I remember my early baking days. They consisted of making a cake mix in a 9×13 pan (the only one my non-baking-interested mom had). Once the cake was done, my family would eat it – without frosting. That’s how we ate cake. It wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My parents would enjoy their piece of cake with tea, while my sister and I ate it with milk.
Nowadays, with my discovery of frosting for those who love the sugar and those who want something more subtle, my cakes are rarely frost-less. Recently, when I had extra Swiss meringue buttercream, I wanted to pair it with a vanilla cake to see how the flavors would work out. Beautifully. Just beautifully.
I found the recipe on My Baking Addiction, which if you have not perused, you should and be warned that you will find yourself wanting to make everything you see. I made this.
A light yet flavorful vanilla bean cake, which held up and complemented the subtle sweetness of the strawberry buttercream. Using both the vanilla bean seeds and extract allow the flavor to really shine in this cake without being overwhelming. The seeds in the batter bake up beautifully and stand out against the pale yellow cake.
In preparation for company, I made half of the batch into cupcakes and the other half as one layer of cake. I served the cupcakes to the guests. I saved the cake for myself to remember the same experience I had as a child…to eat a really good piece of cake.
Vanilla Bean Cake
recipe from My Baking Addiction
yields 2-layers of an 8-inch round cake or about 20 cupcakes
- 2 and 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 and 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- seeds scraped from one vanilla bean or 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. If you make cupcakes, line with cupcake liners. If you are baking cake layers, grease two eight-inch round cake pans.
- In a large and separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, on medium heat, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds, until the mixture is very light/pale.
- Add the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
- Carefully add and mix in half of the milk mixture until all is combined.
- Then, mix in half of the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Add the remaining milk mixture until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture until incorporated.
- Once everything is incorporated, beat the mixture for a good 2 minutes to ensure that everything is smoothly combined.
- If making cupcakes, spoon evenly into the cupcake liners, filling 2/3s full. Bake between 18-24 minutes until it passes the toothpick test.
- If making cake layers, divide between the two layers. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.
- Cool completely before frosting.