I shared my full Vanilla, Passion Fruit and Raspberry cake recipes (featured on Duff Till Dawn) with you not too long ago. But I wanted to give the vanilla cake I had worked so long on formulating it’s own post. It’s kinda special like that. Like your favorite child. Oh, wait. We don’t have those as parents. They are ALL special and equally loved. Accepted. Tolerated… 😉
Finding that every time I wanted to make my vanilla cake I didn’t have the cake flour on hand that it called for, I wanted a GREAT scratch recipe that produced the same results as cake flour recipes – just with all purpose flour. Using all-purpose flour for the full recipe (rather than half and half) never gave me the results desired. So I tweaked, changed this and that, tried a few things and came up with possibly the best EVER vanilla cake. No cake flour needed (our friends over seas will appreciate this!). Without further adieu, some temping pics and the recipe, in friendly print format below.
Kara’s Perfect Vanilla Cake
All the dry ingredients head to the mixer bowl at once; let the paddle attachment do the mixing and distributing work for you.
Butter is the next ingredient to join the show. It should be room temperature. What’s room temp? About 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. You should be able with little pressure to make an indentation in it with your finger, but it shouldn’t mush all over your counter top and hand. Ew. This is perfect. And of course, always use unsalted butter.
Your dry ingredients and butter mixture should crumble when squeezed gently, hold it’s shape.
Set it aside and move on to combining the wet ingredients.
All of your wet ingredients should be the same room temperature. If you forget to take your eggs out of the ice box soon enough, just set them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to take off the chill. The milk’s too cold? Microwave it for about 20 seconds. Good to go!
Once the cakes are baked and gorgeous, let ’em rest for 10 minutes in the pan then turn them out onto a cooling rack. If you use the amazing recipe for pan “goop” you’ll get beautiful releases like this every time. Yeah. Goop. Odd word for something so magical. (Find that recipe just bellow, too!)
Aaaahhhhhh!!!! Once cool you can torte the cake. Look at that BEE-U-TEE-FUL cake! Glorious texture, soft, tender, just the right moisture (never dry, unless you overbake it. But don’t do that. Be nice to the cake) and very, very little crumbling when cut. What more can you ask for???
*AND BEFORE YOU BEGIN, PLEASE READ THE FAQs ABOUT THIS RECIPE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. CHANCES ARE, IF YOU’RE WONDERING, IT’S ALREADY ANSWERED DOWN THERE.
The cake I originally used this with. This Vanilla, Passion Fruit, and Raspberry cake recipe was the favorite of my three on the show. (Side note… Doesn’t this cake look like it’s sticking it’s tongue out at you? Like it’s taunting you because it’s just on the screen and not in your mouth? Hmmmm…. I’m feeling I should fix that and just make the thing again. Eat it IN FRONT of this pic to teach it a lesson. Sassy cake.)
And before I forget… Goop! It’s a beautiful pan release that you can make yourself from ingredients we have on hand normally in any baking kitchen. Just brush it on evenly when prepping your baking pans and you will be the happiest caker in the land when your cakes practically ask to come out of the pans intact!
FAQs about this cake and recipe:
Q: How do I make this chocolate?
A: Go get the my Kara’s Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe HERE!
Q: Is this cake able to be covered in fondant, will it hold up?
A: Yes. All of my cakes are fondanted. It’s very sturdy.
Q: Can this cake be carved/sculpted?
A: Yep! It’s FABULOUS for that!
Q: Can this recipe be used for cupcakes?
A: I wouldn’t. It bakes up flat and most cakers want a nice dome on cuppies. Use this one instead: Vanilla Cupcakes
Q: Can I use whole eggs/sugar substitute/pasteurized whites?
A: Well, you can do anything you want to alter the recipe, BUT it will no longer turn out like this. That’s just the nature of the chemistry and physics of baking. It’s all science, peeps.
Q: How many batches do I need for “X” sized pan?
A: I don’t know 🙂 You need to know the diameter of you pan, how high the sides are, how high you need it to bake and thus how full you need to make it, and how many cups of batter those things require. This recipe makes approximately 9 cups of batter, soooo…. Find a good cake calculator (like the one on AvalonCakesSchool.com‘s website).
Q: How long do I bake X sized pan for?
A: Again, I can’t answer that. The baking times listed on any recipe are really just starting points. Too many variables happen in every kitchen that can alter your results. You need to know how hot your oven truly bakes (you need to have it calibrated) as well as the items listed in the Q & A above. My go-to signs are nothing to do with a timer, though… When the cake becomes aromatic outside the oven without opening the door, and when the sides are just beginning to pull away from the pan, I know it’s almost there if not already completely done. Start with what I have listed, and tweak up and down intelligently from there.