Sunday, July 26, 2020

Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Cake is my birthday cake flavor this year! Yesterday, was my birthday and every birthday for the last several years I am either in Northern California visiting family or at Atlantic City, NJ having fun at a casino and enjoying the boardwalk and beach. With the current COVID-19 situation, I am playing it safe and staying home with my hubster and not travelling or going out much. So, I baked this cake and made spaghetti bolognese for dinner. Two of my favorite things: cake and pasta. In NYC, we are going through a heat wave and the air quality for most of the week was atrocious so staying in has been the norm these days. Thankfully, there is air conditioning inside and it helps with the unbearable temps and keeps me from passing out. It is not only the heat that keeps me indoors. I honestly do not feel comfortable dining outside as many people are doing in NYC or being amongst groups of people. When I go out to get groceries and such, there are so many people outside and not everyone wears a mask or maintains physical distancing protocols. I always do and the heat does not help since I have asthma, so I limit my time outside for now. 

Vanilla Cake

I digress. Back to this yummy vanilla cake and my temporary reprieve from thinking about the coronavirus. The recipe was adapted from My Cake School and the crumb has a velvety rich texture, and the sour cream perfectly balances the sweetness of the cake. I use vanilla sugar instead of granulated sugar to amp up the vanilla flavor, vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract. The vanilla aromatics while this cake baked was sublime. Since I made Allen a chocolate espresso cake for his birthday last month, I wanted a vanilla cake as it has been a long time since I baked one. The vanilla buttercream is so yummy and to tame the sweetness, I added a little salt. It was fun piping some rosettes and stars using Wilton drop flower decorating tip 2D, and I accentuated the cake with Sweetapolita Sprinkle Medley Skip To My Lou. I used Wilton Concentrated Gel Icing Color in Teal to achieve the vibrant color for the buttercream. 

Pretty blue candle

To grease cake pans:
2 teaspoons Unsalted Butter

2 teaspoons All-Purpose Flour

Cake Ingredients
3 cups Cake Flour

3 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups Vanilla Sugar (or Granulated Sugar)

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

3 Large Eggs, room temperature

1 cup Sour Cream

1/3 cup Milk

1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Let's cut this beauty!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
9 cups Confectioners'/Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon Milk (Adjust to desired consistency)

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 350°F.

Line 2, 9" cake pans with parchment paper and use baking spray (such as Wilton) or butter and flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract.

My birthday cake!

Using a hand held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth; 1-2 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy; 3-5 minutes.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again for 5-10 seconds.

Add eggs one at a time and incorporate.

My slice of heaven right here

Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds.

Add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture starting and ending with the flour mixture. (3 flour mixture additions; 2 sour cream mixture additions.)

Pour the batter into cake pans, 2/3 full.

Tap each pan on the counter to remove air bubbles from the cake batter. (OMG-I forgot to do this and I got some bubbles/air pockets so do not forget to do this. First time I did this-ugh.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cake baked in 30 minutes.


Oven temperatures vary so check the cake at the 25 minute mark and adjust baking time accordingly.

Remove from oven and cool in pans for 30 minutes, and then invert onto a wire rack lined with parchment paper to cool completely. (The parchment will prevent the cake from sticking on the wire rack and making an imprint on the cake, which is so annoying when it happens.)

While the cake is cooling make the vanilla buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Cake

On medium speed using a hand held or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth; 1-2 minutes.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds.

Add the vanilla extract and incorporate; 1 minute.

Add half of the powdered sugar, salt, and 3/4 of the milk and beat on low speed until incorporated; 2 minutes.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds.

My set up

Add the remaining powdered sugar and milk, and mix until incorporated; 2 minutes.

If your are tinting the icing, add and incorporate.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 20-25 seconds more.

If your layers have a dome on the tops, use a large serrated knife to remove before frosting the cake.

Place first cake layer top side down on cake stand or plate, and cover with the vanilla buttercream frosting.

Add the second cake layer top side up and frost the cake and decorate as desired.

Sprinkles and icing color I used

Place the cake in fridge to set.

Cover and remove 1/2 hour before serving.

Store cake up to 5 days covered in the fridge.

Vanilla Bean Cake recipe adapted from My Cake School:

How to Pipe a Rosette:

For beautiful sprinkle collections visit Sweetapolita:


-Sophia/Two Frys 

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