Let me start off by saying... vanilla cake is not my thing - and that's my excuse for why I don't have a photograph of it for this blog entry. In my years of professionally making cakes, I've never made a straight-up vanilla cake for anyone. I've made 2 vanilla layers in my 4 layer Cookies N Cream Cake, and I've made cakes that are white (Usually Amaretto!)... but no vanilla ones.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the "Vanilla is not a flavor!" camp, I'm in the "Bah, too subtle a flavor for cake" camp. I may be alone in this camp... I don't know. Also, with all of the grocery stores and mixes out there that put their flavorless "white" cakes off as 'vanilla'... I may be a little psychologically damaged against them. Word associations and whatnot.
Anyway, speaking of psychologically damaged... (I'm so sorry! Segue I couldn't resist!).. let me tell you about my favorite tweep/blogger!
Yes, fan. I don't celeb worship, or fangirl out about... well, pretty much anyone, really*. Aunt Becky's brand of digital dementedness, though? That's something I can definitely get behind. She's mouthy. She curses. She's a fellow PTSD badass. She's witty, knows how to spell, has admirable syntax, and really... her avatar photo (pictured here) is her wielding a chainsaw - while sporting a swimsuit and jewelry. She understands the proper usage of both "irony" AND "literally". I mean really, what's NOT to love about this woman?
Aside from all of the fun stuff, I also admire the work Becky has done online to bring together people affected by parenting, loss, mental illness, health crises, and well... anything that is bullshit. I guess you could say that that the title for my forthcoming tornado memoir - "Tornadoes are Bullshit" - is at least partially inspired by her. Anyway, she's built a great blog community of support awesomeness at www.BandBackTogether.com. Also, she runs www.mushroomprinting.com, another great way to waste alllll kinds of time that I don't have, online.
Yes. Becky is all kinds of awesome. Back to cake...
Becky's favorite cake flavor is vanilla, with vanilla bean frosting. Because of her awesomeness, I'll forgive her that. Anyway, It's Aunt Becky's birthday today, so FOR HER... I bring you my Vanilla Bean Cake recipe. It's not your momma's vanilla cake, though. This is IN YOUR FACE vanilla flavor. Go big or go home, forget subtlety. Just be sure to use the good stuff!
Happy birthday, Aunt Becky... from one of your faithful pranksters!
Vanilla Bean Cake
3 cups Cake flour
2 ¼ cups Sugar
2 tablespoon Baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
3 ½ oz Instant vanilla pudding mix**
1 ½ cup Water
1 ½ cups Butter, melted
2 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 batch Swiss meringue buttercream
2 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally grease two 8" or 10" round cake pans with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray. Alternatively, line 25 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs and water, beating until smooth. Carefully add melted butter and vanilla to the mix, mixing on medium speed until smooth. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Mix together vanilla extract and vanilla bean scrapings, add to batter. Mix until well incorporated.
Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean - about 45-60 minutes. (~20-22 mins for cupcakes) Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cakes out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Allow cake to sit overnight, make frosting & ice cake the following day. (Cupcakes can/should be frosted the same day! Just allow them to cool first)
Prepare either Swiss meringue buttercream, following the applicable recipe. Mix together vanilla extract and vanilla bean scrapings, add to frosting to flavor it.
** The pudding mix can be skipped, if you're a purist. It makes the cake extra moist and the recipe really... idiot proof.
* I would totally fangirl out about meeting Louis Pasteur, if he hadn't gone and died 116 years ago.
Oh, and shameless plug: You should buy my book, "Evil Cake Overlord", because it's full of great cake recipes!
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More Cake Recipes!
Looking for more ridiculously delicious cake recipes? As the "Evil Cake Overlord", I've got you covered! (Ps: Check out my instructions for making Marshmallow Fondant, as well!)
Bundt, Sheet, & Upside Down Cakes
Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Deep N Delicious Cake
French Martini Bundt Cake
French Martini Upside Down Cake
Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake
Pina Colada Bundt Cake
Strawberry Mango Marble Cake
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