To new and old friends, welcome to the Sweetlayercake blog! I decided to kickstart the blog again after several to and fro over my indecisiveness on format and preferred blogging platform. Also got a little "writer's block" if that's a thing for blogging.
I was writing down a couple of recipes over the Easter weekend and made a decision to conquer my fears and just dive right in. It might not be perfect but as they say, if you wait until it's perfect, then it's too late. I'm currently working on an update to the website which hopefully should launch this Spring and also curating a bunch of new goodies for the site some already available here.
So what makes a great vanilla cake?
Call me weird but I can smell a good vanilla cake before tasting the cake. It's a combination of a sugary, buttery and slightly nutty sweet smell that comes from the combination of vanilla, butter, sugar and everything in between. A good vanilla cake should have a light fluffy crumb and it should be soft to touch. It should also be moist, buttery and slathered in your favourite frosting. The star of the cake is a good high quality vanilla so don't go reaching for the cheap stuff with this cake.
I have several vanilla cake recipes that I often reach for depending on the cake or how lazy I am :) but this one is definitely my favourite. It uses the reverse creaming method, egg whites, cake flour and buttermilk. A bunch of the reverse creaming method recipes that I've found in the past are scaled for American baking but I've tweaked this recipe for British baking scales. This cake is paired with Italian Meringue Buttercream but you can use your favourite buttercream. I prefer pairing this cake with a silky smooth, not too sweet frosting but it also taste great with your regular American Buttercream. More on my Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe and tips and tricks to get it just right in a later post.
Okay, so on to the recipe!
Fluffy Vanilla Cake
- 480g sifted *cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 450g caster sugar
- 250g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into pieces
- 360ml *buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 whole large egg (whites + yolk) plus 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure *vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180°C, grease the bottoms of three 8 x 2 inch cake pans, lightly dust with flour and line with baking paper.
- Sift together the cake flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl of a mixer fitter with a mixing paddle and then add the sugar.
- Set the mixer on the lowest speed and gradually add the butter one piece at a time until all the butter has been incorporated and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix on low for about 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl or jug, combine half the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until combined. In another bowl or jug, gently whisk the remaining buttermilk and eggs.
- Gently add the buttermilk and vanilla mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the cake batter comes together. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. The batter should rise slightly. Occasionally stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all the mixture has been incorporated properly.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the buttermilk and egg mixture and mix for about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and gently fold with a rubber spatula to ensure that all the mixture has been incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three baking pans. Bake the first two pans in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. Repeat the baking process for the third cake pan.
- Once all the cakes are cooled completely, peel off the baking paper, frost with your favourite buttercream and top with sprinkles. I used Sweetapolita's Limited Edition Blush Sprinkle Medley on this cake.
- I use Lubella cake flour when the recipe calls for it. I believe it's a Polish brand but it's readily available at the grocery store
- I used Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract for this cake
- I used a grocery store brand buttermilk
Happy Baking xoxo