I am not much of a cake lover. Oh, I do love to bake cakes but they are mostly for family and friends. I prefer Indian sweets to cakes and pastries.
However, Vanilla Cake is a cake that I absolutely love. For me it is akin to soul food. Give me a good, fluffy vanilla cake and I am a happy person, soul and all.
But, this is a cake that most people get more wrong than right. And, it is one of the easiest to bake. I do not blame the people. No, I blame the gazillion recipes available online for this cake. No two are the same and they all use a variety of ingredients. It is very confusing to follow a recipe and then find that another one used another ingredient that you did not incorporate.
Over the years, I have tried out various recipes. In my quest to bake the perfect vanilla cake, I have experimented and tweaked a lot of supposedly perfect recipes.
This recipe is my foolproof one. Try it and I guarantee you will be a happy baker.
- 3 cups all purpose flour (maida)
- 1 cup butter unsalted (the butter must be at room temperature. Mind you, at room temperature and not melted.)
- 1 tbsp baking powder(yes, tablespoon and not teaspoon)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ cup sugar (regular granulated sugar is fine)
- 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence (yes, table spoon again and do not scrimp here)
- 1 ¼ cup whole cream milk (if you are using toned milk then make the quantity 1 ½ cup)
- ¼ tsp salt (Note – if you are using salted butter then do not add this additional salt. But, if you use unsalted butter then do add)
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (if using) together to amalgamate and keep aside.
- In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter together till it is light and fluffy. I prefer to use an electric whisk on low speed but you can do this by hand. Add the eggs, one at a time whisking all the time. The better you whisk, the fluffier your cake will turn out to be.
- Once all eggs have been added stir in the vanilla essence and whisk well. The mixture may look like it is separating a bit. That is fine. Whisk well till the essence is incorporated. The complete whisking should take you about 5 minutes.
- To the above add the dry flour mixture in 3 batches. Add the first batch and then add 1/3 rd of the milk. Whisk again till all ingredients amalgamate well. Add the second batch of flour and milk. Whisk again to amalgamate all and then add the final batch of flour and milk.
- After you are done, you will get a smooth creamy mixture.
- Line a 12 inch baking tin with parchment or line the sides with butter and dust it with some flour.
- Preheat oven to 175-180 deg C (whichever setting you have)
- Pour the cake batter into the tin.
- Bake at 175-180 deg C for an hour and 25 minutes. Note – I use a microwave oven so it takes that long for me to bake it. However, the time would be significantly reduced if you are using an oven. Check the cake around the 50 minute mark to ascertain how much longer you need to bake.
- Perform the toothpick test to check if it’s done. Take out of the oven and cool before cutting.
Note – my family likes the cake to have a slightly crunchy crust, hence the appearance of my cake.