This cake. You guys. This vanilla sheet cake is so ridiculously easy, but it’s still super delicious. Plus, any food you can add sprinkles to (for example: donuts, ice cream, caramel apples) is going to be good. Am I right? This is another “cheater recipe,” because you start off with a box of cake mix, add some fool-proof homemade icing and a heavy hand of sprinkles, and you have yourself one perfectly semi-homemade dessert that takes about 20 minutes to throw together.
I like this vanilla sheet cake recipe all year long because it’s easy and it is really simple to adapt it to what I want. For Halloween, I dye the icing orange (just add a few drops when you add the vanilla) and add some fun Halloween bat sprinkles. For Christmas, you can keep the icing white and add red, green, and white little ball sprinkles. For birthdays, you can make the icing whatever is the favorite color of the birthday person and let them man the sprinkles. My kids think that I’m the world’s best mom any time I let them add sprinkles to something on their own. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Not only is this cake easy, it also travels great and can be made a day ahead of time. Always a good trait in a dessert during the holidays.
- 1 box Betty Crocker cake mix (Yellow, White, White Butter Recipe, and Yellow Butter Recipe all work great)
- Ingredients called for on the back of the box
- ½ cup butter (no margarine here please!)
- ¼ cup milk
- 4 to 4½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake batter according to the package directions and spread it evenly into a large greased, rimmed sheet cake pan (also called a Jelly Roll pan, should measure about 17½ inches by 13 inches). Bake until the cake is cooked through. You'll start to smell the cake and the cake will spring back when touched lightly, 12 to 15 minutes.
- While the cake is cooking, in a small sauce pan heat the butter and milk over medium heat until the butter melts, stirring often. Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar to a large bowl (you can also use a stand mixer here) and slowly whisk in the melted butter mixture into the powdered sugar. Stir until well combined and no lumps remain. Add the almond and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- While the cake is still warm (let it sit for maybe 5-7 minutes, you want it hot but not pipping hot), drizzle the icing over the warm cake and then use a spatula to spread it to the edges. If you try to spread too much or go over the same place again and again you are going to pull up the top off the cake and get crumbs in your icing. The goal is to quickly spread it out and move on... too much fussing will just make a mess.
- Add the sprinkles while the icing is still warm. The sprinkles will also cover any messes you made if you tried to spread the icing too much.
- The cake is great warm, at room temperature, and even the next day. No need to refrigerate over night, sugar is an excellent preservative. I have a plastic lid that fits my sheet cake pan and makes traveling a breeze. I highly recommend a lid for your pan.
Enjoy! And don’t forget the milk.
If you liked this Quick and Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake recipe you might also like:
Homemade Soft Oreos (from a cake mix) by Bless this Mess
Grandma’s Cheater Chocolate Sheet Cake (also a cake mix and an huge family favorite) by Bless this Mess
Frosted Lemon Cake Mix Cookies from Lil Luna
I’m heading to the kitchen today to bake. The weather is just perfect for it. Holler if you have any recipes I should try or that you’d like to see on the blog in the next few weeks!