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Friday, March 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cake

In 2007 after we moved to the Chicago area, I started a job that allowed me a 4 day work week. I jumped at the chance to have that schedule, since I had a long commute and it meant saving wear and tear on my car, and making a dent in the gas bill. However, when you combine 3 day weekends + a husband with a demanding job + not being close to family or friends... you get a whole lot of free time.


I dove into cooking, then blogging, then cooking groups like TWD and BB. I filled my weekends with trying new recipes and new techniques, hoping to find favorites that I could someday share with someone other than my husband.

Last year we moved back to the east coast, little more than an hour from where I grew up. When it was time to plan our son's baptism, I knew right away that I wanted to make the cake. This is what I'd been working towards - years of building experience in the kitchen, so I could share the fruits of that labor with family and friends!


For this cake, I pulled from some old favorites, tried new recipes, and built my first stacked cake! I was really happy with how it came out, considering how rushed I was putting it together.  The top section is a 6-inch, triple layer cake made with Beatty's Chocolate Cake (water instead of coffee, though) and chocolate mousse filling.  The bottom was a 9-inch, triple layer cake made with vanilla bean cake and raspberry filling.  I also made Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the first time for this cake, and loved it!  I'll be posting that recipe once I work out some kinks that I had with it.

This vanilla bean cake recipe was perfect. Fluffy, moist cake with great vanilla flavor - I couldn't get enough!  This is definitely my new favorite white cake recipe.  I made 1.5 times the below recipe to have enough for three 9-inch layers. 

Vanilla Bean Cake

Vanilla Bean Cake

Source: Reworded from Confections of a Foodie Bride
Yield: Two 8 or 9-inch cake layers
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line two 8-inch or 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Split and scrape the vanilla pod into the butter, discard pod (or reserve for another use). Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.
  3. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl before each addition. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an off-set spatula. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top a couple of times to burst any air bubbles and allowing the batter to settle. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.  I found that 45 minutes was too long for my cake and ended up overbaking them a bit, so check early. 
  5. Let cool completely in the pans before removing the cakes and frosting.


frankie said...

oh yum love the texture of that cake! I've been searching for a good yellow cake recipe :)

Rachel said...

I love this cake and yours is beautiful!!