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, questions and tips

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Comments

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rukshanamiah's picture

Can someone please help me on this question? I am going to make a three tier wedding cake. Will this be sturdy enough for the bottom tier? Or would I need to do a fruit/carrot/madera cake? Need an answer asap. Thanks in advance xxx

pipertj's picture

Can anyone tell me whether this rises all the way up the sides of the cake tin? i.e. so it's 3" deep?

harribo's picture

has anyone made this recipe for a 30cm/12" round cake tin? if so how shall i scale up the recipe? i want to make this for a wedding in a month and need to practice.
Thanks!

pcoleman9's picture
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Made this 3 times and always turns out just right.

rozaling's picture
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This is my new favourite recipe for a vanilla cake. Have made it several times now and everyone loves it!

I forgot to add the yoghurt last time and it turned out just the same.

ladyinred1100's picture

Hi. This cake is obviously good by the great comments. Has anyone made it in two sponge tins like a Victoria sandwich please. Thank you x

beckyboo444's picture
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This was an amazing cake, really easy to follow instructions and lasted well when put in tin. Went down a treat with family and friends. Would definitely do this again.

kathcook's picture
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I made this cake for a friends 40th Birthday,I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect.I managed to get vanilla paste easily from Tesco and am glad I did, it really made the cake stand out from others I've made.It tasted delicious and was really moist, I'm sure the vanilla syrup made it. Everyone thought it was delicious and was made professionally .I used the dental floss tip which was great (thanks) although I only had mint flavour!! Made the buttercream as per the recipe and also put jam inside, there was enough buttercream to put on the top and sides to hold on the fondant icing too. I make a lot of cakes for kids birthdays etc... And will definately use this from now on, far better than Madeira cake !!

cakeboy's picture

I have been searching for a recipe for a good celebration sponge for a long time. This was absolutely perfect. I followed the recipe to the letter but doubled the quantities for a 24cm square tin. I cooked it for 1hr 40mins at 165 and it was perfect. Would heartily recommend it and I will definitely be using it for all my celebration cakes from now onwards!

emmawilki's picture
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I used the recipe sized up for the giant cupcake but made a 35x25cm tray bake. It baked in 45 mins and I just wish I hadn't put the syrup on as it is soooo sweet (with jam filling and thin layer of vanilla buttercream with smarties on top). It made 30 squares and the kids like it but the sugar headache is a bit much for me.

lilaclozenge's picture
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I wasn't at all sure about the syrup but went with it and it was lovely - I would probably omit this step if icing the cake however. I also thought the cooking time might be a little long but it did need it. I'm a coeliac and replaced the flours with the same amount of gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm) and added just a little more milk. Fab cake, will be one of my regulars from now on :o)

greedyhough's picture
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A really good recipe. Tastes wonderful (I was worried it might be far too sweet, but I was wrong) and the extra moisture in the batter adds tolerance if your oven's a bit dodgy - I made this in a very unreliable caravan oven and it still came out fab!

persianface's picture

Can somebody help me please?

I would like to bake this in two 6 inch tins. Can I just split this recipe in to two and also how long would it need to bake for approxinmately.

Many thanks

FlourCoveredGirl's picture
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This is my second cake using this recipe and once again it is extremely successful.

This time I needed a 30cm square cake (hurrah for the 'Alan Silverwood 12" Multisize cake pan'), so used a full recipe for each layer (each layer was 2cm high). I cooked the mix at 160 degrees for 40 minutes, rotating the tin half-way through cooking.

It produces a reasonably dense, close crumb professional looking and tasting sponge that is incredibly tasty.

Not the simplest of recipes, but with a little preparation and organisation you can make a very worthwhile cake for a large audience!

e10309's picture
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Filled this with jam and butter cream. I don't think this really needs the syrup if you are using frosting. Lovely cake though, would certainly make again.

lisajo29's picture
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Absolutely amazing cake. I used this recipe to make my son a cake for his 2nd birthday, I also made the vanilla buttercream. The cake is quite time consuming to make but is very much worth all the effort in the end. This is the only cake recipe I will use to make all my special occasion cakes.

tabithatwitch's picture
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I made this cake for my daughters first birthday. I used a number one mould and decorated it as the suggested ladybirds and butterflies.

Ive never baked before and It was delicious. Everyone was shocked at my creative little number one!!!

sarah333's picture

Absolutely delicious...very moist. I am not too keen on vanilla flavouring but bought the paste from Waitrose and once it was mixed and cooked, the flavour was yummy! I didn't fill it but covered thinly with butter icing....it went down a treat for my Dad's birthday. Everyone was impressed! It's very easy to make too..in fact, I'm making it again this week for my son's birthday! yum yum!

tashynadarling's picture
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Used this cake a few times and it's been a huge hit!

spongeali's picture

Really like the sound of this cake bit I have a few questions...I'm new at this cake stuff, I need to make double the amount, what size tin should I use and do I have to do layers or can I just make one cake in a deep tin. I've been speaking to my mum and she has confused me?!? :)

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