How to make a vanilla cake recipe
How to make a fluffy vanilla cake from scratch.
It sounds pretty easy to make a vanilla cake from scratch, right? Well, it is. Once you have a go-to recipe that you know it will come out really flavorful and fluffy every time you can make a cake in no time.
This vanilla cake recipe has everything I had been looking for on a cake.
- Great crumb
- Great sweetness and vanilla flavor
- Perfect to decorate with ganache and cover with fondant
- Decadent even buttery – vanilla flavor and texture.
- Moist and fluffy.
For this vanilla cake from scratch I used:
- Whole Eggs: Eggs provide the cake with structure, tenderness, moisture, flavor, color, and richness.
- Whole Milk: strengthens the batter, adds moisture and some sweetness
- Butter: adds flavor, helps with leavening, adds moisture, and makes the cake tender.
- Whole fat sour cream: adds moisture without thinning the cake batter consistency. Controls browning and due to the acidity it activates baking soda.
How to make the vanilla cake.
- Before you start mixing.
All ingredients have to be at room temperature preferably.
I say preferably because sometimes I wanna get home and start baking but I can not leave the butter out since the morning.
So after work, I get home and get the butter out of the fridge remove the wrapping and place it in the microwave. Heat it up for 10 seconds, check the consistency, and if it still needs to be softened, add 5 more seconds.
Do not do 30 sec. at once like I did one time, aI ended up with liquid butter. Butter has to be soft to the touch, but not melted.
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt all together in a bowl and set aside.
- Whip the butter and the sugar for about 5-7 minutes with the paddle attachment. This step adds air to the batter.
- Next, add the eggs one by one and let each egg incorporate to the batter before you add the next egg.
- Pour the vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 intervals. Start with dry, then wet, dry, wet, dry, wet.
- Add the sour cream and mix together until well combined.
- Pour the batter in 3 6″ round cakes pans and bake for 35-40 min. at 350 °F. Or you can use 2 8×3″ round cake pans.
How to bake a moist cake.
Butter cakes are delightful but they can be a little “dry”. You can use simple syrup to add some moisture to it.
Also, you can substitute some of the butter with oil or you can definitely add some sour cream (or Greek yogurt) to the batter.
Because of the fat content sour cream is perfect to use on cakes and other baked goods. Sour cream on cakes adds moisture, helps with the browning, it’s acidity activates the baking soda and the result is a rich fluffy decadent butter cake. Plus sour cream does not change the consistency of the cake batter.
Temperature plays a very important role when baking moist cakes as well as time.
High temperatures will result in a more golden, more crispy cake while lower (right temp) will result in a fluffy cake.
Extra time in the oven can cause your cake to dehydrate and get burn.
When I start smelling the butter-vanilla smell in my kitchen I know my cake is about to be ready. With the oven’s light on, I “knock” the oven’s door to see if the center of the dome is wiggly. If it is, I give it 5 extra minutes in the oven.
A visual queue is that the cake starts to separate from the cake pan.
How to store the vanilla cake?
The cake can be store in the fridge for about 5 days or you can freeze it for around a month.
I do use a napkin under the cake, then I use saran wrap and place it in a freezer Ziploc. Thaw the cake by placing it in the fridge the night before and about an hour on the counter. You can start to decorate.
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Vanilla Cake Recipe
Easy, moist and fluffy homemade vanilla cake from scratch.
- 2.5 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Unsalted butter
- 5 Eggs
- 3 cups All purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 ¼ cup Whole Milk
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ tsp Almond Extract (optional)
Preheat the oven at 350°F
On a bowl mix in the all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
On a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar for about 5 min. Until the butter is pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one and allow them to incorporate into the batter.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Set the mixer speed to low and start adding the dry ingredients and the milk in three intervals, alternating between them. Start with the dry and end with the milk.
Add the extracts and the sour cream.
Pour the batter in three 6 inch round cake pan and bake at 350°F for 40 min
Let cakes rest inside the pans for 10 min. Remove them from pans and let them cool completely before decorating.
Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Make a perfect Swiss meringue buttercream to fill and frost your cakes. This recipe is perfect to create different flavors of buttercream for fillings and to get sharp edges on your cakes.
- 12 oz egg whites
- 18 oz Granulated Sugar
- 2 pinch Cream of Tartar (optional)
- 2 lb unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs Vanilla extract
- On a clean mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar.
- Place the mixing bowl over a double boiler (simmering water). Water should not touch the mixing bowl.
- Stir the mixture constantly. Check for granules and keep on stirring until no granules are present and the mixture temperature reaches 155 F.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and place it in the mixer. Using the whip attachment, whip up the meringue until it is close to stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch.
- With the mixer at medium speed, add the cubed butter and keep on mixing until the buttercream becomes thick.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix together. Buttercream is ready to use.
Butter and Egg Whites should be at room temperature.