6 Inch Vanilla Cake Recipe

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Joseph Published: February 10, 2021 Modified: June 1, 2021

How To Make 6 Inch Vanilla Cake

With its pristine 3-tier soft crumb and creamy buttercream, this 6-inch vanilla cake is versatile and easy to decorate — perfect for small gatherings!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • cupscake flour,leveled
  • ¾tspbaking powder
  • ¼tspbaking soda
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ½cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • 3large egg whites,at room temperature
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • ½cupsour cream,full-fat, at room temperature
  • ½cupwhole milk,at room temperature

For Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 5cupsconfectioners’ sugar
  • ¼cupheavy cream or whole milk
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • salt,to taste
  • sprinkles,for decorating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 6×2-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the small cakes seamlessly release from the pans.

Make the cake:

  1. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

  3. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.

  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined; do not over-mix. Whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.

  5. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for about 18 to 21 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

  6. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.

Make the frosting:

  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes until creamy. Add 4½ cups of confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes.

  2. Add up to ½ cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet.

Assemble and decorate:

  1. Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). 

  2. Place 1 cake layer on the cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with about ¾ cup of frosting. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly cover the top with about ¾ cup of frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. A bench scraper and small offset spatula are handy for decorating. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

  3. Refrigerate for about 30 to 45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake hold its shape when cutting.

  4. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions for any flavor: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Let the frosting sit at room temperature to slightly soften for about 10 minutes before assembling and frosting. If the frosting is still too stiff, beat it on medium speed with an electric mixer until it’s soft and spreadable again. Add a splash of milk or cream to thin out if needed. Frosted cake or unfrosted cake layers can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 888.01kcal
  • Fat: 40.89g
  • Saturated Fat: 25.55g
  • Trans Fat: 1.40g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.62g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.66g
  • Carbohydrates: 127.74g
  • Fiber: 0.51g
  • Sugar: 102.86g
  • Protein: 5.10g
  • Cholesterol: 110.70mg
  • Sodium: 528.68mg
  • Calcium: 86.43mg
  • Potassium: 113.10mg
  • Iron: 2.36mg
  • Vitamin A: 354.01µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.17mg
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