Everyone needs a trusted basic vanilla cake recipe. One that is quick to make and that you can dress up for parties and experiment with flavors. This is my recipe! I have spent over a year researching recipes and getting this one just right. I ended up with a beautifully fluffy texture and moist cake that has the perfect amount of rise. I also use this recipe as the base of many of my cakes! Feeling Oreos? add them! Feeling fruit? add some! Its great for experimenting but it is also so great for that classic vanilla taste.
Why vanilla bean paste? Once I started really diving into flavoring for baking and how different oils, extracts or pastes work, I discovered Olive Nation. This is a website that will take you on a journey of all kinds of wonderful flavorings and high quality baking ingredients. I have been using their vanilla bean puree for over a year now and it really has elevated my vanilla bakes. I have tried different pastes, but for the quality (and the price!) I always come back to this brand. The first ingredient is vanilla where a lot of brands the first ingredient is sugar – and I think this makes a huge difference in taste. I have used regular vanilla extract in this recipe as well with wonderful results – just without the beautiful little vanilla specks.
Even with a simple recipe like this, I always make sure to sift my dry ingredients at least once. It can have a huge impact on the end result, leaving a smooth and well combined cake. If I don’t sift the ingredients they can have small flour clumps through out, which is no fun. Sifting also helps get that light airy texture that I love.
These cakes also freeze very well! You can wrap them, unfrosted, in something airtight and freeze for a couple of months. Just take them out of the freezer, unwrap them and bring them to room temperature for time saving for events or an immediate treat.