recipe

“The cake was just right—­not too hard and not too crumbly, and the frosting was just right too—­not too sweet.” —­Madison, recipe tester, age 8

safety
  • Uses the microwave
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses a knife
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus 2 hours cooling time
yield
  • Serves 18

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Prepare Ingredients

Vegetable oil spray
2¼ cups (9 ounces)
cake flour
1¼ teaspoons
baking powder
¼ teaspoon
baking soda
¾ teaspoon
salt
4
large eggs
1¾ cups (12¼ ounces)
sugar
10 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 tablespoons
vegetable oil
¾ cup (6 ounces)
buttermilk
2 teaspoons
vanilla extract

Gather Baking Equipment

13-­by-­9-­inch metal baking pan
13-­by-­9-­inch piece of parchment paper
Medium bowl
Whisk
Electric mixer (stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld mixer and large bowl)
Rubber spatula
Toothpick
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
Serving platter or cutting board
Icing spatula
Chef's knife
1
 
Vegetable oil spray

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray inside bottom and sides of 13-­by-­9-­inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of baking pan with 13-­by-­9-­inch piece of parchment paper.

 
2
 
2¼ cups (9 ounces)
cake flour
1¼ teaspoons
baking powder
¼ teaspoon
baking soda
¾ teaspoon
salt

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

 
3
 
4
large eggs

Add eggs to bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl if using handheld mixer). Lock bowl into place and attach whisk attachment to stand mixer, if using. Start mixer on medium speed. Whip eggs until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop mixer.

 
4
 
1¾ cups (12¼ ounces)
sugar

Add sugar to eggs and start mixer on medium-­high speed. Whip mixture until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

 
5
 
10 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 tablespoons
vegetable oil

Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, very slowly pour in melted butter and oil and mix until fully combined, about 2 minutes. Stop mixer.

 
6
 
¾ cup (6 ounces)
buttermilk
2 teaspoons
vanilla extract

Carefully add half of flour mixture. Start mixer on low speed and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer.

 
7
 

Add remaining flour mixture. Start mixer on low speed and mix until just combined and no dry flour is visible, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer. Remove bowl from stand mixer, if using.

 
8
 

Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl and stir in any remaining dry flour. Use rubber spatula to scrape batter into parchment-­lined baking pan and smooth top (make sure to spread batter into corners to create even layer).

 
9
 

Place baking pan in oven. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, 27 to 30 minutes.

 
10
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking pan on cooling rack and let cake cool completely in pan, about 2 hours. (This is a good time to make the frosting!)

 
11
 

Remove cake from baking pan and discard parchment (click here to learn how to remove cake from baking pan). Use icing spatula to spread frosting evenly over top and sides of cooled cake (click here to learn how to frost a sheet cake). Cut cake into pieces and serve.