Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(137 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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14th Jul, 2013
I've made this a couple of times and it's always gone down very well!
23rd Jun, 2013
I made this 3 times to layer up a carved novelty flip flop cake. I used the Alan silverwood 12" square tin, using the compartment to make a 12" by 9" cake. The layers came out just over 3cm each time, taking 40 minutes in a non fan oven. I soaked with syrup each time. Much better than tripling or doubling the recipe then slicing it. I just had the remove any slight doming (although not much because I scoped the uncooked mixture in the middle before cooking) then flip on its top so very flat. I baked, filled with buttercream and jam, then crumb coat of buttercream, then covered with fondant icing on Wednesday. Placed on board and wrapped with clingfilm. We just cut into cake on Saturday and it was so moist, should keep until Monday at very least. Delighted with combination of easy carving, tasty AND moist. Beats a regular Madeira!
30th Jun, 2013
Thanks for that x
31st May, 2013
Baked this in a 13" x 9" pan for 1 hour 30 mins and it turned out, i Paul Hollywood speak, as a very good bake. The cake rose evenly, was light moist and tasty. It will become my first choice of vanilla sponge in the future and also hope to adapt the recipe for a lemon drizzle loaf.
25th Jun, 2013
Hi, was thinking of converting this to a rectangle cake (not bought my tins yet) did you adapt the recipe?
30th May, 2013
I've just gone through this now. Looks delicious,I'll try the method over this weekend. Thanks
30th May, 2013
If I make 1.5 times the original recipe and bake it in a 13" x 9" tin, how long should I bake the cake for? I'm attempting to make a guitar shaped birthday cake.
26th May, 2013
Oops forget to rate it!
26th May, 2013
Made this cake for a 12" baptism cake. Doubled the mix but the cake was a bit thin so did another one with the 1x Ingredients and sanwiched them together and it was fine. customer gave v positive feedback so sucess. Was a bit of a risk as never Baked it before but all the positive reviews encouraged me to risk it!
20th May, 2013
This cake was amazing, everyone said how gorgeous it was


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