Easy vanilla cake

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)

madeitwithlove's picture

Jane's recipes never fail, she has got to be one of the most honest bakers on the internet. I bake every cake recipe submitted by her with results which work every time. I never change Jane's recipes, for me there is no point is spoiling perfection!

sharon54's picture

Michelle, try covering the top of the cake tin with a baking tray or the removable bottom of a slightly larger cake tin, make sure it rests on top. Check 20 mins before end of cooking time, and remove if you want for the last minutes. You could also stand an icing nail or baking core in the centre of the cake, which should help the centre to cook a bit quicker, especially when using a 10" pan.

domesticgoddess82's picture

Have made this a few times now and it is definitely my cake of choice when making special cakes for people. Really easy and tastes amazing. I've had loads of great comments about it.

debbieknight123's picture

Can I just say thank you to Loobyloo, have tried your giant cupcake version and it works a treat every time. thank you, sponge delicious btw

faye8t's picture

I made this for Christmas day as an alternative to the traditional pud. Soaking the syrup throughout the cake, and adding buttercream vanilla icing made this an absolute treat. I also adding decorative icing, adding vanilla flavouring to make it festive. It was moist and delicious. It was a shame to have to share it ;-)

rebeccacresswell's picture

I want to make an Everton cake for my husband's birthday & have used this recipe before. Anyone got any ideas how to get the white ready to roll icing blue or where i can buy blue icing from?? Thanks.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

I made this cake as a dry run for my daughter's 21st next month. It took about an extra 30 minutes to cook but the end result was very pleasing. The texture was good - it cut very well and tasted of vanilla.

funkyfallenangel's picture

forgot to rate

funkyfallenangel's picture

I made this last night, I'm going to attempt to make it into a peppa pig cake...I've not talented by any stretch butthis was easy and look and smells like the perfect cake (this never happenes to me). I'll will be back with a taste reponce!

deeprose's picture

I have just made this cake for my daughters 21st birthday, i doubled the recipe and made a two teir cake using the elegant wedding cake idea but with my own twist on it. Everybody loved it especially my daughter , who said it tasted like ice cream!. It was quite easy to make, but did take longer than i thought.

lilmssquirrel's picture

Just awful. Really didn't work for me. Followed the recipe to the letter and it was so soggy it fell apart. Maybe I shouldn't have used all of the syrup? I consider myself to be a pretty good baker so am disappointed with this. Have used plenty of other GF cake recipes and this is my first disaster.

nicola888's picture

Hi everyone. I am a complete novice at baking - only tried one in the past - and I want to make my sons 2nd birthday for next weekend. Im really looking forward to making it but need some advice!
Im going to be making a Fireman Sam truck and need to use 8x4 cake tins (3) - can anyone suggest the quantities of ingredients please? So far the comments on here have been really helpful so Im relying on your experience!

sue-74's picture

I made this cake for my daughters 1st birthday and was really pleased with it. It was very easy to make and was lovely and moist. Everyone commented on it. I will definately make it again.

karenrapley's picture

I love this cake. It's easy and delicious. Can't go wrong!

sammi1607's picture

Wow! Lush - will never buy a cake again. My own all the way from now on!!! And if I can do it, anyone can.

embloom's picture

Fantastic, moist cake. Didn't have vanilla pod or paste but used a little vanilla essence; still a great cake.

jenbla's picture

I made a deliciously moist chocolate cake by replacing 50 g of plain flour with high grade cocoa. Fantastic, this will be my fall-back choco cake.

sasha25vj's picture

Delicious! I made this for nephew's 8th birthday as he specifically asked for a vanilla cake and he absolutely loved it. Will definitely make this again and for many more occasions.

foggyamh's picture

Beautiful, moist cake. Everybody loved it!

bextoon's picture

Made it for my mom's birthday, everyone really liked it, it was so moist and absolutely tasty. Definitely going to use this for the next birthday.


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