Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix

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This Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix is super easy to put together and store in your pantry for those days you want to put together a quick, delicious vanilla cake! Make several to keep on hand – or to give as gifts. I’ve even included a cute little tag you can print out with the ingredients and instructions for baking later!

Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix

Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix recipe

We all have those times in life that are super busy and we need a little shortcut. Baking can even be one of those things we need a shortcut with. Though I love to bake and enjoy the process of putting everything together for a wonderful cake, there are times that I just want to grab a mix out of the pantry and have part of process already done for me.

This cake mix is perfect for those days!

The mix includes flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. All your main dry ingredients really. Just combine them in a bowl and add them to a well sealed mason jar and you’re all set! It’s a fair amount of mix, so I used a 32 oz size mason jar. I had to do a little tapping of the jar on the table to get everything to pack down so could I fit it all. 🙂

Decorated Homemade Vanilla Cake MixBest Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix recipe

Once your mix is ready, feel free to download and print the cake mix tag to add to it so you have the ingredients list and instructions handy when you’re ready to bake it. It’s a straightforward mix, which is perfect for a cake mix. No need to cream anything – just combine and mix together!

It bakes up into a lovely and super moist vanilla cake! I love how simple it is to make and the 9×13 size is great for something quick, easy and transportable if you feel like sharing. 🙂 Is there anything better than a quick, easy cake to get your fix?

Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix in panFavorite Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix

You might also like:

Moist Vanilla Layer Cake
Easy Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
Easy Moist Chocolate Cake
Coconut Poke Cake

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Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix in jar

Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 14-16 Servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix is super easy to put together and store in your pantry for those days you want to put together a quick, delicious vanilla cake!



  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water


1. To make the cake mix, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
2. Add the dry mix to a large sealable container. I used 32 oz mason jars. Seal and store until ready to make. Print the tag with ingredients and instructions to add to the jar.

3. To finish the cake, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and grease a 9×13 inch cake pan.
4. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry cake mix and mix until well combined.
6. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. The batter will be very thin.
7. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
8. Allow the cake to cool and frost it with the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 50.3 g
  • Sodium: 209.2 mg
  • Fat: 20.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.6 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.8 mg

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Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix! Such a moist and easy cake to put together! With a printable tag!

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Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

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  1. Elizabeth Yakubu

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can it be stored in zip lock bags or airtight cellophane bags? And for how long can it be stored before use. Do we store in the fridge or on the counter top?
    Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      I would think ziplock bags or anything air-tight would be fine. They can be stored for as long as the ingredients are good. So check the expiration date of the things you use and keep those in mind. You can store it at room temperature.

  2. Nai

    Honestly I had low expectations because the measurements reminded me of the chocolate cake I’m familiar with.. as expected this is a very very dense cake.. please try this recipe before packaging it to give to anyone

  3. Debbie

    This was SO good. It was so moist. I made a Bundt cake and a bunch of cupcakes. I will make this again. I will be making this for my 30th Anniversary party. What is the max of this cake will bake in?

  4. Bilal

    With regards to your cake mix recipe, will the 2-1/2 cups of flour make a two layer 9″ cake too thin if I decide not to bake in a 9″x13″ pan for a different recipe ?

    1. Lindsay

      It depends on how tall you want it to be. I have made it as a three layer 8 inch cake and it ends up being about 4 inches tall. It would probably be closer to 3 inches as a 9 inch cake.

  5. Nhia

    Hi can we substitute baking powder with baking soda if we don’t have baking powder on hand? If so, would I just use the same amount 3 tsp or a different amount? Thanks!

  6. Yolanda Brooks

    I’ve made your vanilla cupcakes on several occasions and they’re delicious. Can I double this cake recipe to make a half sheet cake, and if yes would I just double the ingredients?

    1. Lindsay

      It depends on how tall of a cake you want. If you don’t double the recipe, the cake will be about an inch or so tall. If you want a taller cake, yes you can double the recipe.

  7. Mary

    How about adding a third cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for a chocolate version? Or use the dry packets of lemon in the dry for a taste of lemon…Have to try them all! Thank you for such a great way to make a cake without the fuss!!!!!

  8. Stephanie C.

    I used this plus a package of Jello Butterscotch pudding mix to make a beautiful Bundt cake. I did add 5-7 more minutes of bake time and it came out perfect. Topped with cream cheese glaze, dark chocolate syrup, and pecans. Mmm, so yummy for Father’s Day. Thank you for this awesome and pantry-friendly recipe!

  9. Catherine Maxey

    Great recipe. I decided to try it because I found a recipe that I wanted to try that called a box of cake mix. Didnt want to buy a box. So I made this to test it. I screwed up and left out the hot water. Texture was very similar to a Sara Lee pound cake with a great flavor. Will make again with the added hot water. I did reduce the sugar 10%. Plenty sweet I thought.

  10. Connie Lee Peterson

    How do you cut it down to smaller cakes? My math isn’t the best so I’m having trouble. Suppose I want one cup of mix?

    1. Lindsay

      For one cup of the cake mix/dry ingredients you’d probably want to cut it into fourths and use a fourth. If you don’t want to have to worry too much about the math, maybe make the whole mix and then just measure out a quarter of the mix when you’re ready to make the cake.

  11. Lynette Shedden

    Someone had posted about using this for a dump cake!! I am a therapist and educator and always have extra people around so using dump cake recipes is great. I replaced the milk with powdered 3 Tablespoons powdered
    And I added powdered vanilla. But my friend added 1 tablespoon powdered instant vanilla pudding to the jar .
    And we have labeled these dump cake mix or cake mix cookie mix ..

  12. Shyanne Jones

    This cake just taste like pancakes to me. I was slightly disappointed, but for the ingredients listed it was not a bad tasting pancake loaf. 😂

  13. AndreaG

    Mine turned out great. Everyone loved it and it was so quick, easy and convenient with the mix. I’m gonna make 2 or 3 mixes at a time to always have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  14. chinachef

    Made a 3-layer 8” diameter cake using this recipe. SO moist even after refrigerating overnight after doing raspberry filling and almond buttercream frosting! Everyone loved it!

      1. Sarah

        I made a dump cake dessert with a box cake mix and it was good… But too sweet! Thought I could try with a home made recipe and cut back the sugar… How Do you think it would go with just a cup of sugar?

      2. Lindsay

        I haven’t made a dump cake, so I’m not real familiar with them. But keep in mind that the batter of this cake is super thin. I personally wouldn’t recommend reducing the sugar. It does more than just make things sweet. It affects the texture and moisture.

  15. Suzi

    I baked this cake for my husband’s b-day. He loved it so much I am baking it again for our family 4th celebration! Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is definitely a keeper! No more box cake mixes for us!

  16. Sam

    Hi, this looks so simple and from your description, delicious. If you only mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients for this cake and it turns out well, why go through the trouble of beating the butter and sugar for a certain amount of time, adding the eggs and beating for a certain amount of time, and then alternating dry and milk to make a cake batter? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Lots of reasons. Some people prefer the taste of butter, some prefer a different texture cupcake. This batter is very thin so you can’t mix things into it, etc.

    1. Lindsay

      If you leave out the vanilla, you’d probably want to use a different flavoring or the cake won’t have any flavor.

  17. Sue

    Great recipe and gift idea! We loved it. My guess if anyone thought it was rubbery they quite possible mixed it way too long. Overmixing will do that to a cake batter. Thanks for the recipe, I have sworn off cake mixes and this was perfect!

  18. Stephanie

    I was so excited to make this cake, it was very moist but I felt like it was heavy and doughy. I’m struggling find the perfect recipe with balance of fluffy, moist and not dense. I do love so many of your recipes though!

  19. Denise

    Tried this recipe yesterday and unfortunately it turned out doughy. Not sure why but I will see if there is another recipe that I can try.

  20. Jamir

    I wish I read the reviews first. I was reading them while it was baking. I followed the recipe and didn’t make any changes and it did not come out like the picture. It was rubbery like others have stated 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you. For some reason with this recipe, it seems to either work out perfectly for people or not at all. I can’t seem to figure out why it doesn’t work for people sometimes.

  21. Kristi

    Perfect cake mix! The only thing I had a problem with was the amount of time which can vary depending on oven anyway. I ended up keeping it in the oven for 45 minutes. Came out moist and tasty. 

  22. Chad

    I made this for my kids and didn’t have any white flour. I ended up using whole wheat flour and it turned out perfect! I couldn’t imagine what it would taste like with normal flour! Great recipe! 

    1. Lindsay

      You could certainly try it. It’s going to add texture to your final cake. An alternative would be to add coconut extract later when you add your wet ingredients.

  23. D

    Just wanted to complement you on this recipe! It was quick and easy and very forgiving. I mixed the dry ingredients after sifting well and used half, storing the remainder. I just wanted an 8 inch round cake to serve with some fresh berry compote a neighbor brought over. Of course, I only used half the wet ingredients and I did use melted, cooled butter instead of oil. Also, I forgot to heat the water! However, it turned out beautifully! It was the perfect volume for a 8 inch cake pan. It was dense and rich but very moist. The best part? I made it after dinner one night and left it on the counter in a Tupperware cake box. My husband was locking up the house before bed, saw it on the counter and thought I forgot to refrigerate it. The next morning I saw it in the refrigerator and immediately thought it would be dried out. However we ate it that night and the consistency was perfect and moist. My husband can’t stop talking about how much better it is than a box mix, which I always use unless it’s a birthday or holiday. But, never again will I use a box mix! This recipe is much better and just as convenient!

  24. Melissa

    I just made this and it is soooo good!!  Thank you so much!!  So moist and yummy it doesn’t need any frosting!  Also mine took 40 minutes to bake – probably the type of pretty dish I was using.  

      1. Wangeci

        This looks absolutely lovely, I am wondering how I would be able to break it down to just make a small cake for one? I sometimes get a craving and bake like crazy and then once I have had the first slice the rest of the cake remains in the fridge for weeks and I end up throwing it away. Can I break this down to one serving to space it out and eat when the craving comes;)

      2. Lindsay

        You could try cutting the recipe down, but one serving would be extremely tiny measurements. I would see what math makes sense to break it down to and make that amount. It’s probably gonna be more like a handful of cupcakes.

  25. Tina Vetter

    Question. If you put all this and store it in your pantry could you make just a few cuocakes at a time instead of the entire jar? What would you think the breakdown would be of the additional ingredients? Say 4-6 at a time? If it won’t work then that’s ok but sometimes you just want a few not the entire 12 or 24 that would be in the mix.

    Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      I imagine it would be OK, you would just need to do a little math lol. If you use about a fourth of the dry ingredients, that should give you roughly 6 cupcakes. So you want to make sure to measure that correctly and then use a fourth of the wet ingredients. I hope that helps!

  26. Melanie

    After combining everything do you need to bake immediately or can it wait? I am making 2 6” cakes but only have 1 6” pan  

  27. Sam

    Wish I could post a picture…I knew I was in trouble when the mix came out looking similar to pancake batter but I’m about half way thru baking now and I have a raised dark brown rectangular bubble in the middle while the rest of cake isn’t cooked 😂 I followed recipe at all parts so fingers crossed just glad I’m using this for cake pops anyways 

  28. Mary Dumont

    Do you know if substituting applesauce for the oil will work. We don’t use Vegetable Oil and this cake looks amazing. I really want to make for my daughter birthday. Any suggestions or help?

  29. Felix

    Good recipe, very useful for many occasions. Ive cut the sugar down about 20% to suit my tastes. Im using it as a plain base for matcha cupcakes with good success.

    1. Mary Dumont

      Just curious on what I can use instead of Vegetable Oil. We no longer use it and I usually use applesauce with the box mix. I really want to make this fir my daughter’s birthday. Any suggestions?

      1. Jessy

        Use one large can of pumpkin. It’s really only super great with chocolate but it makes dreamy 😍 chocolate cake!

  30. Cecilia

    Hello I was jist wondering if I can use less oil than that or do I need to use the exact instructions? Plz reply soon since im making it right now.

    1. Lindsay

      Would you be replacing it with something else? It’s usually safest to follow the recipe as written, but you could always try changing it up.

  31. Vanessa

    Hey, I want to make a neopolitan cake using the cake mix, can u help out here . I want to divide the cake into 3 different pans/layers but im not sure how i would flavor one layer chocolate the other strawberry and the last one vanilla can u please let me know how to do it and how much to put of the certain ingredient? I would very much appreciate it

    Thank you

  32. Phoebe

    Can you easily make this cake a chocolate one? Or just the frosting? Just curious to how much cocoa I would need to put in

  33. kristy

    i make a cake mix cookie that i want to try with a homemade mix. Have you tried this as a cookie? and if so, just less liquids?

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried this one as a cookie. I’m not sure without playing with it. You’d definitely need to reduce the liquids though.

  34. Louise

    Hi, I followed this recipe exactly and my cake came out rubbery with some of it looking waxy and undercooked even though it was fully cooked. It also turned out alittle too thin for a sheet cake only measuring an inch. I used a square 10 by 10 inch tin. Do you know what I did wrong? 

    By the way I made the giant triple chocolate M&M cookie and that turned out perfect. I love your site and amazing baking recipes! I have a 6 month old son so I’ve been practicing recipes when get a rare moment to make for him when he’s older!

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve made this recipe in many forms and not ever had that issue. I know some people have described a similar result but without being able to recreate it, I really don’t know what the problem is. I’m sorry! You could try out this cake, just leave out the almond extract and sprinkles.

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the cookie cake!

  35. Michelle

    Or enough to use in a 10×2 inch round? The round cake pan reads 10×2 IN/ 25×5 CM What would you recommend for bake time? Thanks so much!

      1. Tina

        Nope one batch is perfect for A 10″ round. Just level a little off the top for a layered cake

  36. Jessica S.

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m having so much fun recreating your recipes! Do you think this would be enough for 2 6″ round pans? I’d like to use this for my daughter’s smash cake 🙂

  37. Ann Philip

    Hi Lindsay, its me again. Just wanted to say I did it with buttermilk, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1tsp baking powder. It came out great! I made it for my daughter’s birthday and she liked it very much. Thank you so much for sharing this cake mix idea. God bless. 

  38. Ann

    Hi Lindsay, thankyou so much for this idea. 
    I was wondering, do you think the cake would come out fine if I used 1 cup buttermilk, 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda instead.? 
    For another cake recipe, i had accidentally combined sugar with the flour, baking soda and baking powder, instead of creaming the sugar with the butter first. Then I came across your cake mix where the dry ingredients are mixed first. Please help! 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure, having not tried it that way. If you already have some things mixed together and don’t want to waste it, it’s worth a try.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t frozen it, but I’d imagine if it’s well wrapped it’d be ok. I always recommend defrosting in the fridge, too.

  39. Juliet

    who needs this for busy days? I am keeping it for everyday. It so simple to put together. thanks for sharing.

  40. Bernadine

    This is so cool Lindsay! It would make a great gift! I’ve been wondering if you have a recipe for a three layer vanilla cake where I can use 9 inch cake pans, as these are the only ones I have. Thanks! 

    1. Lindsay

      You can try any of the vanilla cakes on the site in 9 inch pans, you’ll just need to adjust the baking time. I like to use three 8 inch pans. You’d probably only need two 9 inch ones. The cakes would just bake a little longer.

  41. Leatha Thurman

    I found your posts on Pinterest, then started following you on your Life, Love & Sugar.  Your 
    recipes are fantastic !!!  I then purchased your new cookbook on Amazon, and recently bought
    another copy for my daughter.  Tried several of your recipes & they are wonderful.  Thanks so 
    much for sharing them with us.  You are truly a gifted young woman.  

      1. Denise

        Hi there.
        I’m excited to try this recipe but I have a quick question of you may. Can I omit the hot water altogether from this recipe?

      2. Lindsay

        It wouldn’t turn out the same. Is there something in particular you are trying to achieve? I have some other vanilla cake recipes as well.

  42. Julie Chittock

    I absolutely love this recipe – what a great idea! I am mixing it right now 🙂 Do you know how long it keeps? I am guessing the baking powder loses it’s potency after a few months? Also i made your champagne cupcakes for Valentine’s Day and they were a HUGE hit! 

    1. Lindsay

      Yea, it would depend on the baking powder. Usually it can last for quite a while. I’d think at least a few months, if not more. So glad to hear you enjoyed the champagne cupcakes!

      1. Meagen Hagelin

        do you need to add vanilla pudding mix to this to make it moist or is it already moist I have trouble with my cakes always tasting dry

      2. Lindsay

        No, it’s already moist without it. You would add to amp up the flavor and moisture, but it will be moist without it.

  43. Olga

    Hi Lindsay, the cake looks absolutely yummy! Have you tried making it with melted butter instead of oil? I love the flavor that real butter gives to a cake. Thanks so much, Olga PS I love your blog! So many pretty pictures and easy to follow recipes. The videos are amazing too.

      1. Kathryn

        I made this cake and it turned out very doughy tasting and not vanilla at all. I followed the recipe exactly.. has anyone else had this issue? 

      2. Lindsay

        There have been some people who have had this issue when making it as cupcakes. I wish I could figure out why it happens to some people and not others but so far I haven’t been able to figure it out. I’m sorry it didn’t quite turn out right.

      3. Meme

        It definately comes out like dough and rubbery…It looks nothing like the picture. I would not recommend using this recipe… beware.I made it twice and still the same thing.

      4. Cha

        Thank you for this recipe. I was hesitant at first as I read some negative comments but I believed the more good comments and tried it today. I made it as rainbow cupcake because that’s what my 6yr old son requested. It turned out moist and fluffy exactly what he wants. I’ll upload now the photos on Pinterest where I found this. Again, Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes – on Etsy. 🙂 Last I checked the shop I got that one from has taken a break. There are quite a few other options though.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29