Vanilla cake. So misunderstood. I know a lot of people who view yellow cake as simply a vehicle for frosting but it is so much more! It actually can have flavor on its own–a perfect light buttery vanilla.
This year, I volunteered to make a gluten free yellow cake (“with chocolate frosting!!”) for my Nephew’s birthday. I started with this GF Yellow Cake recipe from King Arthur Flour but wanted to make a really intense vanilla butter cake to hold up to the requested chocolate frosting. I pulled out one of my favorite ingredients–vanilla paste which is a sugary syrup with vanilla bean (seeds? insides? gunk?) stuff suspended in it. If you haven’t tried it, and you are into that vanilla seed look to your baked goods, it is well worth a try.
The batter came together easily and was nice and fluffy in the pan. I was afraid this would lead to a fragile cake but I was past the point of no return. Though I do admit to making backup box-cake mix plans.
Gluten free cake can often be dry and crumbly and, sadly, I found this cake to hold true to that. It was delicious the first day but didn’t have any shelf life at all. I wish I had waited until the day of the party to bake the cakes so they didn’t sit overnight. Lesson learned.
This cake didn’t last long in terms of shelf life but it did delivery really fantastic flavor. It was also dense enough to allow me to slice the two cakes into layers to make a 4 layer cake. Frosting was also easy since the cake held together and didn’t create a gazillion crumbs to muck up the frosting.
Gluten Free Vanilla Butter Cake
(best eaten the day it is baked!)
3 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (eyeball this as the paste is SUPER sticky)
4 large eggs
1 cup milk, at room temperature
Preheat your oven to 350.
Combine the flour and xantham gum in a large bowl, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the sugar, soft butter, salt, baking powder, and vanilla paste until smooth. Beat in the eggs, which will fluff up the batter. Then alternate milk and flour additions to the batter. Prepare 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and cooking spray. Divide your batter into the pans. Bake 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.