Recipe Sunday: Best Vanilla Cake Ever.

This may sound like a lofty claim – and it is. But I stand behind it. And I know what you’re thinking – “a plain vanilla cake? THAT’s your featured recipe this week?? Lame!!” Well, don’t write me off just yet – let me explain. I spent a long time looking for the perfect scratch cake recipe. Just a plain vanilla, on which to build a strong foundation, and to serve as a  base for other fancier cakes. One of the most important things I learned in pastry school is that a good recipe doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you want to really bake a great cake, start with a great base. If the foundation is weak, the building (or cake) will surely collapse. This particular vanilla cake recipe is based on one that I was taught in my first class – Intro to Baking – and was used time again throughout my classes, up to and including my last and most advanced class. Start with a solid base – and you can’t go wrong. I know how hard it can be to find a recipe that fits that bill – which is why I’m sharing my foundation with you – in the hopes that somewhere out there, I’ll help make a young baker’s life a little easier.

a sheet to build a dream on.

Best Vanilla Cake Ever.

What you’ll need:

12 oz eggs (about 7)

4 1/4 oz milk (1%)

5 oz high-ratio liquid shortening*

1/2 oz vanilla

10 oz sugar

8 oz cake flour

1/2 oz baking powder

1/4 oz salt

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, liquid shortening and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet, and mix for 5 minutes on medium speed, with the paddle attachment. Scrape the bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated, and mix on medium speed for 5 more minutes. Grease a 13 x 9 sheet pan (also know as a quarter sheetpan) and pour all the batter in (it will be pretty thin and runny). Bake for about 25 minutes.

*High ratio liquid shortening is not the easiest thing to come by – in fact, I never even knew it existed until I went to pastry school. However, it truly is a wonderful thing, and I highly recommend spending the extra time and money to track it down – it’s definitely worth it. I use Fluid Flex –  click here for a list of a few sites where you can order it.

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19 thoughts on “Recipe Sunday: Best Vanilla Cake Ever.

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  10. What happened, the top part of my cake was perfect from the middle to the top. Then the bottom half was a sponge. Could you tell me what did I do wrong. Then I used the high ratio liquid shortening with a 2 step method and my cake sunk in the middle. Could you help me as to why this is happening. Thanks

    • Hi! This could be caused by over-mixing the batter, when you mix for too long, it takes the air out of the batter, and that is what helps it rise. Also, it can be caused by underbaking, so try leaving it in for a little longer too, or, depending on your oven, try baking it at a lower temperature (around 325) for a longer amount of time. Hope this helps!

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