My vanilla cake recipe is just delicious! It’s moist and slightly dense, which is what you want in a cake. Fluffy cakes aren’t meant to be decorated like the ones you’ll see in this book. The best part about this recipe is that it’s so moist that you don’t need to add any simple syrup (sugar syrup) to keep it from drying out. Same deal with my cupcakes. And you can add any flavourings or colours you like to this recipe: berries, liqueurs, food gel colouring – the options are endless!
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
- 3 batches vanilla-flavoured American or Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
- Please note: To make the 6 layered cake you see pictured; you’ll need to double the cake recipe only. All other measurements are enough to fill, crumb coat and finish decorating the cake.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C / 275°F or a conventional oven to 160°C / 320°F. Spray three 20 cm (8 inch) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
- Add the eggs, milk, oil, Greek yoghurt and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any additional flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
- Divide the cake mixture between the three tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that all three cakes will bake at the same rate.
- Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking for 10 minutes at a time until fully baked.
- Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
- To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake. Then trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers.
- To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto a 10” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
- Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
- Add more frosting around the sides and top of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
- Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- Your cake is now crumb coated and ready to be decorated any way you like!
215g - 1 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
132g – 3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
60g – 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
187ml – 3/4 cups full-cream (whole) milk
65ml – 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste Cake x1 (2 layer, 8” cake OR 6 layer, 6” Cake)
430g - 3 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
265g - 1 1/4 cups caster (superfine) sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
125g – 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
375ml - 1 1/2 cups full-cream (whole) milk
125ml – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste Cake x1.5 (3 layer, 7” Cake)
645g - 3 3/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
400g - 1 3/4 cups caster (superfine) sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp fine salt
190g – 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
560ml - 2 1/4 cups full-cream (whole) milk
190ml – 3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste Cake x2 (6 layer, 8” cake)
860g - 5 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
530g - 2 1/2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine salt
250g - 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
750ml - 3 cups full-cream (whole) milk
250ml - 1 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste