It didn’t come a surprise when my daughter demanded a Barbie princess cake for her fifth birthday. But I was totally taken aback when she said that she wanted it to be a vanilla cake. I know how crazy she is for chocolates, be it dark or milk. Since it was still a few weeks before the birthday, i was sure she was going to change her mind. But, that didn’t happen. Instead, she added that it would be nice if I could pair the cake with strawberries. That’s when I got down to work.
I don’t really have to search for a vanilla cake recipe since I found this. It’s my favorite vanilla cake recipe for many reasons. First, its LUXURIOUS, has great structure that withstands weight when you are baking a layered cake and doesn’t dry under refrigeration. This cake took five layers of different diameters, was filled with fresh strawberry cream and frosted with vanilla buttercream.. With loads of vanilla, butter, sugar, strawberries and cream, it was a perfect melange to compliment something as precious as the fifth year of childhood.
The cake per se is not difficult to bake but the assembly and frosting takes time and it is best to do it an evening before and refrigerate the cake. It is equally important to take out the cake at least 45 minutes before serving since both the cake and the frosting have a huge amount of butter. Therefore, it needs to sit at room temperature for sometime to soften the texture.
Rich Vanilla Cake with Strawberry cream:
Yields Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers
(I made 2.5 times of this recipe to yield five layers of different diameters.)
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (Around 525 grams) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks ( 225 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
400 grams sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
475 ml buttermilk, well-mixed
• Preheat oven to 350° F (176°C). Butter two 9-inches round cake pans and line with buttered parchment paper.
• Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
• In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, (around 3-4 minutes) then beat in vanilla.
• Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
• At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled).
• Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated. It is always good to mix in the last batch with a rubber spatula.
• Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
• Bake until golden and the cake tester poked in center of the cake comes out clean, (around 35 to 40 minutes).
• Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, and then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment.
• Cool completely before frosting.
Fresh strawberry cream:
500 grams fresh strawberries
300 ml low fat fresh cream
30 ml apple cider vinegar
50 gram sugar
• Wash and clean the strawberries and chop into pieces. Place chopped strawberry into a pan.
• Add sugar and heat the mixture on medium heat till juices start oozing out and strawberries soften.
• Add vinegar and keep mixing till it reaches marmalade consistency.
• Add the fresh cream, whisk well and take off the flame.
• Cool before filling between the layers.
Rich Vanilla buttercream:
I made 5 times of the recipe and it was sufficient to crumb coat as well as frost the cake.
1 cup unsalted butter
3 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence
4 cups of icing sugar
3-4 tablespoons of fresh cream
• Whip the butter till its light and fluffy, for about 2-3 minutes
• Carefully sift the icing sugar over it. It helps to remove any lumps and gives a better texture to the buttercream. It is also important to use fresh icing sugar as it really builds the taste.
• Start adding the cream, one table spoon at a time, and whip it well before adding further. Once the desired consistency is reached, add in the color and whip well before frosting the cake.