Vanilla cake is a birthday go-to, whether you prefer chocolate icing or raspberry buttercream. We like to punch up classic vanilla cake by using brown butter or salted caramel, and topping with crunchy, chocolaty peanuts or extra-rich chocolate buttercream. One of our favorite vanilla cake recipes was inspired by the signature dessert at Citarella in New York. The vanilla flavor comes from split vanilla beans, and the cake uses white chocolate both in the batter and as a topping. It’s a truly luxurious dessert, and though the batter needs to chill overnight, there’s just a handful of ingredients. Here, our best vanilla cake recipes.