Quick & Easy Vanilla Cake

Quick & Easy Vanilla Cake

Quick & Easy Vanilla Cake

Try to have your oil at room temperature and aerate your flour before measuring. This was not an easy recipe to perfect so for a good result, do not make any changes. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Quick & Easy Vanilla Cake


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (less 2 Tablespoons) cool water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Place dry ingredients into a bowl and combine well, stirring or whisking until thoroughly blended.
  3. In a small bowl, combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Add liquids to flour mixture & gently stir until there are no lumps (about 30 seconds).
  5. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely in the pan and frost. (try my 2-Minute Vanilla Frosting)

Too much sugar? I tried using less sugar but it did not turn out.
Use a different pan? I tried an 8-inch round pan and it did not turn out.
More: There's more on this recipe in my blog. Click here.

84 Comments on "Quick & Easy Vanilla Cake"

  1. Daxymom

    This cake is fabulous! I actually cut the recipe in half and used three mini bundt cakes. Baked for 20 min and they came out perfectly … cakes were unbelievably moist. Used your vanilla icing but thinned out with lemon juice. Poured over slightly warm cake, topped with sliced bananas and sprinkled with finely chopped walnuts. Served still warm with chamomile tea! DELICIOUS!!

  2. Audrey Hyman

    This was a big hit with my husband and don tonight. Whipped it up while we were relaxing after dinner, and within 1 hour we had a delicious dessert to satisfy their sweet craving. Next time, I’m teaching them how to make it! Thanks Jenny! Your recipes are always a hit in our house.

  3. Dee Y'all

    In this age of staying home more, I just made this cake….on a whim. OMG!!! It was just what I was craving!! And it couldn’t have been simpler to make. Who makes a “proper cake” without eggs…and uses water??? My mind is blown!!! This little recipe is going to get a lot of play!!! 👩🏽‍🍳
    Thanks Jenny!!

    • Audrey Hyman

      So true! The same just happened in my house!

  4. tilly billy

    i’m going to make it but i notice that there is no frosting? i need it for my moms birthday what should i do???

  5. Lois clayton

    Enjoy you very much. I really was hoping you be able to send me one of your books
    I am 90 yrs old and would like my children to see how much joy you have given me

  6. Jana

    You made my day faq

  7. Jana

    You made my day

  8. Debbie

    It was E X C E L L E N T! I wasn’t expecting much since it was so simple but I was surprised. Enough that I would write a review which I never do. It does taste like Birthday cake. I followed the recipe exactly but doubled the frosting. I plan to freeze some layers for later.
    I made a lemon version of the vanilla cake using your Lemon Brownies glaze recipe and changed the cake slightly with great results.
    For the cake I swapped lemon juice for the vinegar and the 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla was swapped for more lemon juice to keep the liquid amount the same. I added the zest of 2 lemons. Delicious.
    I have made probably 20 loaves of your no knead bread for friend. We all love it. Love your videos!

  9. Terry

    No, I have decided your life would have been so boring being a chemist, after reading your bio, consider writing a book, would not be a best seller, but that’s not the object, just an interesting read, think about it, you have so many followers who would love it 🌹🌹

  10. Terry

    I was so excited to make this cake, however after searching for the 9”pan, remembered I threw it out, because it was a mess, my dear neighbor who shops and took pity on me, found me one at Walmart, a Wilton at that, you should have been a chemist, If everyone pays attention to directions, it is perfect, I did your fast 2 minute chocolate icing, added shredded coconut left it in the pan, delicious, that dear neighbor is on a continuous diet, would not let me share, Stay healthy, the world needs you, God is on your side!,,❤️

  11. Dorothy

    We did not like this cake at all, neither the taste not the texture.
    I was very disappointed as I have used your recipe for sweet rolls and polishdonuts.

    • Nunya Bees

      You honestly could not keep that opinion to yourself? It was so important to share? You probably made it wrong.

  12. gordy

    Jenny–I love all of your recipes.The no knead bread has becomes Gordy’s bread–everybody wants me to bake my bread for them
    I made the Vanilla cake for the family and everybody loved it.I used sugar that had been laced with vanilla beans and the flavor was little more intense
    Thank you for all the recipes!!! Gordy

  13. Enjoys It All!

    Loved this recipe! Baked this cake twice – first time exactly as recipe indicates. Yummy!
    Second time with minor changes-fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar (personally I always seem to find vinegar leaves a slight aftertaste somehow), teaspoon or so grated lemon rind, used 1/2 butter and 1/2 oil (I know, defeats intent of dairy free). We enjoyed these revisions as a “summery” version.

    • Grannyrsh

      So glad you tried lemon juice I have the same aftertaste problem when I use the vinegar. Thanks for sharing your changes!

  14. Esmeralda Castillo

    Made this cake immediately after Jenny posted it since I had all the ingredients. It turned out great!!! I actually only had a 9 inch pie pan and that worked and may help someone else that doesn’t have the cake one. I also used avocado oil like Jenny mentions. I didn’t have the white vinegar, but had apple cider vinegar and it worked also! The only thing that I did have to change was the cooking time. It definitely was NOT ready in 30 minutes. I poked the center at 30 minutes and it was very gooey still. Put it in 5 more minutes, still the toothpick came out sticky. Ended up going another 10 more minutes. Overall, it tasted wonderful! My boyfriend tried it that evening and he said it was soooo good and he’s very picky. I topped it off with Jenny’s 2 minute vanilla frosting and boy does it taste just like birthday cakes did when you were a child!!! Loved it all and I’m making it again tonight!

  15. Ann

    Wow, what flavour and so easy, thank you you are awsome

  16. Mae in Oregon

    Jenny, You are brilliant! I made this incredible cake yesterday, following your recipie exactly, and it is absolutely the BEST white cake I have ever eaten! I can’t wait to share it with my family and friends………it is “over the moon” good! Thank You so very much!

  17. Perlita

    I made the vanilla cake today. While I appreciate the effort that goes into developing a recipe, we did not like the cake. We found it “gluey” in texture and unfortunately, had to discard it.

    • JP

      Hmmm… it sounds like you used the wrong pan. Jenny said an 8-inch pan made it sticky and dense and not edible. Try it again – her recipes never fail.

      • Tonya

        Yes. She said to not make any changes to the recipe…pan included.

      • joni

        Jenny actually said to use a 9 inch cake pan, NOT 8 inch 🙂

  18. Flour Pot

    Easy to make just followed the directions exactly and it came out moist and not overly sweet. It’s a winner for us! Thanks Jenny!!

  19. Pamela

    Can you use eggs. I noticed you did not have eggs in the recipe

  20. Lee Ann

    Jenny, OMGGGGGGG, it is like you answered my prayers! My family thinks I can cook reallly great chocolate cake because I made your no eggs, no butter chocolate cake, and they think it is fantastic (as do I of course!) I have a few in my family that are not choc. fans, so I was trying to think of how to make the chocolate cake into a vanilla version, then POOF I got an email with that exact thing from you!!!! Now my family will REALLY think i know what I am doing…I may have to tell them its you, so they don’t ask for other stuff I might not be able to do! LOL, thank you a million and three times for this cake, its gonna be made into a lot of different versions for my non choc. peeps! YOU ROCK!!!!

  21. susan

    any chance of a sour cream coffee cake recipe??? I know it would be great. thank you

  22. Julie

    May I substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil?

  23. Mart

    Is this cake dense enough to hold up to Fresh blueberry sauce for a topping?

  24. Edith

    Hello again
    Does anyone know if white vinegar can replace distilled white vinegar.
    I am from Canada and have asked for distilled vinegar and grocery
    stores here have not heard of distilled vinegar. Is our white vinegar
    the same. We have pickling vinegar and white vinegar.
    If anyone from Canada do you know where to buy distilled white vinegar.

    • Kathy Kopp

      White vinegar not pickling vinegar works in this recipe…I’ve made this cake for years. Great recipe it was my first cake my mother taught me to bake.

    • Joycelyn

      Hi Edith
      I’m in Canada too, the white vinegar you see sold in our grocery stores which will have 5% acidic acid or just 5% on the label, including no name white vinegar sold at super store is the same thing as distilled white vinegar.
      You don’t want to use pickling vinegar for this recipe as the acidity is too high usually 7% or more in some brands. The only thing I use pickling vinegar for if my dear spouse has picked some up by mistake is to use it with baking soda to keep sink drains clear and to mix with water to clean the windows.
      Hope this helps

    • Barb

      I picked up Distilled vinegar at Canadian Tire on-line ordering and picked it up
      curbside . I live in the Niagara region .

    • Esmeralda Castillo

      I too did not have distilled white vinegar or white vinegar, but I Googled substitutes for it and it said I could use apple cider vinegar, which I did have. It worked out great! It also mentions if you do not have any of these vinegars, you can use lemon juice or any acidic fruit juice should work. Hope this helps!

  25. Kathy H.

    Does anyone know if this recipe can be successfully doubled to make a 9×13 cake? Thanks.

  26. Gerri

    How can I forward this to my daughter using email?

    • Debbie in California


      Perhaps just email your daughter , have her Google , Jenny Can Cook , and look for the recipe , Quick and Easy Vanilla Cake.

    • Debby

      Just copy the link to this page, https://www.jennycancook.com/recipes/quick-easy-vanilla-cake/ into an email, and she will be able to see it. :))

    • Debbie Edwards


      At the very bottom, just above the end of the boundary lines around the recipe (text box) you will see what are called Icons for different ways to share this receipt

      you see an F for Facebook, a P for Pinterest and so on …. there is one that looks like an envelope and that is how you would share the contents by email.

      I hope that helps you out

    • Dottie

      To send the recipe open the recipe and go to bottom of recipe and click on the envelope, than type in the email address to who you want to send it to.

    • Jenny Can Cook

      At the bottom of the recipe there are 5 little boxes you can use to share the recipe. From left to right they are:
      If you click the Email one (envelope in blue) an email will pop up with the link to the recipe already there, and you just put in her email and click send.
      To see the icons, click here: https://bit.ly/31MBSIR

    • Tess

      use your snip function and paste it into a email to send.

      • Tess

        that would be copy from the snip and paste it into the email

  27. Miss Liz

    Thank you Jenny. You are amazing! Would love to see a video you making this cake. Love to watch you cook. You’re funny. God bless you always!❤️😘

  28. Kimberly Davis

    I love you, Jenny!
    Thank you!!

  29. Rebecca

    Made this cake right after you posted it. Its delicious. I did not try to modify any of the ingredients. You are right…it IS good! Thanks.

  30. Laura Hite

    thanks for all the recipes Jenny. I’ll try this for my sisters B day. She wants white cake with white icing.

  31. Lucy

    Dear Jenny I wish you post some recipes that are diabetic friendly as pastry because I have a bad sweet tooth. I tried converting the sugar with Splenda and I had bad results with it it was hard like a rock so I’m doing something wrong switching out the sugar. Can you help me with future videos or recipes for diabetic people. I would really appreciate it so with the diabetic who subscribe to your channel. A fan of your recipe.

  32. Jere

    Jenny, I have been dealing with gluten sensitivity for the past 7 years. My friend Diane recommended I Try Heritage Wheat grown on a farm here in Iowa. I baked a loaf of your Ciabatta bread and absolutely no gastric issues. Since then I have made all of your bread with the heritage wheat. I was making your breads for family and friends that I couldn’t eat. NO MORE . You are a marvel!!! Stay safe.

    • Chris

      Jere, is the Heritage wheat you use for gluten sensitivity, available outside of Iowa? Would love some recommendations for those of us living in the southeast of the US.


  33. Edith

    White cake recipy calls for white distilled vinegar. Can I use white
    vinegar that is not distilled?

    • Esmeralda Castillo

      I used apple cider vinegar and the cake turned out so yummy! Google also mentioned you can substitute lemon juice or any other acidic juice for vinegars.

  34. Richard Berlowe

    I had never backed a cake in my life until I baked your chocolate cake
    it was great and got great reviews from all who tasted it including my wife
    I will now try your vanilla cake your recipes are easy to use

  35. Wallie

    Thank you Jenny. I am looking forward making this cake which includes your easy frosting.

  36. elsie

    Thank you Jenny. I always look forwardd to your delicious recipes

  37. Maryann

    Your recipes are the best. I love them.❤️

  38. Terry

    Thank you for being so detailed in the directions, I would have made this in 8”pan as I use that size for chocolate cake, also make chocolate cupcakes,will adhere to your directions and bake in 9” pan and not try to make cupcakes with this recipe, not worth my time and effort to have to pitch it, you are most thoughtful, thanks so much🇱🇷🇱🇷

  39. Teresa Carol Salcedo

    “I just want to tell you that I appreciate your awesomeness! Love you!!”

  40. kayko

    Hello Jenny. Your recipes always work. Love seeing you prepare them. You are cute and a delight. Love your little jokes. I notice you have different color mixers was wondering why. Really none of my business but like the colors. Have a blessed day and keep the recipes coming.

  41. Karen

    I love your recipes. Can you provide a vanilla frosting recipe to go with this delicious cake recipe?

    • Eileen

      There is a link to Jenny’s 2 minute vanilla frosting in above in step 6. It is delicious!

      • Karen

        Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I missed that. Thank you for showing me. I’ve made the chocolate cake with chocolate icing and it was delicious. I know this will be just as good!

  42. daven592

    Your recipes consistently work for me. Thanks so much.

  43. Jan balshaw

    U are always an inspiration…not just in the kitchen but in life itself…I love yr sense of humor…we need that more than ever…thanks Jenny…ps..vanilla cake is lovely!

    • Rose Brown

      Thank you, Jenny! I love all your recipes and cook them often. You are wonderful, especially in a time like this!😘

  44. Valerie F Wood

    Wonderful cake

  45. Valerie F Wood

    Thank You Jenny ,it is a delicious cake ❤️💖

  46. Valerie F Wood

    Thank you Jenny ,I love your recipe for the white cake ❤️

  47. Barbara

    Thank you so much for the vanilla cake recipe. I absolutely love the chocolate. My husband feels like it’s the same as Portillo’s Chocolate cake.


  48. Deb M

    I have everything but the 9” pan! A recipe to try later and I am sure it will be perfect 🙂

  49. Ann marie

    So happy for a vanilla cake. Allergic to chocolate and I am happy that you came up with a vanilla dessert. Thanks.

  50. ATL Fran

    Well, another success!!! Thank you! For my grandson who does not like brownies, I was wondering about trying cup cakes with this…I see that 8″ didn’t work but it’s so easy and inexpensive, I will give it a try and see what happens with 6 or 8 cupcakes. Jenny, you are amazing, thanks!

    • Ruth

      How did the 8 inch pan work?

      • ATL Fran

        Ruth, don’t know, Jenny said not to use an 8″ in her details after the recipe, but would love to make this easy recipe for cupcakes…going to give it a whirl! 🙂

    • ATL Fran

      At the height of the empty grocery shelves pandemic, I couldn’t find flour anywhere and my family was addicted to Jenny’s bread and apple pie, so I ordered some unbelievably expensive all-purpose flour from an organic flour mill in Illinois. It’s stone ground and requires refrigeration or freezing! While it works well, I used it today to make this cake and while absolutely scrumptious and easy, it’s beige!!!!

      Bake to the drawing board and off to the market to get some Gold Medal or King Arthur!

      • Gloria

        I would like to say how grateful I am for Jenny during this pandemic when I was not able to grocery shop and eggs were in short supply. I also could find no flour in the grocery stores and paid $64.00 for 25 pounds of Cresota flour and was happy to pay it. I found the Cresota flour to be very light and makes great cakes. I can hardly wait to try this yellow version of the chocolate cake which I have made so many times I have the recipe memorized. I love Jenny and all her recipes have turned out great. Try her rolls!

  51. Sue

    Thank you. I have made your chocolate cake. It was a keeper. I will try this.

  52. Cathy

    This looks great Jenny I will give it a try.
    You always do fantastic I love your recipes ,just do the best you can and keep them coming. bless you🇺🇸🥰 Cathy

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