Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(138 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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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!
20th Aug, 2013
Have tried this a couple of times as I thought I'd done it wrong at first. It is far too moist and stodgy for my liking and almost looks under cooked. I have baked it longer than the recipe states but have ended up putting it out for the birds. I certainly won't be using this recipe again.
6th Aug, 2013
I made this last month for my daughter's wedding cake. It was a three tier round cake with 12", 9" and 6" cakes but after a few practice tests decided to omit the syrup. It was perfect! I used the Simple Elegance Wedding Cake instructions on this site to work out the measures of mixture needed and made the cakes over a couple of days. I decorated it differently but it looked amazing. The cake was still moist and tasty a full week after it was made. This week I'm making it as a four tier square wedding cake for my son's wedding....
5th Aug, 2013
Forgot to rate
5th Aug, 2013
I found this cake very stodgy so will be reverting back to my original cake recipe. It wasn't light and fluffy like I like a cake to be, too moist for my liking.
31st Jul, 2013
Used this recipe for my son's birthday cake, very happy with the result. Baked it for a little over an hour, just depends on your oven. Will be using this recipe again.


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