Vanilla Dream Cake*

Vanilla Dream Cake (recipe via Dream Cake (recipe via

Can you believe that I have made five dream cakes before I got around to a Vanilla version??  You would think Vanilla would have been one of the first, but Vanilla was hard y’all! To qualify as a dream cake, it had to be moist…and a moist vanilla cake was near impossible.

I made three versions of this cake before I finally figured out the ratios. Surprisingly, it is based off the chocolate dream cake version — you know the one that has a whole 2 cups of water in it. Between two cups of water and the use of both butter and oil, I promise you this Vanilla Dream Cake will live up to the other dream cakes!

Vanilla Dream Cake (recipe via

I made a very classic vanilla buttercream recipe to frost this cake with. If you wanted to have some fun, you could always add a flavored fruit filling or put some almond extract into the frosting. I wanted to keep this classic and simple, vanilla on vanilla. I did dress it up a little with some Sparkling Sugar (the confetti colored one) just around the edges.

I know that the color of the vanilla cake is pretty yellow, but that’s from all my homemade vanilla extract! If you want the whitest cake possible, make sure and use the clear colored vanilla (found at places like Michaels). I was looking for flavor – not the perfect white color!

And lastly, this cake calls for a Vanilla Bean. I buy my vanilla beans from Beanilla – they have great prices on large amounts of vanilla beans (or small amounts too). Since I use them often and make my own vanilla extract, I like to buy a lot of them at once. I like the Madagascar ones the best. ;-)


UPDATE: If you read the comments, you will see that some people LOVE this cake and some people have issues. I remade this cake over the weekend and had the exact same results. I do not know why some people would be getting different results. Possibly high altitude? Baker error? Or maybe this cake is possessed? Either way, fair warning that this recipe apparently doesn’t turn out perfect for everyone.



Vanilla Dream Cake


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 large eggs

Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 3 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted.

Let cool for 5 minutes and then whisk in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and the scrapings from the vanilla bean. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don't cook). Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch - then frost.

Vanilla Buttercream:

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Increase speed to medium and add vanilla extract. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting is too thick, add remaining 1 tablespoon of milk.

To assemble:

Assemble the 2 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop the cake into the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.

Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge if not serving within the next couple of hours. Let cake come to room temperature before serving (let cake sit on counter for about 30 minutes before serving to warm up!).

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206 Responses to “Vanilla Dream Cake”

  1. 1

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — August 28, 2013 @ 3:03 am

    I think I’m going to start asking for vanilla beans for my birthday. These cake looks like a dream, for sure.

  2. 2

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 28, 2013 @ 3:27 am

    When I saw the title, I was like, whoa she’s at it again. Love all your dream cakes!

    I make my own homemade vanilla too but for clear vanilla, most groc stores carry it under the ‘clear imitation vanilla extract’ name right along next to all the vanillas. I’ve researched it, and studied it, and searched for it, and I’ve never seen clear REAL vanilla. It’s all imitation, which is how they get it to stay clear.s But that may save you a trip to Michael’s!


    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      I’m so glad to know that! I figured it was all imitation – but it’s good to know for sure. I will be sticking with my homemade extract…I’m all about the real vanilla flavor! ;-)

  3. 3

    Kathryn — August 28, 2013 @ 5:27 am

    What a perfect light & fluffy cake!

  4. 4

    mom — August 28, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    Loved this cake!!! So moist and full of flavor!! Thank you for sharing with me and my co-workers!

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      You’re welcome, Mama! :-)

  5. 5

    Christina — August 28, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    This cake is so beautiful. Heavenly. I can’t get over how fluffy and moist it looks. Wishing I had a piece for breakfast right now.

  6. 6

    Sues — August 28, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    I’m kind of just still obsessed with the idea of a dream cake. I used to have no interest in vanilla, but the older I get, the more in love with it I become. This is beautiful!

  7. 7

    Tieghan — August 28, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Dream cakes?? What!

    I am heading back through all your post to fin ever dream cake there is!! This is incredible and could not come at a better time. I am in need of the perfect birthday cake and I would say a dream cake it the one! So pretty and so dreamy!

  8. 8

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — August 28, 2013 @ 8:40 am

    So many dream cakes! This recipe is lovely!

  9. 9

    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — August 28, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    It looks so inviting. I prefer cake over pie any day!!

  10. 10

    Vanessa — August 28, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Awesome!!! I asked you to do this in the survey and my wish was granted!!!! You are FABULOUS!! :)) I cannot wait to try it!

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

      You are one of like 10 people who asked for a Vanilla Dream Cake! Haha! This one is for all of you! ;-)

  11. 11

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — August 28, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    I had no idea “dream cake” was an actual thing and not just a phrase about a cake being dreamy. Although from the description of what a dream cake has to be in order to be called that, I would dream about it haha.

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

      Well I don’t know about it being an actual thing, but it is here on this blog. The Banana Dream Cake started it all in motion.

      Now I’m always working on recipes for super moist layered cakes…because in this blog – that’s a Dream Cake. ;-)

  12. 12

    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — August 28, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    I think I’m in love with this DREAM CAKE! I like this vanilla version.

  13. 13

    Lindsey — August 28, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    Such a PRETTY cake! I am very tempted to make this one although I have steered away from baking cakes so far due to fear of them being dry.

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

      I promise you this cake is NOT dry!

  14. 14

    Laura Dembowski — August 28, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    This cake looks awesome! I have never made a cake using that method, but I can’t wait to try it.

  15. 15

    Zainab — August 28, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    I’m in love with all your dream cakes!! I guessed almond last night when I saw the sneak peek but vanilla sounds a lot better!! Have to try your recipe.

  16. 16

    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — August 28, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    This looks so DREAMY! Definitely lives up to its name!

  17. 17

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — August 28, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Ooh, this cakes looks so amazingly…moist. Yep, I said it. And delicious too! I am a chocoholic, but I gotta say, sometimes there’s nothing like a slice of vanilla cake.

  18. 18

    Amanda — August 28, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    This looks amazing Jess!!! I have never been able to make a good buttercream frosting :(

  19. 19

    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — August 28, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

    Looks AMAZING!!! Add a little raspberry filling to the center and you are speaking my language!!! I think I’ll make this for my Sis in-laws shower! :)

  20. 20

    Ann — August 28, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    I plan to bake this tonight but have 2 questions, do I alter the amount of vanilla extract if I don’t have a vanilla bean and your frosting directions mention 3 layers not 2 . How many cake pans should I use? Thanks.

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

      Oops! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I made it in two layers and corrected the recipe to say that. But you can make it into 3 layers if you would rather – the cake layers will just need a little less time to bake.

      And yes, I would double the amount of vanilla in the cake if you are not going to use a vanilla bean!

  21. 21

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — August 28, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    So pretty!! Love the rainbow sugars! I definitely want a giant slice of this baby.

  22. 22

    Be Sweet! Make this Amazing Vanilla Dream Cake | Be Inspired! — August 28, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    […] for directions: […]

  23. 23

    Ashley — August 28, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    This looks fantastic! Could you make them into cupcakes?

    • Jessica replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

      I’m sure they would be great as cupcakes! Just watch the baking time! :-)

  24. 24

    cassie — August 28, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    So gorgeous, Jessica. Well done on this one!

  25. 25

    Abby — August 28, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    I’m so curious! Why do you use water instead of milk or buttermilk for the cake?

    I’m a baker at a cupcake shop and the only way we’ve worked out a delicious straight up vanilla cake is with buttermilk (and oil of course… definitely an important ingredient for super soft cake).

    I’ve seen water lots for chocolate cakes, but never vanilla!

    • Jessica replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

      I wish I had a really good answer for you…but to be honest? I just liked it that way. I have been working on a vanilla dream cake for over a year and I tried buttermilk and milk many times. It was just never…”right” for a dream cake.

      So I decided to give it a go using the chocolate cake method. And I was really happy with the results and overall texture – so I just went with it! ;-)

  26. 26

    Joanne — August 28, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    I made that chocolate dream cake for a friend’s birthday a few weeks ago and it was out of this world good! The perfect cake. Seriously. So if this is based off of that…I need it.

  27. 27

    Liz — August 28, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    It looks so so moist!! I was about to comment asking if you thought the recipe would work well for cupcakes, but I see others have already asked. Great to know!

  28. 28

    Beth @ bethcakes — August 29, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    I love all your Dream Cakes! You should have a cookbook of just those. :) This cake looks so fluffy and I love those sprinkles! Beautiful.

  29. 29

    Sara — August 29, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    This looks delicious!! I will definitely need to try this out. I have a question though – is a dream cake something particular or is it just what you’ve called these cakes? Google wasn’t too helpful haha

    • Jessica replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

      It’s just something I started naming my layered cakes. To me, a “Dream Cake” is a super moist, decadent layered cake!

  30. 30

    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — August 29, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

    My mouth instantly watered when I saw this!! I can almost smell it too. :)

  31. 31

    Andrea — August 29, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    This is gorgeous! So glad to stumble upon your blog!

  32. 32

    Nikki @Seeded at the Table — August 30, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    THAT’S IT!!! I’m dropping everything and making all 5 dream cakes now! (Oh, that would be a dream come true!) ;) Honestly, though, I’m ready to finally make one of them and will probably start with this!

  33. 33

    Jessica — September 2, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    I made this cake into cupcakes for a party over the weekend and they turned out fabulous! As usual Jessica your recipe was a hit, everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jessica replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

      Yahoo! I’m so happy to hear it!! :-)

  34. 34

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  35. 35

    Karen Feutz — September 4, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    Sounds “dreamy”. Will be making this for a friends 40th birthday this weekend. Can hardly wait to taste it. I love the look of those sprinkles. Where did you find them?

  36. 36

    Nutmeg Nanny — September 6, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    This cake is definitely a dream :) I love it, it looks perfectly sweet and so pretty!

  37. 37

    Becki — September 7, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    My dream cake is in the oven as I type. Baking this lovely for my mother’s 61st birthday. I’m anxious to see how all this water business turns out. Thank you for your hard work and for sharing this sweet cake. I can tell this recipe is going to be around for awhile…

  38. 38

    Karen Feutz — September 7, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    I am extremely disappointed in this cake…sorry!! I followed the directions exactly as written but the cake did not release from the pan…it stuck. You only indicated to butter the pan which I did. Should it have been floured too? You did not put that in the directions. When I am making something for the first time I follow the recipe exactly. Also, the flavor wasn’t as vanilla tasting as I thought it would be. I tasted sugar more than vanilla. Also, I felt the cake was too wet. Never thought I would say that a cake was too moist but this one is. Will not be serving this to my friend for his birthday…will go back to my trusted Vanilla Bean Poundcake.

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

      Hi Karen! I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I only buttered the pan and didn’t need flour.

      I have received some other comments below of people loving it. It must just not be for everyone!

  39. 39

    Angela DeRubbio — September 8, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    OMG…my 12 year old daughter made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday party… it was absolutely THE most moist and delicious cake we’ve ever had… rave reviews from our friends and not a crumb left to speak of…. definitely my go to recipe from now on… thanks for posting this recipe!!!

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

      So happy to hear it Angela!! ;-) And Happy belated Birthday to your husband!

  40. 40

    Randi — September 12, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    Hello!!! I’m SOOOO excited to make this recipe! I have one question! I want to make a Bungalow cake with is one layer of vanilla cake and one layer or chocolate cake (fresh strawberries, bananas and whip cream and frosted in whip cream) Would I be able to take half of the batter and add cocoa powder to it or would that mess it up at all?

    Thanks Jessica!!

    • Jessica replied: — September 12th, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

      Hi Randi, this cake is based off of the chocolate version. The cake is easily divided so you can make just one layer. I would suggest you make a half recipe of the Vanilla and a half recipe of the chocolate. That way, you don’t have to worry about adding too much or too little cocoa powder.

      Here is the chocolate dream cake recipe:

  41. 41

    Kathy — September 13, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    I have it in the oven right now…

  42. 42

    Leslie — September 14, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    Hello:) im going to make this cake today and i bought the vanilla bean, theres two in a little jar but it says it contains one vanilla bean. Do i use the scrapings from one of them or both? Thanks!:)

    • Jessica replied: — September 17th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

      That’s strange! I wonder why it would say 1 and have two in it? Does it look like the bean has been cut in half? If you think it has been cut in half – use both. If it appears there are two whole vanilla beans in the jar – just use one.

      Hope you enjoy the cake!

  43. 43

    ErinsFoodFiles — September 17, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

    This looks delicious!

  44. 44

    kena — September 19, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

    Hi!!! i have cook almost all your dream cakes!!! LOVE THEM!!! so so so so good!!!! i’m wondering if you have a carrot cake recipe???? :D hope to have news from you!! your biggest fan from Mexico!!! :D

  45. 45

    Amna — October 1, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    Vanilla Dream Cake just in time for my husband’s up coming birthday! I’ve previously tried your Banana Dream Cake recipe for my own birthday and it was one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten! One question regarding this vanilla dream cake recipe, should I place the baked cake in the freezer right after baking as in the other Dream cake recipes? Or should I just cool it on a wire rack at room temperature?

    • Jessica replied: — October 3rd, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

      This cake doesn’t need to go into the freezer! Yay for one less step! :-) I just let it cool on a wire rack!

  46. 46

    charlene — October 1, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    Your vanilla dream cake looks awesome! Can’t wait to try this. However
    when you mention in the directions to beat the eggs in quickly do you mean with a mixer or by hand?

    • Jessica replied: — October 3rd, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

      I do it by hand! One less thing to clean! :-)

  47. 47

    Jennifer Williams — October 20, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    ummm Dream cake noooo more like nightmare cake…….Dry and lacks flavor…taste like dry cornbread with a hint of vanilla

  48. 48

    Susie — October 28, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

    I made this cake for my husbands birthday today. We all LOVED it! He requested I now make all the other Dream cakes. First up – Pumpkin!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

  49. 49

    Lebo — November 1, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    Hi, first of all thank you for sharing. I have a question. Is the batter suppose to be watery/ runny? How big a cake is this batter for?

    • Jessica replied: — November 4th, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

      Hi Lebo,

      Yes it is very runny! It does bake into a cake though – I promise. ;-)

      And it makes a two layer 8 inch cake.

  50. 50

    Terry — November 3, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    I made this batter exactly as written and I agree with the last comment – it was runny like soup! I ended up adding 2 more cups flour and another egg…it’s in the oven right now, hope I have managed to salvage it…

  51. 51

    Terry — November 3, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

    Sorry to say I had to throw the cake out…wonder if there is a typo with the amount of water or flour?

    • Jessica replied: — November 4th, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

      Hi Terry – after reading your comment above, I can tell you your issue was adding more flour and another egg. I make this cake exactly as written above. Yes the batter is very runny (it has 2 whole cups of water in it!), but I promise it bakes up to a perfect cake!

  52. 52

    Sharon Athanasiou — November 3, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    HI! Can I use this to make cupcakes too?

    • Jessica replied: — November 4th, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

      I have not done it myself, but some readers commented above saying it worked for them!

  53. 53

    Sharon Athanasiou — November 4, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

    Thanks Jessica!! I am going to try this! Would you know approx offhand how many cupcakes I can expect to make of these? (regular size cupcakes)

    • Jessica replied: — November 11th, 2013 @ 11:06 am

      Hi Sharon, I have never made them as cupcakes so don’t know for sure, but my guess would be somewhere around 30 cupcakes!

  54. 54

    Tammy — November 12, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    This batter never turned into a decent cake for me and I tried twice. Very runny. I followed the directions exactly. I do have a countertop stove though. Not sure if that has anything to do with it because I have had an issue before. Any suggestions on what I could be doing wrong??

    • Jessica replied: — November 18th, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

      Hey Tammy,

      The batter is definitely supposed to be runny, but it should have baked up with no problems. I have no experience with a counter top stove, so I don’t know if that could have caused the issue. However, if it just didn’t bake up (rise) I would check to see how fresh your baking soda & powder are. Maybe that was the issue!

      I am so sorry it didn’t work out for you. I really hate wasted ingredients!

  55. 55

    Regina P — November 16, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    I just made this cake and while bake, the center cooked up kind of looking like a brain! Is that supposed to happen? The outer part of the cake is a pretty golden brown but the center now looks browner?!?! Any idea on that? Or is it normal, i haven’t tried it yet, it’s still cooling :)

  56. 56

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    […] and I was determined not to serve him dry cake. I scoured the trusty interwebz and came across this gem of a recipe. I was surprised to find that the ingredients and directions were both very simple and […]

  57. 57

    thasni — November 19, 2013 @ 2:03 am

    hi jessica….
    am a home baker n usually frost ma cake in rich’s whipping cream…though i have few good vanilla butter cake recipes… turns out to b dry n hard after frosting n refrigeration(am i supposed to serve it after one hour or so?) .haven’t tried out ur recipe yet.,l b trying it today…do u suggest soaking it in simple sugar syrup b4 refrigerating it or u can assure me it l b fluffy n moist straight frm fridge?have got a big bday cake to make…..can i double this recipe?

  58. 58

    Sharon — November 19, 2013 @ 11:57 am

    Hi, sorry to say as well that I also had some trouble with this cake… It baked up perfectly, I followed the recipe exactly, but it tastes very eggy to me, and I can’t taste vanilla at all. Just overpowering egg taste. I added two eggs as directed, so the only thing I can possible think I did wrong is not giving the liquid more time to cool before beating in eggs? They didn’t look cooked when I did it and my liquid was warm but not hot. I used large organic free range eggs. Maybe 5 min isn’t long enough for mine. Do you suppose that’s why it tastes.. And smells! Like eggs! I did double the vanilla because I didn’t have a bean. :( thanks anyway! I’ll have to try again sometime.

  59. 59

    Toya — November 19, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    I just made this recipe and cut it in half for cupcakes. They came out moist but eggy. When I made the batter it was very running as if it needed a little more flour. I was wondering are the cups of flour packed? Or is this recipe just not meant for cupcakes?

  60. 60

    Jeannie — November 20, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

    Hi! My cake came over beautiful and super moist! However, I had no vanilla bean on hand, so I doubled the amt of vanilla…and it’s vanilla over kill! I used madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, how much should I have used? Also, if I make the cake in advance, can it be refrigerated if wrapped in saran wrap and still be tasty? Thanks for this amazing recipe!

    • Jessica replied: — November 25th, 2013 @ 11:12 am

      Next time just use half the vanilla if you are using vanilla extract. It’s a lot more powerful than a vanilla bean scraping!

      I have only made it up to one day in advance and I did exactly as you described. I wrapped the actual cake in saran wrap for 24 hours and then frosted it the day of the party. It turned out fine!

  61. 61

    Lorie — November 25, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    I made this cake last night for my family’s Sunday supper. I don’t know what people above are talking about, we LOVED this cake! Yes the batter was thin, but I knew it would be by the ingredients. It baked up perfect and was so delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  62. 62

    Su — November 26, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    I am on a hunt for a lemon cake for my brother’s birthday which also happens to be Thanksgiving – lucky him – and I came across your vanilla dream cake. I’ve made your pumpkin dream cake and it was super delicious, I third the recipe to make 1 layer and it still came out great but this time I wanted to go out all since it’s a birthday cake. I usually mix 2 intriguing recipes into one but since yours is a little different I am afraid, hah. Basically, I was wondering in order to incorporate the lemon flavor, I was thinking of subbing the vanilla bean for 1 tsp of lemon juice and rind so it’d be 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp lemon juice and/or maybe even adding lemon juice to the water. Will that affect the baking soda and baking powder in the recipe since lemon is an acid? I will also be adding lemon curd in between the layers for lemon flavor but wanted to add it to the cake as well. Any information would be greatly appreciated and thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica replied: — December 1st, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

      I don’t think the lemon juice would affect the baking powder/soda. And I think what you have planned sounds delicious! Love Lemon Cakes! ;-)

  63. 63

    Tez — November 27, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for posting this recipe! I was on the hunt for a good vanilla cake/cupcake for my daughter’s 1st birthday party – I trialled this recipe the other day and it was a HIT! I am in love!

  64. 64

    Joy — November 30, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    I want to try this! It look deliciously moist. How do you measure flour for your recipes–the scoop or spoon in method? Thank you so much :-)

    • Jessica replied: — December 1st, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

      Spoon in method! ;-)

  65. 65

    Baked Off — December 1, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    DO NOT BAKE THIS CAKE, IT WILL NOT TURN OUT RIGHT!! YES, I’ve tried and done the exact method and used all the ingredients shown and it looked the part but when cut into.. Well, that was a BIG THUMBS DOWN!! The last comments about people having there cake turn out ‘amazing’ is lying (Yes i said it, lol) and maybe a couple of pals of hers. It would of been better to adjust the recipe, but hey.. Happy baking to the gullible. -_-

    • Jessica replied: — December 1st, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      As I have stated in the post above, this recipe seems to have some issues. I have left it posted because some have had great success with it and I want to leave the recipe up for them. I can’t control why some people will have great results and others won’t. All I can do, is be straight forward and honest. Which is why I leave all comments up and have also updated the post with a disclaimer.

      Hope your attitude improves. Happy Thanksgiving!

  66. 66

    Brigitte — December 1, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

    Merci Beaucoup,

    my daughter just did your cake today for her father’s birthday and it was a success with our guests. Great recipe.

  67. 67

    vila — December 4, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    didn’t work for me…unfortunately.. batter was very..very runny,, and i suspected it is not goona be alright….it seemed raising fine.and next i looked to cake through oven window( i never opened the door…so it coudn’t be issue) the cake fall flat back…ohhh…i was so hoping i found finally right recepie for vanila cake :-(

  68. 68

    CJ — December 5, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    This is a fantastic recipe! Very moist and tasty. Definitely a runny batter but bakes up nicely! I have made it into a cake and cupcakes. It makes 24 cupcakes and I baked them for 17-20 minutes. I even added some chocolate chips, swirled them and the heat of the batter melted them and made a marble batter, delicious! I have been looking for a moist vanilla cake for a while, tested so many, this one is perfect. Im not sure why others have failed, but I have had numerous people ask me for the recipe, so it must be good! My taste testers never lie! Thank you for such a great recipe! :)

  69. 69

    Amanda — December 8, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

    I’m making these right now and my batter is pretty thin…. Is this normal consistency?

  70. 70

    Marie — December 17, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

    Just made this cake with gluten-free flour (Pamela’s Artisan Blend for anyone wondering) and this is hands down the BEST gluten-free cake I have ever had! As an avid baker whose hobby has been limited somewhat by this dietary restriction, I just have to say thank you for an excellent recipe that made me happy to make cakes again! Will definitely be trying the chocolate next as that’s already been requested by my husband!

  71. 71

    Carmen — January 3, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

    Hola por siempre he buscado la receta perfecta para el pastel de vainilla para de ahí partir con muchos otros quiero decir tener la base, en este momento lo tengo en el horno espero que por fin la tenga. Gracias por compartir tus recetas!

  72. 72

    Rosvitha — January 11, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

    The perfect cake, cream and name combination makes this cake gorgeous. Delicious and tender, standing on the plate, waiting for you!

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    Andrea Brown — January 21, 2014 @ 7:12 am

    Looks wonderful and not dry. Could I do 3 layers and or cupcakes with this recipe? Looks like enough to do that.

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    Cecília — January 21, 2014 @ 8:02 am

    hello! I’m going to give it a try tonight, but I was wondering…. I bake a similar chocolate recipe, but it has one cup milk and one cup water. Have you tried with this proportions?
    Also, of course, it has cocoa powder added to the flour, so it has a lot more dry ingredients. Even so, it’s a runny batter and it bakes beautifully and it’s very moist.

  75. 75

    Secola — January 21, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    I am on the hunt for that perfect vanilla cake. Your use of 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of vanilla gets me psyched!!! I’m also generous with vanilla. Something about it.

    I’ll be making it this weekend and will report back!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  76. 76

    Cat — January 21, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    Hi Jessica,
    It’s snowing so I’m in the mood to bake a cake and want to try your Vanilla Dream Cake. I’ve made cakes before that required oil and found them to be a little heavier than I like. So I’ve substituted half the oil with applesauce. Do you think this will work in your recipe?

  77. 77

    Heather — January 21, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    Will this cake hold up with fondant?? This sound delicious and I’ve got a friend requesting a vanilla cake this weekend!

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    Rosalyn K — January 21, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

    Have you tried it using vanilla bean paste? I don’t have VBs but have the paste.

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    yvette — January 21, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    Yea this didnt work for me and I am a professional. I had a feeling it wouldnt work when I was finished mixing but I pressed on. It came out gummy, eggy, and just weird looking. I dont mind experimenting Im just dissapointed that I wasted my vanilla bean. uggghhh

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    Lisa — January 21, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Found this on I Am Bakers FB this morning and decided to make it to surprise my kids.

    It turned out just like the photos! Except I used red sprinkles since it is almost valentine’s day. This cake is SO moist! Thank you.

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    Cecília — January 21, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

    No, soory, it didn’t work out. :(

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    sun — January 21, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

    Im always reluctant about the cups and grams conversion. Always converting it online but seems that sometimes it turn out wrong. Would you happen to be able to measure that on scale be it oz or grams? It would be greatly appreciated.

  83. 83

    Rach — January 21, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    Based on the controversial comments, of course, I had to try this cake. My first attempt Just came out of the oven so my initial reaction is. 1. This cake wouldn’t be any “whiter” if you used clear vanilla. The egg yolks in the recipe are what gives it the yellow color. 2. The hot crumbs do taste very “eggy” as one person commented their entire cake tasted. It also smells quite a bit like an egg custard. 3. I might label this a butter cake or a pound cake, but I highly doubt I will title it a Vanilla cake. 4. Those whose cakes didn’t “turn” out measured something incorrectly. It definitely makes 2, 8″, large crumb, very sweet cakes. 5. One person’s “perfect or dream” vanilla cake will very differently from another’s. That’s just the way it goes. 6. Even a baking tragedy isn’t a failure if you pay attention. You can learn something each time you bake so no sense crying over spilled milk or ruined cakes as they say. For example, if this cake turns out how I expect it will, I will probably use it as the base for an eggnog cake or add a layer of bananas and a caramel or burnt butter frosting for a bananas foster cake, but it probably won’t end up as my brother’s vanilla birthday cake on Friday.
    I will post again once it has cooled, been frosted and set for at least a day in my refrigerator. I have found that the real flavor of cakes comes out best after a day or two in the fridge or after having been frozen and thawed. They seem to mellow and meld and the flavors have time to come together that way. Bye for now!

  84. 84

    Rachel — January 22, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    As promised here are my final opinions. The cake tastes mainly sweet, eggy and of baking soda. The edges are crisp due to the high amount of sugar I assume. My kids enjoyed it, hubby said it’s okay, I’m not a fan unless I creatively repurpose it, and my brother, whose birthday we are celebrating Friday, ate a giant piece last night with little comment BUT it is not the cake he chose for his birthday. One last note, I would make sure to grease and flour or use parchment for all layer cakes, ever, period.

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    Mis — January 23, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    My kids loved it but the frosting, not so much. IMO the texture was off a bit. Not too crumbly the way I normally like it, a little heavy, but it was moist. It did have an eggy flavor but not as much as other cakes I’ve tried in the past. Definitely not vanilla or white cake tasting.

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    Kitty — January 24, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

    This cake went very, very wrong for me although I’m not entirely sure why! I followed the recipe to the T but by the end of the baking process it tasted entirely bitter. I’m certain I got the proportions right! Do you have any idea what could have made a cake so bitter? The inside was also a dark yellow colour and rather gooey, as if it had not finished baking – but I put it back in the oven for 10 minutes and that did not change anything – same gooey, unappetizing texture. I may have not tempered the eggs correctly, but I can’t believe that would result in such bitterness. I had to use another vanilla cake recipe instead. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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    Jess — January 24, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

    I haven’t made this cake but the recipe seems to have an issue. It has both baking soda and baking powder. Baking powder contains baking soda. Also, there is no acid here to react with baking soda (such as the buttermilk mentioned above) other than that found in the baking powder. Using baking soda without acid is probably the reason for the overly bitter flavor some people are reporting, as well as the flatness and lack of leavening. When making a chocolate cake, chocolate itself is acidic so you can use water instead of buttermilk, but for a vanilla cake if you include baking soda there has to be an acid for it to react with such as buttermilk or cream of tartar.

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    Maureen — January 27, 2014 @ 12:24 am

    Hi, I tried this recipe but the batter turned out very watery, i then took a little batter and bake it in a cupcake case to test how it would turn out, and when it’s done the texture of the cake was quite alright but it was very eggy in flavour, not very nice. I’m just wondering what did I do wrong here? I tried your pumpkin dream cake and it was wonderful…so I’m very curious here :). I did reduce the amount of sugar from 2cups to 1.5cups because I like my cake to be less sweet. Was it because of that?

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    Diane — February 1, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday. She wanted a vanilla cake that was 3 layers and vanilla cream cheese frosting. I searched high and low for a recipe and this is the one that I ended up going with. My husband doesn’t like homemade cakes because they aren’t moist like the box cake mixes. I had about 16 people at the party and the cake was a hit. The cake is very moist and has good flavor. My sister told me I can make a chocolate one just like this one for her birthday. This recipe is not hard to make, it is a different way of making a cake though. I was very nervous about mixing in the eggs correctly without them cooking but I did figure out a way to do it. Thank you very much for the recipe and always have fun baking.

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    funkymonkey — February 7, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    Sadly this recipe did not work for me, I was very disappointed because it was for my daughter’s birthday and also because a vanilla bean was wasted. My question is “does altitude affect the rise?”. The skewer came out clean and the tops were browned and the cakes even popped right out but they were flat, flat, flat and very wet/gummy on the inside. I live in Australia and followed the recipe to a tee, so not sure what went wrong. Will try again with fresher baking soda and powder but not sure that is the problem because my other replacement white cake was just fine.

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    Sammi — February 7, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    I am so sad to say that this cake didn’t work out for me. It looks so beautiful in the pictures and I was hoping for the same result. It came out eggy, tasted of butter and was rather dense. Such a pity.

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    Diane — February 7, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    I just made the cake and it’s in the oven as I type this. I really hope it’s supposed to be this runny!! I’m so scared it won’t turn out as I have only a few hours to make this cake. Kinda last minute request and wanted a moist vanilla bean cake. Because it was too runny I added 1/4 cup of flour!! Yikes. Then I read the comments about it being runny. Should’ve read more before adding the flour! See how it turns out.

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    Mike B — February 7, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

    My review:
    I have been searching (searching!) for a moist vanilla cake that I could make from scratch. Jessica’s recipe was actually one of the first recipes that I found upon my google search, and after comparing recipes against this Vanilla Dream Cake… I decided to give this one a whirl. I literally just made and iced the cake…so I have to admit, I’m kind of tired. But! Believe me… follow the recipe (and use some baking knowledge of your own) and make this cake! I haven’t actually eaten a piece of it… yet… but I’ve had crumbs (that I cut off to make the layers even) mixed with the vanilla buttercream icing… and it’s DELICIOUS! I cannot wait to eat a slice later tonight after dinner.

    TIPS: Take your eggs out of the fridge when you take your butter out for the buttercream frosting (room temp is important for both the butter for the frosting and the eggs for the cake ingredients); Vanilla Bean – let it marinade in the Vanilla Extract / Veg Oil while you’re SIFTING all of your dry ingredients; USE a really good Non-Stick Baking Spray – I recommend Bak-Klene ZT from William Sonoma–my cake did not stick to the pans after they cooled.

    WHAT ELSE? Oh yea… stop being such negative nancy’s…it’s a cake afterall!

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    BB — February 10, 2014 @ 7:23 am

    Another sad baker from Australia commenting:
    This cake tasted like baking soda and had the texture and appearance of a kitchen sponge. Thick, bitter and ridden with holes. I followed the recipe exactly as written and was more than disappointed! Perhaps our ingredients are different down here, but it was more nightmare than dream.

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    Jessica — February 13, 2014 @ 4:08 am

    I made this cake this afternoon for my nephews Birthday, and it is by far the best vanilla cake I have ever made. I used white chocolate ganache between the layers instead of the buttercream and it was perfect. I also did the same recipe using gluten free flour and dairy free marg, as some of us are gluten and diary free and it was just as good! Definitely saved this one :-)

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    Mike — February 14, 2014 @ 4:03 pm

    I am reposting from Comment #93 – I made this cake last Friday and was super excited about it. The crumbs I tasted mixed with the buttercream icing were delicious.


    We only ate (forced down) two slices of the cake. Bummer. The cake had a really strong oder to it..despite looking exacty like the pictures posted on this page! It tasted like a mix of flour and baking soda/powder….no flavor at all…which I am assuming is because of the 2 cups of water. I do feel the cake was moist..just the taste and smell were overwhelminly disappointing. I wouldn’t recommend making this cake…unless you are adventurous like myself. Happy Baking! :)

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    Martha — February 26, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

    When I read all the drama around this cake, I dicieded to make it. I have to say I’m a professional baker.
    It turn out pretty good, even thow if I make it again I probably would change water for milk, other than that it’s good.
    Use partchment paper
    Cool the syrup with the mixer
    Whisk with a fork your eggs before adding them to the syrup. Keep your mixer running when you add it.
    Don’t open your oven until it looks light golden brown.

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    Katie — March 2, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

    Made this cake for my family and was disappointed because 1. While making the cake the batter was very lumpy and runny, 2. All the lumpy bits in the batter came to the middle while baking as commented by one reader and resembled a brain, 3. After baking the cake for 30 minutes the middle was raw, 4. The cake was VERY dense and eggy not tasting the way a white cake should, and 5. The cake had an unpleasant bitter after taste.
    P.S. Sorry, I really hate to post negative comments but I felt that other readers should be aware. I also appreciate that you had put a cautionary warning on your post.

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    Katie — March 2, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

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    kena — March 11, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    hi!! i think i neve wrote you back to thank your email abouth answering my question of a carrot cake recipe. THNKS!!! i’m still waitting to read in your blog this recipe but until then today i accidently found this one, probably it hlps to you.. seams to ve delicios and i wil try it!! :D but ofcourse i will keep waithing for yours :D

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    Amy — March 17, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    I made this cake for my niece’s bday this weekend without reading any comments. And so glad I did! It turned out perfectly delicious and received rave reviews from kids and adults alike. I can’t wait to try the orange dream cake for my mom’s birthday. She loves any orange and dark chocolate combo so I’m thinking a ganache. Suggestions?

    • Jessica replied: — April 3rd, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

      Ha! I’m glad you liked it Amy!

      I’m not sure which Orange cake you are talking about. I did make a Pumpkin Dream Cake which is bright orange…which is probably what you are thinking of. ;-)

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    Amy — March 17, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    ok…so I would have sworn you had an orange version…oh well! Maybe I’ll come up with an orange icing for the dark chocolate cake…

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    gloria — March 17, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

    I feel using cups and tablespoons etc leaves room for error. Is it possible to list your recipe using weight instead.

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    Sabrina — March 18, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

    I just got finished making this cake! I have made other chocolate cakes with water and they came out fabulously moist! So I decided to ignore all the negative comments and give this a try! So far, it’s pretty great! I have tried a few pieces while trimming off the top of the bottom layer of the cake to frost it. When I first pulled it out of the oven, I was a bit worried because it didn’t smell as ‘flavorful’ as I thought it would, and it had a bit of a ‘wet’ish feeling to it. But now that it’s cooling, I am really loving it! I think as long as my fiancé loves this cake, I will def make again! Thanks for the recipe! It’s so hard finding a simple, moist vanilla cake without using cake mix!

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    lydia — March 27, 2014 @ 4:32 am

    hi hows the cup size s’posed to be.cos there are different measuring cups(and normal cups too) i’ve always longed for a moist cake wouldn’t want to mess it up cos i’m poor with measurements.thanks.

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    Joshua Eason — April 1, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    This is the moistest, most delicious vanilla cake I have ever made or tasted! I made them into cupcakes, and even my brother who doesn’t like cake was asking for more and even took some home with him.

    I’m just not sure how to scale it up to 3 layers. I want to make a 3 layer strawberry bavarian cake, so I’m finding the different components, so I can put them all together later.

    Could the measurements used in this recipe make 3 layers?

    • Jessica replied: — April 3rd, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

      Glad you liked it Josh! Yup, 3 layers are fine too. Just divide it evenly among the three pans and watch your baking time! :-)

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    Donna from So IL — April 1, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

    This cake is in the oven as I type. I thought it would look nice coming from a bunt pan so I’m keeping my finger crossed it will work.

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    Noora — April 4, 2014 @ 7:04 am

    This recipe looks great and I m hoping to try it out today though I have a query. About the two cups of water, does it have to be hot water or room temperature? Thank you.

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    riaze jubokawa — April 9, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    please can I get this recipe in terms of grams rather than in terms of cup because it will be much easier for me to try it,thanks in advance

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    Irene — April 15, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

    I made this for my daughters 3rd birthday and it turned out perfect. I covered it with marshmallow fondant and it held up really well. I’ll admit I was a little nervous after reading some of the posts. All the kids at the party as well as the parents devoured it! All compliments to the creator of this fabulous recipe. I even took a little of the batter and make two cupcakes for my kids to try before the party and they were perfect baked at 375 F for 14 min. Thanks again! I’m excited to try your pumpkin dream cake for my husbands birthday, he’s crazy about pumpkin so I think it will be perfect! :)

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    Danielle — May 1, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    Uh oh, mine didn’t come out right. I was nervous when the batter tasted like crepe batter. I made the recipe as cupcakes and when my husband ate one, he said it tasted like a pancake. I think I’m going to whip up some of the maple cream cheese frosting from the pumpkin dream cake recipe (which is FANTASTIC and comes out right every time) and pass these off at work as Breakfast Cupcakes. :)

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    Amirah — May 3, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

    I have these cakes in the oven right now. I got really nervous because it was runny. I needed to make half vanilla and half chocolate and it kind of ran together but I’m baking it any way. I’ll let you know what happens.

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    Elaine — May 4, 2014 @ 12:35 am

    What a delicious cake! I used your recipe for my son’s pirate-ship birthday cake, and it was moist, dense, and infused with a lovely vanilla flavor (I used Trader Joe’s bourbon vanilla extract, but you have also inspired me to try to make my own vanilla extract!). I would definitely use this recipe again! Thank you so much :)

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    joanna — May 10, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

    its baking right now! im 14 and im making this for mothers day! XD my mom doesnt like things too sugary so i used 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar. i tasted the batter (shhhh) and it was still a very sweet. so excited for this come out of the oven!

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    Andi — June 5, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    I made this cake this past weekend and we all loved it………….I had no problems at all. I even posted it on my blog I hope you can come over and take a look. This is a keeper for sure so a big thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I wonder what happened with the other negative comments that people made and the cake just didn’t come out correct. Love it and thanks for allowing me to share this cake Andi W

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    Audra — June 10, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    I tried this cake and it came out delicious, but not light and fluffy. It was very dense. I think I followed the directions exactly. I don’t usually boil the wet ingredients first when making cakes, so that was new to me. I generally have nice fluffy most cakes. I just thought I would try something new. Do you have any ideas on what might have gone wrong?

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    Libby — June 15, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

    Sorry, this cake was not a dream at all. I went looking for a good recipe for Father’s Day. It did not rise at all with fresh powder and soda. When it came out, it was moist, but completely flavorless.

    I bake cookies, brownies and bread regularly, so i know how fresh my ingredients are. I will not be trying this again.

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    Enrique — July 2, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    hello! can I use 9 inch pans?

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    Belineht — July 10, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    I already have it in the oven to see if the results are like yours since I have been looking for a very moist vanilla cake for a long time and this recipe is absolutely different to the others I’ve tried, I will let you know the results.

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    anna — July 10, 2014 @ 9:01 pm

    Pretty awful, unfortunately. I was really excited about this while it was baking and now I’m sad I wasted ingredients. It looks more like a vanilla muffin and tastes nothing of vanilla. My kids ate it Because it’s cake and they’re kids. So duh there. But I won’t be makibg it again.

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    Belineht — July 10, 2014 @ 11:52 pm

    I took it out of the oven and right now there is nothing left of the cake, everyone love the spongee texture and the balance of sweetness! Thanks for the recipe.

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    randi fournier — July 16, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    umm so i’ve made this cake and it’s Delicious, however, can i substitute the vanilla for a raspberry extract?

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    Renee — July 22, 2014 @ 6:04 am

    Such a beautiful cake! I have made this 4 times over the past weekend in preparation for a large layer cake for a friend.

    That being said, my first cake wasn’t without troubles, turning out nearly pancake flat. Tips for overcoming a (super) flat cake:

    1. Check your baking powder. It doesn’t last forever and the reactivity of it decreases with time. If you’re going to make this cake, buy fresh baking powder!

    2. Swap the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for self raising flour. It worked beautifully and gave a consistent height cake.

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    Rocio — August 1, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    I have my cake in the oven right now, not expecting a good result because it looks too liquid to me, I think might be I didn’t use all purpouse flour and that flour absorbs more water than the one I normally use for cakes. We will see…
    I will let you know the result.

  126. 126

    Wendy — August 17, 2014 @ 9:01 pm

    I am baking this cake now. I used only 1 1/2 cups of sugar but that’s my taste. It did seem runny but that’s what it’s supposed to be like. I sifted the flour and also did not overbeat my batter, I left a few lumps in it. The first cake came out of the oven and it looked springy but heavy compared to box cake recipes. I’m cooling it so that I can have a taste. Ok so I have cooled and chilled the cake. It seems a little too dense. The flavor is good, maybe a little floury but still tasty, a little too greasy for me but great buttery flavor. I wonder if cake flour makes a difference. Still all in all, taste good.

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    Liz — August 17, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

    Hi, I made this cake tonight and the texture was absolutely PERFECT! But… It had a bit of an overpowering taste of baking soda. Is there anything I can do about this? From reading the comments I guess I’m the only person who encountered this. I did double the recipe however I just doubled everything exactly.

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    Kelly — September 3, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    I’ve been experimenting my way through about 6 different recipes trying to get a vanilla cake I like, so I’ve made this one with just a few little tweaks in terms of what I like in a cake (milk instead of water, and I’ve halved the recipe, and tried to simplify the instructions a bit…
    I’m so terrified by how runny the batter is….but it tastes terrific, so now I’m waiting for them to bake up (cupcakes!) and see what happens. I’m hoping to be one of the people who has good luck with this! ;)

    *update* Tense moments at about the 12th minute: they’ve all bumped up in the middle and are bubbling away like little volcanos, occasionally running over.

    *second update* they’re done at 18 minutes, and while the tops are a bit bumpy, they look good…besides, I’m going to cover them with frosting anyway.

    **and the real test** they taste really good….but the texture is weird. Mine are super light and fluffy, but only from the centres up…the bottoms are…gluten-ey? You can actually see long vertical lines in the crumb, like they’ve been stretched upward! So they turned out a bit odd for me, but I still really appreciate this recipe, it’s given me some interesting ideas.

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    Katie — September 7, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! It far exceeded my expectations! Very moist and great flavor! We all loved it. I was a little nervous because it felt so different from any other cake I’ve made and the batter looked different. All of my fears, though, have been allayed. This is a total keeper! Thank you so much!

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    Tricia — September 14, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

    Ok. . . So I read the reviews and was skeptical but decided to try this recipe as I LOVE LOVE cake! The cake texture was great however, as other reviewers stated the cake had a very bitter aluminum taste. Is was inedible. I used a new box of baking soda and baking powder. Not sure how to fix the taste. I’ll try again another day.

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    mitali — September 20, 2014 @ 12:35 am

    Even i tried the recipe …………….was very excited to bake it coz the pic shown here looks so moist n fluffy but the recipe just did not turn out good for me…………the cake was very wet , dense,oily n not at all tasted like vanilla :(

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    mitali — September 20, 2014 @ 12:49 am

    Sorry Jessica……feeling bad for my comment but i am really dissapointed the way it turned out……….the worst tasted cake I have ever made :(

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    Rachel — September 20, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    I was excited to try this cake because I have had trouble getting my vanilla cakes moist and fluffy. This cake was very moist, but tasted kind of eggy. That’s the best way I can describe it. It didn’t taste like a vanilla cake. It’s not horrible, but not the best.

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    Vicky — September 21, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

    I thought this cake had an amazing texture and the flavor was wonderful. I tend to like my desserts on the less sweet side and reduced the sugar from 2 cups to 1.5 cups and used a relatively sweet filling and frosting which was perfect. First vanilla cake I’ve made from scratch that I really did like WAY more than box cake!

  135. 135

    Vanilla Dream Cake with Blueberry Bourbon Filling | Oak & Ivy — September 24, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    […] (boring right? ;) But that cake was anything but bland. The original recipe is from a blog called The Novice Chef, and while following a recipe to a T is important in baking – the rebel in me can’t […]

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    Pam — September 28, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    I made this cake for my friend’s daughter’s birthday today. There were eight at her birthday dinner and only one person manage a good comment regarding this cake. The birthday girl looked at me and said, “I could barely swallow it, it tastes like raw sugar cookie dough.” It turns out as a heavy, wet, sweet, eggy tasting blob.

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    aurelia — October 3, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

    could the milk be replaced with buttermilk????? or the call for water: could half be water and the other 1/2 buttermilk.?
    Thank you!

  138. 138

    Dianne — October 12, 2014 @ 1:53 am

    Do not make this cake. She is not kidding when she says this does not work for everyone. It works for no one! I followed it to the letter, am not at high altitude. It is gummy, sticks to the pan and it is just a poor recipe Don’t waste your time or ingredients, these “DREAM CAKES” are a nightmare…..Don’t do it!!!

  139. 139

    Tanner — October 14, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

    Wow to this cake. I was so absolutely impressed, I have never pulled off a vanilla cake as good as this one. It’s delicious, it’s unbelievably moist. It holds up very well, too. A fun little plus, I’ve never made a cake this way before, on the stove sort of. It was pretty fun! Five stars! Thank you for sharing!

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    Michelle — October 15, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

    Can anyone tell me how I would have to alter the recipe if I make a sheet cake using a 12×8 inch pan with about a 2 in depth and I would make 2 of these sheets so I can later the cake. Thanks in advance!

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    Stacie — October 17, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

    Can I bake this as a 9 x 11 double layer and if so, how would adjust the baking time?

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    Baker — October 19, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    Hi when I read all the comments I was a bit afraid to try the cake as my cakes turn out dry …. But i did try it out and it turned out really nice .super soft .but there was a bit eggy and soda smell to it I do not know why I do wish if u can help me out with this … But in few words it’s a great recipie .my husband tho loved it thanks

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    Jennifer Castaneda — October 20, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    how many does this recipe serve??

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    amanda — October 21, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

    Tried this cake and I didn’t read all the comments only first few having high hopes it world torn out yummy. It had a greasy weird texture. The cake had a horrible bitter flavor and tasted awful. I tried to eat it but couldn’t do it. Was so excited to surprise my husband with this but it will be thrown away instead! I suggest finding another recipe, I followed the recipe exact and it was a waste of ingredients and time.

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    Carrie — October 24, 2014 @ 8:46 am

    This cake looks delicious & I’m super excited to make it this weekend, but one question – what kind of sprinkles did you use & how did you apply them? They look so perfect and not just thrown on all over like i would normally do…

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    Stephanie Irwin — October 30, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

    Do you this your recipe will work for cupcakes?

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    Norkeita — November 8, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    I’ve tried this recipe twice and it’s very good. The only problem I run into is the part with adding the egg. No matter how much I whisk, I can still see little pieces of egg in the finished cake/cupcake. Any tips?

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    Janna Kirby — November 9, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

    I am not a baker. In fact, I am terrible. My mother in-law is a great baker and so my husband is always asking me to bake for him. He loves vanilla with vanilla frosting. This cake was very easy to make and turned out delicious. Let me tell you what took place in my kitchen that may have made a difference: After making the simple syrup I realized I was out of eggs. So, I took the syrup off the stove and ran to the store. I returned twenty minutes later to finish making the cake. My syrup cooled for a while and so I didn’t run into the egg issues. Maybe that is it?
    Anyway, if you follow this cake to the letter, it turns out exactly as described. Thanks for the recipe. :)

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    Ann — November 11, 2014 @ 4:52 am

    I would live to make this cake with a chocolate swirl through it. Is there any way I can take part of this batter and make it chocolate to swirl through it?

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    amira — November 15, 2014 @ 2:58 am

    WOW this THE most perfect moist vanilla cake I’ve tried, and I’ve tried plenty. Thank you so much. AMAZING

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    Silvia — November 17, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    I was wondering if I used just one tsp of baking powder and soda if it would be OK? I justtried this recipe this weekend, had my mother tell me she could really taste the baking soda.. Thank you in advance

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    Amber A — November 19, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

    This cake was such a DREAM! I really enjoyed making this and it turned out PERFECTLY for me! I love to bake and strongly consider this to be one of my FAVORITE recipes hands down! If you can follow directions, you can make this cake! :)

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    Amber — November 23, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

    Ok, I just found this post and I have been looking for a new cake recipe. I read through a lot of the comments, but am making it anyway. It is in the oven right now, but I can already see a problem. One of the other posts on here said that their cake looked like a brain in the middle, and so does mine. I am hoping that I will be able to just scrape/cut the top off and use it as planned. My searching showed a few different reasons for the bubbles, so I am getting new baking powder and soda for next time, and also going to make sure I don’t beat it too long. Hoping that it is at least edible…

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    Michelle — December 4, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Hey thanks for the recipe I tried it last night :) It tastes fantastic and I want to make it again although I found that the it turned out a little too dense is there something I could do to combat this for next time?

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    Aaliyah — December 8, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

    I just tried this recipe out today and I followed the measurements and procedure to a T.. After cutting into this cake and taking a bite, an overwhelming eggy flavor arrived in my mouth, it wasn’t pleasant at all, now I’ll say this: The moistness of the cake is present, it didn’t taste sweet at all though, and i used the amount of sugar given in the recipe and tempered the eggs into the liquid. I was so upset that I had to throw this cake away, I really was expecting this cake to be delicious..

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    Laura — December 10, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

    I wanted to try this recipe out but it definitely did not come out as I hoped it would. I bake a lot and I thought I’d try this recipe for a change, but the batter was very liquidy…which was weird for me, but I didn’t change anything. And during the baking process, the cakes did not rise very much. I have not actually eaten the cakes yet, but it’s just weird for me to see that the cakes barely rose!

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    Food #1189 — December 13, 2014 @ 6:07 am

    […] here via […]

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    Kim — December 14, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

    I am sorry to say that this is not a great cake. The texture is wonderful but the taste is overwhelmingly eggy. I am happy I tried it out before I made it as a birthday cake as I would have been horribly embarrassed to serve this.

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    Anise — December 22, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

    this cake look so beautiful!

    Unfortunately when i made it it didn’t look as pretty but it taste good nevertheless! :D I use your rexipe to make my husband his favourite cookie dough cake (yellow cake, chocolate chip cookie dough eggs and toasted cooked flour) with cookie dough buttercream. Not pretty but taste good!

    Im glad your recipe didn’t make a sinkhole! Major glad! :D (usually i try other recipe they will leave a collapse middle. Eventhough the batter was more to the watery side unlike other cake recipe which are thicker) it didnt collapse…yay!

    Love your website, shall try pumpkin dream cake soon! thank youuuu

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    Deana — December 24, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    Can this recipe be used to make a a tierred cake? Or is it too soft to hold up?

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    Kate — December 26, 2014 @ 11:20 am

    I really wanted this to work out… honestly I cannot understand all of the rave reviews. It doesn’t make sense to, although there are just as many not-so-rave reviews either… Like others, the cake was way too dense, kind of wet. Also, the taste just wasn’t great, kind of hard to explain, almost eggy as others have described it. I definitely let the water, sugar, butter mixture cool plenty before adding the eggs. No high altitude here, no baker inexperience, I simply don’t know what the issue is. Sorry it didn’t work out, but I feel I have to write an honest review.

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    Lexi — January 7, 2015 @ 5:59 pm

    First off, I’m not a fan of vanilla cake. Every vanilla cake I’ve ever had or made was a MAJOR disappointment. However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pumpkin and chocolate dream cakes, so all the negative comments made me want to try this one. (Call me crazy?) At first I was going to half the batter and make it into cupcakes, but then I figured I wouldn’t get the same results as everyone else unless I made a layer cake. Plus what’s better than having a gorgeous layer cake sitting around? ;) So yesterday I had some spare time and decided to give it a go.

    A few things:
    I didn’t alter the recipe for the cake, I did however use my own butter cream recipe, just because it’s a tried and true. I also changed the tempering method slightly, letting the syrup cool for about 25 minutes and adding one tablespoon at a time of the syrup to the egg mixture while whisking it before I added it to the pan. I did this for two reasons. 1) This is what I was taught to be “tempering”, to slowly warm the eggs so they don’t cook immediately when dropped in hot liquid. 2) The comments about the cake being eggy made me think it was due to the eggs cooking in the hot syrup.

    I’m glad I made the chocolate dream cake before to know what you meant when you said the batter would be “watery”, or else I would have freaked out. This batter is SUPER RUNNY, like the consistency of half and half.

    When the cake came out of the oven, I was initially very disappointed. The center was dark yellow and “looked like a brain”. And it didn’t smell like vanilla at all. It smelled…eggy :( So much to the point that I went to the store to get powdered sugar and when I walked back into my apartment building, I smelled eggs. Also, after the cake cooled, there was a crunchy layer (what I can only describe as a “sugar shell”) around the edges and on top of that dark yellow center.

    I did have issues with the cakes sticking to their pans, and I buttered AND floured them. It was only in the bottom center though, so I can only assume it was from the flour being pushed aside when I poured the batter in. I don’t consider sticking cake a deal breaker though, you can always fix that with some parchment.

    The entire time I was layering and frosting the cake, I was really concerned about the eggy smell. I really didn’t think it was going to taste good. But I finished and put it in the fridge anyway…

    And boy am I glad I did! I cut a slice for myself after work today and this cake is SERIOUSLY SO GOOD. It doesn’t taste eggy at all. It does kind of taste like a sugar cookie, but in all the best ways. This cake is everything I was hoping it would be and more, light and fluffy but moist at the same time. You’ve done it again Jessica, this is definitely a recipe I’ll be pulling out again and again. Great job! :)

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    Natalie — January 15, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

    Sounds like a great cake. Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?

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    Leora — January 19, 2015 @ 6:07 pm


    I am looking for the perfect recipe for my daughters birthday cake. I have searched many online and this one doesn’t have any bad reviews so far.

    I wasn’t able to read ALL of them so I have a few questions.

    1. Can I used unsalted margarine instead of butter?
    2. I don’t have vanilla bean, can I just add more vanilla extract?
    3. I don’t care if its very yellow or white I’m looking for taste – can I just use regular vanilla extract? (not “pure”)?
    4. Do you suggest I bake it on convection? I usually bake everything on convection so should I lower the temp? or just use the regular oven?



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    Caitlan — January 23, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

    This recipe is a glorified pancake. I would never recommend this, except maybe to someone I disliked. Do not waste your time.

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    daphne — February 2, 2015 @ 11:07 pm

    Nothig “dreamy or fluffy” about this cake. Meant for the trash. Tasteless. DON”T WASTE YOUR INGREDIENTS!

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    Daphne Pudnez — February 3, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

    Did not turn out. Tasted like nothing to be blunt. Had to throw away. Waste of ingredients.

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    Isabel — February 6, 2015 @ 1:02 am

    My mother shared this recipe with me because she made and loved it. Mine didn’t come out right, it’s all bumpy on top and does not have a strong vanilla taste, feels kind of oily. I’m wondering if it’s because I only had salted butter and went ahead and used that? That’s the only change I made so I’m thinking that must be it.

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    Bailee — February 7, 2015 @ 6:16 pm

    I just made this cake yesterday, exactly as instructed, and it turned out beautifully. I don’t know where other people are going wrong, but it was incredibly moist and delicious, lots of vanilla flavor…The readers have to be messing up somewhere. I did the same vanilla frosting, only I subbed half the butter with cream cheese. Excellent!

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    Trish — February 8, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

    Made this cake today . It did not turn out at all. Terrible . I followed the recipe word for word . I would not make it again or recommend it to anyone else

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    brad — February 16, 2015 @ 9:20 pm

    Based on great success and compliments of the banana dream and pumpkin dream cakes, I decided to try this one. Unfortunately, I wish I had read the comments first, because I agree with those who were hugely disappointed with this recipe. I followed instructions to the letter and both cakes stuck to the pan and were destroyed upon removal, but it didn’t really matter, because they tasted so awful, I threw them out anyway. The “cornbread” and “eggy” comments are spot on. I even used two vanilla beans (what a waste), and I couldn’t taste any vanilla. It was seriously the worst cake I have ever baked.

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    bri — February 21, 2015 @ 3:51 am

    i made this cake and the mix was very runny. then i put it in the oven and within about 15 mins it had brown/burning bubbles on the top though i pulled the draw out and it wobbled like it was a wave. it ended up taking about 30 to 45 minuets to cook in total then i cut one of them to check that it was cooked properly (which it was) and it was brown like caramel and tasted like caramel i am in Australia but i used all the same indigents just admitted the vanilla pod. all purpose flour is the same as plain flour right?

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    jen — February 24, 2015 @ 11:01 pm

    I’m a baker and always looking for a good vanilla or white cake. I was exited to try this one,especially after reading all the reviews,and with the water/sugar addition. I followed the recipe closely,and when I removed it from the oven it smelled eggy,but I cooled it and made a snickerdoodle icing and assembled it. Egg smell dissipated and everyone loved it,it was very moist. I don’t love love it, my quest for the perfect vanilla cake will continue,This was good,the flavor was just different,and the crumb while moist was a wet kind of moist. Hard to describe,but that’s what I found with this recipe.

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    Nit — March 3, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

    Its a beautiful cake you have there in the picture! :) I was making a strawberry, chocolate ganache topped vanilla cake for my husband’s birthday. Unfortunaltely, my cake didn’t turn out the same way. I don’t know what I did wrong, but my cakes weren’t fluffy, it was moist and a bit sticky. :( Thankfully the strawberry filling, chocolate ganache and pocky sticks here and there covered up for the flaw in the cake. Can you think of why this could’ve happened?

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    Gabby Iwan — March 3, 2015 @ 6:34 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly twice and the cake turn out awful both times. I was extremely disappointed :(

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    Jill — March 10, 2015 @ 3:58 am

    Well this is interesting. All these varying comments! Could go for a tried and true recipe, but I’m after something nice and moist, and given the varying comments I’m just curious to see if I can make it work. Making it tonight – will let you know how it works out (I’m in Australia, so I really hope there isn’t an ‘altitude’ problem haha).

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    Jill — March 10, 2015 @ 9:54 am

    Success. After reading all the comments prior to making, I did make a few tweaks to the method (know this is risky in baking, but given some of the comments, I thought I had nothing to lose).

    Firstly, the method said allow the sugar to disolve in the water, about 1 min only. I let mine simmer for a good 5, continuously stirring. This evaporated some of the water and makes a runny but syrupy consistency. My batter in the end end was slightly runnier than ‘normal’ but it wasn’t AT ALL waterly and some people have said, just like a good pancake batter consistency.

    Secondly, there were many people saying their cake was really ‘eggy’. The method states to allow to sugar-water to cool for 5 min before whisking in egg. I left it for about 2hrs. To COMPLETELY cool. When I say cool I mean COOL. Egg actually cooks at quite low temps – and 5 min is not enough time for simmering sugar-water to cool down.

    Thirdly, I beat together the oil, egg and vanilla and let it sit for a while before slowly adding it to the (cool) sugar-water. I don’t actually know why, but it just felt like a good move.

    Also – I used 3 small eggs instead of two large. This worked out fine.

    The cake sure is moist. I didn’t have vanilla bean, and didn’t want to over do the vanilla extract so I just put the tablespoon plus a tiny dash – wish I added a tiny bit more, the cake is lacking ever so slightly in flavour. I don’t mind as it will be frosted with a Baileys buttercream and salted caramel popcorn which is where the flavour is at!

    Happy with the cake :) and to all those reading this that might be put off by the negative comments – don’t be! it really is a great cake. Just think logically about the method and use some common baking skills and it will be fine. Thanks!

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    Caitlin — March 21, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

    I’m glad I read through most of the comments to get tips for this recipe.
    Anyone who’s cake was eggy, you most likely cooked them in the sugar/water mixture. Reading the recipe part about a simmer, simmering means it’s barely hot, just wisps of steam with few bubbles. If you have bubbles it’s too hot and cooling for 5 minutes isn’t long enough and will cook your eggs.
    After that, I’m pretty excited for this cake!!!!

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    Adriana & Diana — March 23, 2015 @ 1:06 pm

    Hi, Jessica:

    My mom fell in love with your awesome looking cake and we decided to give it a try for my dad’s birthday. I had a few problems with it, though, and I wondered if you could help indicate what was it that went wrong with me. It didn’t rise properly and the bottom tasted a little gamey. I used salted butter instead of unsalted, just half of a vanilla bean and an imitation vanilla extract (a dark one), which I didn’t think would make much of a difference and I was wondering if it does. I panicked a bit when the batter came out runny, but I read in the comments above that it is normal. However, my batter had tiny lumps of flour all over it. Is that also normal or was I supposed to keep mixing it until it was completely smooth? We really want to master this recipe and thank you so much for your help.

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