Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Photography and Recipe Development by Erin Clarkson

Erin Clarkson of the blog Cloudy Kitchen has made the ultimate sheet cake recipe. Her dreamy vanilla bean sheet cake gets even dreamier with a generous Swiss meringue buttercream topping. Rich, aromatic Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste speckles the cake and the buttercream, driving home the sweet vanilla flavor.

Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake
Makes 1 (13x9-inch) cake
  • 1⅓ cups plus 2 teaspoons (330 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole Greek yogurt
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 4¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons (600 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3¼ teaspoons(16.25grams)baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups plus 1 teaspoon (345 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla bean paste.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed just until combined. Add butter, one cube at a time, beating until combined after each addition. (Mixture should resemble sand.) Add half of milk mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Add remaining milk mixture, and beat at medium speed just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter to ensure that no dry ingredients remain. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until cake springs back when touched in center and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.
  5. Using excess parchment as handles, remove cooled cake from pan. Using an offset spatula, spread Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream onto cake, swirling as desired. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired.

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
About 6 cups
  • 6 large egg whites (190 grams)
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (700 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
  1. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F (70°C).
  2. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until white and fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add butter to mixture, one cube at a time, beating until combined after each addition. (Mixture may look curdled, but just keep mixing.) Beat at high speed for 10 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla bean paste to mixture, and beat at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat at low speed for 1 minute to remove any air.
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    • Hi Delores,

      Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately with Swiss Meringue buttercream, the proportion of butter is key to allowing the icing to set up properly without breaking. If you find that the Swiss Meringue is too rich, I would recommend a standard American buttercream. The recipe below for Creamy Vanilla Frosting should be a great alternative. This recipe will make about 7 cups of frosting, which will give you that thick, swoopy look. If you like a thinner layer of frosting, you could surely play around with reducing the recipe by half or three quarters. Hope this helps and happy baking!

    • Hi Priscilla,

      Thank you for your question! Although we haven’t tested this recipe as a layer cake, it should work in two 9-inch round cake pans. When converting recipes to different sized pans, the most important note is to not overfill your pans (never exceed filling your pan 3/4 of the way).

      If you do try this recipe as a layer cake, please let us know how it goes! Happy baking!


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