Vanilla Bean Cake

I have always been intimidated by real vanilla beans.

But I have this amazing cousin, Hannah.

I miss her a lot.

She lives in Africa and brought these back for my mom.

My mom is a great sharer. I’m still working on it.

My father in law celebrated his birthday a couple weeks ago and he requested a white on white cake.

He has amazing taste. White on white is my favorite cake too! I had never made a white on white cake and therefore called up my mom for a recipe. She had made cupcakes with this recipe and said it would make a delicious cake.

It did. It was a little complicated, but only because it has some weird steps/ingredients (boiled water???).

My giant fear of this cake was that it wouldn’t be moist. It ended up being fine, but I was pretty petrified.

So the first thing you are going to do: Mix buttermilk, vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) and baking soda. Weird.

In order for a cake to be white, you only use the egg whites.

Adios, yolk.

Combine egg whites, more buttermilk and vanilla (extract and bean seeds) and set aside.

Sorry this picture looks so awful…similar to an old petri dish

Combine dry ingredients in your electric mixing bowl .

Then add the butter, buttermilk and vinegar mixture to that and begin mixing.

This is what happens when the royal wedding is on (I dvr’d it) and your husband calls you all at the same time.

Chances are you will screamswear and hang up on your husband.

Take a deep breathe. You have enough butter. All is well. Laugh at how annoyingly typical this is of you, and call your husband back to apologize for taking your anger out on him…Whoops.

Forget the butter.

Add the vanilla/egg/buttermilk mixture in small increments and mix well.

Ready to drool?

Fluffy vanilla bean cake batter.

This is a weird step. Boil a cup of water and mix into batter.

I didn’t take a picture of boiling water.

Well actually I did, and realized it was the worst picture ever.

Also, I kept forgetting that boiling water is hot. I spilled that measuring cup of H2O down my arm about three different times. Idiot.

Once mixed add batter to two round cake pans and throw em in the oven.

Let cool completely and then frost.

I forgot to take a picture of the cake totally frosted…sorry.

I was in a hurry to go shopping with my sis-in-law and niece.

It looked just like this, but with tiny flecks of vanilla bean…

Now this is where I am really sad about the lack of a nice camera…These pics are a bit dark/blurry. Sorry.

I love these two very dearly.

The big one is my father in law, Tim. The little on is my niece, Susie.

I am a new Aunt. It is the best thing ever. I am perhaps a bit biased…but she is the cutest baby ever. And I know that she loves me because I can make her laugh. And every time she laughs my heart melts.

I hope you enjoyed this sentimental bit as much as you enjoyed the recipe.

Also, a note about the bday pictures. We only had that candle…no one turned 1.

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Cake 

5 egg whites
1 Cup buttermilk (divided)
2 tsp vanilla (or 1 van bean and 1 tsp van)
3 cups sifted four
2 cups sugar
1 TB baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cider (or white) vinegar
12 TBs (one and a half sticks) butter
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350

Grease and flour pans (or use cupcake tins with paper liners. fill half full)

In a small bowl combine 3/4 cup of the buttermilk and vinegar, add baking soda, set aside.

In a med bowl, lightly combine egg whites, remain 1/4 C b-milk and vanillas, set aside.

In your mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  To this
add the butter and the buttermilk/vinegar mixture.  Mix on low speed until combined then
beat at medium speed for 2 mins.  Scrape bowl and add small amount of egg mixture
and mix well continuing to add the rest of egg mixture in small increments beating well after
each addition.

Add boil water and stir to combine.  Beat on higher speed for 30 seconds.

Once combined, pour batter evenly into cake pans and bake for about 30-40 minutes (check after 30 to see if center is still jiggly). Cake will be ready when the top springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Once baked, remove and let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting I made a typical buttercream but again, used 1 tsp
vanilla and scrapings of one vanilla bean.

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Frosting

1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 tsp plus 1 vanilla bean
3 1/2 -4 Cups powdered sugar
Mix ingredients together adding more sugar if needed. If consistency becomes too thick, add a bit of milk.
Place first layer of cake on a cake plate or platter and spread about 1 cup of frosting onto cake, leaving a small space around the edge. Place 2nd cake on top and evenly frost cake however you like! Serve cake at room temperature but keep in the refrigerator if not eating for about 5 hours or more. Just give the cake ample time to warm to room temp before serving.  Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Cake

  1. Can you come to Wisconsin and bake this cake for me on MY next birthday? :o) I could try it, but have a hunch it would taste tons better created by “The Expert!”

  2. Pingback: French Buttercream Frosting | Mikeys In My Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Vanilla Bean Birthday Cupcakes | Mikeys In My Kitchen

    • Hey Jeanine! I just updated the recipe, sorry about that! I would check the cake layers after about 30 minutes and test them with a toothpick. If they are not done check about every 5-10 minutes or so. Depending on your oven it may take closer to 45-50 minutes. Hope this helps!

  4. The instructions neglect to indicate when to add the sugar. When following the directions step-by-step, you have a batter without sugar because it never tells you when to add it. (Sugar is a wet ingredient when baking.) The result is a failed cake.

    • So sorry this didn’t turn out for you! When I said combine the dry ingredients it included the sugar. i’ll go back and adjust it so there is no confusion. I apologize that it didn’t’ turn out, thanks for letting me know.

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