The Best Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe - delicious, moist homemade vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream from scratch, perfect for sheet cake!
Leave boxed cake mix behind for this light and fluffy, decadent and delicious, easy to share and serve, and perfect for picnics, parties, or a special weekend treat.
This easy vanilla sheet cake recipe is from-scratch - and great for layer cake, birthday cake, as a party cake, or just an impromptu dessert - plus we're also sharing tips on how to make a birthday cake funfetti-style cake with different color sprinkles!
We decorated this cake in red, white, and blue for the 4th of July and Memorial Day - but you could change up the sprinkles for any holiday!
We're not only sharing our recipe for vanilla sheet cake, but we're also sharing our recipe for vanilla buttercream - this easy cake frosting is simple, delicious, and completely home made.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
At Sweet C's we have lots of types of readers - those who would like lots of information with their recipe, some who need a few extra tips and tricks, and some who'd like to get straight to cooking.
We've included a clickable table of contents below that will take you directly to the section you'd like to read, and a skip to recipe button in the top left corner to help you navigate this information quickly.
Table of contents
Other Easy Cake Recipes
If you're looking for even more delicious cake ideas, check out some of our favorite easy cake recipes:
You can also find our complete easy dessert archives here.
Easy Sheet Cake Recipe
Sheet Cake is easy to make - it is great from scratch, uses common ingredients, and doesn't take specialty tools.
While we use a stand mixer to make this cake batter - but you can also use a hand mixer, or a good, strong arm to mix!
- Separate dry and wet ingredients and be sure to mix following our directions below to keep your cake moist, with a good crumb and even texture.
- Don't overwork cake batter, but mix well to prevent any clumps.
- Use a 9x13 baking dish - casserole and lasagna dishes work great, you can also make your cake in an aluminum foil baking pan for easy transport/picnic serving!
- Make sure to cream butter and sugar together completely to smooth!
- Sift dry ingredients for easiest mixing without overworking batter.
Easy Buttercream Icing
This delicious vanilla cake is made perfect with a simple, easy buttercream icing that is perfect for sheet cakes!
Follow these tips to making the perfect easy buttercream:
- We're making a vanilla buttercream here, but you can use a different extract for another flavor!
Tips to Perfect Sheetcake
Making a sheet cake is super simple - make batter, bake in pan, and then ice - but there are a couple tips and tricks to making perfect moist sheet pan cake every time!
- Make sure to use prepared pans - grease pan with shortening, use cake release spray (we prefer sprays with flour for the best nonstick) before adding batter.
- Let cool completely before icing - in the pan or on a cooling rack.
- Cake can be served in the sheet pan for the easiest serving, but can also be served on a platter.
- Let the edges brown and be sure to check the middle of the cake for doneness - nobody wants a runny cake in the middle.
Tips To Perfect Funfetti Cake
If you'd like to add sprinkles to your cake, like we did for this super fun Red, White, and Blue cake to celebrate Memorial Day and the 4th of July, follow our tips to keep sprinkles evenly spaces and from dying the whole cake.
Stirring cake batter too much or using the wrong kind of sprinkles can make the colors bleed all over your cake - making it grey and clumpy looking.
For the best results, be sure to follow our tips below:
- Add sprinkles at the very end - minimize the amount of time stirring to prevent colors bleeding.
- Pick the right kind of sprinkles - to avoid the sprinkles bleeding into the cake I like to use the jimmie style sprinkles.
- Nonpareil sprinkles are notorious for bleeding color - very minimally stir if using nonpareil.
How To Ice a Sheetcake
This cake frosting is perfect for one sheet cake with a thin layer - if you like thicker layer of frosting, make a 1 ½ or double batch of buttercream icing.
This icing is a great base - you can mix in food coloring, flavor extract, sprinkles, and more.
- To keep color from sprinkles bleeding and turning the icing another color, we recommend adding sprinkles to the top after your cake is iced.
- Cool cake completely before icing to prevent melting.
- Use an offset spatula to smooth icing, but don't worry too much - sheet cake is supposed to look home-made!
Sheet cake lasts up to three days, covered in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator.
If you want to use round pans, you can use two 9" round cake pans instead of the 9x13 cake pan or sheet pan.
You can stack sheet cakes on top of each other to make a layer cake.
The Best Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe
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- For the cake:
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 & ½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large egg whites, room temp
- ¾ cup whole milk, room temp
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream, room temp
- ¾ cup patriotic sprinkles
- For the frosting:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- More sprinkles for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray, set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
- In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar for 3 minutes until light and fluffy, scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the egg whites into the mixer in three batches, mixing them in fully before the next addition, scrape down the sides.
- Slowly stir in the milk and vanilla until smooth.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix in until combined.
- Mix in half of the sour cream until combined.
- Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream.
- Scrape down the sides and stir in the sprinkles.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth out the top.
- Bake for 35-42 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by placing the butter into a large bowl with an electric hand mixer and whip until smooth.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until incorporated.
- Add the salt, milk, and vanilla, stir it in until combined then whip it on medium-high speed until light and fluffy for 3 minutes.
- Frost the cake and add more sprinkles if desired, cut and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 360Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 55mgSodium 158mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 0gSugar 34gProtein 2g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.