Fighting evil by moonlight. Winning love by daylight. Never running from a real fight! She is the one named Sailor Moon!

This moist and fluffy, melt in your mouth white cake recipe is wrapped in a creamy, dreamy, and light vanilla buttercream that is easy to make and so versatile you’ll be whipping it up nonstop!

This white cake recipe has all the taste and fantastic crumb you’d expect from a delicious cake but those layers have a charming light color thanks to the omission of egg yolks and vanilla.

I made this as a cute little six inch cake but you can easily scale up to an eight inch cake by doubling the recipe or a nine inch cake by tripling it.

Now I know homemade cakes can be a scary thing for many people. This recipe ideally skips all of the typical fuss and stress around baking a cake. A simplified cake base with a perfectly smooth vanilla buttercream frosting is all you need. When it comes to the fondant, I like to bring in some simple and practical decoration; a few simple steps that can bring any homemade cake to the next level.

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

HOW DO YOU MAKE A SIMPLE WHITE CAKE?

  1. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in prepared pans until centers are springy to the touch.

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients.

As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch.

Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

Bake Immediately

Bake your desserts immediately after mixing the batter.

Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser bake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in the oven on your dessert’s progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the bakes from rising.

Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the bake while it is trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated bake. Try to resist the urge to peek until your bakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Baked Treats are Done

Test your bakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center.

Your bakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter.

You can also gently press down on the bake and, if it bounces back leaving no dent, then it is done. If removed too early, the bake will sink in the center as it cools and, if over baked, it will be dry.

SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT CAKE

  • If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
  • You can substitute whole milk or yogurt for sour cream if desired, I do it all the time and can’t really tell the difference.
  • Make sure to WHIP your buttercream just before using, especially if using a Meringue-base. Meringue-based frostings will loose consistency quickly and become impossible to smooth if you leave them too long.

Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE FLAVOR OF WHITE CAKE?

I used vanilla for this cake but you can have fun with other extracts like orange blossom water and rose water for a delicious floral note.

Oftentimes white cakes are made with artificial “almond” extract, I however am not partial to that particular flavor.

HOW DO YOU DECORATE A LAYER CAKE?

I went for a simple but charming of decoration scheme for this cake. Whipped buttercream smooths out really well as long as you remember to give it a quick whip just before using. It becomes bubbly if left on it’s own too long.

The side was smoothed with a bench scraper and I used an offset spatula for the top.

HOW CAN I SMOOTH A CAKE?

Frosting Has Bubbles: Before you pipe buttercream onto a cake try giving is a final whip JUST before you use it.

Buttercream looses it’s beautiful consistency pretty quickly, especially if it’s meringue-based like Swiss and Italian frostings.

IS THIS CAKE STURDY ENOUGH FOR STACKING AND DECORATING?

Yes! You can stack it, wrap it in fondant if desired and scale it up to an 8 or 9 inch triple layer cake by doubling of tripling the recipe respectively.

ADD SOME DONUTS INTO YOUR CAKE DECORATING

Have some left over cake batter? Bust out a donut pan and pipe your batter into the donut wells for some delicious white cake baked donuts.

These are a great quick snack while decorating your cake and two of them is all you’ll need for Usagi’s signature hair buns when putting together your Sailor Moon cake.

HOW ARE BAKED DONUTS DIFFERENT FROM FRIED DONUTS?

  • Baked donuts are really little mini cakes! They have a cakey texture and are quite moist. I love making baked donuts because the set up and cleanup is MUCH easier. No big pan of oil to warm up and then dispose of and they’re safer to make with little ones in the kitchen. 
  • Fried donuts are often more airy inside like other yeast-leavened breads while the baked version is more like a cupcake in a different shape.
  • While a fried donut will go stale a baked one will often get a bit mushy as time goes on IF you frosted it with a glaze. The moisture from the glaze seeps into the cake over time. 

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING DONUTS

  • Keep a close eye on those donuts. They bake FAST and you don’t want to over cook them.
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • If you don’t have a donut tin but still want to make this recipe then just use a muffin tin. 

Cake Troubleshooting

Why are the Baking Pans Sticking to the Cake?

While spring form pans make it easy to get the cakes out of the pan with minimal cleanup, they can sometimes stick to the cake.

A high sugar content recipe can cause the batter to caramelize against the baking pan, and a lower fat recipe tends to stick more than a batter higher in fat.

If you notice your cakes are sticking to the baking pans, try placing a deep baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. This added moisture will help prevent sticking.

 A cake is also more likely to stick to the baking pan if it has not cooled completely before trying to unwrap it.

How to Store Cakes

Cakes are at their best within the first 2 days of baking. While they can last up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container, they will start to dry out after 3-4 days.

Be sure to let the cakes cool completely. Packing un-iced cakes while still warm can create sticky tops, making it more difficult to get the icing to stick when you are ready to frost them.

Choose an airtight container that is tall enough, so the container lid doesn’t touch the icing. Typically, the container can be left out at room temperature.

However, if you are experiencing hot and humid weather that is causing the icing to melt or if the cakes are filled or decorated with something that requires refrigeration (like lemon curd or a meringue buttercream), you can store them in the refrigerator. If you must refrigerate your cakes, bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Freezing Baked Cakes

Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure the cakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing to avoid condensation forming, which can result in soggy cakes when it’s time to defrost them.

While simply placing the cakes in an airtight container is enough, individually wrapping each cake before placing them in the airtight container will better help preserve the freshness and taste.

After removing them from the freezer, let them defrost uncovered to prevent the tops from getting sticky.

Buttercream Tips

Butter: I almost always specify unsalted butter in my recipes then add salt back in. I do this because different manufacturers put in various amounts of salt and I don’t want anyone to make something too salty or not salted enough using my recipes. If you only have salted butter on hand go ahead and use it. You can add more salt to taste if needed.

Confectioners Sugar: Not all brands are equal and some will definitely be lumpier than others. It’s always a good idea to sift it out before using, especially if you’re using piping tips. A little lump can clog the tip and cause a big problem. 

Frequently Asked Buttercream Questions

Buttercream Starts Looking Ragged: When you’re doing the final smoothing and you notice the texture of the buttercream become a bit ragged there’s an easy fix! Get a bowl of HOT water and dip your tools in to to warm them up. pat dry and smooth. The warm metal will melt the buttercream and give you a nice SMOOTH finish.

WHAT’S THE BEST BUTTER TO USE?

  • For a whiter buttercream it’s really important to use a pale butter. Almost every recipe will call for using unsalted butter but then have you add salt back in. This is done because various brands of butter have different amounts of salt in their product.
  • Using unsalted butter helps to ensure a consistent result. You can however use salted butter, omit additional salt and have a delicious frosting. 
  • The most important thing to do when whipping up a batch of buttercream is that it’s room temperature!

HOW CAN YOU MAKE COLD BUTTER ROOM TEMPERATURE?

If you need to warm some cold butter up just slice it into some smaller pieces and microwave them on a plate at 50% power for 10 second bursts. Flip them after each burst and they’re be nice and room temperature in no time!

IS BUTTERCREAM OR WHIPPED FROSTING BETTER?

The main difference between buttercream and whipped frosting is butter. Whipped frosting does not contain butter and is a lighter and fluffier icing. Buttercream contains a good amount of butter and has more of a rich flavor; so you be the judge! 🙂

WILL THIS RECIPE MELT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

When buttercream is left out at room temperature, it will form sort of a crust on the outer layer while the inside will stay fairly smooth. If it is very warm or humid, the buttercream can loose structure. This will affect decorations you’ve pipes and may even destabilize layer cakes, causing them to sag or collapse.

HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE IT OUT?

You can leave out buttercream frosting for overnight if covered. If the buttercream contains cream cheese, then it should always be refrigerated for it to remain safe to eat. Buttercream that contains dairy will spoil more quickly so should be refrigerated after a few hours.

HOW DO I THIN IT OUT?

If you want to thin out buttercream frosting, you’ll want to add in some extra cream or milk. I recommend mixing in a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

PRO TIPS FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Sift your powdered sugar to avoid clogging piping tips.
  • Scrape the bowl down; to help ensure even consistency throughout.
  • You can use almost anything to flavor buttercream, fruit juice, coffee, orange blossom or rose water, melted chocolate, or Oreos!
  • If your buttercream has been sitting for a while or was chilled and brought back to room temperature it’s always a good idea to give it a quick whip to restore it’s consistency.
  • If you’re looking for a very spreadable and very smooth icing, you can add the full amount of cream in (and maybe even a bit more).

Fondant Tips & Tricks

WORKING WITH FONDANT

Fondant can be sticky and has a tendency to pick up crumbs and dirt, so make sure your work surface is nice and clean before you start rolling. To prevent your fondant from sticking to your counter, lightly dust your work surface and fondant roller with confectioners’ sugar or cornstarch. You can also use solid vegetable shortening to prevent sticking if you live in a very dry climate or if your fondant is already a little dry.

Before rolling, take some time to knead your fondant until it’s soft and pliable. Make sure you wash your hands before you start so nothing sticks to the fondant. You can also coat your hands with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening or wear food-safe gloves.

It’s also important to keep the fondant moving as you work. Never flip it over after you start to roll, just turn it about a quarter of the way to prevent sticking and help ensure the thickness of your fondant is even.

DECORATING WITH FONDANT

You can use fondant to cover a cake, make little figurines or cut out decorations for cakes, cupcakes and cookies. As you roll and mold fondant, you might find that it tends to crack, especially on edges and corners. If you notice this happening, rub some solid vegetable shortening over the crack in a circular motion to smooth the cracked area together. We suggest not using water to do this, as too much liquid can break down your fondant.

For assembling figurines and fondant decorations, you can use water or buttercream frosting to adhere pieces together. Fondant will also start to dry as it sits out, so if you need your fondant decorations or figurines to be hard, make them at least two days ahead of time and let them sit at room temperature to dry.

WHAT IF I JUST HAVE WHITE FONDANT?

There are a couple ways to color your fondant. The most common way is to use gel food coloring or Color Right concentrated food coloring. Both of these options offer concentrated color, so you only need a little to add rich color to your fondant. Liquid-based food colorings can change the consistency of your fondant, so we suggest avoiding those.

The great thing about Color Right concentrated food coloring is that you can simply squeeze the color directly onto your fondant without any mess. If you’re using gel icing colors, use a toothpick to add the color to your fondant and wear food-safe gloves to mix in the color so it doesn’t stain your hands.

You can also mix more than one color of fondant together to get a whole rainbow of shades! Add a small amount of dark teal fondant to white fondant to get a lighter teal, or combine red and blue fondant for purple. This is a great way to use up any leftover fondant you may have from another project, so don’t throw your scraps away!

For super rich colors, like black or red, you may need to add quite a bit of color to get the shade you need, which might affect the consistency of your fondant. For those instances, we suggest buying pre-colored Decorator Preferred fondant, which comes in a variety of shades.

HOW TO COVER A CAKE WITH FONDANT

To get a nice, clean finish to your fondant cake, make sure you ice your cake smooth with buttercream frosting before covering it with fondant. This will prevent any imperfections on your cake from poking through the fondant.

If you’re using a lighter shade of fondant, ice your cake with white buttercream. Using white buttercream is a good rule all around unless you’re using black fondant, in which case chocolate icing works just as well (and is easier to remove if any frosting gets on your fondant).

Use a rolling pin to help drape the fondant over your cake. Once draped, work quickly to smooth out the fondant, using a Fondant Smoother for the top and your hand to smooth out the sides.

Any excess fondant on the base of your cake should be cut off with a knife or Fondant Trimmer.

HOW TO STORE FONDANT

Fondant tends to dry out quickly, so be sure to keep it covered or wrapped in plastic wrap when not being used. After decorating, roll unused fondant into a ball and coat with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening to prevent drying. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Stored this way, your fondant should last about a couple of months.

A FEW OTHER FONDANT TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Fondant picks up dirt and lint easily so be sure to avoid wearing fuzzy sweaters or clothing when working with fondant
  • Use a tiny amount of water, about 1/8 teaspoon for 24 oz. of fondant, to soften fondant that is a little too dry to knead
  • For fondant that’s too soft – caused by kneading too much or adding too much liquid – try adding a small amount of confectioners’ sugar.
  • For floral decorations or fondant decorations that need to keep a shape, add a small amount of Gum-Tex to prevent drooping
  • Use guide rings on your fondant rollers to help get an even thickness when rolling out your fondant

What I Use To Make Cakes

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Sailor Moon Cake

Sailor Moon Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature
  • Yellow food gel color
  • Red food gel color
  • Blue fondant
  • White fondant
  • Yellow fondant
  • Red fondant
  • 2 plastic straws

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

White Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter & sugar together until light & fluffy.
  4. Add oil & incorporate.
  5. Add egg whites & fullY incorporate.
  6. Add clear vanilla **regular vanilla will work just as well**
  7. Starting & ending with flour mixture, alternate between flour mixture & milk while being sure to whisk after each addition.
  8. Pour your batter into your prepared pans. Do not worry about using all the cake batter in your pans since we'll be using what's left for our donuts. If you run out, though you shouldn't, you can reuse this recipe for white cake donuts.
  9. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

White Cake Donuts

  1. Take your extra cake batter and pipe into your donut pan. You only need two for decorating but make as many as you'd like.
  2. Bake your donuts for 10 minutes but no more than 12 minutes. They bake fast so be sure to keep a close on them while in the oven.
  3. Once your donuts have baked, allow to cool in the donut pan for 5 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar & set bowl aside.
  2. Cream butter & shortening.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Scrape down the sides.
  5. Place your mixer on the lowest speed & slowly add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Do not worry if your buttercream looks crumbly & dry because we will fix that next.
  7. Scrape down the sides one last time.
  8. With your mixer on a medium high speed, slowly add in heavy cream.
  9. Turn mixer up to a high speed and whip your buttercream until you have light & fluffy consistency you are looking for.
  10. Scoop out a small amount of buttercream, and add a few drops of red food gel color (how much color you add is completely up to you. I like to start with 8 drops of red), and whip by hand until color has fully incorporated. Set aside.
  11. Scoop out another small amount of buttercream, and add a few drops of yellow food gel color (how much color you add is completely up to you. I like to start with 6 drops of yellow), and whip by hand until color has fully incorporated. Set aside.

Decorating

  1. After your cakes have cooled, level your cakes. If you'd like to make this a 4-layer cake, half each cake.
  2. Place your first layer onto your cake turntable.
  3. Spread a generous amount of vanilla buttercream on top and spread evenly with your straight or offset spatula.
  4. Place your next layer of cake, top with more buttercream, and spread evenly. If you're going 4-layers, continue this step until you've topped your cake stack with your last layer.
  5. Starting from the bottom, and while rotating your cake turntable, pipe on your vanilla buttercream in an upward motion.
  6. Using a cake frosting scraper, straight spatula, or offset spatula you will want to smooth over your vanilla buttercream. The best way is to hold your smoothing tool upright and gently pressed against your cake while rotating your cake turntable.
  7. You'll want to continue this until you have a smooth coating. When you’re doing the final smoothing and you notice the texture of the buttercream become a bit ragged there’s an easy fix! Get a bowl of HOT water and dip your tools into the bowl to warm them up. pat dry and smooth. The warm metal will melt the buttercream and give you a nice SMOOTH finish.
  8. Smooth the top of your cake with an offset spatula.
  9. Set in the fridge and allow to chill for 5 minutes. You can take this time to frost your donuts.
  10. Frost each donut with a generous layer of yellow frosting. I like to use a Wilton 1M tip for the yellow buttercream.
  11. Grab your red buttercream and pipe on a smaller round of frosting on top of the yellow.
  12. Set your donuts aside and grab your cake.
  13. With your yellow buttercream piping bag, fitting with the Wilton 1M tip, pipe rosettes along the top boarder of your cake.
  14. Care press your straws into each donut.
  15. You will then want to take your donuts, and gently press down into the top of the cake. The straws will offer support as a sort of "donut-pop", so they can stand straight up.
  16. Begin to roll out your blue fondant. I prefer to roll out my fondant on a silicone mat ever so lightly dusted with powdered sugar. You will need to roll one 2 inch tall strip about 12 inches long. Lightly brush with a tiny amount of water.
  17. Gently pick up your blue fondant and with the brushed water side facing the cake, gently wrap the bottom of your cake.
  18. Cut off any excess.
  19. Gently press and smooth your blue fondant against your cake.
  20. Re-roll your blue fondant and this time you will want to roll out a 3 to 4 inch tall blue fondant strip. If able to do so, stick with the same 12 inches in length. Set aside.
  21. Roll out your white fondant and cut two 1 inch tall strips, 12 inches long.
  22. Lightly brush your blue fondant with water and add your two white strips of white fondant on top of the blue. Gently press down so the white fondant sticks to the blue. Allow to sit for 1 minute.
  23. Once your white fondant stripes are in place, carefully turn over your blue fondant, lightly brush with water, and gently pick up your blue fondant and with the brushed water side facing the cake, gently wrap the bottom of your cake.
  24. Cut off any excess.
  25. Gently press and smooth your blue fondant against your cake.
  26. Roll out your red fondant.
  27. Cut out 4 triangles and piece together a bow. Feel free to use water here sparingly to help the fondant stick while making your bow.
  28. Gently press your bow near the top of your cake.
  29. Re-roll your fondant and cut out a strip for your necklace.
  30. Gently pick up your red fondant and with the brushed water side facing the cake, gently wrap the bottom of your cake.
  31. Cut off any excess.
  32. Gently press and smooth your red fondant against your cake.
  33. Roll out your yellow fondant and cut out a small crescent moon and a slightly larger yellow disc.
  34. Place your yellow crescent moon on the red strip you just placed on your cake. This will be Sailor Moon's necklace.
  35. The yellow disc will be placed up against the red bow to represent Sailor Moon's locket.
  36. After your last decoration, step back and enjoy your work of art by snapping a photo before you slice and enjoy this delicious and nerdy cake.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • You can use this buttercream right away or place it in an airtight container in your fridge until ready to use. Just be sure to whip before using.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk such as whole milk or buttermilk.
  • If you prefer, you can always buy white fondant only, portion it out, and color with food gel color.

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More Cake Theme Tutorials👉 https://bit.ly/2NN3s39Let’s have a Llama Party! I had so much fun working with fondant though more practice will definitely be needed😅 Also been enjoying learning new techniques to share with everyone here so keep sending those comments over on the MANCAKE channel with what you'd like to see make next. I'll see you all very soon with another yummy tutorial so be sure to ring the bell when you subscribe 👉 https://bit.ly/30otZW3

Posted by Man Cake on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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