Simple Cake Recipe (Easy & Delicious Vanilla Cake)

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When searching for a simple cake recipe, it doesn’t get easier than this deliciously moist vanilla cake recipe. All it needs is a few simple ingredients like cooking oil, instant pudding mix, egg, water and vanilla cake mix and you are on your way to the best simple cake recipe around.

Slice of simple vanilla cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

When I think of simple things in life, I think of moments that may not amount to much from a monetary standpoint but are worth more than anything else you could own. That’s the way I feel about this simple cake recipe. It brings back memories of a time gone by. Sunday mornings sitting with my Granddaddy and watching him as he tried to teach me how to wiggle my ears! We would be laughing and eating this simple sponge cake Mama made. Life truly did seem much simpler then.

Speaking of simple things, let’s jump into making this simple cake. This easy cake recipe uses a cake mix to keep things simple. Then we add eggs, water, oil, and vanilla pudding mix to ensure it’s perfectly soft and moist, and bursting with vanilla flavor. Once you mix the ingredients together, pop the cake batter into a bundt cake pan and patiently wait for it to bake.

Then you can serve it however you like. You might want to keep things plain, whip up a simple glaze to go with the simple sponge cake, or add fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’ll leave that choice up to you!

simple cake recipe ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Cooking oil
  • Egg
  • Vanilla instant pudding
  • Water
  • Yellow cake mix

How to Make a Simple Vanilla Cake

toss all ingredients into a bowl

Toss all dry and wet ingredients in a bowl.

Whistle or dance a bit because this recipe isn’t complicated so you can occupy your mind with more lighthearted pursuits.

mix up to all combined

Mix it all up for about two or three minutes, until well blended.

grease your pan with cooking spray.

Now you can grease and flour your cake tin but I prefer to just spray the living mess out of it with cooking spray.

I’m a role model for laziness, I know, but doing it my way gives you at least another 45 seconds with your family :). See? I’m actually just promoting family togetherness!

pour all the batter in your pan

Pour the cake batter into your bundt cake tin and bake it at 350 for about an hour. Check it at about the 45-minute mark.

Daughter watching cake cook in oven.

Fortunately for me, I have little oven guards.

remove the simple cake and let cool on wire rack.

Let it sit in your pan for 10 minutes before turning it out.

How long should I let the cake cool?

10 minutes is the magic number in cakes.

You should always let cakes cool for that amount of time and they turn out so much nicer!

Simple cake plain

At this point, you can eat the cake plain, apply a glaze, or serve it this way, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries.

a simple cake slice with strawberries and whipped cream

I love strawberry shortcake and a slice of this is the perfect foundation!

To learn how to make homemade whipped cream, see this post.


  • Store the cake, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. It will also last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Alternatively, freeze the cake for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • As mentioned, use this vanilla cake recipe as a base and you can top it or serve it however you like. Here are some serving suggestions:
    • Ice the cooled cake with my 7-minute frosting or creamy chocolate frosting
    • Apply a vanilla glaze (find a simple recipe on my orange cake recipe post).
    • Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce.
    • Simply dust the cake with powdered sugar.
    • For a birthday cake, add some frosting and pop some sprinkles on top.
  • To make a layer cake, split the cake batter between two cake pans.
  • You can totally use this recipe to make a vanilla cupcake batch too. You’ll want to reduce the baking time to about 20 minutes though.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this cake in a 9×13 pan?

Yes, you can make this homemade cake in any size pan you like. I just chose a bundt cake pan because I hadn’t made one in a while. But do whatever cranks your tractor. I am partial to a Texas sheet cake, as is evident here and here.

You may also like these other easy cake recipes:

Chocolate Pound Cake with Fudge Glaze

Aunt Sue’s Famous Pound Cake

Coconut Poke Cake

Chocolate Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Skillet Carrot Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Super Moist)

Simple Vanilla Cake

When searching for a simple cake recipe, it doesn't get easier than this deliciously moist vanilla cake. Make it with a few ingredients and steps and then serve it however you like.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, pound, vanilla
Servings: 8


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix 3.4 oz
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil


  • Mix all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer until well blended.
    1 box yellow cake mix, 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour.
  • Let the bundt cake sit in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

— Charles Mingus

Submitted by Emily. To submit your quote, please click here! Thank you!

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