Vanilla Butter Cake

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One of the reasons I don't share tons of cake recipes on this site is because I feel incapable of making a beautifully frosted and decorated cake. Naked cakes are perfect for someone like me. But anything that requires you to freeze and get good lines on your frosting is out of my reach.

So I was quite intimidated when I received a copy of The Power of Sprinkles, which is about fun ways to decorate your cake. The cakes range from the rainbow surprise inside the cakes to the cakes that look like sushi rolls. They are beyond my skill level as a cake decorator.

But it does have a delicious vanilla butter cake base with cream cheese frosting that I'm dying to try.

So when I found the Fairy Bread Butter Cake, I knew it was the perfect cake for me. Frost the top of two cakes and add sparks? Yes, I can handle that, sign me up!

If you want to get fancy, you can use foil on the baking sheet to get that shape of toast, or you can cut the cake into toast. I'm not a big fan of cutting edges because it will dry out the inside of the vanilla butter cake since there is no frost to protect the exposed areas.

What is fairy bread?

Fairy bread is actually an Australian gift for children. It consists of bread spread with butter or margarine before being covered with sparks.

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I'm not Australian, but as far as I know from my Australian friends, it is often eaten at special breakfasts and children's parties. Some families also have them as a snack.

These days, fairy bread has gone beyond butter and sparks. There are people who also love to use Nutella or caramel and experiment with different types of sparks. It seems to be a fun and colorful way to enjoy your toast!

Frequently asked questions about vanilla butter cake

  1. Use real butter and make sure it's unsalted butter. Unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in your cake, which is very important. No one likes salty cake! If possible, use a butter with a high percentage of butter fat, like any European-style label. This type of butter has a really lovely flavor that shines on a butter cake like this.
  2. All-purpose flour or cake flour can be used in this vanilla butter cake recipe. If you want to turn this into a gluten-free recipe, you can use a 1: 1 gluten-free baking mix. My recommendation is to let the dough hydrate an extra minute or two before baking it in the oven.
  3. You can freeze the vanilla butter cake for up to a month, as long as it's not frozen. Just let it cool to room temperature before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, then store it in an airtight container. I usually freeze my cakes because it makes it easier to freeze the cake this way.
  4. If you're not a big fan of cream cheese frosting, you can substitute it with my vanilla butter cream frosting!

Yield: 1 cake

An incredibly moist vanilla butter cake that looks just like fairy bread

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Time to cook: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


Vanilla Butter Cake

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of table salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1â…“ cups milk, room temperature

Glazed cheese cream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons heavy cream, if needed *
  • sprinkle


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease and flour two 8 x 8 baking pans
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat the eggs one at a time until the mixture is completely combined, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the bowl and stir until combined.
  6. Add vanilla and half of milk until combined.
  7. Pour half of the remaining flour and stir until combined.
  8. Add the remaining milk and stir until combined.
  9. Mix the remaining flour until combined.
  10. Divide the dough equally between the two baking sheets (I use a scale to make sure they are exactly the same, but you can look at it carefully).
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Remove from oven and carefully remove cakes from their molds. Let them cool on a rack.
  13. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting.
  14. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  15. Whisk in the vanilla.
  16. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, whisking slowly. If the frosting is too thick for spreading, add thick cream as needed.
  17. Cut off the top of the cooled cakes.
  18. Spread the frosting on the cakes. Cover each with sparks, then cover one layer on top of the other.


* The original recipe doesn't require thick cream, and I didn't need any either. But if your frosting is too thick, feel free to loosen it slightly with thick cream. By its intended nature, this frosting should be somewhat thick.

Nutritional information:



Portion size:

1 Calories: 460 Total Fat: 22 g Saturated Fat: 13 g Trans Fat: 0 g Unsaturated Fat: 7 g Cholesterol: 92 mg Sodium: 197 mg Carbohydrate: 62 g Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 47 g Protein: 5 g

butter vanilla cake

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