A deliciously easy vanilla butter cake that is so much fun to make with children! This cute treat is decorated like fairy bread as a sweet take on an Australian favorite.
One of the reasons I don’t share a ton of cake recipes on this site is that I feel hopelessly incapable of making a beautifully frosted and decorated cake. Naked cakes are perfect for someone like me. But anything that requires you to actually be able to frost and get nice lines on your frosting is way out of my league.
That’s why I was pretty intimidated when I received a copy of The Power of Sprinkles which is all about fun ways to decorate your cake. Cakes range from rainbow surprise inside cakes to cakes that look like rolls of sushi. They are way out of my skill level as a cake decorator.
But she has a delicious vanilla butter cake base with cream cheese frosting I’ve been dying to try.
So, when I found the fairy bread butter cake, I knew it was the perfect cake for me to make. Frost the tops of two cakes and add sprinkles? Yeah, I can manage that, sign me up!
If you want to get fancy, you can use aluminum foil in your baking pan to get that toast shape, or you can cut your cake into a toast shape. I am not a huge fan of cutting the edges because it will dry out the interior of the vanilla butter cake since there is no frosting protecting the exposed areas.
What is Fairy Bread?
Fairy bread is actually and Australian treat given to kids. It consists of bread slathered with butter or margarine before being topped with sprinkles.
I am not Australian, but from what I know from Australian friends it is often eaten at special breakfasts and kids’ parties. Some families also have them as a snack.
These days, fairy bread has gone beyond just butter and sprinkles. There are people who also love using Nutella or caramel and experiment with different types of sprinkles. It seems to just be a fun and colorful way to enjoy your toast!
Vanilla Butter Cake FAQs
- Use real butter, and make sure it is unsalted butter. Unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt is in your cake which is very important. No one likes salty cake! If possible, use a butter with a high percentage of butterfat, such as any that is labeled Europeaan-style. This type of butter has a really lovely flavor that shines in a butter cake like this.
- All-purpose flour or cake flour can be used in this vanilla butter cake recipe. If you would like to convert this to a gluten-free recipe, you can use a 1:1 gluten free baking mix. My recommendation is to allow the batter an extra minute or two to hydrate before baking it in the oven.
- You can freeze the vanilla butter cake for up to a month as long as it isn’t frosted. Simply allow it to cool to room temperature before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap, then storing in an airtight container. I usually freeze my cakes because it makes it easier to frost the cake this way.
- If you’re not a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, you may substitute it with my vanilla buttercream frosting instead!
Vanilla Butter Cake
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cups milk, room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 - 3 tablespoons heavy cream, if necessary*
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F Grease and flour two 8 x 8 baking pans
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is fully combined - about 5 minutes.
- Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and stir until it is just combined.
- Stir in the vanilla and half the milk until just combined.
- Pour in half the remaining flour and stir in until just combined.
- Add in the remaining milk and stir until just combined.
- Mix in the remaining flour until just combined.
- Evenly divide the batter among the two baking pans (I use a scale to make sure they are exactly even, but you can eyeball it).
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and remove the cakes careful from their pans. Let them cool on a wire rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together until completely smooth - about 5 - 8 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating it in slowly. If the frosting is too thick for you to spread, add heavy cream as needed.
- Cut the tops off the cooled cakes.
- Slather the frosting on top of the cakes. Top each with sprinkles, then top one of the layers on top of the other.
*The original recipe does not call for heavy cream, and I did not require any either. But if your frosting is too thick, feel free to loosen it slightly with heavy cream. By its intended nature, this frosting should be somewhat thick.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 92mg Sodium: 197mg Carbohydrates: 62g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 47g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g