Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(117 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 12

A moist cake drenched with vanilla syrup. Use as the basis for a range of fabulous celebration cakes

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
399
protein
6g
carbs
48g
fat
21g
saturates
12g
fibre
1g
sugar
27g
salt
0.31g

Ingredients

  • 250g pack unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 5 large eggs, cracked into a jug
  • 85g plain flour
  • 100g full-fat Greek yogurt (I used Total)
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

For the syrup

  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • seeds ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla paste

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a round, deep 20cm tin, then line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Using electric beaters or a tabletop mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and ¼ tsp salt together until pale and fluffy, then pour in the eggs, one at a time, giving the mix a really good beating before adding the next. Add 1 tbsp of the plain flour if the mix starts to look slimy rather than fluffy. Beat in the yogurt.
  3. Mix the flours; then, using a large metal spoon, fold them into the batter, followed by the milk. Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 1 hr 20 mins or until well risen and golden – a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup by gently heating 50ml water with the sugar and vanilla in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Once the cake is out of the oven, leave to cool for 30 mins in the tin, then use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake, going right to the bottom. Pour the syrup over, letting it completely soak in after each addition. Leave to cool completely, then either wrap the cake well or fill and ice it. If you wrap it with baking parchment and cling film, the unfilled cake will keep well for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
  5. For ideas on how to decorate the cake and to try out some variations on this basic cake mixture, have a look at the 'Goes well with' recipes for Simple elegance wedding cake, Birthday bug cake and Summer celebration cake.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2009

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Comments

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Tinny29's picture
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Did this for my daughters 2nd birthday. Beautiful cake, really moist and very easy to make. Lot of compliments from it.

bakergirl91's picture
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So so impressed with this cake! I wanted something plain and easy that would withstand fondant icing. I only made a 6" cake so I halved the recipe and used 3 medium eggs and it turned out wonderfully. I was a bit hesitant about cooking it for so long even at the low temperature as my oven runs hot and tends to burn things easily - however it turned out so good I'm now wondering if you can cook all cakes this way?! It was evenly risen and a perfect light golden brown colour. It sliced like a dream and I'd 100% make it again. Only thing I didn't bother with was the syrup as I went off the other comments. It was moist enough without.

pimlicoman's picture
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Very simple recipe and it's foolproof! Perfect results every time and tastes delicious. I don't think it need the syrup so always leave this out.

mazzletoff's picture

This recipe makes for an absolutely delicious cake, made it for a birthday recently and was delicious. I left out the vanilla syrup and the sponge was still lovely and moist. I also used two cake tins instead of one deep one and cooked them for about 50 mins instead of 1h20

sarebearcarebear's picture

I made this cake last week for my daughters 7th birthday. I am a keen baker and have made many cakes before but never for a particular celebration. I was a little worried it wouldn't turn out right but it was yummy :) My other half said it was a *little* dry but I had to disagree. Didn't bother with the syrup this time round. All in all a very good recipe and the best thing was my daughter said the cake was scrumptious

icingnicely's picture
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Fantastic recipe. I have made this a few times for celebration cakes. Works perfectly every time. Delicious.

snicka's picture
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Made this as a practice run for a birthday cake. A really nice texture and flavour. Will use again.

Jogee's picture
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Have just used this recipe to make a two tier wedding cake for my brother's wedding. Had a couple of dummy runs first using the recipe. It was easy to make and was met with lots of positive comments from my 'tasters'. As a result I was confident that all would be good on the day, and it was. Lots and lots of compliments. I would definitely recommend this recipe.

iarnold's picture

Disappointing - likewise after 1 hrs 30 mins still undercooked, stogy, very greasy- returned to oven after cooling and splitting otherwise it would have been inedible. Will return to using my Madeira receive.

bacon-n-egg's picture
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This recipe is foolproof - it is a basic sponge with yogurt. I assume that you made a mistake somewhere along the line - I use this for wedding cakes etc and never fails.

annauk1's picture
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I made this cake for the first time yesterday upon a friend's recommendation. It's lovely, came out perfectly! I didn't make the vanilla syrup after reading the comments and it was still beautifully moist. A keeper for sure! You can see a pic of it here, as well as a write-up. http://annauk1.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/easy-vanilla-sponge-or-butter-vs...
I made it with Stork instead of butter and it still worked perfectly. Be aware though that it's a very dense cake, not light and airy. But this is a good thing in my eyes.

jennypiccolo's picture
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I was baking a 12 inch (30cm) square birthday cake and wanted a recipe which wasn't a madeira cake, and a recommendation led me to this recipe. I was concerned about some of the comments so made a small 15cm round tester version to begin with, omitting the syrup. It was delicious, so we went ahead with it. We used the quantities for a 30cm round cake (found under simple elegant wedding cake) x 1.3 and it was the perfect amount. Baked at 140 fan for 2hrs 30 mins. Baked perfectly. Sliced and covered with buttercream and fondant icing it was a winner again. Baked on a Wednesday night for the party on Saturday, it was beautifully moist. The remainder of the cake was still being eaten the following Tuesday and it was still good (and we still didn't use the syrup). Highly recommend!

mummy_baker's picture

Hi jennypiccolo, I was hoping you could enlighten me on the quantities please. I am hoping to make this cake for my son's first birthday which is coming up very soon. I want to make it in a 30cm / 12" round cake tin. I am having trouble understanding the conversion. Under the simple elegant wedding cake it says to triple the ingredients which you said you followed but then you have x 1.3 beside that. I'm sorry if this is really obvious I just can't get my head around it. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

emzy-jane's picture

This cake was fab.After reading the comments I decided to leave out the syrup and im glad I did as it was lovely and moist without it, I did as in the photo with 2 layers of the butter cream filling with jam and covered in rolled icing - great birthday cake.

Claireyk87's picture

forgot my rating :)

Claireyk87's picture

I have used a few vanilla recipes in the past which have been commented on as being nice but I always find them a little dry and heavy. I used this recipe for my partners birthday cake on new years eve and it was simply the nicest recipe I have used and the result was excellent. I actually forgot to put the milk in which made me worry it would be dry like the others I have made but having used the vanilla syrup once it was cooked it was perfectly moist and extremely tasty. Everyone said it was the nicest cake I had made so I was very happy. I plan to use this recipe in March for my mams 50th birthday cake. I will be making a 9inch and 7inch cake to stack so I am hoping they turn out as well as the first. I may even leave the milk out and just use the syrup to keep it moist and add that extra flavour boost.

tomtat's picture

Hi! I hope you don't mind me asking, How are you changing the ingredient quantities for your 9in cake tin? I'd love to make this for my daughter's birthday. Thanks.

miss-mcqueen's picture

Nice, simple recipe.
The bottom was slightly too sticky for me. Think this was due to the syrup. Still, everyone loved the cake and thought it was 'moist'!
I wouldn't bother with the syrup next time though as I don't think it needs it.

gemma99's picture

this is a bit too heavy/stodgy for me. The taste is really nice but as another person said it does have the texture of it being undercooked at the bottom. That could be the syrup which has settled on the bottom but I don't think I would bother making again and try without the syrup as it would just be easier to make a Victoria sponge instead :)

Pogger's picture

I found this cake absolutely foul. Very slimy and stodgy. Was hoping to use as the basis of a wedding cake I am making for my cousin but I would be horrified to present this to her. Really disappointing. My husband, bless him, will eat any cake I make so it won't go to waste.

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