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One Bowl Vanilla Birthday Cake – No Mixer Needed!

One Bowl Vanilla Birthday Cake - photo

For Savanna’s birthday we made an easy one bowl vanilla birthday cake with sprinkles. Savanna really wanted to be involved and help make her cake. Between school, sports and activities we have very limited time so this cake needed to be easy and fast to make!  I also really hate taking out my mixer and cleaning extra bowls so we decided to do this all in a bowl with a whisk!

First whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar).

How to make an easy birthday cake - photo

Then in a large liquid measuring cup measure and whisk together the wet ingredients (melted butter or oil, milk, eggs and vanilla).

Easy Vanilla Cake - no mixer - photo

Next pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.  It is that simple!

easy birthday cake directions - photo

If you are making this a funfetti cake you can fold in the sprinkles last (you could alternatively do mini chocolate chips 🙂

One Bowl Vanilla Funfetti Cake - photo

Lastly portion out into a 9×13 pan or 2 8 inch cake pans and bake!

One Bowl Vanilla Birthday Cake Tips

  1. I like to use a scale when portioning out my batter to help assure even layers
  2. When the cakes are done baking, I let them cool for 5 minutes and then invert them onto parchment paper.  I find this helps flatten the tops which helps when layering the cake.
  3. You know your cake is done when it stars to brown lightly at the edges and it bounces back when you touch it.  You can see a quick video here if helpful!Vanilla Birthday Cake Tips - photo
  4. I wrap my layers in saran wrap and let them chill for a minimum of 4 hours before I fill, stack and frost.  They are more sturdy once they are chilled and much easier to manage.
  5. Enlist your kids to help! They love to help mixing and they even like tracing and cutting the parchment paper for the the pans.

After the cake has baked and chilled you can ice or layer your cake with your personal favorites.  We decided to fill this with Savanna’s favorite cherry jam from the farmers market.  It really made the cake, the vanilla glaze is super sweet and this was a nice balance.  Savanna does not love chocolate but an easy chocolate ganache would be a great filling as well.

You can frost it with a simple vanilla buttercream (there is a recipe in the notes of my sugar cookies), but you do need an electric mixer for that.  So I wanted to test out a simple glaze for this cake and it worked great (ingredients in notes).  We are cake lovers around here and not icing lovers so this worked really well for us.  If you are a chocolate lover a simple chocolate ganache filling (see in notes) would work really well here too!

Easy Vanilla Glaze - photo

Finally I added these fun dye free starfetti sprinkles and the birthday topper is from party city 🥳

Easy Vanilla Cake with Glaze - photo

We all enjoyed and hope you do too!

One Bowl Vanilla Birthday Cake - photo

Easy One Bowl Vanilla Birthday Cake

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Servings:15 people
Keyword:birthday, Cake, Kid Friendly, Kids in the Kitchen, Quick Recipes


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 10 tbs 5oz unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cup milk room temperature
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles optional I like to use dye free


  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Lightly spray (or use a little oil) 2 - 8 inch cake pans and line with parchment paper on the bottom
  • In a large measuring cup melt the butter and let it cool for 5 minutes
  • While the butter is cooling in a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
  • Add in sugar to the flour mixture and whisk to combine and set aside
  • In the large measuring cup with the melted butter add the eggs and whisk to combine
  • To the butter and eggs add in milk and vanilla and whisk to combine
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps
  • Bake for 25 - 30 mins (until edges start to brown and it springs back when you touch it)
  • Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then flip onto parchment paper and let cool completely
  • If you have a dome on your cake you cake slice it off to make level layers
  • Place in fridge (I wrap in saran wrap first) for 4 hours or overnight to chill before you add the icing or glaze - See notes for glaze and icing recipes


1. To make this more simple you can bake in a 9x13 for 30-35 minutes and let cool for 1-2 hours (can pop in fridge) and then pour a glaze over
2. You can use oil instead of butter, but the butter yields a deeper flavor
3. If your milk is not at room temperature warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds (if not it will cause the butter to harden)
4. You could do mini chocolate chips instead of sprinkles with a chocolate ganache filling and glaze as an alternative!
Icing and Filling Options:
Simple Vanilla Glaze
2 cups 10x Confectionary Sugar
3 tbs + 1-2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine
2. It will be very thick! If it is too thin it will run off too much
3. Pour over cake and spread if you need to
Buttercream Icing - you will need a handheld or stand up mixer 
Note: If you are filling the cake with jam or chocolate ganache you can halve this recipe.  If you are filling it with icing as well you will need to make the entire batch.  
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 5 cups powdered/confectionary /10x sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
1. Beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl or bowl of your stand up mixer
2. Add in the milk and vanilla and beat until combined
3. Scrap down the sides and add in one cup more cup of sugar and beat for 1 minute
4. Repeat step 3 until all the sugar is incorporated
Fillings Options:
  1. More Icing (you can add sprinkles or mini chocolate chips to the inside icing if you did not add it to the cake)
  2. Jam
  3. Chocolate Ganache:
    • 6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate chopped finely or chips
    • 4 ounces heavy cream
      1. Chop and weigh the chocolate in a bowl.
      2. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil;
      3. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute.
      4. Whisk until smooth. Let stand until cool.
Did you make this recipe?I would love to see your creations! Snap a picture and tag @kristanwatson or #foodplaygo on Social Media!
  1. Zoe Moxon says:

    Love the recipe but cooking time isn’t right for my oven. Have been cooking at 162 Celsius for about 50min now and middle isn’t cooked yet… had to cover with foil…

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