Just a Vanilla Cake Recipe




For quite a while now, I've been intending to post a series of my favorite, basic, from-scratch cake recipes.  I test and develop all of my own recipes, and a vanilla or chocolate cake is often the starting point for much more elaborate creations, so it's important to have a perfect foundation for each one.  I don't want to make cakes that only look pretty, but that taste fantastic, too.

I am frequently asked, what's your favorite chocolate cake recipe?  There are so many to choose from on your blog!  The wife of one of my coworkers, who has tried a few of my recipes, asked me to point her towards a simple vanilla cake, and as I perused my recipe archives to offer her a suggestion, I realized I didn't have a straightforward answer, so I had to tell her, "try the cake recipe in this one, but without this, and substitute that, and you'll have a good vanilla cake."  But I wanted to do better than that for all of you, and it's been on my mind ever since.







So here you go.  I'm starting with a classic vanilla cake, which I hope will help you with your own baking adventures, when you just want to get back to the basics.

I genuinely love vanilla, and I don't think there's anything plain about it, really.  Vanilla is a complex flavor that pairs so beautifully with so many other ingredients.  While I used good quality vanilla extract, use vanilla beans whenever you want to indulge a little; although expensive, their flavor is unparalleled.







This cake has a beautiful crumb and is wonderfully moist, even days after baking.  Not quite as airy and fluffy as a white cake, vanilla cake is a little richer although still light, and the perfect choice for a birthday or party cake that will please everyone.

Next Post in this Series: White Cake

Baker's Note: If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I live in Colorado, and I create and test all of my recipes for high altitude.  If you bake one of my recipes at sea level, your results may be different, but there are many tips available online for adjusting recipes for your altitude.  Good luck!







Vanilla Cake
printable

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease three 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined, then beat on medium speed for two minutes.  Divide the batter between the pans.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 21 minutes.  Cool the cakes in the pans completely, then frost with your favorite buttercream.  Here is my recipe for perfect buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

28 comments :

  1. Thanks..

    You know..even in all it's simplicity..you've made it stunning.
    Always pretty here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always leave the nicest comments! I'm glad my blog is a place people can find beauty.

      Delete
  2. this a lucky one birthday if he/she celebrates it with this amazing cake,

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sometimes a good vanilla cake is just perfect, and I'm sure this one fits the bill! Looks just delicious :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, good cakes don't necessarily need to be complicated!

      Delete
  4. I'm making this for my fiancé and myself for the second time this week!! We love it so much. ... Thanks Heather!

    - Heather H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you love it! Thanks for commenting! :)

      Delete
  5. Hi, I wondered if I could ask a somewhat silly question. Can this recipe be used for cupcakes (like I said, silly, but just want to be sure), and if so, how many do you think it will make? Have you ever done that? It seems fairly straight-forward and I'm baking for my granddaughter's birthday this weekend. Any suggestions or tips gratefully appreciated. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This cake came out very good! nice and light and sweet

    ReplyDelete
  7. I made this cake just 2 days ago. It tasted awesome but was gooey inside. Even after leaving it for longer in the oven. I don't know what went wrong but I don't think I'll be trying it again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's too bad! I wish I could tell you what went wrong but I can only guess that your oven temp was off and it was under baked, or an ingredient was left out.

      Delete
    2. Your oven may not be calibrated correctly, or it could be that it heats unevenly, you may have to spin the pan around while baking...

      Delete
  8. What kind of Vanilla do you use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually use the Kirkland brand of Pure Vanilla that I buy at Costco, but when I want to splurge, I love the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste, which you can buy on Amazon.

      Delete
  9. From one curly girl baker to another, this is hands down THE BEST vanilla cake recipe I have ever made. Better than Magnolia Bakery and Ina Garten. Perfection. Very excited to try your other recipes. This one is a keeper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, what a nice compliment! :)

      Delete
  10. This is a lovely recipe! Someone requested a "pineapple cake" so I was looking for simple, vanilla cake that I could layer with pineapple filling, and this was perfect and uncomplicated. I did have to tweak the baking time because I only had two 7" pans. They came out beautifully and delicately and I am going to frost with vanilla buttercream roses. Thank you! xoxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pineapple filling sounds amazing! I'm so glad you liked the cake. :)

      Delete
  11. Might be a silly question! But I was wondering if you let your eggs/egg whites/milk get to room temperature before baking? Could this be done in 2 8 inch pans (3 inches tall)? How long would I need to bake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's always a good idea to let your dairy warm up a bit before mixing the batter. You can definitely use just two pans - just bake a little longer and keep an eye on them for doneness.

      Delete
  12. Does it need to be vegetable oil or will canola work as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Canola should work fine, too. You just don't want to use something with a strong flavor, like olive oil, or it will affect the taste of the cake.

      Delete
  13. Can you use 2% milk in place of whole milk? Thanks, Lisa Phillips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want, but whole milk tastes better. :)

      Delete
  14. What a lovely recipe, Thank you so much....

    http://www.cakengifts.in/cake-delivery-in-dehradun

    http://www.cakengifts.in/cake-delivery-in-delhi

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is by far the best vanilla cake I have ever had/made. I am so excited - thank you so much!

    Have you frozen it? Hoping it freezes well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes me so happy to hear! Yes, I've frozen it by wrapping each layer in plastic wrap, and then thawing out to room temperature before frosting. I freeze cakes often, to save time on the day of decorating, but usually not for more than a week or two in advance so that they're still very fresh.

      Delete

I love comments, and I read and appreciate every single one.