Hello baking friends!
While considering what recipe to share for this post, I started brainstorming for what I thought would be the most interesting or mouth watering recipe that I have. However, as a baker, I realized that the recipes I really love to collect from friends are the “basics”: the ones where someone has taken a classic recipe and made it their own. So from one baker to another, here is the recipe that my notebook automatically opens up to, tried and true: the humble vanilla cake.
To me, the “secret ingredient” in this recipe is the browned butter. Simply put unsalted butter in a light coloured saucepan and cook it on medium heat until brown, stirring frequently. The milk solids separate from the fat and brown up, giving the butter a “nutty” flavour. Near the end it’s easy to burn it so be careful! Let the butter cool to room temperature before using it in the cake.
Brown Butter Vanilla Cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter browned, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 cup milk room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8" cake rounds and line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream browned butter and sugars on med-high until pale and fluffy (approx. 3mins). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporate after each addition.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.