Friday, August 8, 2014

Charming Vanilla Birthday Cake


Just a simple recipe for a very charming yet rather uncomplicated birthday cake.

This easy Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting is so simple to make. For that rustic and pretty look, do make sure to decorate the cooled cake with some of that delicious, and equally easy to prepare, vanilla frosting and some pretty seasonal fruits and berries.

Nothing more needed to make me happy on my birthday. Nothing.




Ingredients for the Cake

For the Cake
  • ½ stick plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, plus some for greasing the baking pan
  • 1 ¼ cups wheat (plain) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp  baking soda
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup superfine baking sugar (caster sugar)
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp pure vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs (M), free range or organic please
  • 250 ml buttermilk, room temperature



Preparation of the Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  2. With a brush, lightly grease a 10-inch (26 cm) round baking pan or springform pan. Then line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds (or paste) until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk. Beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth top with an offset spatula.
  8. Bake until cake is light golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  9. Transfer the baking pan to a wire rack to cool for ten minutes, remove baking pan and leave the cake on the wire rack until cooled completely.
  10. Meanwhile, make the frosting. NOTE: Be sure to let the cake cool completely before you frost it.



Ingredients for the Vanilla Frosting
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbsps milk (I use 3.5 %), room temperature
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract



Preparation of the Frosting
  1. In a small bowl, beat butter with electric beaters for a few seconds until pale. 
  2. Gradually add the confectioners´ sugar, a spoonful at a time, alternating with the milk.  
  3. Keep beating until mixture is pale and creamy. 
  4. Beat in salt and the vanilla extract. NOTE: The frosting will keep in the fridge for one week. Bring back to room temperature and beat well before using.



This is a moist cake with lots of natural vanilla flavor. The buttermilk in the batter adds a bit of tang and certainly makes sure that this cake does not turn out too dry. Just right. And all that vanilla adds a wonderful warm and sweet vanilla flavor.

Use the recipe as the basis for a range of fabulous celebration cakes, it is easily adaptable. For ideas on how to decorate the cake and to try out some variations on how to decorate this basic cake, have a look in your pantry, at mother nature or the farmers`market.




Enjoy this Charming Vanilla Birthday Cake - whether it is a special day or just because!

And remember that it certainly does not matter whether your cake is a flawless masterpiece or something more friendly and wobbly at the edges. What matters is the offering of something you made simply for the pleasure involved.


"It is a sad kitchen that can’t be used purely for fun sometimes."



34 comments:

  1. Simple, beautiful, perfection - exactly how I'd want my birthday cake to be! I almost wish my birthday was sooner so I had an excuse to make this cake! :)

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    1. Dear Ahu, thank you for the nice comment - thses kinds of birthday cakes are the best ones around. Simple, delicious, and pretty to boot!

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  2. Happy Birthday Andrea!!! beautiful, lovely cake!!

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    1. Cheri,thank you for your kind birthday wishes!

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  3. Happy Birthday Andrea! Your cake is magnificence in simplicity! I'm not much of a cake eater and do prefer something lovely as you shared with us today, dense but light, and not too sweet, just perfect. As always, love your photography. Wishing you a beautiful year ahead and may all of your dreams come true!

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    1. Peggy, thank you for your kind birhday wishes - so nice to have met you through the Cottage Cooking Club - I really enjoy cooking along with you. And, yes, these kinds of cakes are my very favorite, hands down.

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  4. Lush.
    Gorgeous (as usual)
    Fabulous presentation.
    I've miss you. I'm not getting your blogs! DAMN. xxxx
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

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    1. Kim, thank you for all your wonderful comments - I have no idea why my posts aren´t finding their way to your inbox anymore - I shall make sure to consult with my resident IT-expert..

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  5. A charming cake indeed! Such a pretty presentation :)

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    1. Thank you so much, June! Glad that you like my little cake!

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  6. Oh my. So simple. So beautiful. I love the fresh fruit. This is how all birthdays should be celebrated. Thank you for sharing, my friend. Happiest birthday!!

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    1. Monet, simple and comforting flavors and pretty decoration - that´s would all my birthday cakes should be like! Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Happy Birthday, Andrea! Was fuer eine tolle Idee, schoene Früchte auf den Kuchen zu legen. Er sieht so saftig aus. Sind das Walderdbeeren??? Die Fotos sind, wie immer, einmalig schön und machen Lust auf dieses Gebäck :-)
    Einen schönen Sonntag!

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    1. Danke, liebe Wally - das sind in der Tat ein paar Waldeerdbeeren - man soll es nicht glauben, aber sie wachsen bei uns im Garten!
      Dir auch noch einen schönen Sonntag und liebe Grüsse!

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  8. Wishing you a very happy birthday Andrea! Hope you had a wonderful birthday... The vanilla cake looks wonderful.. Simple and at its best..

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    1. Deeptie, thank you - these kinds of cakes are my favorite kinds of cakes. Moist, delicious, not overly sweet and decorated with offerings from mother nature.

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  9. What an adorable cake! I think I'd love it too. Hope you had a wonderful birthday.
    And I agree with you about cake that might be "wobbly at the edges". As long as it's made with love, it is perfect.

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    1. Beth, one of my favorite cooks always says "everything tastes better when made with love" and I could not agree with her more...I was just thinking about making a cake, any cake, just because you feel like making one, because you love it, that is just the best reason for baking.

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  10. Happy birthday, my sweet friend! What a delightful cake...and I'm coveting all the beautiful fruit you've used to garnish :)

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    1. Liz, thank you - beauty always lies in the eyes of the beholder and I am very partial to natural decoration - mini pears from my favorite fruit monger, wood strawberries that actually grow in our garden, and the very last of those deep, dark-burgundy sweet cherries.

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  11. Simple and cute lil birthday cake,
    Happy birthday Andrea, God blessed you all the way...

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    1. Dede, than you very much, dear friend! I appreciate your kind wishes!

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  12. Charming says it all and it seems to fit your sweet personality. I wish you many more happy and especially healthy years ahead with your lovely family. Karen

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    1. Karen, thank you very much - no much more I could add to your very sweet compliment!!!

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  13. It's funny, Andrea, when we were kids, we aspired to shop-bought cakes for our birthdays. Now nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods. Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

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    1. Hester, as a matter of fact I never, ever got a store-bought cake for my birthday - but back then they were not as colorful and pretty as they are these days and there were no themed-cakes in sight. And still, I like these cakes best.

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  14. This is my favorite birthday cake from when I was a young child. I never wanted chocolate (even though I loved it) - I always thought this the most special of cakes. Your recipe is quite different form my mother's so I will enjoy trying it - perhaps fro my birthday later this month!

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    1. David, I am more of a vanila person my self - if you offer me both vanilla and chocolate, I will always go for the vanilla firts - these cakes are moist, taste like home, have a definite comfort factor and count as my favorite kinds of cake. If I lived closer, I would bake one for you for your birthday and decorate it with charmong little flowers and berries. Btw: I baked another huge chocolate cake to make the kids happy (also with buttermilk) and topped it with berries and chocolate frosting.

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  15. I think I liked the way you decorated the cake - rather haphazardly - the best. It's so pretty and charming. I already know it was delicious. I made a one layer cake this week that included buttermilk and vanilla. Love those tastes. I've never seen such tiny pears.

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    1. Mary, thank you - these tiny pears are adorable aren´t they?! Hardly bigger than those big fat black cherries. I found them for the first time last year at my favorite fruit monger, after I took a taste and made sure they they were for real, I bought a few and this year was rather deligthed when I saw them make a repeat appearance at the same store. Haphazardly is right and when I looked at the pictures, I thought that´s exactly the way I like it!

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  16. I don't know how I could have missed this beautiful cake! it's simply charming and looks SO delicious!
    Mary

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  17. Ahhhhhhh! So sorry I completely missed your birthday. :( I hope you had a wonderful birthday! This simple vanilla cake is just beautiful. I wish I can make a beautiful birthday cake like this on my own birthday. :) Have a wonderful year ahead!

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    1. Nami, no reason whatsovere to be sory - had a nice day that day and went to Antwerp (Belgium) the day after to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping for birthday gifts! Thank you for stopping by and leaving all those nice comments!

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