugar filling that runs through the center of the cake that turns crunchy while the cake bakes.
  • Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake — While baking, the bananas caramelize in a butter and brown sugar bath giving the cake it’s signature glistening top. There’s so much rich browed butter and alluring caramel flavor, making the cake irresistible! 
  • Sweet Cream Vanilla Coffee Cake — The trifecta of coffee creamer, vanilla Greek yogurt, and splash of oil moisturize and tenderize the cake, and also lend a creamy, rich flavor profile.

Vanilla Cake From Scratch — Move over chocolate, because vanilla has arrived. This no mixer, easy vanilla cake is topped with a browned butter glaze that's impossible to resist!

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Yield: 8x8-inch pan

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze

Vanilla Cake Recipe You'll Love

Move over chocolate, because vanilla has arrived. This no mixer, easy vanilla cake from scratch is topped with a browned butter glaze that's impossible to resist!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, lite is okay (plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, browned*
  • 1 heaping cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste**
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • about 1/4 cup cream or milk, or as necessary for consistency

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, optional salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 29 to 32 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  6. Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool. While cake cools, make the glaze.

Make the Glaze

  1. Brown the butter. Cook butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan until it’s amber to brown in color, about 5 minutes depending on pan size, but watch it closely so you don’t burn it. I swirl the pan in the last minute or so to make sure I can really see the color changes. Butter will go through stages of hissing, sputtering, and making noise until the water cooks off at which point the browning occurs. Butter will smell nutty and aromatic.
  2. Transfer butter, including brown bits at the bottom of the pan (they’re flavor powerhouses, keep them) from pan to large mixing bowl which stops any carryover cooking.
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste, optional salt, and slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth or beat with a handheld electric mixer. As necessary, add additional cream (or confectioners’ sugar) to reach desired glaze consistency. Glaze should be of medium thickness and easily pourable.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Evenly pour glaze over cake (doesn’t have to be fully cooled), smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary, but glaze will likely just slide into place.
  2. Allow cake to cool in pan uncovered for at least 2 hours (or overnight and cover with a sheet of foil) before slicing and serving so glaze can set up.
  3. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Notes

*For more info on how to brown butter, check out this tutorial.

**Seeds from 1 large vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon McCormick Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract extract may be substituted.

Cake base adapted from my Blueberry Muffins and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake; Glaze adapted from my Fudgy Banana Bars

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

Even More Easy Cake Recipes: 

The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake — A cheery, happy cake that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face! This 100% from-scratch cake is an EASY reader favorite you’re going to love!!

The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 

Easy Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting — This is the easiest, from-scratch yellow cake and it tastes like a million bucks. This yellow cake recipe always turns out supremely moist, springy, soft and fluffy cake thanks to buttermilk, sour cream, and oil.

Easy Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Easy Glazed Pound Cake — This EASY, buttery, velvety pound cake will be the star of your next party or celebration! If you’re looking for that PERFECT pound cake recipe, this is the one!

Easy Glazed Pound Cake



About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. I’ve finally stopped eating this long enough to write a review. This cake is amazing! So moist and soft. But the frosting puts it over the edge. It has a deep, nutty, cooked flavor but isn’t too rich or overpowering. Seriously the best frosting I’ve ever had. And I also appreciate the smaller cake size. I love to bake, but hate throwing out half of a stale cake. This is the perfect size for my family of four. Plenty of servings. I would definitely double it and have it for a party. Thank you for this incredible recipe!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad you love this cake! I agree with you on the frosting and that’s is amazing. I love the browned butter flavor too! It’s great too that you appreciate the smaller size of this cake and that it’s perfect for you family!

  2. OMG!!! Sooo good!My first one I made with vanilla and second time I added cocoa powder. Turned out very-very good! Yummy! And so easy to make! Thank you very much! Now this is one of my favorite recipes.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you made this two ways and that it’s one of your favorite recipes!

  3. I made this cake today. I actually doubled the recipe & baked it in 9×13 pan. In my convection oven, it was done in 30 minutes. It is very good & I will keep this recipe for future use.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that it doubled great for you and you’ll save the recipe!

  4. Very moist and so-vanilla-ish, loved it! And really easy to make. I stored it in the fridge as we enjoy cool cake when temperatures start soaring. I have a question, sometimes when I bake with oil it tastes a bit strongly; I do use neutral oils like canola, could it be because the oil is rancid?

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad it was really easy to make!

      Yes to your oil question, likely means it has gone bad.

  5. I’ve made this cake many times. I sometimes leave the glaze off and serve with fresh fruit and and homemade whipped cream. It’s a no fail recipe. Simply delish! Just the right size as it is always gone the evening it’s baked. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that this is a no-fail recipe for you that’s always devoured the evening it’s baked!

  6. Is there a reason for using AP flour vs. cake flour? I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I’m wondering if cake flour would make it even better or just not work as well with the glaze. I checked the replies & your FAQ’s but I didn’t see this addressed. Thank you :)

    1. I have only made it with AP flour so cannot say how cake flour would work and if you’d have to change the amount or anything else. Many people do not have cake flour on hand so I try to use ingredients that are the most common, for the most amount of people.

  7. Averie!!! Do you think I can use this recipe for cupcakes? Going to top off with some fluffy, piped buttercream. Thanks!

  8. I really want to try this for my husband’s birthday next week, but I need it doubled it for a crowd. Does it double easily? Do I adjust the baking time?

    Thank you!

    1. You will probably be fine but I have not personally tried it so cannot say for sure from firsthand experience.

  9. I made this vanilla cake and glaze recipe today for my birthday cake! It really was lovely and we all enjoyed it. I love white cake and this was so much better than all those recipes creaming butter and sugar in the Kitchen Aid and separating all those eggs. This cake was delicious and so so simple to bake. I also appreciate that this makes a small cake, rather than a big layer cake. We got 6 good size servings and no leftovers, which is what I wanted.

    1. Glad you loved this cake and I totally agree…so much simpler than creaming butter and sugar and separating eggs! I am glad you enjoyed the smaller size, too. Happy birthday!

  10. Made this cake for my husband’s birthday this week and it was a big hit. SO good. I may make it for my book group next week… Just one question. What is the purpose of lining the pan with foil before spraying with cooking spray?

  11. Hi. I have a question for you. Does the glaze seep through the cake or did mine come out too thin? Either way, the taste of the cake & glaze is amazing!

    1. Mine wasn’t that thin that it seeped through a ton; a little yes but not tons. You can just add more powdered sugar next time to firm it up, to taste. Glad you loved the recipe!

      1. Hmmm…I need to perfect the glaze. Sounds like a great excuse to make it again in the near future. ; )

      2. Hi Averie, this receipe just hit my inbox!  Do you have a biscoff icing recipe that you can share to go with this cake & do you think the two flavours would taste good?  I know browned butter is amazing but I have this obsession with biscoff at the moment!  Thanks 😊 

      3. I think Biscoff icing would be delicious on this although the browned butter glaze is seriously one of my faves of all time! I haven’t ever made a Biscoff icing. It has such a thick texture you’d have to combine it with something to thin it, but it’s already sweet-ish so the sugar is also a consideration. I would consult Google. BUT…please first just try this cake once with the glaze I recommend. It’s sooo perfect for this cake!

    1. It could become a bit too salty for some people’s tastes but use your judgment if you think it will work for you.

  12. “1 tablespoon McCormick Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract extract may be substituted”

    That sounds like a lot of vanilla extract! I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than one or two teaspoons in a recipe before. I guess if we add that much liquid extract, it’s probably better to go easy on the milk?

    Anyway, I’m really excited to try this recipe! I remembered this light brown glaze from cakes my grandmother used to make, but I had no idea what it was called or how it was made. And then I stumble on this recipe: this is it! Browned butter!

    You can be sure I’ll be baking this cake very, very soon!

    1. 1 tbsp = 3 tsp

      So if you feel like adding 1, 2, or 3 tsp go with what sounds best to you. The point is that it’s a VANILLA cake so I want it really vanilla-ey but do what you think is best. Enjoy!

  13. Hi Averie! 

    I want to make this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday this weekend. I’m planning on using the vinegar + milk combination for the buttermilk, but do you know whether using skim milk would change anything? 

    1. Since it’s a birthday cake and you have time to run to the store, buy the buttermilk. It will give you a better overall result. The vinegar and milk trick is great in a pinch but nothing can replace buttermilk in my opinion. And skim milk…meh…not really the best milk to bake with as it’s so thin. Again, go pick up that buttermilk :)

  14. Hi there Averie!
    this has been a favorite recipe for a while now and i’m making a layer cake for a party tomorrow. Tonight I made 4x the frosting and had the odd experience of the butter kind of separating from the frosting. I’ve never had this problem the other times I’ve made the frosting… I used unsalted butter and forgot to add a pinch of salt, and I’m wondering if that might have something to do with it? I’m so bummed bc it was a whole cup of butter and I really need to have a nice frosting for the cake tomorrow. I’m just wondering if you might have any explanation for this? thank you!

    1. Sometimes you can actually overwhip butter and sugar and it can separate and become a bit loose and runny. I haven’t had it happen often but over the years, yes, it’s happened. I think you were maybe just a bit too zealous in your whipping and next time make sure to stop before it gets to that point.

  15. I pinned this so long ago and finally found the perfect occasion to make it. I’m wondering how you think this would turn out cooked in a bundt pan? The pourable glaze gave me the idea. Any thoughts on whether it would work/cooking time if so?

    1. If you do make it as a Bundt, it will be a ‘short’ Bundt if your Bundt is standard sized, usually about 9-10 cups, because there’s just not that much batter to make a big, tall Bundt. Baking time will probably be reduced but I haven’t tried so can’t speak to results for sure.

      1. I doubled the recipe and made it in a bundt pan. It was delicious, but the real winner is the brown butter glaze. It’s like crack.

  16. Hi! Your cake looks really delicious. I really want to try it. Can I substitute sour cream or greek yogurt with just regular plain yogurt? Thanks!

    1. I actually did just this recently. I didn’t have sour cream or greek yogurt, but i had trader joes whole milk european yogurt and it turned out great! in fact, I won the baking competition at a class with that cake! I didn’t have the buttermilk either btw, and used milk + vinegar. all was well!

      1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you given all the substitutions and that you won the baking comp with my recipe!

  17. Wonderful recipe again! Too bad we can’t find this excuisite vanilla extract in the Netherlands, as I would love to use it. I’ll stick with my regular vanilla extract for now.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you with the kind of vanilla you used!

  18. Hi there. I want to try and triple the recipe for the vanilla cake and make a layer cake with it. Do you think it is sturdy enough for stacking?

    Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried it that way but I believe others have mentioned doing so in the comments so I think you will be fine, although I cannot vouch for this personally.

  19. Hi there! I love this cake recipe, and have also made the lemon version. Yum! I am wondering if you have a chocolate version because my house is full of chocophiles and it seems like it would make a delicious chocolate cake!

  20. Pinned and tried this cake last night and it was so easy and tastes awesome! I didn’t make the glaze but will definitely try it next time, thanks for this amazing recipe!

    1. Thanks for pinning and trying the cake and glad it came out great for you and the glaze is just so good! Hope you can make that next time but glad you liked the cake even without it!

  21. I stumbled upon your recipe for this cake and loved your picture and thought I’d give it a try. Well, I have now made it 5 times in 4 days. That’s right, twice in one day!! It is truly divine!

    1. Oh that is AMAZING!! Thanks for trying the recipe (5 times in 4 days!!) and I’m glad it came out great for you and that it’s a keeper!

      And I wish I had your metabolism :)

  22. This cake looks delicious!! I’m hoping to make this later this week. Quick question…how well would it bake on a half sheet pan? Would I just need to double the recipe and keep the same time and temp?

  23. You had me at Vanilla!! Making this cake right now and my house smells amazing!! I can’t wait to try it in a few hours looks DELICIOUS!!!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and hoping it came out great for you! Sounds like the smell was incredible and a good sign things were going well :)

  24. Just made this for a birthday cake for an elderly lady next door! Needed something I had everything for and smallish…..Looks wonderful and was very easy. I’m sure she will love!!!

    1. You are a doll for baking for your elderly neighbor! She will love it, no doubt! And glad that it came together easily and with what you had on hand!

  25. This cake looks amazing. I have had browned butter on pasta, but never in a dessert. I canNOT wait to try this out soon.

  26. Wow this looks amazing! Great flavor combinations.. I’ve never tried Vanilla Paste before but use a lot of Vainillin (or vanilla concentrate powder) in my desserts… I will definitely try it to see the flavor difference.
    I love the fact that this keeps at room temperature so you can serve it during get togethers.

  27. Hi!
    There is no end to your genius is there?

    Can you imagine all of San Diego just WAITING in line if you had a bakery there? OMG, you would be so famous with zero doubt.

    :) I made this cake this evening in happy honor of buying vanilla paste for the first time. OMG, that stuff is so strong (I mean the scent). I like the specks in the final product. And the cake is so moist and full of flavor. This month I have made at least 7 of your recipes.

    The thing I still want to make (hopefully by this year) is your french silk-chocolate pie. :) enjoy your weekend

    1. Glad you were able to break in your vanilla bean paste with this cake and that it cake out great for you!

      Thank you for making SEVEN recipes of mine in one month! You’re about to be baking more than I am here any day now :)

      That French Silk Pie is actually easy. You just pretty much turn on your mixer for 20-25 minutes and walk away (coming back to add an egg every 5 mins) and that’s it! So.worth.it! LMK if you try!

  28. I just made this cake last night and had my first piece this morning and it turned out delicious! The only thing I’m a bit unsure about is if I made the glaze correctly.. It seems to be Oily/greasy and not as solid as I was expecting . It was the first time I’ve made a glaze so I wasn’t really sure what the consistency was supposed to be like before it set. I did think it looked a little runny in the end but it seemed just sweet enough so I didn’t want to keep adding powdered sugar to it to make it thicker. I used my hand mixer and the sugar and butter was kind of separating after mixing it for a while. Maybe I browned the butter wrong or should use less of it next time?

    1. It seems to be Oily/greasy and not as solid as I was expecting = that means you have too much butter for the amount of sugar added, more than likely. I suspect you didn’t brown the butter long enough and there was still more water present than maybe I had since it didn’t cook off as much OR you could have added more sugar, or both. Even just 1/2 cup more sugar wouldn’t make it that much sweeter per se, but definitely would have helped it firm up. And/or don’t add any cream/milk next time. Quite a few ways to get around that issue.

      But overall, glad you loved the cake!

      1. Thanks for the advice! Will try more sugar next time I use this glaze. Leaving the milk out will also help a lot I think, but would omitting it do anything to the flavor?

  29. I always seek out that thick abundant frosting too!! ;) I just love this cake, Averie! That glaze, swoon!! Pinned!

  30. Oh my, this recipe looks heavenly! I think that’s the best looking vanilla cake I’ve ever seen! I’m loving everything about this recipe, cakes with sour cream are always my favorite & I am a huge vanilla fan! Now I can’t wait to try the new McCormick Vanilla, I didn’t even know about it. Pinned it!

  31. I made this cake today and it was really good! I used an Ugandan vanilla bean and vanilla sugar in the cake batter instead of regular sugar and extract. It was delicious! So moist and had such an awesome flavor! I used the same kind of vanilla bean in the glaze, but I’ve never browned butter before and was so paranoid about burning it and I think I did it wrong, but the cake itself was so good that I ate it by itself!! I love your website. I’m really glad I found it! Your recipes are wonderful!

    1. With browned butter, if you do happen to burn it, the worst that can happen is you start over. You’re out 5-10 minutes and 1 stick of butter – not a huge deal. So glad you love the cake regardless but if you browned the butter sufficiently, you would know. It’s just THAT good. That much of a difference, it’s like ahh, THIS is it. You will know :) I say try again as a test batch. There’s no harm in having a little extra frosting laying around is my thought process! ha!

  32. Vanilla cake is my absolute favorite, however I feel like others feel its too boring.
    This looks like a delicious and decadent vanilla creation. Nothing better than real vanilla bean!

  33. I’m hoping to make this cake in the next few days. I was wondering what type of vanilla bean you would recommend to use for this (I went crazy on Beanilla and bought some of every kind)?

  34. I made this cake today and half of it is already gone… I have never tried a recipe with browned butter before but I can definitely say that won’t be the last time.
    The cake itself is light and airy yet filled with intense vanilla flavor. It’s a keeper!

    1. Thanks for trying the cake so soon after I posted it and glad it’s a keeper for you and already half gone on baking day, that’s great :) And yes, browned butter is so amazing, isn’t it!

  35. Fabulous cake! And that frosting – OMG! I have never made browned butter frosting but now I will!!! :)

  36. This is the QUEEN of vanilla cakes! That glaze in particular looks SO luscious and complex and perfect!

  37. I want to drink this glaze, browned butter and vanilla! Sounds like a match made in heaven :)

  38. Hi, im always on the lookout for a perfect vanilla cake and i think ive found it! This cake looks and sounds absolutely delicious, i cant wait to try it. Quick scientific question though, how come theres no baking soda in this recipe? It has both buttermilk and sour cream so im just curious as to why its just baking powder.. i know u probably get bombarded with scientific questions, hope its not a bother but i have a not so good history with baking soda :) so i love how this recipe is without..
    I must say that i absolutely love ur blog, it just makes me happy everytime i visit your site. Ur photos are awesome! :)

    1. It’s a complex question and in cakes and muffins that I want slightly lighter and fluffier, I will use a little baking powder. I am generally not a fan since it can be drying and do lean more on baking soda but this cake has been tried and tested as I’ve used this cake base in at least 10 other cake adaptations on my blog (except I’ve never made it as just a ‘basic vanilla’ cake til now) and it comes out perfectly, every time. And all my readers love this base in my other cakes that use it that I linked in the post. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks! Ive already bought the ingredients for this cake and cant wait to get it in the oven :) i cant find buttermilk here in Kuwait so will be using the milk/white vinegar substitue (reason for my baking soda concern with acidity) cant wait to see the end result :)

      2. IF you can’t find buttermilk but you have yogurt (thick or Greek yogurt is best), you can also do that, too. I would say about 1/4 cup yogurt and about 1/4 milk and that should be fine, too!

      3. Hey Averie, just had to come back and say that the cake was absolutely delicious! I used yoghurt/ milk as u suggested since i couldnt find buttermilk and it worked great. Best vanilla cake ever!! Thanks for the recipe :)

      4. Thanks for saying it’s the best vanilla cake ever and glad everything worked out great for you!

  39. I love vanilla over chocolate. Crazy right? And that extract? Sounds amazing, must find it soon :) PINNED>

    1. When it comes to certain things, I will always pick vanilla! Like a vanilla milkshake, ice cream, etc ALWAYS over chocolate!

  40. OMG I can’t believe it took me all day to get here. I could have used this cake for breakfast, that’s for sure. The second I read the title my mouth was watering. Vanilla is my most favorite flavor!! I need to try that extract. And brown butter. OMG you’re killing me…

  41. I just got over my fear of making brown butter to try this…! It does change so quickly but I caught it in time – your pictures were very useful – thanks! It’s now setting and looks like a huge, delicious slab of fudge! Can’t wait to try, the glaze is incredible.

    1. Glad you got over your fear and honestly, there is a short window where even thought browned butter may seem burnt, it’s not. I actually push it wayyyyy to the edge of that limit. As you get more used to it, you’ll be able to tell, too. The longer you go, the more flavor. It gets better every 10-seconds you can milk it on the heat :) Enjoy the cake!!

  42. Word. Part of me is ecstatic to find these delicious recipes, the other part of me, is like, wow… wedding dress, awesome recipes… first world problems.

    I am loving everything that you are doing here and it is constantly tempting me to do more baking myself!

    Sincerely, Shelbi

    http://WWW.SINCERELYSHELBI.COM

      1. I bet it was the shrimp and corn dip. OMG. That dip is out of this world, too! Thanks, Averie!

  43. Looks amazing! I absolutely adore brown butter glaze, and I bet with the super powered vanilla extract it would be even better!

  44. Simple but so perfect. Not sure if I want to eat these with the last of the summer stone fruit or with some fall apples. Yum.

  45. Everyone thinks vanilla is a nothing flavor. I completely disagree. It’s recipes like this that take vanilla to the next level! I can just taste it now…

  46. This cake looks incredible, Averie! I absolutely love the vanilla flavors! And that brown butter glaze sounds amazing! Pinned!

  47. This cake is just too pretty Averie! As for me, thick and abundant frosting is my bread and butter. And this vanilla bean brown butter glaze – holy yum! Can’t wait to try the new extract :) Pinned!

  48. Who the hell are these people who avoid thick and abundant frosting?!!? Those sheet cakes were staples in my house at birthdays, and the prized piece, the piece you were guaranteed to get if it was your birthday, was the corner piece with all the extra frosting and that cluster of roses.

    While I’m not the biggest cake fan, vanilla trumps chocolate in cakes, always.

    Those vanilla flecks….YUM.

  49. All I had to hear was ‘brown butter’! Love it so much. Visually, this cake looks so pretty and elegant too. I did not know that about the new extract! Thanks for sharing!

  50. Oh that glaze! Amazing! And good to know about McCormick’s new vanilla extract. I’m going to have to try it!

  51. I LOVE how light and airy these photos are! But what I love more is this vanilla bean and brown butter combo you’ve got going on…I think I may just have to throw out my oatmeal and eat this for breakfast….I need to get my hands on that vanilla! Pinned!

  52. yum! I love all the vanilla going on in here. Its in every layer and brings out the best of the moist cake and the texture. Pinning this now!

  53. You have some amazing light at your house! I love how everyone of your pictures looks so bright:) I’m guilty of picking the pieces of cake with the most frosting, then only eating the top half of the cake… This cake is perfect for someone like me who isn’t huge into chocolate!

  54. This is going to go viral, Averie! Gorgeous cake! I need to find McCormick’s new vanilla! Pinned!

  55. I still seek out those corner pieces for the extra frosting! This is a yummy looking cake and I love the extra hit of flavor in the glaze with the vanilla bean. I think I’ve mentioned my extensive extract and flavoring collection so I’ll have to be on the look out for McCormick ‘s extra rich vanilla. I love trying out new products in the kitchen.

  56. Thick gobs of frosting are definitely my thing. I also had sheet cakes growing up, with lots of fond memories!
    Can’t wait to try the new vanilla. This looks so good!

  57. Holy yum this cake looks so good…I love the black specks in the frosting from the vanilla bean paste..it looks like it has maximum vanilla flavor. I love how you shot it on a white dish making the whole shoot seem like vanilla.

  58. Wonderful recipe again! Too bad we can’t find this excuisite vanilla extract in the Netherlands, as I would love to use it. I’ll stick with my regular vanilla extract for now.