Bake Someone Happy !

Raspberry Cream Vanilla Bean Cake

Sweet and simple saviour

It has been a busy early November weekend in the BakeSlave household – Ms. Three turned, well, three! Despite my efforts at enforcing gender neutral toys in the house, she steadfastly held out for a pink Princess Cake (the kind with those accursed anatomically-inaccurate dolls; not the traditional Swedish cake, Prinsesstårta) – which is highly ironic because, as equally emphatically expressed, she also “don’t rike dorries!” (sic).

I thought I’d meet her half-way, and give her at least the pink part of her desired cake. (I’m terrible, I know). But that is a blog post about an epic fail, for another day. Promise!

It was the eve of her birthday, and not quite recovered from the failed first attempt of making a strawberry cake with a twist the previous night, I was reduced to a quivering shaking mess (much like the aforementioned failed strawberry cake).

So who did I turn to?


Martha Stewart. Bless!

This is, without a doubt, my new go-to recipe for the ultimate moist vanilla cake; her recipe for Classic Yellow Cake Batter is stunningly simple yet so satisfying. I’m beginning to think I will only do cakes with buttermilk!

The original recipe makes portions for two 9-inch round pans. My tiny electric oven (and a quivering me) can only cope with making one pan, so here is my halved recipe which makes one 9-inch round pan portion. (Quick tip: If you intend to make this a proper layer cake and hence make two 9-inch portions, I’ve learnt that making a portion at a time works out better, as the batter does not sit out too long while waiting for the first pan to bake and thus goes flat. But if you are blessed with a big proper oven, ample mixing bowls etc, go for it!)

For my slightly modified version of her Classic Yellow Cake Batter, you will need:

Half a cup of unsalted butter (i.e. half the slab of the 227 g)
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (I used Queen) {Ms. Stewart’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract}
1 1/2 cups of cake flour
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups buttermilk

Important: Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature (cold ingredients will make your batter sort of curdle). The butter should be soft enough to hold a thumbprint but still keep its shape.

Make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C. Line your 9-inch round bake pan with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, (because this is hot and humid KL, it took me about 3 minutes; any longer and the butter melts. Martha’s recipe calls for a 6-minute creaming. Hmmm. Somehow that doesn’t sound totally PG).
  3. Add the eggs in, one at a time and continue to whisk until combined. Add in your vanilla paste (or extract).
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low (or with a spatula and elbow grease), add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture, beating (or, if manually, just fold in gently) to combine. {Great tip: Always add the dry to the wet, and end with the dry.}
  5. Add a half portion of the buttermilk (just eyeball it), another 1/3 the flour mixture, then last of the buttermilk, and remaining flour mixture until just combined. Remember to scrape down the bowl as needed. 
  6. Pour your batter into the prepared pan. It will take about 30 minutes. I usually test for done-ness about the 20th minute, and aim for a few crumbs attached. If your toothpick/test skewer comes out totally clean, the cake has been over-baked – remember, residual heat will still bake the cake even after the oven pings.
  7. Once the cake is cool, it is time to go to town with the frosting. I plead guilty to using a bottle of Qwip (as I accidentally made butter while whipping double cream intended for the frosting, and that, my friend, is the most un-salvageable thing to ever do. Never ever take your eyes off whipped double cream. Ever.) 

Good enough to wolf down as is

Quick tip: To prevent a cake from drying out, you can either crumb coat it with thinned-out icing (if you planned to do a buttercream icing), OR, do as I did, and slather some jam (I used strawberry jam, simply because …… I didn’t have raspberry jam.)

Here is the link to Martha Stewart’s Raspberry-Cream Layer Cake in its intended glory. 

Postscript: Little Ms. Three was thrilled with the cake cutting and candle blowing, and quotient of pink was amply made up for in her presents. Crisis averted. Hurrah!

11 comments on “Raspberry Cream Vanilla Bean Cake

  1. vinicooksveg
    November 6, 2012

    Wow! That looks super yummy! I am already drooling here!

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 6, 2012

      Hi Vinita! 🙂
      It is a simple cake, but the flavours really shine through. (Good for a first bake, nudge nudge wink wink)

      • vinicooksveg
        November 6, 2012

        Hi Nat, I have a list of cakes I want to bake. I hope I end up with atleast a decent cake and not some disaster. Lol! Your raspberry cream vanilla bean cake is at the top of my list. Because I loved it.

  2. Annie Narodden
    November 6, 2012

    Hye Nat, the recipe seems easy enough. Will give it a try but i don’t remember ever seeing buttermilk sold in Kuching. Maybe i’ll google for a substitute.

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 6, 2012

      Hi Annie! So nice to hear from you – hope you are well 🙂

      Buttermilk – I make my own; a tablespoon of strained fresh lemon juice in a cup of room temp milk. Let it sit for 10-15 mins, then stir it all up, curdled bits and all; then use. Or sub the lemon juice with distilled white vinegar.

      Happy baking!

  3. Sharina
    November 6, 2012

    Happy birthday Little Ms Three! Hope you had a great time and there will be more to come Insyallah! And Congrtulations Nat! The cake looks great! The raspberries look soo yummy! Often a simple recipe makes good bake dont you think? 😀

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 6, 2012

      Hi Nina!

      Thanks for the support; I’ve conveyed your wishes to Ms. Three 🙂 Heh heh!

  4. kamcheechee
    November 7, 2012

    Hi Nat
    The verdict is out.It should be an all occasion cake. Tasted delicious and texture wise moist.

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 7, 2012

      Hurrah! It WAS yummy, wasn’t it – simple and nice. Thank you for the support Aunty Cherry! I still have to hone more skills under a masterful experienced baker like yourself.

  5. Annie Narodden
    November 7, 2012

    Thanks for the selfmade buttermilk tip Nat. I’ll give it a try soon..

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2012 by in Bake, Cakes and tagged , , , , , , .
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