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Best Vanilla Cake

My best friends adorable sweet husband's birthday is this weekend and he has asked me to make his birthday cake. The only problem is he is a NO CHOCOLATE person and I need a slamming Vanilla cake and icing recipie that will blow him away, he has always been so good to my friend and I want to do something nice for him!

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  1. I posted a recipe in this thread some time ago:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618195

    It's for a butter cake (vanilla cake), and easily won our bake-off of five different much-loved basic vanilla cake recipes.

    6 Replies
      1. re: modthyrth

        I use one out of the Magnolia bakery cookbook. The frosting is easy and the cake is moist and delicious! I adore it! It's very rich, truly vanilla, and very much like a classic birthday cake. You can google it - it's the same recipe as the cupcake recipe, but just baked in the regular cake pans. It's delish and now you've got me thinking about baking a cake!! :)

        1. re: modthyrth

          I know this is an old-ish thread...but could you clarify a few things in your recipe? What is "q.s. vinegar w milk at room temp to 1 cup" and what is vanilla paste? Thanks!

          1. re: jessinEC

            My mom's first career was as a microbiologist, and I sometimes forget that everyone didn't grow up with her scientific shorthand! q.s. stands for "quantity sufficient." You put the vinegar in the cup measure, then add just enough milk to bring the whole liquid total to 1 cup.

            Vanilla paste ( like this: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... ) is simply a vanilla product, paste form instead of liquid. It's an intense vanilla flavor, and adds those pretty vanilla bean specs without actually having to scrape a bean yourself.

            1. re: modthyrth

              Thank you so much! Now, as I was reading all about vanilla cake there was a lot of talk about not UNDER-mixing. I'm used to worrying about not OVER-mixing (with biscuits etc). Is this a recipe where you really need to mix it and mix it? I usually do these things by hand -- but maybe I should pull out my hand mixer? (sadly, no kitchenaid...)

              1. re: jessinEC

                You want it fully combined, and while overmixing isn't the same problem it is with pie crust or biscuits, I seem to remember my mother saying something about learning about overmixing during the creaming stage in pastry school. She used to whip the dickens out of the butter and sugar during the creaming stage, but I'm pretty sure she discovered that incorporating that much air did bad things later on. What things, I can't remember, of course. ;-) I think I'd pull out the hand mixer, but as long as everything is incorporated, I think you're in good shape.

        2. Also I dont really want it to be a WEDDINGY cake if anyone was wondering

          3 Replies
          1. re: southernbelly

            No, no. It's just a really really good basic vanilla/butter cake. I happened to use it for a wedding cake, but that's just because I think wedding cakes, like birthday cakes, should taste as good as humanly possible!

            1. re: modthyrth

              Hi there! I just wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I have tried over 10 cake recipes in the last two weeks and this is a true winner. Delectable. Thank you!

              Was wondering if you've ever tried making cupcakes with this recipe?

              1. re: gabbymac

                Just saw this, sorry! Glad you like the recipe as much as I do! I've never made it as cupcakes, but I know my mom has. I'll ask if she has any notes on baking times for the cupcake version.

            1. I really like the Barefoot Contessa's birthday cake recipe, just leave out the lemon zest if you want it more vanilla-y. I've used it for all sorts of occasions, in all different pans (and never the sheet pan she calls for.)

              http://www.barefootcontessa.com/recip...