French Vanilla Cake Recipe

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Ahh, vanilla cake. The quintessential dessert, the blank canvas for endless frosting and flavor combinations. Its simple elegance and versatility have made it a beloved treat for generations. But have you ever tried a truly exceptional vanilla cake? Look no further than the BBC Good Food recipe – a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that bursts with pure vanilla flavor.

This recipe isn’t just about the end result, it’s about the journey. The creaming of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, the gentle incorporation of eggs, the fragrant addition of vanilla – each step is a symphony of textures and aromas.

Vanilla party cake
Vanilla party cake

So, are you ready to bake a vanilla cake that will have everyone asking for seconds? Let’s gather the ingredients and get started!


100g unsalted butter, softened (about 1 stick)

  • 200g caster sugar (approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 275g sifted plain flour (around 2 ¾ cups)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 100g milk (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the Oven and Prep the Pan:
    Fire up your oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a baking tin. A 20cm (8-inch) round tin works perfectly. For an even bake, lining the bottom of the tin with baking parchment is recommended.

    2. Creaming is Key:
    In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. This step incorporates air into the batter, resulting in a light and airy cake.

    3. Introducing the Eggs:
    Once your butter and sugar are beautifully creamed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. This ensures the eggs are fully incorporated and emulsified, leading to a smooth and even batter.

    4. The Vanilla Magic:
    Now comes the star of the show – the vanilla extract! Stir in those 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla goodness, and take a moment to appreciate the heavenly aroma that fills your kitchen.

    5. Dry Ingredients in Action:
    In a separate bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. This dry mix ensures even distribution of the leavening agent for a perfect rise.

    6. Alternating is the Way to Go:
    Here’s where things get rhythmic. Sift half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, followed by half of the milk. Gently fold everything together until just combined. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and milk, ensuring there are no pockets of flour.

    7. Baking Time!
    Pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

    8. Cooling Down:
    Once out of the oven, allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to letting your cake set properly.

    Nutrition Facts (per slice):

    While indulging in a slice of this delightful vanilla cake is all about enjoyment, here’s a rough estimate of the nutritional information (based on a 10-slice cake):

    Calories: Around 300 kcal

  • Fat: Approximately 15g
  • Saturated Fat: About 8g
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 40g
  • Sugars: Around 30g
  • Protein: Approximately 5g

  • Please note: This is just an estimation, and the actual nutritional value may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    This BBC Good Food vanilla cake recipe is a true gem. It’s simple to follow, uses readily available ingredients, and delivers a moist, flavorful cake that is guaranteed to impress. It serves as a fantastic base for all your frosting and decoration dreams, making it the perfect canvas for any occasion.

    So, the next time you’re craving a classic dessert, ditch the store-bought options and whip up this homemade vanilla cake. The delightful aroma that fills your kitchen, the satisfaction of creating something delicious from scratch, and the joy of sharing it with loved ones – that’s the magic of baking!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I use brown sugar instead of caster sugar?