Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(142 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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Pickle von Moom
26th Feb, 2014
Hi! I hope you don't mind me asking, How are you changing the ingredient quantities for your 9in cake tin? I'd love to make this for my daughter's birthday. Thanks.
27th Nov, 2013
Nice, simple recipe. The bottom was slightly too sticky for me. Think this was due to the syrup. Still, everyone loved the cake and thought it was 'moist'! I wouldn't bother with the syrup next time though as I don't think it needs it.
19th Nov, 2013
this is a bit too heavy/stodgy for me. The taste is really nice but as another person said it does have the texture of it being undercooked at the bottom. That could be the syrup which has settled on the bottom but I don't think I would bother making again and try without the syrup as it would just be easier to make a Victoria sponge instead :)
3rd Nov, 2013
I found this cake absolutely foul. Very slimy and stodgy. Was hoping to use as the basis of a wedding cake I am making for my cousin but I would be horrified to present this to her. Really disappointing. My husband, bless him, will eat any cake I make so it won't go to waste.
22nd Oct, 2013
Has anyone tried to make a layer cake out of it?
5th Oct, 2013
Fab cake, easy to make and tastes delicious! I've made it as a 6" cake as well as this recipe and it works every time. I don't add the vanilla syrup as i think it would make the cake soggy,and it's still lovely and moist without. My new vanilla cake recipe!
5th Oct, 2013
Have made several times. Taste is good but too stodgy. There are better sponge recipes than this.
24th Jan, 2014
Can you reccomend any :)
27th Sep, 2013
I'm making a celebration cake for Mid Oct, but need to up-scale this cake to a 12" square. I am absolutely useless at working it out. Could anyone give me the quantities needed for it. Thank You in advance. x
5th Oct, 2013
Hi Julie, use the Cakeometer on cakebaker.co.uk, link here http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html This allows you to scale up or down recipes and tins, unfortunately it doesn't give baking times but I'd go with the original time and temp and then keep an eye on it, checking every 10-15 mins or so. Hope this helps!


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