Moist Vanilla Cake

This moist vanilla cake is pretty much foolproof, using the easiest method and employing a secret trick to produce rich, moist results every time.
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I've had a bajillion requests, so I have finally decided to make good on my promises and have been experimenting in the kitchen to come up with a Moist Vanilla Cake to rival my ever-popular Moist Chocolate Cake.  

I think the reason that particular chocolate cake is still one of my top recipes is because, not only does it taste amazing - rich and deeply chocolatey - it is basically foolproof.  The method is very simple (mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, combine the two), as opposed to the typical cake method, which requires ingredients to be at room temperature, adequately creaming of the butter and sugar, incorporating dry ingredients alternately with the liquids, etc. - basically just a lot of room for error. 

And because, contrary to popular belief, I know you love moist

Boston Cream Pie -

Moist Vanilla Cake -

That chocolate cake stays SO moist, I'm convinced, in large part to the coffee that's added. The hot liquid's purpose is actually to bloom the cocoa, intensifying and bringing out the nuances in flavour, but it also encourages the cake to essentially steam. I wanted to keep that with my vanilla cake, so I swapped in boiling water - it worked beautifully! 

The crumb of this cake is pleasantly dense and moist, like a perfectly moist poundcake, and very similar to the texture of its beloved chocolate counterpart. If light and airy is what you're looking for, move along.  But with very minimal baking skills required, this recipe will produce a rich vanilla cake, nary a dry forkful in sight. 

I turned it into an amazing Boston Cream Pie - recipe for which is coming soon. You don't want to miss it - stay in touch by subscribing to new posts by email in the top menu! :) 

Boston Cream Pie -

Moist Vanilla Cake -

Vanilla cake itself is quite sweet, so if not making a Boston Cream Pie, I recommend a bittersweet chocolate frosting (like this one), lightly sweetened whipped cream with berries, or a not-to-sweet meringue buttercream if you're feeling ambitious. 

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8-10 servingsServings


For Cake:

  • 3 3/4 cups (17 oz) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup sour cream (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water


For Cake: 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour two 9x2" round cake pans, and line bottoms with circles of parchment paper.  Set aside. 

Add add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle/beater attachment; beat with speed on low to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla extract.  Add to flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated.  Reduce mixer speed to low and carefully pour in boiling water. Beat until well incorporated, pausing to scrape down sides and bottom of mixer.  

Divide batter between the two prepared baking pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is springy.  Cool completely on wire racks before filling and frosting.