This is a small cake. I bake the cake in two small cake pans: 6×2-inch round cake pans. You could also use one 9-inch cake pan. Or if you want to make a larger cake, you can double the recipe and use two 9-inch pans. See the notes below the recipe for the larger yield. That said, I can’t say enough good things about investing in those two small cake pans. This recipe makes the perfect size cake with very few leftovers.
To make cupcakes: Be sure only to fill the cupcake holes halfway up with batter—they will overflow/not bake properly.
There are two frosting recipes below. I prefer the whipped cream-cream cheese frosting recipe, which I adapted from this Stella Park’s recipe. I use Stella’s proportions but use a different method. Find the more traditional cream cheese frosting recipe in the notes below.
for the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups (192 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup (115 g) neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
- 1 cup (215 g) sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (158 g) buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the whipped cream – cream cheese frosting (see notes below for a butter-cream cheese frosting recipe):
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 2/3 cup (140 g) heavy cream
- pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 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.
- Coat two 6-inch cake pans (or one 9-inch pan) 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 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- To make the whipped cream – cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla. Beat again until light and fluffy.
- 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.
for the cream cheese – butter frosting:
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons | 8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- confectioners’ sugar to taste (about ¾ cup)
- flaky sea salt to taste
- 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.
for a large cake (two 9-inch pans):
- 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
- Follow the instructions above, but bake in two buttered 9-inch pans for roughly 35-40 minutes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: dessert, birthday, cake, one-bowl, buttermilk