Yield: 1 small batch vanilla sheet cake
Total time: 1 hr.
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Have you ever wanted cake but didn’t want to go through all of the effort to make one? Well welcome to your (and my) best friend: small batch sheet cake! Not only is sheet cake super simple because you bake one layer, frost it, and it’s ready to go but this recipe makes a small batch in a 9″ x 5″ loaf, perfect for 1-2 people and no waste! Plus this vanilla sheet cake is super fluffy, moist and easy to make! If you are looking for a quick treat that is *way* better than boxed cake mix, then this is the vanilla cake for you.
A couple of things to note:
1. Measuring the ingredients. It is important that you weigh the ingredients so that the recipe turns out correctly. When you use a kitchen scale, you can ensure that your baked goods turns out as closely to the written recipe as possible. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
2. Room temperature ingredients. It is important that the egg white and buttermilk are at room temperature so that they incorporate properly into the batter. Take the egg white and buttermilk out at least 20 minutes before starting the small batch vanilla cake.
3. Do not overmix! When adding the flour, you want to make sure to only fold the dough together until you see no more flour streaks. Over-mixing the batter will lead to super tough and chewy cake due to too much gluten forming in the batter.
To make this small batch vanilla sheet cake, you will need:
All purpose flour: gives the cake its’ structure
Baking powder: makes the cake rise
Salt: helps balance and bring out the sweetness of the cake
Unsalted butter: tenderizes the cake, we will use butter in the cake and in the buttercream
Vegetable oil: moistens the cake and helps it stay soft at room temperature
Granulated sugar: sweetens the cake
Vanilla bean paste: I love using Heilala vanilla bean paste for extra flavor, but vanilla extract will also work perfectly!
Buttermilk: hydrates the cake batter and makes the cake extremely moist and fluffy
Powdered sugar: for sweetening the vanilla buttercream
Heavy cream: for thinning out the buttercream
Can I make this cake ahead of time?
Yes! You can bake the cake up to 2 days before serving. Once the cake is done baking, let it cool completely to room temperature and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Do not frost the cake until you want to serve it.
Do I need to use buttermilk?
I highly recommend using buttermilk as it gives this cake a wonderfully moist and fluffy crumb. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can mix together 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice with 55g of buttermilk and let it sit for 10 minutes before adding to the cake for a “substitute.” Sour cream will also work well in place of the buttermilk
Tools and ingredients helpful for making this recipe:
Happy baking! x
Vanilla Sheet Cake (small batch)
Vanilla Sheet Cake
- 80 g all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 40 g unsalted butter melted
- 17 g vegetable oil
- 72 g granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg white room temperature
- 58 g buttermilk room temperature
- 70 g unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 110 g powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the vegetable oil and sugar. Add in the egg white and vanilla, whisking until well combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to lightly fold the mixture together until no flour streaks remain. Add in all of the butermilk and fold until combined. Then, add the rest of the flour and fold until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter with the salt for 1 minute until it is smooth. While beating, add in the powdered sugar in 3 additions. On the last addition, add in the vanilla.
- Beat the mixture for an additional minute. Add in the heavy cream and beat for another minute.
- Once the cake has cooled, cover it with the vanilla buttercream and sprinkles, if desired. Serve, and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, I would love to see it and know what you think! Please leave a rating down below and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. Thanks for stopping by!