Perfect White Vanilla Cake
After my post on “Dark Chocolate Cake” ( A big thank you to my lovely readers and subscribers for making the recipe a hit ! ) there were many requests for a perfect vanilla cake recipe. After many trials in perfecting this recipe, 7 to be exact (phew!), here it is, my version of perfect white vanilla cake! Thank you for your patience…. Enjoy 🙂
This is a simple yet rich, tender and flavorful cake…. I like that the cake layers are sturdy which make them good for sculpting, stacking, and icing…but at the same time, it is so tender and moist that you will feel tempted to eat it right off the oven ! If you are looking to make a colored cake, for eg. pink or blue for a baby shower party, then this would be an ideal base.
Most of the white cake recipes use only “egg whites” to prevent the “yellow” imparted from yolk…To me, it is not just about how a cake looks… taste matters too! From my experiments, I found that a cake with only whites tasted drier. Adding one “whole egg” gives added moistness and flavor while not affecting the overall color of the cake (Read more about Ingredients and their role in baking)
First, preheat your oven to 320F/160C. Yes, I find using a lower temperature for a longer time helps with even baking and softer crumbs. Here are the three main stages explained.
STAGE 1– Preparation of sugar syrup. Heat water and sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl, at high power, 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves completely. Stop in between to stir and scrape down the sides to prevent sugar from charring.You will notice that my “white cake mix” has granulated sugar. These granules help with aerating the flour, while the sugar syrup helps with an easy even blend of the ingredients. I use a hot (not boiling) syrup , so it helps bring other cold “wet ingredients” to room temperature, ideal for baking.
STAGE 2- Is the preparation of the “White Cake Mix” which involves mixing, sifting and fluffing… as mentioned in my previous blog articles this is a pivotal step in baking.
STAGE 3– The careful incorporation and mixing of wet with dry ingredients. Over mixing gives a tough chewy cake while under mixing gives an unevenly baked cake. My advice is to use a stopwatch/timer and mix for the time advised.
Immediately pour the batter into two 8″ * 3″ cake pans. Be careful not to leave the door open for too long when inserting the cake pans into the oven as it could cause deflation. Bake for 45 minutes. At this point, you will notice the sides are slightly browned and starting to detach from the cake pans. Test for “doneness” and proceed to “cooling“.
For my vegetarian readers looking for egg substitutes- here are my 3 recommended substitutes( from PETA) that work great in place of eggs. Ener-G egg replacer is a foolproof option….can’t go wrong with it!
For the frosting, I used a simple American Buttercream recipe. This is also known as the decorator’s buttercream as it is ideal for piping decorations onto the cake.
Below is the cake with the filling. It baked so even, thanks to these DIY “Bake-even strips”, there was no need for leveling the cake !
- Thula's White Cake Mix (click for recipe)
- 1/2 cup Water
- 250 g Sugar
- 3 Egg White
- 1 Whole Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Yogurt (I use homemade semi thick yogurt)
- 1/2 cup Whole milk
- 1/2 cup Oil
- 1 cup/2 sticks Unsalted Butter
- 150 g Vegetable Shortening
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 TB Whole Milk
- 600 g Confectioners Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 320F/160C
- Mix sugar and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat covered on high for 2 minutes. Stop give the mix a quick stir and continue heating at 30 s intervals until the sugar dissolves completely. Now the mixture needs to be a clear molten syrup.
- Prepare 2*8 inch circle cake pans (I use aluminum pans) and attach Bake-even strips
- Prepare cake flour mix
- In a separate kitchen aid or mixing bowl add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla essence and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, continue mixing and slowly pour in the molten sugar syrup into the mix. Continue mixing for another 30 seconds. Then reduce the speed to low (setting -2 in the Kitchen Aid)
- Add the "white cake mix" and continue mixing for 1 minute - Adding one cup at a time prevents a flour cloud and unnecessary mess. Stop, scrape sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula and continue mixing for another 30 seconds. Stop
- Pour into two 8*3 inch baking pans and bake at 320F , 45 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness- insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean then your cake is done. If not give it another 2-3 minutes and check again.
- Cream together butter and shortening in medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and milk. Continue mixing at medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Reduced speed to slow and add the sugar 1/3 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
- Add salt and mix at high speed for 5 minutes. Use fresh or freeze in an airtight container up to 4 weeks.
- *tsp- teaspoon
- *TB- tablespoon
- Confectioners sugar is superfine sugar.
- Vegetarian option- Use Ener G egg replacer equivalent to 4 eggs.