Vanilla Loaf Cake

Sliced Vanilla Loaf Cake

Sometimes you just want a no frills cake that’s simply delicious, and this Vanilla Loaf Cake fits the bill perfectly. It’s a light vanilla sponge, topped with creamy vanilla buttercream and sprinkles. I love vanilla and anything vanilla flavoured – I think it’s a pretty universally loved flavour! The most popular ice cream flavour in the world is vanilla, and a big scoop of it would be so yummy with a slice of this cake! This was actually a reader requested recipe – don’t forget to let me know if you have any recipe requests! The best way is either in the comments or via my Instagram profile.

How to make a Vanilla Loaf Cake…

To make the sponge I mixed the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then I whisked in the eggs and vanilla extract.

I gently whisked in the self raising flour, then poured the mixture into the tin.

It baked for an hour until golden, then I made a vanilla buttercream by mixing butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together.

Vanilla Loaf Cake

Tips for making the Vanilla Loaf Cake:

  • I decorated the cake with vanilla buttercream, but you could make some icing with icing sugar and vanilla extract and/or water, and drizzle it over instead for an even simpler decoration.
  • It’s really important to use good quality vanilla extract for the perfect natural vanilla flavour. Avoid using essence as it’s a sythentic flavour and personally I don’t think it tastes as good.
  • The cake can be frozen without the decoration, wrap it well and freeze for a maximum of 3 months.

A slice of Vanilla Loaf Cake on a small plate

Recommended equipment & ingredients*

Loaf cake tin Mixing bowls Cooling rack
Kitchen scales Electric hand mixer Loaf cake tin liners
Piping bags Round piping nozzle Funfetti sprinkles
Loaf cake storage box

*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!

Vanilla Loaf Cake with a fork

More Vanilla recipes…

Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes
Funfetti Vanilla Cupcakes Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes
Sliced Vanilla Loaf Cake

Vanilla Loaf Cake

Vanilla loaf cake with vanilla buttercream
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: thebakingexplorer


For the sponge

  • 200 g Butter or baking spread
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 200 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract (not essence!)

For the buttercream

  • 125 g Butter or baking spread
  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract (not essence!)

For decoration (optional)

  • Sprinkles optional


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
  • Mix together the butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer or a spoon until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and whisk in until smooth
  • Whisk in the flour gently until fully combined
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool fully
  • To make the buttercream, use an electric mixer or a spoon to mix together the butter and icing sugar until they start to combine, then add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth
  • Put it into a piping bag and pipe it onto the loaf cake, or spread on with a spoon or spatula
  • Decorate with sprinkles, if using
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days
Made this recipe?Share on Instagram with me @TheBakingExplorer or tag #thebakingexplorer!



Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 907IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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If you like this, check out more of my Loaf Cake recipes!

Vanilla Loaf Cake

Vanilla Loaf Cake

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25 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This is perfect. Although a blank slate it could be modified with other flavorings, and it doesn’t sound too rich (I’m don’t have much of a sweet tooth). Thank you so much for bringing it to FF.

  2. Help, when I just tried this it came out of the oven with a high peak in the middle! Why didn’t it come out all flat like your cake? Thanks.

    1. Hi Acdem, what temperature did you bake the cake on? Your oven may be running hotter than the dial says, I would suggest turning the oven temperature down next time. And check your tin is a 2lb one, if it is smaller then that could be another reason for it peaking so high. I hope that helps!

  3. 5 stars
    This sponge cake is my go to for when I want to make this! I also have made it in a round cake tin, I know the recipe says a loaf tin but I didn’t have one at the time. Amazing recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world

  4. 5 stars
    Hello, I made your delicious vanilla sponge loaf and it got rave reviews!
    It was so light, fluffy and vanillary!
    In the past I’ve never had much success with butter cream but even this was good….
    My cake had a raised top too and my piping skills are disastrous so I made fork lines in my butter cream to hold the sprinkles.
    I have a photo too so will share it on one of your social media pages….
    Thank you x

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback! I think I have seen the photo, thank you so much for sharing!!

  5. I just made this cake again, followed the recipe to the letter, and even used an oven thermometer, but still got a peaked top on the cake. Can you please confirm the oven temp – 160 fan?

    1. Hi Acdem, I bake mine on 160C Fan, but all ovens are different. Your oven may run slightly hotter than the dial says (this is very common) so you could try to turn the oven down to 150C Fan next time and bake a little longer. If you want to check your oven temperature you can buy oven thermometers to find out what the real temperature inside is. I wouldn’t worry too much about a peak top on this cake though as you can hide it with the buttercream, or you can cut it off if you really don’t like it!

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Kat…i have tried vanilla loaf cake and utvturns out delicious…it was moist and fluffy…my family loved it..thank you for the recipe❤❤❤

  7. 5 stars
    Just finished baking this for a third time. It’s honestly so simple yet amazing ! Thank you for sharing. This time though I have split the batter – one half I added coco powder to and made a marble version of this. Thank you again 💙

    1. Hi Zak, I’m so pleased you’ve been enjoying this recipe! Thank you so much for the lovely feedback 😀

  8. 5 stars
    Was looking for an easy to bake cake with my 3 year old and came across this. Perfect to do with him and he loved decorating it. it didn’t look as pretty as this but we enjoyed baking it together (and licking the bowl afterwards)!

  9. 5 stars
    This loaf Cake is great. I loved the simple vanilla flavour together with the butter icing and the sprinkles took me back to some much loved childhood baking. A nice change from making cupcakes.

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