I am really proud of my vanilla cake. I love its buttery, sweet flavour, and it is perfect for simple cakes layered with buttercream and toppings, or for novelty cakes. It is subtle yet satisfying, and tastes much better than the artificial vanilla boxed variety, in my opinion ;) Once you learn how to make this baking staple you'll never go back to boxed cake! This is definitely one of my go-to cake recipes on How To Cake It (don't forget to subscribe!).
Fun things you can do with vanilla cake? Dye it, or throw in chunks of crushed candy or sprinkles for a classic funfetti look!
Before you start baking, gather up all of your tools and ingredients. I organized them all for you in a Parsel collection. You can find them here!
Let's Make My Vanilla Cake!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
Electric Stand Mixer and Paddle Attachment
Desired Cake Pans
Depending on the amount of cake you are making, see the handy chart below for ingredients and portions.
Cake Tip! Make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before beginning!
This way your batter won’t curdle or separate.
How To Make The Perfect Vanilla Cake Batter!
- Sift your flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
- Cream your butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add your eggs to your sugar mixture, two at a time, and blend until incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add your dry ingredients alternatively with your milk. Begin by adding dry, then alternate with wet. Add the dry in four parts, and the wet in three.
- Pour your batter into your desired parchment lined pans. Always bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow your cakes to cool completely in their pans before removing them.
Cake Tip! When I am carving this cake, I actually like to chill it in the fridge before doing so. It makes the cakes less crumbly and easier to carve.
Yo's Handy Baking Charts
Below will give you an idea of the types of pans you can use to bake this delicious recipe of Vanilla Cake, along with the suggested baking times, as well as the correct portions of ingredients to use for baking.
For my Kin Community Cake I baked two 9” round vanilla cakes. I made a 6 lb recipe and divided the batter between two parchment lined pans.
How to Fill and Ice your Cake
Ingredients & You Will Need:
1 x recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
Simple syrup - find my recipe here
10” or 12” round cake board
Bench Scraper (stainless steel)
Remove your vanilla cakes from their pans, level off the tops and cut them in half. You can watch me do this here.
Make sure that the two layers with caramelized bottom surfaces, are on the top and bottom of your stack, with the caramelization facing outward. Unstack your cake layers, and re stack them so that the bottom layer is on top. Remember to soak each layer in simple syrup as you go along.
Place you cake board onto your lazy suzan. I like to put a non slip mat or some silicone shelf liner underneath my cake board. It really helps to stop it from sliding around.
Place a dollop of buttercream onto your bottom layer of cake.
Spread the buttercream evenly working from the centre dollop out to the edges. I like to use an offset spatula and bring the buttercream a little over the edge. Be careful not to press down and dredge up cake crumbs. I enjoy a layer of buttercream that is 1/8” thick.
Once your buttercream is nicely spread, add your second simple syrup soaked layer of cake. Have a look at the sides of your cake and make sure your layers are stacked evenly.
Continue to fill your cake by spreading buttercream and topping with the next cake layer until you reach the top.
Now crumb coat the entire cake. Use the extra buttercream poking out the sides of your layers. You may need a little more from your bowl as well.
When crumb coating press your icing spatula firmly against the cake. You want to press a thin layer of buttercream right into the cake. This holds down all the crumbs so that they won’t appear in your final icing coat.
Remember not to mix your extra crumb laden buttercream back into your original batch. Scrape it off your spatula into a separate bowl- and eat it with cake scraps! I won’t tell…
Chill your cake for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Once your cake is chilled, when you touch the surface with your finger, your buttercream should be stiff and no longer spreadable.
Now your ready to ice! Spread an even layer of icing onto the top of your cake. Then add a layer of icing all around the sides, don’t worry about how smooth it is yet.
Your icing layer should be about ¼’ thick. Use the side edge of your icing spatula to guide your icing all around the cake while turning your lazy susan. Hold your icing spatula straight up and down, as you do this.
Time for the bench scraper! This is one of my best friends. It really helps to clean up your icing job. Hold the bench scraper straight up and down, and at a slight angle away from your cake. You don’t want your knuckles to hit the cake as you pull your scraper around.
Pull your bench scraper all the way around your cake while turning your lazy susan. Continue in this round about motion until you are satisfied. Don’t worry if you scrape off too much buttercream, just add a little more in trouble spots, and scrape it away again.
Now remove the excess buttercream that has gathered around the top edges of your cake. Use the flat surface of your spatula. Drag the excess buttercream from the outside edges, and wipe of the spatula every single time. Just scrap the buttercream off your spatula onto the edge of your bowl.
Chill your perfectly iced vanilla cake in the fridge for 30 minutes.
How to Cover a 10” Round Cake in Fondant
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
2 ½ lbs White Fondant (McCall’s)
2 x Fondant Smoother
Fabric measuring tape
Make sure your cake is well iced. You want your cake to be smooth underneath your fondant. Many people think fondant hides everything – it doesn’t.
Knead your fondant well. Roll it into a ball, bringing all the seams to the underside.
Press and squeeze your ball of fondant into a flatter disk so it will be easier to roll out. Sprinkle a dusting of icing sugar onto your work surface. Sprinkle a little icing sugar on top of your fondant, and brush it away.
To maintain a circular shape while rolling, make sure to roll in every direction. Up and down, side to side, and diagonally.
As your fondant circle gets bigger, continue to roll in every direction from the centre of your circle outward. Feel free to brush or scrap away excess icing sugar around the edges as you roll.
If you notice air bubbles, use a sharp pin inserted at an angle. Lightly use your fingertips to help guide the air out.
Cake Tip! Be mindful of the clothing you are wearing while rolling fondant. You want to avoid wearing anything that sheds or causes a lot of lint. Tiny particles stick to fondant like glue.
To make sure you are rolling your fondant to the right size, use a fabric measuring tape to measure your cake. You must measure up one side, across the top, and down the other side to get the full measurement.
I like to roll my fondant to 1/8” thick when covering a standard round cake.
When you are happy with size of your fondant circle, pick it up with a French rolling pin. This is a rolling pin that is one solid cylinder without handles that spin.
Place your French rolling pin onto the centre of your circle, fold one half of your fondant circle back over it, and pick up the rolling pin on both ends.
This is where you need to work fast and carefully- a tricky combination!
Drape your fondant over your cake. I like to make sure that one end of the circle is at the base of the cake before fully releasing the fondant from my French rolling pin.
Work quickly to smooth your fondant around the top corner edge of the cake. You want to make sure that you secure the fondant before it rips away from the edge.
You can lightly use the palm of your hand at first. Continue to lightly press your fondant along the sides of your cake in a downward motion.
You want to direct all the air out from underneath the fondant. When your fondant creases and folds over itself, pull those folds apart and smooth it down gently. Repeat these motions until your fondant is stuck all around the sides of your cake.
If there is a lot of excess fondant on your cake board, cut it away with a sharp knife, leaving at least an extra inch resting on your cake board.
Begin to smooth the top of your cake with a fondant smoother. Work from the outer edges inward, holding it flat on top of the cake.
Air will probably accumulate in the centre, so use your pin again to help release it.
Now smooth the sides of your cake with the fondant smoother. Work around the cake with the help of Susan (you should be on a first name basis by now). Smooth from the top downward.
At the base, press the fondant into the cake as well as down onto the board to create a clean line at the bottom edge.
Use your second fondant smoother to create a “ceiling” by laying it on top of your cake but sticking out over the edge. Use the first smoother to smooth your fondant upward to meet the second fondant smoother. This motion will help you create nice sharp edges.
Before trimming away the excess fondant at the base of your cake, use your fingertips to push it into the cake. Fondant has elasticity, so we want to make sure the fondant is stuck to your cake right down at the base.
Cut away the excess fondant with a sharp, clean and dry paring knife.
Run your smoother around the cake along that bottom cut to clean it up.
You did it!!!! Rejoice.