Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(134 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins


Serves 12
A moist cake drenched with vanilla syrup. Use as the basis for a range of fabulous celebration cakes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal399
  • fat21g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre1g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.31g
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  • 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 egg, cracked into a jug



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 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


  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.

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Comments (271)

sgallie76's picture

I have made this cake many times now, birthday, wedding or just nice cake to have for tea and its always spot on. Easy to make and tastes fab very moist per the blurb, even if you forget to do the syrup like me today! Would absolutely recommend for anyone wanting a good cake mixture with little time to faff.

mandbaby's picture

Flurfychicken - I've also made this recipe a couple of times and think it's delicious. Wonderfully moist and lasts ages. However, my (almost) 3yr old son has asked for a chocolate cake for his forthcoming birthday and I also want to try and adapt this recipe. Let me know if you've suceeded and what you did.

flurfychicken's picture

I have used this recipe twice recently to make celebration cakes for friends, I have had excellent feed back from both. I find it is light but strong enough to take carving in to shapes and heavy fondant icing toppers.
I need to make a chocolate cake next week, I wonder if I can adapt this recipe to a chocolate one?

castlescats's picture

I'm a little baffled, the Cake is supposed to be beked in a 'round' tin, the image of the Cake above looks as though, it was baked in a square tin, maybe it's mke being a little dense?

jenny_hall77's picture

Correction! I obviously have the recipe (this one, sounds yummy!) but wondered if anyone had already used it to make a cake that forms the dress of a dolly (Barbie, princess etc) that I could modify to make a Rapunzel cake? Am a bit daunted by the process!

jenny_hall77's picture

I'm planning to use this recipe for my daughter's 4th birthday party this Saturday. My cakes don't usually turn out that well, so I have high hopes for this one!

I was hoping to bake on Thursday evening, for Saturday. Will the cake keep moist until then, does anyone know?

Also, my daughter insists she wants a Rapunzel cake, with Rapunzel doll in the middle and the sponge as her dress. Does anyone have a great recipe to share? Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?


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