Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(141 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 eggs, 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, questions and tips

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13th Aug, 2012
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 :)
12th Aug, 2012
Has anyone used this recipe for a coffee and walnut cake? Thanks
29th Jul, 2012
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.)
25th Jul, 2012
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.
22nd Jul, 2012
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.
19th Jul, 2012
Can you change the flavouring of this cake to say lemon?
17th Jul, 2012
do you use the greek yougurt in the recipe as it does not say in the method?
17th Jul, 2012
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
5th Jul, 2012
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.
3rd Jul, 2012
if i wanted to use this recipes to make cupcakes would it work? how long will i bake for


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