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Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make cake recipe? Try this Mini Vanilla Cake! This fantastic recipe only requires a few simple ingredients and yields a wonderfully moist and flavorful cake. Plus, it’s so easy to make that even beginners will achieve it. So why not give it a try? You’ll be glad you did!”
The Classic Vanilla Cake
Even before all the complicated cakes and flavors became a thing, we already had vanilla cakes. This classic cake is my go-to recipe whenever I’m craving something sweet and simple yet so satisfying. With a basic vanilla cake, you can start making many more variations. So whether you are an expert baker or just beginning to explore baking– a good recipe for vanilla cake should always be on your list.
What Makes a Good Vanilla Cake?
The thing about vanilla cake is that it is made only with simple ingredients. As a matter of fact, you can easily see it in your pantry. Also, this recipe is pretty straightforward, with no major steps or techniques you need to do to achieve it. However, you will know if you have a good vanilla cake if it remains moist and fluffy even after three days.
Choosing The Right Ingredients
It may be very simple and basic, but you still have to pay attention to the ingredients you will put in this recipe to make this one special vanilla cake.
All-purpose flour- Yes, you can substitute it with cake flour for extra light cake. Suppose you want to make it gluten-free. You can also swap with gluten-free versions.
Vegetable Oil- So here’s the thing: you might think that you can use any oil for this recipe– yes, you can. But to make it more moist and fluffy and will stay that way even for days, you must carefully pick the right oil for the cake. Nowadays, there are cake oils available in baking stores. These oils are specially formulated for cakes and will not solidify even when stored in cold areas. But if you can’t find one, you can use canola, sunflower, or any oil with a neutral taste and odor that will not affect the taste of the cake.
Vanilla Extract– Not all vanillas are created equal. Some have deep, bold flavors, while some are just pure aromas but bland in taste. This may be labeled as vanilla “flavors” and not extract. Some are also synthetic and a little bit runny. I recommend choosing a high quality and specifically indicate pure vanilla extract. This may cost a little higher than the regular ones because extracts are more concentrated and can guarantee a more intense, bold, authentic vanilla flavor and aroma.
Sour Cream – This may sound weird to some, but adding sour cream to your cake will give it a rich, luscious, and velvety texture. The reason is that sour cream is a fatty dairy. However, if you don’t have any sour cream, several substitutes, such as yogurt, mayonnaise, and buttermilk, will produce excellent results.
Unsalted butter- is another tricky ingredient when it comes to baking. With so much variety available in the market, I’m sure you will get confused too. But the key is to always choose pure unsalted butter. You may encounter different variations like butter blend, butter flavor, and so on. Yes, this could also work, but it may alter the taste of your cake. So choosing the suitable butter will be one of your secrets to achieving this recipe.
The Mini Version
Seeing the cake, you worked so hard to bake–go to waste is the worst feeling ever. Imagine the efforts you have to go through, and then you have leftovers inside the fridge. So why not make a mini version of your favorite cake? Something that you can enjoy and might probably finish in one sitting! This size is ideal for couples to share or to ease dessert cravings while alone. Whatever the occasion, this is the perfect cake you can easily prepare in no time.
As one of the most basic yet versatile base cakes– you can make tons of variety from this recipe. Replace the vanilla extract with almond or lemon extract. You can add cream cheese to your buttercream frosting, or why not use cannoli cream filling? Add chocolate bits, nuts, colors, or even fresh fruits. You can customize it any way you like it.
Easy Mini Vanilla Cake
For the cake:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup milk
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter cold cut into small cubes
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract pure
- Pinch of salt
For the cake:
- Start by setting your oven to preheat at 350°F.
- Meanwhile, prepare two round baking pans, about 6 inches in size. Grease the sides and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine the sugar, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, and eggs in one medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until well combined.
- Add the sour cream to the mixture and continue incorporating it into the batter.
- Scrape the sides of your mixing bowl to ensure that all are evenly combined.
- Mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt for the dry ingredients. Then add it to the egg mixture alternating with the milk.
- Repeat the process until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Do not forget to scrape the bowl once in a while to avoid lumps.
- Divide the batter between two baking pans—about 1 1/4 cups per pan.
- Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes.
- Rotate the cake to ensure even baking.
- After 20-23 minutes, check the cakes if ready. You can insert a toothpick and see if it comes out clean; that means the cake is ready.
- Transfer the vanilla cake to a wire rack and cool completely while you do the frosting.
For the frosting:
- Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy while scraping it occasionally. This process will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Alternately incorporate the liquid ingredients—vanilla extract and heavy cream—while incorporating 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time. Before adding more powdered sugar, ensure the first batch is thoroughly combined. Whip the mixture for 1-2 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium-high once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, and beat the frosting for an additional three to five minutes to whisk in more air.
To assemble the cake:
- Cut the domes from the top of the cake with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. On your cake board, place the bottom layer of the cake and top it with a dab of frosting.
- Spread the frosting evenly before adding another layer of the cake facing downward for a sharp edge on top. You can use an offset spatula to smoothen even out the frosting.
- Set aside at least 1 cup of the frosting if you want to decorate it using piping tips.
- Finish coating the cake with the remaining frosting. You can do crumb coating first, set it inside the refrigerator for at least 5 mins, and then cover it again with another layer of frosting.
- Use your icing smoother to smooth off and remove any extra frosting once the sides of the vanilla cake have been entirely covered.
To decorate this cake:
- You can pipe a border along the top of the cake using your chosen piping tip. Depending on your preference, top the cake with colorful sprinkles or fresh fruits.
More Easy Dessert Recipe
Love healthy baking recipes? You could try these simple recipes at home to impress your loved ones. Perfect for after-meal treats, coffee, and tea parties with friends and family!
To Wrap It All Up
So there you have it, a super simple and delicious vanilla cake recipe perfect for anyone starting their baking journey. I hope you enjoy this little cake as much as I do, and please don’t forget to let me know how it turns out if you try baking it at home. Bon appetit!
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