This moist and tender vanilla cake is a great foil for any filling or buttercream. It's easily transformed into custom flavors with a few simple tweaks.
Yield: two thick 8" rounds, two 9" rounds or 24 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks plus 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8" round pans lined with parchment . Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes or so. Switch the mixer to low and add one egg at a time, scraping thoroughly between additions. Mix in the vanilla.
On low speed, add 1/4 of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 1/3 of the milk, once again mixing thoroughly and scraping down the bowl. Repeat with the wet and dry ingredients, ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly into pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pans.Cool completely and wrap and refrigerate to firm up before icing.
1) We always use magi-cake baking strips for evenly baked layers with no crisp edges.They are worth the extra effort. Just saturate the strips completely with cold water, run your fingers down the strip to remove excess moisture and pin around the sides of the pan just before baking.
2) If you plan on making and icing the cake a few days ahead, you can brush the layers with a simple syrup to ensure the cake remains moist.
3) Cakes can be stored in the freezer for up to one month, wrapped in at least two layers of plastic wrap.
Almond Cake: Add 1/3 cup almond paste when creaming the butter and sugar and replace the vanilla with almond emulsion.
Lemon Cake: Replace the vanilla extract with lemon emulsion and stir in the zest of one lemon after the flour and milk are added.
Coconut Cake: Replace the vanilla extract with coconut emulsion and stir in 1/2 cup of grated sweetened coconut after the milk and flour have been added.