Happy Valentine’s Day (weekend)!
I am constantly trying new vanilla cupcake/cake recipes. I think this is my favorite recipe yet. This one stands out from other recipes because it uses a vanilla bean and buttermilk instead of regular milk. Those two substitutions really make this cake stand out from others I have made. Vanilla beans can be quite expensive but buying them in bulk really helps your wallet, I usually buy them on Amazon. However, you can substitute vanilla paste for the vanilla bean with similar results (1 vanilla bean is equal to 1 tablespoon vanilla paste).
I frosted the cake using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (Wilton 2D tip). It didn’t take long at all to frost and I think the little extra effort it took was well worth it! The heart sprinkles can be found at any craft store.
Now go make this for your special Valentine!
Vanilla Bean Cake
Yield: 2 8” cake pans or approximately 30 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste)
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 batch of vanilla buttercream frosting
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line two 8-inch pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Split and scrape the vanilla pod into the butter, discard pod (or reserve for another use). Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.
Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl before each addition. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top with an off-set spatula. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top a couple of times to burst any air bubbles and allowing the batter to settle. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Let cool completely in the pans before removing the cakes and frosting.
Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride