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vanilla cake filling

I'm making a birthday cake this weekend. A "vanilla" cake has been requested.

In the past, I've made 2-layer white or yellow cakes (using Cake Bible recipes), filled with vanilla pastry cream lightened with whipped cream, and iced with neoclassic buttercream, for this family. These cakes have been very well received. BUT, I'm really bored with this combination - I've made it for several birthdays, including one just 8 weeks ago.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a different filling? I definitely can't do chocolate or nuts, and I think I should avoid fruit.

As a side note, there will be about 20 people eating cake. Do you think I should do a 3 layer 9" cake, or a 2 layer 12" cake (I unfortunately don't have 10" pans).

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  1. One of the best cakes I ever had was a white cake with banana pudding filling layered with fresh sliced bananas into the pudding before putting on the next layer (you can do as many layers as you need). The frosting was a cream cheese mix. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I know Banana is a fruit, but it might work. As for size, you probably know your crowd best, but if it were me, I would do a 3-layer (since I get more banana's that way) and since it is taller, you can make smaller slices. You can also use vanilla pudding with the bananas. Just depends on what floats your boat.

    There is also another one I have made called "Mexican Wedding Cake" - although I don't know why it is called that. This one also calls for pineapple, but it is also really tasty and you can find that recipe here:

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/28023

    Hope you find something good!

    1. You could brush the top of the bare layers with a touch of liqueur--I use Kirsch. Then brush the layers with a nice sieved jam--raspberry or apricot works well. When that is dry, fill and frost with a vanilla buttercream that's been flavored with some corresponding jam and a touch of liqueur. It will have surprise flavors and have a bit of color in the icing, too, but the basic vanilla cake will bot be overpowered.

      1. Do you mean you don't want real fruit, or fruit flavors? I like lemon curd in the middle or key lime curd. I like this lemon curd and mascarpone filling and think it would go well w/ white cake.

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        If you want to go exotic, a red bean filling is nice.

        I vote for the 12" cake. I've done a filled 3 layer 9" cake and it's tall (taller than it is wide) if you're making the layers tall enough to feed 20.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          I don't think I even want fruit flavors. The only fruit the mom of the family can tolerate is strawberries, and it's not what she prefers.
          I definitely don't want to go too exotic, or use liquer (it's for a child's birthday). Tricky, I know...

          1. re: milklady

            That's a challenge--no chocolate, nuts, fruit flavors or alcohol. Would dulce de leche mousse be too exotic. It really just tastes like a lightly beaten caramel.

            http://www.alive.com/6069a7a2.php?sub...

            You can either do the boiled condensed milk short cut or make your own dulce de leche. I've also made one by whipping cream (stabilized w/ gelatin) and gently drizzing dulce de leche in.

        2. If no fruit flavors, chocolate or nuts...

          Butterscotch or brown butter are good options.

          Coconut cream.

          Flavor the pastry cream with spices like cinnamon, or more unusual, cardamom.

          size - depends on the wow factor you want. I think tall cakes look great, but people eat more of tall cakes, because they want a real wedge.

          other exotic are sesame or sweet potato.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jsaimd

            I think butterscotch or brown butter might work. Do you have any ideas of how to make a filling? I'm good at making those into sauces.

            1. re: milklady

              I would just make a mousse for the butterscotch - or think of a butterscotch pie filling

              A couple of google results for inspiration. Use a frosting dam.

              http://www.nigella.com/recipe/recipe_...
              http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/bu...

              For brown butter, you can make a brown butter frosting (using browned cooled butter).

              You could also use dulce de leche or cajeta.

          2. How about a caramel mousse filling? I saw this on another site and it sounded really good!

                1. Canolli cream filling? That's what I'm using to fill my niece's Christening cake.

                  1. i ended up making a white chocolate whipped ganache filling. I thought it was good. No one else commented on it.