Vanilla Cake That You Can’t Resist
When I was young there was only one birthday cake, a simple chocolate cake with cocoa icing and lots of sprinkles. This mom’s cake was the only and best cake in the world, we didn’t know anything else and thought there was no need for anything else either, just this cake that was everything to us.
When we were growing up Grandma would make her walnut cream cake which became our favorite birthday cake. A simple cocoa-sponge cake soaked in sugar and rum syrup with butter-based walnut cream that you can’t stop eating. A simple-looking cake but extremely dangerous to eat, the taste of this buttery-nut cream combined with the simple sponge cake is wonderful and etched in my memory to this day.
We didn’t have simple vanilla cakes, cake “had” to be brown 🙂 There were of course Grandma’s simple sponge cakes, sometimes with nothing, sometimes with strawberries and whipped cream, but they were not birthday cakes, but cakes for weekends or afternoon coffee.
On one of our visits to our neighbourhood cafe in Paris I came across a wonderful Australian cake called Lamington. A simple vanilla cake that is cut into cubes, coated in chocolate and coconut. We fell in love with this cake, we made it of course at home in an upgraded version with a layer of praline in it and it became one of our favorites. Lamington requires quite a bit of work, but the base cake itself is very simple, easy to make and can be made even without the chocolate icing.
22-cm or 23-cm square pan
180g butter, softened
180g eggs + 80g egg whites (around 3 eggs + 2 egg whites)
350g all-purpose flour
10g baking powder
10g vanilla extract
180g whole milk
220g butter (very softened)
350g confectioner’s sugar, sifted
20g ± whole milk
pinch of salt
Rainbow Sprinkles for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees and line a square pan with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until obtain a light and fluffy preparation.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Mix together vanilla and milk.
6. Add half the flour mixture over butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine but not too much. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until baked but not too dry. Allow to cool before frosting.
8. White buttercream: beat the butter for about 3-5 minutes, until light and creamy (you can use a hand mixer).
9. Add confectioner’s sugar, milk and salt. Beat on low speed till combined, then increase to high speed and beat for 1-2 minutes. If necessary, add a little more confectioner’s sugar or milk for a smooth cream.
10. Frost cake with buttercream, sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles generously.