Traditional Ina Garten Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Traditional Ina Garten Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

If you love baking and cooking, you may have heard of Ina Garten. She is an American legend! She is a writer and hosts her own TV show called Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. For us food lovers, it does not get much better than that! Of course, she cooks for her husband Jeffrey, but we can use her recipes to indulge our loved ones too. I absolutely love her baking recipes and I have taken one or two from her books to inspire me when making whatever cake I need. Today we are making Ina Garten vanilla cake buttercream frosting to use on an amazing, traditional birthday cake!

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Traditional Ina Garten Vanilla Cake with Buttercream

This recipe is fairly simple and will take you a few hours to tackle, taking into account decorations, but it is always best to do as Ina and take things slow and steady. It will make enough for a 9-inch layered cake.

Ingredients

To Make the Cake

To Make the Buttercream Frosting

How to Make It

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is to preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare the pans we are going to use. We need either 2 9 inch cake pans or, if you wanted the more traditional look, 1 9 inch pan, 1 6 inch pan and 1 3 inch pan. This way, the cake will taper towards the top, looking like a small castle.

To prepare them, butter and flour them so that it is easier to take the cake out once they are done. You could also line them with parchment paper if you prefer.

Traditional Ina Garten Vanilla Cake with Buttercream

Step 2

Now to make the cake. Grab the room temperature butter and place it in a large mixing bowl with the sugar. With the help of a stand or hand mixer, cream it until fluffy on high speed with a paddle attachment. This will take approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3

Reduce the speed to medium and proceed to add the eggs in batches. We recommend no more than 2 at a time. Then mix thoroughly.

Step 4

Add in the sour cream, the vanilla extract, and the lemon zest.

Step 5

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda together to avoid any lumps and have an even mix. 

Step 6

Add in the dry ingredients slowly, making sure there is no powder splash. Continue to mix after you have incorporated all of it. You will know it is done once you scrape the sides and can tell there are no butter or flour pockets in it.

Step 7

Once your batter is ready, you will need to divide it proportionately into the cake pans. If you have a scale, this will be much easier, but one way to get the measurements right with weighting is the following.

You can, first, divide the batter into two equal parts. One of these you will need to pour into the 9-inch cake mold. Remember they need to be buttered and floured or have some sort of parchment paper lining.

You will be left with half the batter. You must then divide this into 3 equal parts. Use one of these for the 3-inch cake pan and the other 2 for the 6-inch cake pan. See? Very easy!

Traditional Ina Garten Vanilla Cake with Buttercream How to Make it

Step 8

Smoothe the tops of the batter with a spatula before baking. This will help so that there is not so much of a round top to be cut off the cakes before stacking them.

Step 9

As you could have imagined, they will need different baking times as the pans are different sizes. The 9-inch will take approximately 45 minutes to be done. The 6-inch, 35 to 40 and the 3-inch 30 minutes. 

Always check them a little bit before they are due and only take them out once a stick or knife comes out clean from the center.

Step 10

Cool the pans to room temperature before unmolding them and then let them rest top sides down on a cooling rack until they are completely cool. You could even, if you have enough space, place them in the fridge. This will make it easier to frost them, cut them and stack them.

Traditional Ina Garten Vanilla Cake with Buttercream How to Make it Unmolding

Step 11

Now let’s move on to the frosting. Go back to your electric or hand mixer and cream the butter for a few minutes.

Step 12

Once it is light and fluffy in texture, sift in the powdered sugar slowly while still mixing on low. Also, add the vanilla extract.

Step 13

Check the consistency. If it is too stiff, add in milk slowly to adjust it and make it just right. This depends on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, so the quantities are just estimates.

Step 14

Set aside a quarter of the frosting and add food coloring as you desire. For a traditional look, we recommend you further divide this into 3 and use a bit of yellow, blue and red to make pastel colors.

Step 15

Once everything is done and the cakes are cool, check to see if their tops are level. If they are not, you will need to adjust them with a serrated knife before stacking them.

Cut them into halves and place buttercream between them. Then stack them all together. You can chill the cake for a few hours at this point.

Traditional Ina Garten Vanilla Cake with Buttercream How to Make it Cutting

Step 16

Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting before proceeding to actually frost it. This will help the buttercream stay smooth and look amazing. Then pipe in some decorations as you see fit.

Traditional Ina Garten Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
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Traditional Ina Garten Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

If you love baking and cooking, you may have heard of Ina Garten. She is an American legend! She is a writer and hosts her own TV show called Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. For us food lovers, it does not get much better than that! Of course, she cooks for her husband Jeffrey, but we can use her recipes to indulge our loved ones too. I absolutely love her baking recipes and I have taken one or two from her books to inspire me when making whatever cake I need. Today we are making Ina Garten vanilla buttercream frosting to use on an amazing, traditional birthday cake!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Traditional Ina Garten Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Author: cakedecorist.com

Ingredients
  

To Make the Cake

  • 18 tablespoons 2 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 8 ounces about 1 cup of sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

To Make the Buttercream Frosting

  • ¾ pound 3 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 pounds of sifted powdered sugar
  • 9 tablespoons of milk
  • 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • Food Coloring

Instructions

  • The first thing we need to do is to preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare the pans we are going to use. We need either 2 9 inch cake pans or, if you wanted the more traditional look, 1 9 inch pan, 1 6 inch pan and 1 3 inch pan. This way, the cake will taper towards the top, looking like a small castle.
  • To prepare them, butter and flour them so that it is easier to take the cake out once they are done. You could also line them with parchment paper if you prefer.
  • Now to make the cake. Grab the room temperature butter and place it in a large mixing bowl with the sugar. With the help of a stand or hand mixer, cream it until fluffy on high speed with a paddle attachment. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the speed to medium and proceed to add the eggs in batches. We recommend no more than 2 at a time. Then mix thoroughly.
  • Add in the sour cream, the vanilla extract, and the lemon zest.
  • Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda together to avoid any lumps and have an even mix.
  • Add in the dry ingredients slowly, making sure there is no powder splash. Continue to mix after you have incorporated all of it. You will know it is done once you scrape the sides and can tell there are no butter or flour pockets in it.
  • Once your batter is ready, you will need to divide it proportionately into the cake pans. If you have a scale, this will be much easier, but one way to get the measurements right with weighting is the following.
  • You can, first, divide the batter into two equal parts. One of these you will need to pour into the 9-inch cake mold. Remember they need to be buttered and floured or have some sort of parchment paper lining.
  • You will be left with half the batter. You must then divide this into 3 equal parts. Use one of these for the 3-inch cake pan and the other 2 for the 6-inch cake pan. See? Very easy!
  • Smoothe the tops of the batter with a spatula before baking. This will help so that there is not so much of a round top to be cut off the cakes before stacking them.
  • As you could have imagined, they will need different baking times as the pans are different sizes. The 9-inch will take approximately 45 minutes to be done. The 6-inch, 35 to 40 and the 3-inch 30 minutes.
  • Always check them a little bit before they are due and only take them out once a stick or knife comes out clean from the center.
  • Cool the pans to room temperature before unmolding them and then let them rest top sides down on a cooling rack until they are completely cool. You could even, if you have enough space, place them in the fridge. This will make it easier to frost them, cut them and stack them.
  • Now let’s move on to the frosting. Go back to your electric or hand mixer and cream the butter for a few minutes.
  • Once it is light and fluffy in texture, sift in the powdered sugar slowly while still mixing on low. Also, add the vanilla extract.
  • Check the consistency. If it is too stiff, add in milk slowly to adjust it and make it just right. This depends on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, so the quantities are just estimates.
  • Set aside a quarter of the frosting and add food coloring as you desire. For a traditional look, we recommend you further divide this into 3 and use a bit of yellow, blue and red to make pastel colors.
  • Once everything is done and the cakes are cool, check to see if their tops are level. If they are not, you will need to adjust them with a serrated knife before stacking them.
  • Cut them into halves and place buttercream between them. Then stack them all together. You can chill the cake for a few hours at this point.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting before proceeding to actually frost it. This will help the buttercream stay smooth and look amazing. Then pipe in some decorations as you see fit.
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FAQ’s

How do I spice up a plain vanilla cake?

Add cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg since these are sweet spices that go well with plain vanilla cake. Also, spice your vanilla cake by putting a half teaspoon of allspice or cardamom. Likewise, you could add one teaspoon of cinnamon. 

In addition to that, you can grate a tablespoon of fresh ginger. After that, add it to the sugar and butter mixture, not to mention you can add a small amount of black pepper into the dry mixture.

Read more What To Add To A Spice Cake Mix

How do you make cakes moist and fluffy?

Do not forget to sift since it makes the mixture lighter and adds air. Thus, it would help to sift the baking soda and flour before adding the two ingredients to the mixture. Doing this results in an exceedingly fluffy cake. 

Furthermore, whisking sugar and butter together makes the cake moist and fluffy. With that, make sure to whisk the sugar and butter till the mixture becomes pale yellow and is amazingly fluffy. Moreover, preheat the oven for approximately ten minutes. After that, use an oven thermometer to ensure that the oven reaches the correct temperature. 

In addition to that, lessen the oven temperature required in your recipe by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, begin checking the cake doneness after the recipe’s mentioned minimum baking time. As a result, doing all of these guarantees a moist and fluffy cake. 

What flavor goes well with vanilla cake?

First of all, various mid-fruit flavors go well with vanilla cake, such as strawberry, fig, and pear. Likewise, vanilla cakes are suitable for floral herbs and extracts like rose, lavender, and rosemary.

Can I add vinegar to vanilla cake?

Yes, the vinegar makes the cake batter more acidic. Because of this, it causes the proteins in the flour to set the cake as it bakes. As a result, the cake becomes fluffier but still retains the cake’s moisture. 

Moreover, you do not have to remove the eggs to attain similar results. With that, put a small quantity of vinegar in a traditional cake recipe or a store-bought boxed cake mix.

What makes the cake soft and spongy?

Essentially, achieving the right temperature of every ingredient plays a vital role in making the cake spongy. For instance, the butter should always be warm. In addition to that, the eggs and flour should be at room temperature. 

Additionally, cakes that particularly have cake flour are softer and lighter than cakes that contain all-purpose flour. Besides, cake flour has cornstarch combined in it that results in a spongy cake. 

Also, make sure to beat the eggs slowly because beating the eggs in the wrong manner makes the cake heavier. 

Because of this, the best method is to add one-third of the egg into the butter-sugar mixture. After that, beat the same using a stand mixer. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions with the remaining mixture till it appears slimy. 

Besides, if you feel frosting or storing the cake would dry it out, you should add sugar syrup since it makes the cake spongy. Before frosting, make sure to spray or pour the syrup over the cake slices. 

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