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Easy Vanilla Cake

Tomorrow, April 21, is the Queen’s 90th birthday. Of course we had to bake a birthday cake, and this easy cake is proof of the view that so often simplicity is the best way to success. There is something so lovely about a moist vanilla sponge cake and this recipe uses vanilla bean seeds which yields an even more fragrant flavor and charming, tiny spots in the sponge. Perfect for any occasion, add your favorite buttercream or simply fill it with jam and dust it with confectioner’s sugar. With our humblest sentiments, Happy Birthday Liz!

Easy Vanilla Cake

For the cake:

8¾ oz. softened butter (17 tbs.)
9 oz. golden caster sugar (1¼ cups)
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla paste
¼ tsp. salt
5 eggs, cracked into a jug
3 oz. all-purpose flour (¾ cup minus 2 tbs.)
8 oz. self-rising flour (2 cups)
3½ oz. full-fat Greek yogurt (½ cup)
3 tbs. milk

For the syrup:

1¾ oz. golden caster sugar (¼ cup)
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped or ½ tsp. vanilla paste
2 tbs. water

Heat the oven to 325°F and grease two 8″ round cake tins.

Using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and salt until light and fluffy. Pour in the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next. (If the mixture seems to curdle, add in 1 tsp. of the all-purpose flour.) Beat in the yogurt.

Mix the flours, then use a large metal spoon to fold them into the batter, followed by the milk. Divide between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by gently heating the ingredients until the sugar dissolves. After the cake as cooled for 30 minutes, use a skewer to make holes all over the cake. Brush on the syrup, letting it completely soak in after each addition. Leave to cool completely.

Remove from the tins and decorate as you please.



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