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Who’s ready for cake!?

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

And Friday?!?! And celebrations!?!?

Me, me, me, ME!! ?

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest
Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest
Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest
Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

Over here in my little world, it’s been a big week and a half. First things first, Asher’s eighth birthday. I think the little girl had a pretty fun week. She seemed to love all of her presents and the finale to her celebrations was her Harry Potter birthday party with four of her closest friends. The fun isn’t completely over, come October 1, we will finally be heading off on our trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando (thank you to those of you who recommended Orlando). I must say, I’m pretty psyched to go myself.

Second, BABY goats!!. Oh those baby goats…aka kids, as they’re officially called. These two little goats are the cutest little animals I have ever seen. Like puppies have nothing on them. What’s even cuter though? Watching Layla, their mom, play her motherly role. Since Layla is a first time mom, she didn’t quite know what to do for the first day, but her motherly instincts have kicked in, and now the only time she ever leaves their side is to eat, and even then, it’s never for very long. Watching their bond grow stronger each and every day has been incredibly awesome. Layla will not even let my cat Snape (or Snap or Snappers as Asher calls him) near them. She stairs him down until he runs off. <–for real.

Third, my sixteen year old brother, Red, got his driver’s license. Ahhh, what? How is that even possible? It feels like yesterday that he was the baby of the family. I cannot believe he is driving now…YIKES.

Fourth, this little site of mine is growing and I could not be more exited about it! Woot Woot! 🙂

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

So you see… it’s clearly a cake kind of Friday… obviously the best kind of Fridays.

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

OK, so here’s the deal with this cake. Typically I would never bother with a vanilla cake, but my cousin Abby convinced me that a vanilla cake with sprinkles (nonpareils…the round ones) was something I had to make. I’ve had it ingrained into me from a very young age that the only cake worth eating was chocolate. No seriously, I never, ever, ate vanilla cake growing up. I’ve probably only ever had just a few bites before making this cake.

I know, I know, that is kind of crazy, but you just do not know my mom. It’s all chocolate, all the time. The other thing my mom tried to instill into me? Sprinkles = BAD. I think she did this, one, because they messed too much with her pure chocolate on chocolate flavors, and two, because she knew they just added more unnecessary sugar, and three (and probably most importantly), she HATED to have to clean them up. Sprinkles and Nerds (do you guys remember those?) were pretty much outlawed in our house.

Well, I am breaking all the rules today and making a vanilla cake… and even adding (just a few) sprinkles…ooops.

Thankfully, I no longer live at home, and thankfully my mom never saw the ENTIRE BAG of sprinkles I spilled on my pantry room floor. Totally serious, I am forever a klutz.

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

Anyway, I made a vanilla cake, but since I love my chocolate too, I had to go with chocolate frosting. Like I just couldn’t do vanilla on vanilla. Maybe someday in the future, but just not today. Today needed mounds of whipped chocolate buttercream (again, cause we are celebrating baby goats over here, with more to come any day now!) atop my moist and fluffy vanilla cake!

Alright, so this cake?! Even though it is vanilla. I still LOVE it. It’s fluffy and moist, and has an intense vanilla flavor, which is possibly my favorite thing ever. That moist and fluffy and vanillay cake is the perfect pairing with my favorite whipped chocolate buttercream, like it is SOOOO GOOD!

So good, that even my sprinkle hating, chocolate only, freak of a mother had a piece… and truly enjoyed it!

Um, that’s what I call a successful vanilla cake! 🙂

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

You may have noticed that I didn’t cover my cake fully in sprinkles…ahh, sorry, but like I said, I spilled them all over the floor. If you have a serious love for sprinkles, feel free to go as crazy as you’d like!

I do actually prefer a cake probably minus the sprinkles. Well, I think just a few can be awesome, cause they’re so fun, but too many and, I dunno, they start to take away from the flavor of the cake. I guess it’s true what they say, like mother like daughter. ?

Ahhh, sooo here’s what I’m thinking, birthday or no birthday, this Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream should probably be made… ASAP… just sayin.

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 18 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 709 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Whipped Chocolate Buttercream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
  • In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs and egg yolks. Add the greek yogurt and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with flour until just combined.
  • Pour the batter among the 3 cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Grab 3 large flat plates, line them with wax or parchment paper and invert the cakes onto the paper lined plates. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer). Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat, scraping down the sides as needed, another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks of white. Add 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream and whip the frosting for 2-4 minutes more or until light and fluffy. If desired add the remaining tablespoon of the heavy cream (I normally do) and whip until combined. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter or thicker frosting. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with sprinkles, chocolate curls or whatever your heart desires.


*if you do not have cake flour, use 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons. Then add 2 tablespoons cornstarch. This will equal 1 cup of cake flour. Repeat this four times so you have 4 cups of cake flour. Then measure out the required 3 3/4 cups cake flour (reserve the 1/4 cup). **Vanilla cake adapted from Martha Stewart.
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Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

Cause really, all Fridays should include some kind of cake!

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream | @hbharvest

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  1. Hi Tieghan;
    Do you have a recipe for dairy free and egg free birthday cake? My grandson is allergic to both and I have not found a successful recipe yet. I would love for him to have a cake for his birthday.
    Thank you,

  2. Hi! Hoping to use this next week, what temperature and time should I use to bake as cupcakes? Thank in advance, can’t wait to try!!

    1. Hi Adriel,
      I would bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xT

  3. 5 stars
    If I want to use this but rather than chocolate make vanilla buttercream, should I merely omit the cocoa powder? Was not sure if need to even out the omission of cocoa powder with a bit more sugar etc. Thank you!

    1. Hey Steph,
      You bet, you might need to add a touch more powdered sugar! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hi! I know the layers are so fun, but my skills in stacking are 0/10. Would it change anything if I baked a 9×13? Would that work?

  4. 5 stars
    Once again, I used one of your cake recipes for our kid’s birthday! This cake was perfection- so moist and full of flavour- and watching our 4-year-old’s eyes light up when we cut into 3 layers was the best! I added sprinkles to the batter too- just a few to make some rainbow confetti 😉 – also followed the notes regarding cake flour- I only had an unbleached whole white flour in the pantry, but it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for all your delish recipes!

    1. Hey D’Arcy,
      Amazing!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! Happy Birthday to your little one!! xx

  5. Hi Tieghan! I’m dying to make this cake for my son’s birthday. Question for you — the instructions call for three 8” cake pans, but then for assembling with the frosting, they only mention 2 layers.

    Do I need a cake leveler to make the middle layer completely flat in order to make this a 3 layer cake? Or is there a way to make it a 3 layer cake without a leveler?

    1. Hey Cara,
      Sorry, I’m not sure why I left out the 3rd layer, but you are going to make 3 layers;) You don’t need a cake leveler, it will be just fine! I hope you love this recipe! xx

  6. 5 stars
    I never write reviews, but this cake is too good to not give it 5 stars. I’ve been searching for a homemade vanilla cake recipe for years and they always turn out so dry. I’ve almost choked bites down with other recipes but this one is a winner! It’s flavorful and moist and very comparable to one of my favorite bakeries. It was the perfect birthday cake for my daughters birthday yesterday. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Hey Julie,
      Perfect!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for trying it out! Happy Birthday to your daughter! xx

  7. Hi Tieghan,
    I just have to tell you that my soon to be 8 yr old is obsessed with your IG feed. He always ask me if we can open my phone and “check out what half baked harvest is up to” 🙂 He requested this cake for his 8th birthday tomorrow (11/22). I’m baking away and just want to say we love your recipes and I have no problem trying out a new-to-me recipe for his big day tomorrow because everything I have ever made of yours is incredible! Thanks for all you do.

    1. Hey Taylor,
      Awe, thanks so much for sharing this and following along:) This makes me so happy!! I hope you all love this cake and happy birthday to Nixon!! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jacqueline,
      Sure, that should work! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

      1. 5 stars
        Best vanilla cake I’ve ever had. My husband and 12yo both loved it. I wasn’t crazy about the frosting but I think that’s a taste preference and not anything wrong with the recipe! I don’t like super sweet frosting but this wasn’t sweet enough for me, even after adding an extra 1/2c of powered sugar.

        1. Hey Jessica,
          Happy Monday!!☃️ I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad it was enjoyed! xT

    1. Hi Elle,
      Two would work, you might have some leftover batter:) I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, let me know if you give it a try! xx

    1. Hi Jessica,
      You can follow the recipe as is, just keep an eye on the cake towards the end! I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  8. Hi,
    I have made this cake and it is delicious! I’d like to make cupcakes for my son’s upcoming birthday. How would you adjust baking for cupcakes?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Emily,
      Fantastic!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it! I would reduce your bake time to 25-30 minutes for cupcakes. xTieghan

  9. Hi there! Just found your page a month ago and don’t know how I lived without it. I’m about to make my first one of “your” cakes. I’m an avid baker and now that I live in CO, I usually make some high-altitude adjustments. I know you live in altitude also, but I assume your recipes are standard? Wondering if I should make the adjustments or not (reduce temp by 25 degrees, add 2 T flour for each cup and then reduce leavening agents by 1/8 t per teaspoon)

    Thanks so much and please keep your amazing recipes coming ?

    1. Hi Erica,
      No need to adjust anything, you can follow the recipe as is! I hope you love the cake, let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Does this frosting need to be refrigerated after it is put on the cake?
    The cake itself its moist and SO delicious!

        1. Hey there,
          I would follow the baking times as is, just keep an eye on them. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  11. If we just wanted to do a white vanilla buttercream frosting would we just leave out the cocoa powder? Or is there something we should add in its place?

    1. Hey Christine,
      Yes, you may have to use extra powdered sugar in place of the cocoa powder. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how it turns out! xTiegh