I'm really not a big fan of the white cake. Maybe the bulk of my experience with white cakes has been those cloyingly sweet bakery confections that mostly taste of the shortening they put in the frosting. But I have held on to the idea that somewhere out there I would find the recipe for that perfect simple, basic cake. You know the one with that dense, moist crumb, where you could really taste the vanilla and it just had the perfect mouthfeel? This cake is it.
I found this recipe on Rachel Eats and tweaked it just a bit for my own purposes. This may technically be a "golden" cake. Not sure, but holy heck on a horse, do we love it.
I think the important thing in coaxing out the most flavor from a simple cake like this is to use the best ingredients possible...good quality butter, vanilla, eggs. Since I get my eggs straight from the coop out back, I know they're the best, but instead of using the sugar and vanilla called for in the recipe, I used some of my vanilla sugar.
I love this stuff! I save my used vanilla pods and bury them in a container of sugar that I keep just for this. The way the vanilla flavor permeates the sugar creates an incredibly intense vanilla experience and makes this cake taste like Nilla Wafers!
If just plain cake isn't your thing...this one would certainly not suffer from a nice lemon glaze or your favorite frosting. I've served it with strawberries or a drizzle of warmed Nutella. I'm planning on having some for breakfast tomorrow with a little apple butter and a dollop of yogurt, or maybe I'll just have it plain. Sometimes simple is best.
A Simple Little Cake
I substituted vanilla sugar for the for sugar and vanilla in the recipe, but I've also used vanilla paste instead of regular vanilla and it, too, gives this a wonderful vanilla flavor.
1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups of fine sugar
3 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/2 cup of whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8″ cake pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale and light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs, one at a time, into the butter and sugar until you have a smooth silky batter and then add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients into the batter, alternating with additions of the milk.
Pour the mixture into your greased cake pan and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to sit for a 20 minutes or so before turning it out of the pan.
This is amazing fresh out of the oven, but even better the next day.