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Vanilla Cake with Traditional American Buttercream


Photo by: Kelly Neil

Dawn Lee says besides chocolate cake, vanilla remains one of the top sellers at her bakery.

Recipe courtesy of Dawn Lee, The Cake Shop


For the cake:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (750 ml) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 ml) egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
For the buttercream:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (1 L) icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) milk


For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Brush the bottoms and sides of the pans with melted butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla. Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add the egg whites, scraping often.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or muffin tins. For 9-inch cake pans, bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean; for cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until they spring back after being touched.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes. Once the cake is cool, release it from the pan by running a metal spatula or knife along the sides of the pan. Flip the cake over onto another pan or cake board and peel away the layer of parchment.
For the buttercream:
  1. Cream butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl or mixer.
  2. Blend in sugar one cup at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat in milk and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

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