Everyone should have a good classic go-to birthday cake recipe. This recipe is pretty simple and it yields a two or three layer moist vanilla cake. The first thing you will do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you cann use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. Add the butter in the stand mixer and beat it until nice and creamy then add in three cups of granulated sugar. Turn the mixer back to medium speed and beat until the sugar and butter are nicely combined. Add room temparature eggs one at a time with the mixer on low speed until each is combined. Next, you will and one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

For the dry ingredients, you will need a separate bowl, add your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt then whisk that together until everything is completely combined. You will start alternating adding the flour mixture and buttermilk. Add some of the flour mixtures and stir until it’s just combined then the buttermilk and then stir until it is combined. Repeat that until the batter is formed. I always recommend starting and finishing with the flour mixture, usually, add that in about 4 or 5 parts and the buttermilk in about 3 to 4 parts. Once the last addition of four is almost completely absorbed, you can add the sprinkles, sprinkle are great for birthday cake. Divide the batter evenly into eight or nine-inch pans.

Transfer them into a 350-degree oven and let them bake for around 30  minutes or until they are nicely golden brown on the top and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Once baked, let them cool for about ten minutes then remove the cake from the pan and onto a wire rack. It’s very important leaving the cakes to cool completely before frosting them. For the frosting, you will be using the chocolate cream cheese frosting, its very simple to make. In a stand mixer, add unsalted butter, softened cream cheese, salt, and pure vanilla extract. Cream them together until smooth and creamy then gradually add the powdered sugar to the rest of the ingredients and continue beating on low speed.

Add the cocoa powder and beat that until it is well combined with the cream cheese. To assemble the cake, spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake and let it with the other cake the in fill it up with the frosting.


  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract; optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 1 cup milk (whole milk preferred)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, cut into pats
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil


  • 1 1/4 cups natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup + 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup) butter, softened


  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center.
  2. Lightly grease two 8” x 2” or 9” x 2” round cake pans; for extra protection against sticking, line the bottom of the pans with parchment rounds, and grease the parchment.
  3. Weigh your flour; you’ll find its weight by toggling to “grams” at the top of the ingredient section above.
  4. Or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, either using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, if using until thickened and light gold in color, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
  7. The batter should fall in thick ribbons from the beaters, whisk, or paddle.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture in the bowl and mix — by hand or on low speed of a mixer — just enough to combine.
  9. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix again briefly, to fully incorporate any residual flour or sticky bits.
  10. In a saucepan set over medium heat or in the microwave, bring the milk just to a simmer.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and oil, stirring by hand until the butter has melted.
  12. Slowly mix the hot milk-butter-oil mixture into the batter, stirring on low speed of a mixer until everything is well combined.
  13. Scrape the bowl and mix briefly, just until smooth.
  14. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. You’ll use about 2 3/4 cups (about 580g) in each.
  15. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top feels set, 26 to 30 minutes for two 9” pans, or 38 to 42 minutes for two 8” pans..
  16. Remove the cakes from the oven, carefully loosen the edges, and allow them to cool for 15 minutes in the pans.
  17. Turn them out of the pans and transfer them to a rack, right-side up, to cool to room temperature.
  18. To make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together – by hand or mixer – the cocoa powder, 1 cup (113g) of the confectioners’ sugar, and the salt. Stir in the water and vanilla, scraping the bowl if necessary.
  19. Add the butter and remaining confectioners’ sugar, stirring to combine.
  20. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the frosting at medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy, stopping halfway through to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

To assemble the cake;

  1. Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate; tuck pieces of waxed or parchment paper underneath the edge of the cake to keep the plate clean.
  2. Spread the bottom layer with about 1 cup of frosting, enough to make a 1/4” to 1/2”-thick layer.
  3. Center the second layer bottom-side up over the frosted layer and press gently to set it in place.
  4. Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to let this layer set then slice it.