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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julietulip's picture
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I made the cake this weekend for my son's 5th birthday party. Compliments all round ... a lovely recipe. I wasn't sure how much I'd need for a 9x13x2 inch cake tin, so I doubled the quantities and there was enough over to make 6 cupcakes. (Its the first time I've ever used 10 eggs in one cake!!! Slightly scary ... and I now know I need a bigger mixing bowl ... but it worked really well!!) My oven is fast so it took a bit less than an hour and 20 minutes. Very generously filled it with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream ... then covered it all with fondant icing and turned into a fabulous football pitch!!!! Excellent!!!! This is the recipe I will use for ALL future family party cakes.

samcoates's picture
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3rd time of baking this cake and as before it has turned out delicious and moist. wouldnt even bother trying a different vanilla sponge recipe anymore as I doubt any would be as good! Also lasts much longer than normal sponge as it doesnt dry out, not that it lasts that long!

mummy_scrummy's picture
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made this cake for my nephew's bday. It was the best recipe I have tried for vanilla cake, very firm and easy to shape as desired, very moist and yumm - I made a Toy Story 3 Pizza Truck birthday cake using this recipe. I will definitely use this recipe again for celebration and decoration. Thank you

tracytroll's picture

This cake is absolutely divine and I found the recipe really easy to use. I was wondering if anyone had ever used it for cupcakes and if so did it work and at what temperature you cooked them on and for how long?

joanneeland's picture
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Made this recipe for my boyfriend's 30th birthday with 20 guests. I used a rectangle 25x35cm pan, doubled the recipe and cooked it for just under 1 hour at the suggested temp. Covered it in rolled fondant to make it into a poker table. It is one of those cakes that just gets better and better the longer you leave it. I made it on Thursday, its now Tuesday and I've brought what's left into work and it's still moist and delicious. One thing I would say is that I tried a bit from the corner and it was slightly dry - so make sure you coat the entire cake in the vanilla syrup, I think I missed a bit!! Even my friend, who hates sweet stuff, said this was delicious and asked would I make it for his wedding!!! I'll use this recipe from now on.

hughesmota's picture

I made this cake in a 10" round time, I did 3x the recipe but left out the milk and the cake was lovely and moist but was denser on the bottom than the top. Also, the bottom and sides cooked a bit too much. I've tried cooking it at a lower temperature for longer but it didn't make any difference. Any ideas how I can solve this problem?

teenytinybaker101's picture
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The syrup makes it beautifully moist, everyone absolutely loved it. It did make a rather big cake though, which was probably a good thing!

bacon-n-egg's picture
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This is the best victoria type sponge. Its moist and has an amazing taste. I do mine in two sandwich tins or convert into cupcakes. Its totally foulproof as I just throw it all into the magimix - quick mix. I aways use the vanilla paste (from waitrose) and a touch of rich vanilla essence just to give it a bit more strength. I use jam and a fresh double cream mixed with butter and icing sugar filling. A real winner!

cupcakelover's picture

Jenwastar - thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely give it a go then :)

jenwastar's picture
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Made this cake for my sister's birthday last year and it was great! Went down a storm! Very tasty and very moist, but also very dense. I think all the baking-mad Moms at the party were quite taken aback by the fact it had 5 eggs in it (means nothing to me...I'm an amateur!) and it weighed a ton. In fact, I may use this recipe again this year but attempt to make a marbled chocolate cake with it as i find that marbled sponges are a bit too bland. Cupcakelover - the cake was MASSIVE...filled my cake tin to the brim and was easily 3inches high. I was able to slice it into three layers with ease. Hope that helps and that it rises to the occasion (...ha I made a funny...!).

cupcakelover's picture

Could someone advise me how tall/high this cake will be once baked, if using a 20cm tin? I need to bake a cake for a class and it needs to be 3 inches high! Appreciate the advise.. thank you..

lucuma's picture
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Fabulous sponge! I have tried different recipes but this is the best so far. For the filling I used caramel and chopped walnuts for 2 layers and raspberry jam for another layer...delicious!!!!

samcoates's picture
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Delicious moist cake and this is the second time I have made it however I keep having problem of it 'peaking' in the middle. This has caused problems when icing as I wanted it flat on the top. Other than slicing a layer off the top does anyone have any suggestions of what I may be doing wrong??

dianet's picture

I am making this cake at this very moment for my sisters birthday. I've made 1.5 times the recipe amount and i'm making a 3 tierd stacked cake which i will coved with lots of buttercream. If the finished cake tastes as good as the batter think i'll be onto a winner!

lyn_sa's picture

Made this for my daughters 6th birthday. I reduced sugar by 50g in the cake because I thought that the syrup was going to make the cake too sweet, but it was not necessary.
The cake was easy to cut into a flower.
Next time will use recommended amount of sugar.
The cake was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

DrNat's picture

I'm making this for a wedding next week, and I had a slight issue with the trial run; when I turned the oven off (I left the cake in the oven with the door open for ten minutes, as I'd been having trouble with sponges sinking), the cake sank and came away from the sides quite a lot, and ...in a weird 'waisted' shape, which meant I had to use a lot of buttercream on the outside to give it a flat edge for the fondant icing. Any ideas how I can stop this happening? I'd increased the ingredients by 80% to go in a 25cm tin, and used newspaper tied on with string around the edge of the tin to stop the edges cooking too fast. Also, does anyone know when you are meant to take the cake out of the tin? I left it in to cool completely, but not sure if this is correct, as the bottom was stuck to the greaseproof paper when I took it off. The cake tastes amazing though, and it was as white as it looks in the picture (but I used white caster sugar).

thetastybaker's picture

Mmmmm, this cake was really scrummy! I made it for a friends birthday and it went down really well. It was very soft and moist and was simply perfect, smothered in buttercream and filled with strawberry jam.

annahmiller's picture

One more question: did your recipe really turn out a cake this "white" (as in the photo). Meaning, there's hardly any naturally browning from the baking process it seems.

annahmiller's picture

I'm just getting ready to make this for a birthday. I'm using a square pan. Do I slice the cake for filling before drenching it (wouldn't it be too soft to lift off the slices)? Has anyone tried adding chocolate bits (or similar) or would they sink? My girl is asking for chocolate cake so I'm looking for something prettier on the inside without disappointing her wish. Any suggestions please?

torialldred's picture

I have made wedding, birthday and celebration cakes for years and came across this recipe a few years ago...and havent used another one since, its perfect,....dense enough, but with the greek yoghurt, it gives it a light but moist flavour that all my clients comment on!

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