An Easy Vanilla Snacking Cake recipe makes a celebration possible any day of the week with just a little bit of effort! This is a no-mixer-required cake that is baked in an 8x8 pan and comes out fluffy and tender.
While it's sometimes fun to take on a big baking project, a no-mixer, easy, smaller dessert often feels much more accessible. After adding One Bowl Chocolate Cake and Applesauce Cake to my baking rotation, I knew we needed a similarly easy vanilla cake to add to the mix. True to its name, this vanilla snack cake has been serving us well for months. The kids and I can bake it together after school without any fuss. It makes just enough to serve our family of five and a maybe a dinner guest or two. It’s great with just a dusting of powdered sugar, but is extra fun with vanilla frosting and a few sprinkles.
Best of all, it truly is easy to make!
How to Make It
- Whisk together dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, and salt.
- This together wet ingredients - egg, vanilla, sugar, milk, sour cream, and vegetable oil.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir just until combined (don't overmix; the batter will be slightly lumpy).
- Pour the cake batter into a greased 8x8 baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 33 to 36 minutes.
- Cool, slice, and serve!
Ingredients for Vanilla Snacking Cake
- All-Purpose Flour - Just the regular all-purpose white flour that you likely already have in your pantry. To get the most accurate results (and minimize dishes!), I like to do this on a scale by weight.
- Sugar - Use granulated white sugar for this cake. Like the flour, I prefer to do this on a scale by weight, right inside the mixing bowl.
- Baking Powder - Double check that you use baking powder in this cake, NOT baking soda. This makes the cake rise and keeps it super light and fluffy.
- Sour Cream - This is the “secret” ingredient to this cake that is simple, moist, and has a rich vanilla flavor. The sour cream gives the cake moisture and a very subtle tangy flavor. I use full fat sour cream, but light sour cream or even plain Greek yogurt will work.
- Egg, Milk, Vegetable Oil, Pure Vanilla Extract, pinch of salt - You’ll also need these other common ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- For the easiest removal from the pan, line it with a piece of parchment paper and also spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Use full fat sour cream - this will give you the most moist, flavorful cake.
- Don't overmix. Keep in mind that the batter will have some small lumps. Don't overmix it because that can make your cake tough instead of light and fluffy.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting. If you're going to add frosting (see below for ideas), be sure to let the cake cool completely. If the cake is still warm, your frosting will melt right off.
- Store the cake in the pantry (if not frosted) or in the refrigerator (if frosted) for up to 3 days.
Toppings for Vanilla Cake
Vanilla Cake is great topped with any of these:
- Powdered Sugar
- Light and Fluffy Vanilla Frosting and Sprinkles
- Creamy Chocolate Frosting (for an 8x8 cake)
- Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
Other Easy Desserts
- One Bowl Chocolate Cake - This is my go-to weeknight cake because it can be made in one bowl!
- Easy Apple Crumble - Just a few minutes to prep and you can have this super easy not-too-sweet apple crumble for dessert. Top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
- Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars - These peanut butter bars loaded with chocolate peanut butter cups are made in an 8x8 baking pan which is great for a weeknight dinner, packing in lunches, or freezing for later.
- Smash Cake for Baby's First Birthday - If you happen to have a baby in your life that is about to turn one (or just want a small cake to serve your family!), check out this sweet vanilla smash cake.
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls - My go-to mixing bowls for baking.
- 8x8 Baking Dish Emile Henry - I love this small, sturdy baker.
Easy Vanilla Snack Cake Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- 8x8 baking dish
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour (2 cups = 250 g)
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Egg
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Sugar (1 cup = 200 g)
- ¾ cup Milk
- ¾ cup Sour Cream
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil (see note)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In one medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a larger mixing bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Add milk, sour cream, and vegetable oil and mix again until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients stir until just combined (no dry spots should remain; but the batter will be lumpy).
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until the center is firm and the cake is golden on top, 33 to 36 minutes.
- Let cake cool in the pan before slicing and serving.