Who doesn’t love a good vanilla cake?
When done right, it’s amazing, and you’d have a hard time finding someone who disagrees. The sad fact is though, not many people have had a good vanilla cake.
Which is why I’m always looking for a great vanilla cake recipe. How did this one fare? I liked it. The cake itself had a very nice buttery flavor to it but there was something missing to it. It was a bit dry.
Now honestly, I don’t think it’s much of the recipes fault but rather the fact that I didn’t take some extra cautions to ensure it’s moistness. Like using a simple syrup. One of the many tricks that professional bakers use is to brush simple syrup or some sort of liquid onto their cakes to ensure they stay moist and fresh.
What else did I do? I stuck this cake in the fridge without even so much as a crumb coat or lid to put over it. Yeah. That’ll dry it out real good.
But you know, all of that aside, this cake was very nice. The crumb and texture was good, it was sturdy, and the frosting was divine. The strawberry cream cheese filling had just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the butteriness of the cake and I love a good swiss meringue frosting that’s not cloyingly sweet and doesn’t give you a headache after eating it.
All in all, it was good. And the most important judge of all even enjoyed it, the birthday girl. This cake went out to my Mom for her birthday and I hope it passed her test. I mean, how do you bake a cake for someone who’s made wedding cakes before? It’s like an impossible task, but I tried.
Happy birthday Mom!
White Birthday Cake
(Recipe adapted from The Moonblush Baker)
320g Plain flour, shifted
4g baking powder
8g baking soda
240g unsalted butter, soften
300g caster sugar
4 eggs plus one egg white
250ml butter milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pre heat oven to 350F. Grease two 9″ cake pans.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda 3 times over a large bowl. Set aside until needed.
Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer for 5 minutes on medium high. Scrape down the bowl then continue to cream for another 2 minutes; until it is a fluffy and white. Turn the mixer to low and beat in each egg one at a time, waiting for each one to be mix in well before adding the next one.
Add vanilla at this stage.
Alternating between butter milk and flour mix. Fold in 1/3 of each mixture in to the butter and sugar, until just combined. So fold in 1/3 of flour then 1/3 of butter milk, then 1/3 flour etc…
Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the pre heated oven for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer comes clean when inserted in the middle. You know it is ready when the sides are pulling away from the pan and you can smell the cakes sweet scent.
Keep the cake in the pan until completely cool before attempting to pop out of the pan.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 tbls milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbls strawberry jam
powdered sugar as needed, 1-3 cups
Using a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and jam together. Add in the powdered sugar in batches until the filling is desired thickness, and continue whipping on medium high for 5 minutes to help the frosting get extra fluffy.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Adapted from Bakers Royale)
5 large egg whites
11/2 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.