Tasty Cake Recipes – This is my favorite vanilla cake recipe. A classic butter cake but with Japanese techniques applied for the most beautiful, soft and moist yellow cake like you’ve never had before. This professional bakery style cake stays fresh and moist for 4 days – unheard of! Use the same batter for perfect Vanilla Cupcakes.
So if all that appeals to you too, then I like to say that this might be your favorite vanilla cake recipe too! And here’s a little preview to show you how soft and fluffy it still is after 4 days:
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This vanilla cake is the result of combining the best of Japanese sponge cakes and Western butter-based cakes. The soft, fluffy crumb of Japanese cakes is world famous and uses a Japanese baking technique, combined with the buttery goodness and sweetness of Western cakes.
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But it is more durable than Japanese cakes that are so beautiful, they can only be decorated with cream. Anything heavier and the lowest level gets boring!
Also, importantly, this cake meets my shelf life requirement of staying completely fresh for at least 2 days after being made. (This will last perfectly for 4 days.) Because who bakes cakes on the day they are meant to be served??
Interestingly, baking experts will recognize that the method and ingredients in this cake are very similar to what is called Hot Milk Cake in America – although it is strange that it is often called a cake ” dense”, apparently because they do not retain the egg air. to the extent I want us to and also because sometimes it is baked in bundt pans which take much longer to bake (= dense cake).
The words “best served on the day” on a cake recipe is never a good sign – it means it goes down a lot overnight. But THIS cake recipe is almost perfect for 4 days – even 5 days!
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I don’t want to get too cake nerdy with you… but one sign of a well-made cake is an even crumb. No large tunnels or lots of irregular sized holes. It looks and tastes
There is a widespread misconception that cake flour is the secret to a better cake. That is only true for some cakes. For this one, plain/all-purpose flour will give better results.
Here’s what you need to make this fluffy white cake. No cake flour, no buttermilk, no sour cream. I’ve tried them all – this cake is best with plain/all purpose flour and just milk.
Makes a great cake that starts with “creaming butter and sugar until fluffy….” actually harder than you think. The butter has to be at the right temperature, and you can’t have cold mixing bowls.
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If it’s too hard, you won’t be able to cream it and you’ll get pockets of fat. If you beat butter too long, you will break the air pockets.
There is more room for error with cookies and some other types of baked goods. But the temperature of the butter must be close to perfect for cakes and cupcakes. (The perfect temperature for “soft butter” is 17°C / 63°F).
And even if you put it in, the cake will quickly lose freshness. Even the next day it is very dry.
I have tried dozens and dozens over the years, to compare to this Vanilla cake. This recipe puts everyone to shame in terms of fresh shelf life.
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Heads up – this is a lengthy step-by-step tutorial post, to ensure that those new to baking are armed with everything they need to make this cake perfectly, a first time and every time!
Hard to find the perfect cake because there is nothing to hide behind it, this is one of the purest forms of baking. And the biggest cause of problems is the “cream butter and sugar” step, setting up the cake for success or failure from the very beginning (read above).
Vanilla sponge cake Victoria sponge cake – spread with strawberry jam, topped with whipped cream.
A stand mixer makes this vanilla cake a breeze, although it can be made with a handheld electric mixer. and sugar until you pass out” – read the box above for why.
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The unique fluffy crumb of this cake comes from a double-edged powerhouse – beaten eggs PLUS baking powder!
1. Whip the eggs and sugar – Beat the eggs with sugar for a full 7 minutes until it is thick and glossy, it changes from yellow to white, and triples in volume (just over above double depth in the bowl).
The air created during this step is essential for a soft, fluffy crab. This is a technique borrowed from Japanese sponge cakes.
Otherwise you will take out the air. Just follow my time and hitter speeds and you can’t go wrong!
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After 7 minutes of beating, the egg-sugar mixture will triple (double in height in the mixing bowl).
2. Gradually add flour – Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Then add the egg mixture in 3 lots, mixing for just 5 seconds on Speed 1 in between. This should make the flour
3. melted butter in milk – use a microwave or stove to heat milk with the butter until it melts. Believe it or not, HOT milk helps with aeration in this cake. I was skeptical about it, so I tried with melted butter in milk and found that it didn’t rise as well.
Using hot milk with melted butter in cake batter is another technique used in some types of Japanese sponge cakes (such as this one from Chopstick Chronicles, a Japanese food blog). Interestingly, I recently discovered that it is also used in a traditional Southern cake called Hot Milk Cakes.
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4. Mix some batter in hot milk – this serves two purposes: a) lower the temperature of the hot milk so the eggs don’t “cook” (ie. tempering); and b) it lightens up the density of the hot milk (see above – it will be foamy) so it mixes faster when added to the rest of the whipped egg mixture .
The melted butter in hot milk infuses this cake with a beautiful empire flavor without the greasy mouthfeel inherent in butter cakes.
5. Slowly pour the milk mixture back into the beaten eggs over 20 seconds on Speed 1. Scrape down the sides of the bowls, then mix for 10 seconds on speed 1 – the batter should now be smooth;
This cake can be made in different pan sizes, bundt pans and also makes perfect cupcakes. Click here for a handy table of different cake sizes, baking times and heights (including 3 layer cakes).
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7. Release large air bubbles by dropping the cake pans on the counter 3 times. This will not affect the cake rising bubbles created in Step 1. But it will cause large bubbles in the batter to rise to the surface and burst.
If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with 6 or so big bubbles on the surface of the cake that will brown, and big, uglier air pockets in the crust. It does not matter if you freeze on the surface. But if you’re not frosting the cake (eg just dusting with icing sugar/powdered sugar), you might be worried.
8. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will have a small dome but will flatten as it cools.
You may get the faintest cracks on the surface, as you can see in the middle of the left cake in the picture above. That can happen if your oven doesn’t distribute heat evenly (my left side is hotter). But don’t worry – once the cake has cooled and the little dome is smooth, the cracks will disappear.
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9. COOL upside down for flat cakes (so that there are straight, vertical layers in a layer cake) on a cooling rack. If you don’t mind a slightly domed surface / especially want to show the beautiful golden brown surface (eg if you make a cake with icing sugar / powdered sugar, or glue), then cool it right side up; and
10. Decorate! Frost with your favorite frosting, smother with cream, fresh berries, swirl with chocolate fudge frosting or simply dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of yogurt or cream!
The pictures below are my attempt to show you how incredibly soft the cake is four days after making it! If it was dry like a normal butter cake that starts with “cream butter and sugar until fluffy”, the crust would break when I put it in, and it would never grow back.
Click here for a handy chart of different cake pan sizes, baking times and cake heights. This Vanilla Cake will work with the following cake pan sizes:
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Clockwise from top left: Vanilla Cake Frosted with Vanilla Buttercream, My Less Sweet Fluffy Fluffy Secret Vanilla Frosting with Fresh Flowers, Chocolate Buttercream and Lemon Glaze.
And with all that – I’m finally done. This is THE Vanilla Cake recipe that is my favorite collector’s item. For birthday cakes, special occasions, to impress the pants off your family and friends.
This recipe appears in mydebut Dinner cookbook. Usually
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