One-Bowl Buttermilk Birthday Cake

One-Bowl Buttermilk Birthday Cake

  • Author: alexandra
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 20 servings


Adapted from this YouTube video, which I made years ago and loved. Here, I use oil in place of the butter and replace the lemon extract/zest/juice with vanilla.

**To make cupcakes: Be sure only to fill the cupcake holes halfway up with batter—they will overflow/not bake properly.**


for the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, whisked lightly
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

for the frosting:

  • 3 sticks (24 tablespoons | 12 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • confectioners’ sugar to taste (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • flaky sea salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Add the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
  2. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray (or butter liberally). I like to cut a round of parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of each pan. Pour half of the batter into each pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  3. Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar to taste. Add a pinch of salt. Mix again. Taste. Adjust taste as desired.
  4. To assemble, cut each cake in half crosswise, layer as follows: cake, frosting, cake, frosting, until all four layers are stacked. Frost the entire outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. Shower sprinkles over top.

  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cake, buttermilk, birthday, one-bowl