Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

A freshly baked cake is always the focus of any birthday celebration. I mean, isn’t the food always the focus? And because I am here today to help celebrate the birthday of my sweet blog friend, I decided to bake you a cake. When I was growing up, for each birthday in my family, my mom, grandmother or aunts would bake a cake, cover it with decadent frosting and then often spend hours decorating it.

If I am going to eat the calories in a slice of cake, it better be worth it. I’m talking about a rich, decadent cake packed with flavor, not some store-bought dry flavorless loaf of sugar. This Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream is worth every ounce. The strawberry buttercream creates a natural pink color that is bright, fun and perfect for birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers or even Mother’s Day.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cake

The cake is moist and decadent and the frosting is packed with sweet strawberry flavor. You will LOVE the frosting. It always receives rave reviews. The frosting is smooth and decadent but not too rich.

Strawberry and vanilla is one of my favorite combinations. Because I use fresh, natural and organic ingredients whenever possible, I used premium vanilla beans to flavor the cake and fresh, ripe organic strawberries for the frosting. Both are essential to achieve the highest quality and most flavorful cake.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream - moist and decadent cake with the most flavorful strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
A moist and decadent vanilla bean cake with a smooth strawberry buttercream frosting!
5 from 6 votes


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, (3 sticks)
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 9 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, , (3 sticks) at room temperature
  • 6-7 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted*
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease the edges of three 8" x 2" round cake pans. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk vanilla extract and vanilla paste (or contents of vanilla bean) into buttermilk. Pour one third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add half of the buttermilk, then repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth with small offset spatula, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes clean.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely.

To make the strawberry frosting:

  • Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove the seeds. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and half of the sugar. Beat on low speed until well blended. Add the other half of the sugar and two tablespoons of strawberry puree, mixing until combined. Increase speed to medium and add additional puree, a tablespoon at a time, until desired color and flavor is reached (I used all of the puree). Add vanilla and beat on high for about 30 seconds to lighten the frosting.

To assemble the cake:

  • Place one cake layer on a cake stand, plate or cake board. Spread and smooth 3/4 cup frosting, using a small offset spatula. Repeat with second cake layer. Place the third cake layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining strawberry frosting. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve.


  • I like the frosting to be light and smooth. Add between 6-7 cups of sugar and continue mixing until desired consistency is reached.
Source: Cake from Sweetapolita; Strawberry Buttercream from Spoonful of Flavor


Serving: 0g, Calories: 771kcal, Carbohydrates: 108g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 281mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 79g, Vitamin A: 1115IU, Vitamin C: 5.3mg, Calcium: 118mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

47 comments on “Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Buttercream”

  1. I actually made this cake with my son and oh boy it is delicious! My daughter said it was the best cake I ever made. I shared with neighbors who raved about it. The frosting is to die for. It’s going to be my go to cake from now on. Thank you!

  2. Can you also use cake flour in this recipe?  Would you have to change the amount of baking powder?  Thanks!

    • Hi, Amanda! Yes, you cake use cake flour instead of all purpose flour. Substitute 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all purpose flour.

  3. Hi!
    I am extremely excited to try this cake! I am planning to make it for thanksgiving dinner but I cannot bake the day of (or frost the day of) because of the turkey and all that. How would i be able to make this the night before and prepare the night before?

    • Hi, Sandy! The cake can be made in advance. I would bake it and assemble it the day before and then store in a cake container in the fridge until ready to serve, if possible. About an hour or two before serving, remove from fridge to bring to room temperature. Enjoy!

  4. I made this cake for my birthday and got SO many compliments on it! It was incredible!

  5. I made your cake today as I wanted to test it for a birthday party I’m hosting in a few weeks, The vanilla flavor was good and it was beautiful, but it had a very gummy texture. How long do you normally beat it after you have added the egg whites? Am I correct in assuming the egg whites are not beaten to soft peaks before adding them to the butter sugar mixture? Perhaps it was just underbaked? I baked my 3 inch layers for about 40 min. I would like to perfect it because I like the flavor combination.

    • Hi, Donna! I am sorry to hear that your cake turned out gummy. Usually a gummy cake results from over beating the batter or using a different ingredient than what the recipe calls for. The egg whites are not beaten to soft peaks before adding, you simply add the egg whites in step 2. I add the egg whites, one or two at a time, and beat until incorporated which doesn’t usually take very long. When you add the egg whites, you want to make sure you adjust the speed to medium. When you add the dry to the liquid in step 3, you only want to beat until just incorporated. I hope it comes out better for you the next time. Enjoy!

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