Maria Soriano for the Kitchn; Kirbie Cravings

These 15 Vanilla Cake Recipes Prove Basic Isn't So Basic After All

Don't get me wrong. Chocolate cake is a must-have. It's comforting, decadent, and, well, chocolate. But there's something about good vanilla cake recipes. The classic cakes can be a canvas for creativity as well as a simple and easy everyday cake. There's nothing plain about vanilla cake.

Grab your cake pans and vanilla extract, because we've got a list that goes from from birthday cakes to fancy celebration cakes to cakes that are just right for everyday baking. Most of these cakes use things you'll have in your kitchen —unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, and large eggs — but even the less common ingredients are ones you should be able to find easily.

Here are 15 of the best vanilla cake recipes you need to try.

1. Moist Vanilla Cake

If you like your cake a little on the dense side, this versatile recipe is for you. Using oil and sour cream makes it more like a sponge cake, and it works for cupcakes, too. The cake batter is a bit thinner than you might expect, but it's supposed to be that way.

Get the recipe here.

2. Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake

Everyone needs a sheet cake in their recipe box. They're so easy to make (this recipe is a one-bowl wonder, just mix the wet ingredients right in with the dry ingredients) and loved by everyone. Plus, you can store this cake at room temperature for two days or in the refrigerator for seven, assuming it lasts that long.

Get the recipe here.

3. Fluffy Homemade Vanilla Cake

The recipe for this cake batter can be doubled or tripled if you're planning making a tall layer cake. To get the fluffiest layers, make sure you have fresh baking powder, otherwise the cake won't rise the way you expect it to.

Get the recipe here.

4. Basic Vanilla Cake

This may be a basic recipe, but the cake flour gives it a delicate texture which makes it perfect as the base for a variety of uses. You can bake the batter in one 8-inch cake and then slice the cake into two rounds and spread fruit jam between the cake layers for an easy jam cake.

Get the recipe here.

5. Just Because Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

The best thing about these vanilla cupcakes (besides the fact they're from The Pioneer Woman so you know they're awesome) is that you can decorate the cream cheese icing any way you like. Sprinkles? Of course. Sanding sugar? Check. Fresh fruit? Excellent idea. Candied ginger? You bet. And because they're cupcakes, you can turn this recipe into dessert and entertainment by setting out little cups with the edible decorations and letting your crew have fun making their own tasty designs.

Get the recipe here.

6. Vanilla on Vanilla

This pretty vanilla layer cake with vanilla buttercream works for any special occasion. It's the perfect celebration cake. Plus, if you like your cakes on the less sweet side, the buttermilk in this recipe balances the sweetness out nicely.

Get the recipe here.

7. Vanilla Cupcake for One

Sometimes you just want a little bit of cake. Just a piece, without the long cook time and effort of the whole cake process. This perfect cupcake is, well, perfect for those moments. It's quick, easy, and takes one bowl (and no stand mixer). You can even add chocolate frosting if you want to mix it up a bit.

Get the recipe here.

8. Vanilla Mug Cake

One of the best things about vanilla cake is that it's the foundation for funfetti cake. Sprinkles equal joy and this cute cake in a mug will bring you joy every time you make it. Super easy to make, all the equipment you need is a whisk, a mug, and a microwave to cook it in.

Get the recipe here.

9. Coffee Cake

Vanilla cake is the foundation for so many tasty treats, coffee cake being a prime example. There's no reason you shouldn't eat cake for breakfast and you can't go wrong with a buttery vanilla cake under a brown sugar and cinnamon topping.

Get the recipe here.

10. Praline on a Cake

Yes, please, is the correct answer to anything praline. Vanilla bundt cake with a praline sauce? Yes, please. This cake from Joy the Baker fits any occasion, including bringing a bit of something special into an ordinary day at home.

Get the recipe here.

11. Cake Pops

For an extra special treat, try these vanilla cake pops. They're not difficult to make, although it is a more complex process. You bake the cake, cool it completely on a wire rack, then crumble it up and mix it with the frosting to create a kind of cake truffle. Build in some extra prep time to chill the mixture completely before you dip them in the coating.

Get the recipe here.

12. Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

This gluten-free cake from King Arthur gets rave reviews, just make sure you use their baking mix and not the gluten-free flour. Like any vanilla cake, you can use your choice of frosting. Plus, this works as a single layer cake and as cupcakes.

Get the recipe here.

13. Going All Out for Coconut Cake

There is nothing in the world like genuine Southern coconut cake. Layers of white cake with sweet, coconut frosting - it's the best part of family reunions, church lunches, and Sunday dinner. Sure, there are easier coconut cake recipes that less total time, but if you're going to do it right, you have to go all out.

Get the recipe here.

14. Snickerdoodle Cookie Cake

Y'all, I have two words for you: Snickerdoodle. Cake. It's four layers of vanilla cake with streusel swirl, filled with frosting that has snickerdoodle cookies in it, and it's topped with more snickerdoodle cookies. Best of all worlds, right?

Get the recipe here.

15. Very Vanilla Twinkie Bundt Cake

Yes, this vanilla bundt cake is basically a giant, round Twinkie. And there's everything right about that statement. Perfect for any time, but especially when you need something fun and delightful in your dessert rotation.

Get the recipe here.

Watch: 10 Savvy Ingredients Your Grandparents Added to Chocolate Cake