My mother made this cake for us in the Sixties, I made it for my kids in the Nineties, and now I am making it for my grandson. This cake spans generations.
I love the simplicity of the ingredients in this vanilla cake. These are ingredients most of us have on hand in the kitchen which makes this a good last-minute vanilla cake. Of course, you could always use a cake mix.
A Recipe for Basic Vanilla Cake
2¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into half-inch slices, at room temperature
4 large eggs
½ cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º.
Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds on slow speed.
Add the slices of butter, slowly. Mix the dry ingredients and butter until they look crumbly, like small pea-sized lumps. Turn the mixer off.
In another bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and vanilla with a fork until very well blended. It is always best to have these cold ingredients come to room temperature, but I have made this cake last minute, with cool ingredients, and it has worked.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together for about one minute on slow speed. Turn mixer off and use a spatula to scrape up ingredients from the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Mix batter on medium speed for about one minute until the batter looks smooth, creamy, and fluffy.
Pour batter into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes on the middle oven rack. When done, the cakes should be golden in color and a knife poked into the center of the cake should come out clean.
Remove cake pans from the oven. Let cool on a rack for ten minutes. To easily release the cakes from their pans, use a knife to loosen the edges of the cakes from the perimeter of the pans first and then flip the cake pans onto a rack. The cakes must be completely cooled before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3¾ cups (1 pound box) confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
Beat butter and cream cheese together in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until smooth.
Add sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add vanilla and beat 30 seconds more. Add milk to fluff up the frosting.
Meanwhile, a few miles away at my Goddaughter Leigh’s house, my dear friend, Becky, was busy making an Easter Bunny Cake for her three-week-old granddaughter!
The Barton/Meadors family made this beautiful one!
My friend Janet Davies sent me this version. This method of icing it sounds outrageously good! I cut each layer in half horizontally and ice it all with a mixture of 12 oz. frozen coconut, 1 lb powdered sugar and 1 cup sour cream. It’s very runny and soaks into the cake. I add dry flaked coconut on top. I like it because it’s not very sweet. The sour cream gives is a tangy touch. I also poke holes in the cake with a toothpick to make sure it soaks in well. Sometimes I take the crusty part off the top of the cake to make sure the runny icing gets into the cake.
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