This is the most Ridiculous Vanilla Cake. Seriously, it’s the softest, most moist cake EVER – it literally melts in your mouth! A vanilla cake recipe topped with sweet icing and garnished with white chocolate chips… you’ve got to get in on this goodness.
A Super Moist Vanilla Cake
A few years ago I made a chocolate cake. It was insanely fudgy and soft, and I decided to call it ridiculous chocolate cake because… well… it was. And then I started getting requests for a Ridiculous Vanilla Cake, which leads us to today!
So, I present you with this soft, moist vanilla cake recipe with sweet vanilla icing. It’s made with boxed vanilla cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, tangy sour cream, and white chocolate chips. It’s truly the most tender cake out there, and it couldn’t be easier to make!
It’s topped with a simple 3-ingredient vanilla icing that you can whip together in no time, and more white chocolate chips, if you feel so inclined (I always do!). While this vanilla cake may not look like the most exciting dessert you’ve ever made, the flavor and the texture more than compensate for that – do NOT miss out on this incredible vanilla cake!
(For future reference, though, if you’d prefer to make a vanilla cake from scratch, use this homemade cake mix!)
Why You’ll Love This Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe
I never thought I’d be this eager to share a simple vanilla cake recipe, but here we are! This is why I’m such a big fan of this dessert:
- Incredibly moist. Made with sour cream, pudding mix, vegetable oil, and eggs, this vanilla cake is ultra-tender and moist.
- Quick and easy. It takes just 10 minutes to prep this cake for the oven – that’s all. After that comes the hardest part: waiting for the cake to be done so you can dig in!
- Perfect for any occasion. This vanilla cake is low-key enough to satisfy your everyday sugar cravings, but elegant enough to be the dessert offering for your next dinner party. It’s really up to you!
Let’s talk about what you’ll need to make this super moist vanilla cake recipe! Note that you can find the exact amount for each ingredient in the recipe card below.
For the Cake
- Vanilla Cake Mix: Use your favorite boxed vanilla cake mix.
- Instant Vanilla Pudding: Adds moisture and extra sweet vanilla flavor.
- Sour Cream: For every 1 cup of sour cream, keep in mind that you can substitute with 1 cup of plain yogurt, or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) and enough cream to make 1 cup.
- Eggs: Bring these to room temperature before you add them to the batter.
- Vegetable Oil & Water: Both provide extra moisture so that the cake does not dry out while it bakes.
- White Chocolate Chips: If you really just aren’t a white chocolate fan, you can absolutely omit them from this recipe.
For the Icing
- Powdered Sugar: Sift your powdered sugar before starting on the icing to get rid of the clumps.
- Milk: For a thicker, richer icing, you could try substituting with heavy cream.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract provides the best flavor!
- White Chocolate Chips: These are optional, for garnish, but I love adding them!
What Cake Pan Should I Use?
I have had my fair share of cake disasters while flipping a cake out of a bundt pan. It’s enough to make you cry! Along with greasing the pan heavily I use THIS PAN and literally have never looked back. I recommend this to SO many people and truly feel like it’s the best. I can’t say that I have had any issue with sticking since using this one.
That said, you can try baking this cake with an assortment of different pans. Please note, however, this is a denser-style cake, which I prefer in a bundt or tube pan style. But it will work in other pans too:
- 9×13 pan: Decrease your bake time to an estimated 30-35 minutes.
- 2 round 9-inch cake pans: Decrease your bake time to 25-30 minutes.
- For cupcakes: Decrease the bake time to 20-25 minutes.
How To Make a Moist Vanilla Cake
Here, you’ll find the basic step-by-step guide to making this easy vanilla cake. For the full set of directions, scroll on down to the recipe card below.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 10-inch bundt pan with butter or shortening and lightly dust it with flour. Set aside.
- Mix the ingredients. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the cake ingredients. Mix on low for 30 seconds until everything is combined, and then on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the white chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake the cake. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is set. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert the pan onto a cake plate.
- Make the icing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Then, pour it over the cake.
- Garnish the cake. Sprinkle the cake with white chocolate chips if desired. Note – if you sprinkle white chips on the cake when it’s warm they will melt slightly.
Tips for Success
Even though this moist vanilla cake recipe follows a very simple process, I still have a few tips and tricks to share with you:
- Use the cake mix as an ingredient! Don’t follow the instructions on the box at all. Just use the dry cake mix as you would your flour, sugar, etc.
- Grease the bundt pan. Make sure you grease the pan HEAVILY especially if you use the white chocolate chips, as they might melt to the side of the pan and stick if it is not greased properly. You can use a baking spray, or grease the pan with butter or shortening and then lightly dust with flour or powdered sugar.
- Let the cake cool. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting the pan onto a cake plate or platter. The cake is pretty soft, so it may fall apart if you try to invert it too quickly.
- Don’t worry if the cake crumbles a little when you remove it from the pan. If this happens, depending on how much sticks, know that you will be icing this cake and garnishing it with white chocolate chips. That will cover up a whole lot of imperfection!
Frequently Asked Questions
Anything that contains fat contributes to how moist the cake gets. In this recipe, that would be the sour cream and the vegetable oil.
The most likely reason that your vanilla cake turned out dry is that it was over-baked. To avoid this, try using the toothpick test. If you insert a toothpick into the cake and it comes out with moist crumbs (but not wet batter), it’s time to pull the pan out.
How to Store
You can store this vanilla cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. If you want it to last for a few more days, try refrigerating it.
Can I Freeze This Vanilla Cake?
Sure. I would recommend freezing it without the icing, and then whipping the icing together quickly when you’re ready to eat it. The cake can be frozen in an airtight container (or wrapped tightly) for 1-2 months.
More Vanilla Cake Recipes
Want to try out some more easy vanilla cakes? Check out these ones!
- Perfect Vanilla Cake (great for layer cakes!)
- Vanilla Cupcakes (perfectly domed cupcakes using the reverse creaming method)
- Tres Leches Cake
- Yellow Sour Cream Cake With Chocolate Frosting
This ridiculous vanilla cake is so moist and tender. Made with sour cream and white chocolate chips, and topped with a sweet vanilla icing, it’s truly irresistible!
For the Cake
- 1 (15.25 ounce) box vanilla cake mix
- 1 (4 serving sized) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 (8- ounce) container sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
For the Icing
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- white chocolate chips to garnish
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 10- inch bundt pan with butter or shortening and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine all the cake ingredients. Mix on low for 30 seconds until combined and then on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is set. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert the pan onto a cake plate.
For the Icing
- In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Pour over the cake.
- You can ice the cake when it’s warm or cooled.
- Sprinkle with white chocolate chips if desired. Note – if you sprinkle white chips on the cake when it’s warm they will melt slightly.
- This cake was originally posted in 2016 using 16- ounces of sour cream. I received a fair amount of comments letting me know you thought that produced too dense and wet a cake. I updated the recipe in 2021 using 8- ounces of sour cream. Wanted to include this note for those of you who enjoyed the original recipe!
- To store. Store this cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
- To freeze. I would recommend freezing this cake without the icing, and then whipping the icing together quickly when you’re ready to eat it. The cake can be frozen in an airtight container (or wrapped tightly) for 1-2 months.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 613
- Sugar: 64.3 g
- Sodium: 523.4 mg
- Fat: 28 g
- Carbohydrates: 83.4 g
- Protein: 8.8 g
- Cholesterol: 77.3 mg