Last Updated on January 25, 2023
A cake is a must-have at any event. This delicious French vanilla cake recipe is the perfect dessert for your next special occasion.
Full of amazing vanilla flavor, with creamy, fluffy buttercream frosting, this cake tastes amazing. In addition to making a great wedding cake, it is a wonderful dessert for any occasion. This recipe does not require any prior baking experience, so no matter your skill level you can master making this cake.
What is French Vanilla Cake?
French vanilla cake is a type of vanilla cake, but with a more distinct flavor. It has nothing to do with where the vanilla came from, but the fact that it has a flavor like French vanilla custard. To mimic this classic flavor, the cake includes egg yolks and a large amount of vanilla extract.
What’s the Difference between Vanilla and French Vanilla?
Both vanilla and French vanilla are flavored products derived from the vanilla orchid plant and have a sweet, creamy, and somewhat flowery vanilla flavor. But what is the distinction between them?
In a nutshell, vanilla refers to the vanilla bean flavor obtained from the seed pod of the tropical orchid plant, while, unlike it, French vanilla refers to a specific type of vanilla flavor that includes the addition of egg yolk.
Now let’s go into a little more in detail.
The vanilla orchid is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. Its pods are harvested while still green, then cured and dried to develop a distinctive vanilla taste. Did you know that the most common type of vanilla used in cooking is Madagascar bourbon vanilla?
Furthermore, French vanilla is often used to describe products such as ice cream, custard, and pastry cream that have a rich, custard-like profile of taste and aroma. So, to conclude, the fundamental distinction between the two is that the French one has a more complex and rich taste than regular vanilla.
What You will need to make this French Vanilla Cake Recipe
Ingredients for the Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 9-inch round cake pans
- Parchment or wax paper
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Wire rack
To know more about How To Adjust Baking Time For Different Size Pans
Step-by-Step Instructions To Make French Vanilla Cake
Step One: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Cake Pans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour the pans, then line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper.
Step Two: Sift the Dry Ingredients
Using a sifter, sift the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside.
Step Three: Beat the Butter and Sugar
With an electric mixer, beat the butter for three minutes at medium-high speed. Next, add the sugar and beat for an additional three minutes.
Step Four: Add the Eggs
Add the eggs to the batter, one at a time. Beat until incorporated before adding the next egg.
Step Five: Add the Dry Mixture and Milk
Add the flour mixture in one cup at a time. Alternate adding a bit of the milk after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
Step Six: Bake the Cake
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. To fully cool let the cakes on a wire rack.
Step Seven: Make the Frosting
Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix well. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add in the milk and beat until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk until it reaches the proper consistency.
Step Eight: Decorate the Cake
Once the cakes are fully cool, level the tops. Between each layer of the cake add a layer of frosting. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the sides and top of the cake.
Servings and Preparation Time to Make French Vanilla Wedding Cake
That’s it, you now know everything there is to know about this exquisite French vanilla cake recipe.
Tips and Tricks for Making Vanilla Wedding Cake Recipes
This cake should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. You should allow the cake to reach room temperature before serving.
The cake layers can be frozen individually for up to six months. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place them in a large Ziploc bag.
The whole cake, frosted, can also be frozen, for up to six months. First, chill the cake in the fridge, then carefully wrap the frosted cake in plastic wrap then cover it with aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
A French Vanilla Cake Recipe for Every Type of Wedding
- 3 9-inch round cake pans
- Parchment or wax paper
- Large mixing bowl
- Wire rack
Ingredients for the Cake
- Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Cake Pans - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour the pans, then line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients - Using a sifter, sift the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside.
- Beat the Butter and Sugar - With an electric mixer, beat the butter for three minutes at medium-high speed. Next, add the sugar and beat for an additional three minutes.
- Add the Eggs - Add the eggs into the batter, one at a time. Beat until incorporated before adding the next egg.
- Add the Dry Mixture and Milk - Add the flour mixture in one cup at a time. Alternate adding a bit of the milk after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Bake the Cake - Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. To fully cool let the cakes on a wire rack.
- Make the Frosting - Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix well. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Add in the milk and beat until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk until it reaches the proper consistency.
- Decorate the Cake - Once the cakes are fully cool, level the tops. Between each layer of the cake add a layer of frosting. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the sides and top of the cake.
Experience the Difference: Discover the Best Texture and Flavor with Reverse Creaming Method Vanilla Cake
If you are looking for a delicious and unique way to make a French Vanilla Cake, then the reverse creaming method is the way to go!
The method involves first creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) to the butter mixture, followed by the liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, vanilla extract). It results in a light, fluffy cake that has an incredibly smooth texture.
As for the name of the process itself, the technique is called “reverse” creaming because the dry ingredients are added to the butter combo before the liquid ingredients, as opposed to the standard approach, which adds the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients before adding the butter and sugar.
This technique results in a more tender, fine-crumbed, and stable cake, plus, it’s much easier than traditional creaming methods! Accordingly, if you are struggling to find a delicious French Vanilla Cake recipe that won’t take hours to make, we have got some excellent news for you. This reverse creaming method is just what you need.
Perfectly Paired: What Filling Goes With Vanilla Cake?
You are probably aware of the fact that this classic dessert can be enjoyed in many different ways. From the most basic to the most elaborate ones, the possibilities are endless! So if you are looking for the perfect accompaniment to your vanilla cake, look no further, we will go over all the specifics right now!
Buttercream is a type of sweet, creamy frosting that is often used to decorate cakes and cupcakes. It’s a popular choice for many occasions, especially when paired with vanilla cake. It is no secret that it has been used as a cake topping for centuries, and its popularity is only growing.
The rich richness of buttercream combined with the mild flavor of vanilla cake produces an unbeatable combo, and any person who has tasted it at least once will confirm! This classic filling for vanilla cake is made by creaming butter and powdered sugar together, along with vanilla extract for flavor. The reality of the situation is, its creamy texture provides moisture to the cake while its sweetness enhances the vanilla taste.
When it comes to desserts, nothing beats the classic combo of vanilla cake and whipped cream. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also looks lovely when served in a cake or cupcake.
Whipped cream is made by whipping heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until it forms stiff peaks. The richness of the whipped cream nicely balances out the delicate tastes of the vanilla cake, making this a timeless classic that never goes out of style. Don’t neglect to add whipped cream to your vanilla cake if you are looking for the right combo that will offer something exceptional without going overboard.
Chocolate ganache is made by heating cream and chocolate together until smooth and then allowing it to cool and thicken before spreading it on the cake. Its smooth, creamy texture perfectly complements the light and fluffy texture of the vanilla cake, creating a delicious flavor experience that is sure to please any palate.
Therefore, whether you prefer a traditional bundt or something more modern, adding chocolate ganache will elevate your dessert and make it shine!
Cake’s Perfect Match: What Are The Best Frosting Flavors For Vanilla Cake?
It’s no secret that frostings can enhance the flavor, texture, and visual appeal of your baked masterpieces. When it comes to French vanilla cake recipes, the good thing is that many different frosting flavors can be used to complement the delicate flavor of vanilla.
These are our favorites, in addition to classic, timeless staples like vanilla and chocolate buttercream and cream cheese frosting:
Lemon Buttercream is a frosting that is made by creaming butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice together. It is a special fit with a vanilla cake because it gives a distinct, fresh, and tangy lemon flavor.
What we especially appreciate is its versatility, as it can be used to frost cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, or as a filling for cakes and pastries.
Coffee buttercream frosting is made by incorporating butter, powdered sugar, and ground coffee into a nice, even mixture. Furthermore, it is important to emphasize that there are variations that include adding cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or cream for an extra dose of flavor and texture.
Many people like to use it as part of their French vanilla cake recipe because the coffee gives the frosting a rich, strong flavor that perfectly complements the flavor of the vanilla cake.
Hazelnut buttercream frosting is a popular flavor in Europe and is commonly used in Italian and French pastries, and is made from butter, powdered sugar, and hazelnut flavoring. If you are seeking for a frosting flavor that will give your vanilla cake a distinctive and delicious flavor, don’t hesitate to try it!
An Elegant and Delicious French Vanilla Wedding Cake Recipe
This elegant cake makes a delicious and beautiful wedding cake for a small wedding celebration. It is also a great cake to serve at birthdays, anniversaries, showers, and graduations. It is relatively easy to make but will taste as if it came straight from a bakery.
This classic cake is something that everyone will love. Its tasty vanilla flavor is hard to resist.
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