Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(108 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

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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leannewelfare's picture

I have been using this recipe for the last 3 cakes I have made and found it works a treat!
Never fails and is a hit with everyone I make it for! Very moist and tasty!

Tip, if any cake mix is left over (I make 25cm cake version) then bake the remaining to make a smaller cake. This goes down well with clotted cream and strawberry jam on the side. Its a real hit in my house as everyone just slices of a bit of cake and adds the clotted cream and jam as they wish.

mounses2's picture
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I'm making this for my sisters birthday I've practiced it a few times and it works out great every time. I find the buttercream icing suggested a bit too sweet though so I'm using an italian meringue buttercream instead. I divided the batter in two and coloured one with fuscia pink food paste and the other with bright orange food paste, and filled 4 round cake tins. I then sandwiched the alternating layers, and covered in the white frosting, so that it looks plain on the outside and surprises once cut into slices. (I made two test cakes so I then froze the individual slices so they can be eaten at a later date)

cupcake1971's picture
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This was a great cake I upped the ingredients a further 20% from LoobyLoos recommendations and it was perfect for my silcone giant cupcake tin - great texture and nice and stable for shaped cakes - my new giant cupcake recipe of choice. Going to try a chocolate version soon by substituting some of the plain flour for cocoa.

sallyf246's picture

I made this for the Jubilee Party in June and everyone loved it, then for my mums birthday, it is so moist and so easy to make.

kpsaila's picture

Any ideas for the quantities for a square tin (25cm x 25cm)? Trying to make a wedding cake with it.

lbignell2004's picture
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My cakes never usually turn out that well - they usually sink in the middle or their too dry or too heavy - but this recipe is ace. I made it these weekend as a birthday cake for my other half, it tasted amazing and it went down well with everyone. I followed the recipe exactly, the syrup really kept the cake moist. I had to cook it for an extra 15 mins on top of the recommended time, but that was probably due to my oven. The cake rose to about three inches and didn't sink. It did have a slight peak so I was only brave enough to cut it once rather than twice. I filled it with butter cream and jam, and put the top layer on upside down to get a nice flat top. I put a thin coating of butter cream over the outside, covered with fondant icing and then decorated. I be using this recipe again and highly recommend.

littledelly's picture

Am thinking of using this as a middle tier for friends wedding cake which is on Friday . If I made it tomorrow would it still be fresh on Friday and if I iced it, would it need to be kepted in the fridge .

babswhelan's picture
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great cake - use it all the time - have made different variations of it - adding choc chips and topping with choc buttercream, also use as cupcakes 180C for 18 mins, blueberries added....i could go on - so so versatile!! and dead easy :)

kalsutcliffe's picture

Has anyone used this recipe for a coffee and walnut cake? Thanks

mdej123's picture
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The most delicious cake I have ever eaten and made. Made the cake for my sister's 40th birthday party and everyone commented on how moist and flavoursome the cake was. A real hit and will now only ever make this cake for parties. Wow. (Shame my sister took the cake away with her so no seconds for me.)

suebarnes's picture
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The best sponge recipe I have made, really moist, tasty cake, I have made this cake twice now, for birthday cakes and both times it has been complemented by everyone who ate it.

daffers's picture

Made this cake a couple of weeks ago for my mother-in law's birthday and it was a big hit, so used it to make and decorate for my daughters friend who was celebrating her 30th birthday. Again it was enjoyed by all. It is so easy to make and I made the buttercream for the centre and used a thin layer on the outside to help the icing to stick. I would recommend this cake to everyone, especially if you are looking for an easy make.

tloveday1's picture
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Can you change the flavouring of this cake to say lemon?

jade4570's picture

do you use the greek yougurt in the recipe as it does not say in the method?

tloveday1's picture
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I was going to ask what quantities to use for giant cupcake but then see a comment above. How do you work out the quantities for each tin size if anyone knows please?x

monilouise80's picture
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I made this cake for my birthday cake as I wanted to make my own this year. I filled it with raspberry jam and vanilla butter cream, covered it in vanilla butter cream tinted green and made fondant icing daisies for the top.
My first attempt at the sponge didn't work as I used a square tin but forgot that a square tin should be 2cm smaller than a round one so it sank once I took it out of the oven (I still iced it and it actually tasted lovely, just didn't look as impressive) but my second attempt in the round tin was fabulous! I forgot to put the milk in so I'm sure it could have been better, if that's possible, but the result I got was a huge, very moist gorgeous sponge - everybody thought it had been made for me by a professional! I will be using this recipe for all celebration cakes now.

cocoas's picture

if i wanted to use this recipes to make cupcakes would it work? how long will i bake for

tashynadarling's picture
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Fantastic vanilla cake, if you're thinking of making it do!
Made it for a birthday and everyone raved about it.
I substituted the greek yoghurt for low fat vanilla, as that's all I had, and then put full fat milk in.
Fabulous.

man1shad's picture
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A lovely cake with a great homemade taste. I didn't fill it which is why I believe it was not moist enough but shall definitely repeat this recipe with a filling. I iced it with buttercream. Any suggestions on the filling?

alinabake's picture
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Well, I decided to have a go myself. I followed the recipe to the letter and found it very heavy and not particularly tasty. Much prefer the Mary Berry flag cake to be honest. This was a lot of ingredients for a not particularly memorable cake. Nice yes but not the best. I'm disappointed after all the rave reviews.

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