No birthday party would be complete without this classic cake with fluffy frosting.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions buttermilk, and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to pan and smooth top.

  • Bake until cake is golden, puffed, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa and malted milk powders. Add boiling water, whisk until smooth, and let cool.

  • Using mixer, beat 2 sticks (1 cup) plus 2 tablespoons butter on high until smooth. Add cocoa mixture; beat until combined. Add chocolate and pinch of salt. With mixer on medium-high, beat until frosting is smooth and peaks form, 3 minutes. Frost cake; top with sprinkles if desired.

Cook's Notes

A completely cool cake is essential so that the frosting doesn't melt on contact. You can bake the cake a day ahead to ensure a fluffy frosting layer.

Reviews (7)

41 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 17
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 5 stars
5 Stars is for the FROSTING. If you love a great chocolate malt or even Whoppers candy, this frosting is for you! I have tried the cake recipe and unfortunately I have to agree with others ... it is dry. I now use vanilla or yellow boxed cake mix and then make this frosting. Since then, this cake has been a hit! It's become a winter holiday staple for me because by using box cake mix it's quick & easy and it looks pretty with white snowflake sprinkles.
Rating: Unrated
Meh ~ this was just ok. There are way better recipes out there for sure, although I would never resort to a box cake mix -- not even for my dog.
Rating: Unrated
re: adhoc44, who's snoring? if you took a moment to read the recipe, you'd see that some of the butter is creamed in the cake batter and the rest of the butter is used in the frosting. Also, I see salt clearly listed in the ingredients.
Rating: Unrated
Vanilla Cake Redux. The ingredient list also omits the salt. That's a big no-no!
Rating: Unrated
Please note that the ingredient list calls for 3 1/4 STICKS unsalted butter or almost a full pound but the instructions call for only 3/4th cups butter. Somebody snored all the way through the editting! I will try the recipe again the next time I can afford real butter.
Rating: 1 stars
I didn't want to believe the first reviewer that the cake was dry. The recipe looked like it should not be dry with the butter, buttermilk, and 4 eggs, but the first words out of my families' mouth was, "This cake is dry!!" They did like the frosting and did not think it was too sweet. Very disappointing. I hate when a recipe fails because I am a pretty good baker. Don't waste you time on this cake.
Rating: 1 stars
Very disappointing recipe. The cake is dry and the frosting is too sweet. I couldn't eat an entire slice. Make a boxed vanilla cake instead, it's easier and tastes better then this recipe.