By Vince Platania
An easy vanilla cake recipe is essential for any good cook (or even a not-so-good cook who still needs to bake sometimes!). Whether you need it for a birthday, a baby shower, a graduation, tailgating, or "just because," a basic white cake should be part of any baker's repertoire. It can be served simply with frosting, or baked into cupcakes; it can be made more special by stirring in mini chocolate chips or crushed Oreos; or you can even cut it up and turn it into entirely different desserts, like skewered cake cubes dipped in chocolate. Very little in life is as adaptable and cooperative as a white cake!
Now, I normally create my own recipes; my hobby is entering cooking contests, so I'm always trying to come up with new ideas and devising new concoctions. (And in all honesty, some of those concoctions have been pretty odd in my efforts to be "innovative!") But I have to give credit where it's due, and my favorite easy vanilla cake recipe is a slight adaptation of one from Taste of Home magazine:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (double-strength, if you've got it)
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar; stir in the eggs and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half the dry mixture, and combine well. Stir in the buttermilk until well mixed, then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Divide the batter between two greased and floured 9" baking pans and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Even if you don't have a specific occasion to bake for, but the craving for cake simply overtakes you, this easy vanilla cake recipe will calm your desires. Not only is it made very quickly, but it also requires no particular skill; so whether you're an expert or a novice, baking this cake will not be at all intimidating. And isn't that the best kind of recipe, one that is a sure thing? This easy vanilla cake recipe warmly invites anyone to enjoy it, even if they've never baked before.
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