Easy vanilla cake

Easy vanilla cake

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(140 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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4th May, 2013
Best vanilla cake ever!! Moist delicious cake
4th May, 2013
Forgot to rate!
4th May, 2013
I've used this recipe for 5 celebration cakes so far and it turns out great every time. Easy, basic mix that gives a robust cake that will hold up well to carving or sugar paste decorations. Highly recommended
26th Apr, 2013
I halved it and worked well filled 12 cases.
26th Apr, 2013
I changed the flour to cocoa, 1/2 the sugar to brown sugar and it makes a brilliant chocolate cake Thank you so much it's taken the pain out of finding the right recipe for my son's wedding cake
26th Apr, 2013
If I half this mix can I make into cupcakes? Trying to find the perfect cupcake recipe. Humming bird is lovely but too light thanks
23rd Apr, 2013
I made this recently for a quick-sponge cake(without the syrup) and it was apparently yum! I couldn't eat it but my family really liked it and went back for seconds.
igivegoodcake's picture
18th Apr, 2013
Lovely cake - really good texture and the vanilla syrup keeps it moist and enhances the flavour. I wanted to make it into more of a traybake so used 3/5 of the recipe and baked it in a 9inch square tin that was approx 1.5inch deep. Covered with one quantity of the good, basic vanilla buttercream as listed above - this was probably slightly too much icing, as it was quite a thick layer on top!
15th Apr, 2013
Rmiah, in answer no cake can withstand the weight of two tiers on top of it! You must use dowelling rods and cake boards for each tier - it's easy once you've seen it done. Use the instructions in the creating your wedding cake recipe here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4578/ or watch the BBC video here http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/simple_two-tiered_04281. Good luck :)
1st Apr, 2013
Can someone please help me on this question? I am going to make a three tier wedding cake. Will this be sturdy enough for the bottom tier? Or would I need to do a fruit/carrot/madera cake? Need an answer asap. Thanks in advance xxx


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