The Best Ina Garten Vanilla Cake Recipe

Video ina garten vanilla cake

Ina Garten’s Vanilla Cake is a timeless classic that never fails to impress. With its light, fluffy, and moist texture, this homemade white cake is perfect for any special occasion, be it a birthday, wedding, or a festive gathering. Let’s dive into the details of this delightful dessert!

What Makes White Cake Special?

White cake is renowned for its delicate, airy texture and its ability to pair beautifully with various frostings and fillings. The secret lies in the batter, which typically consists of flour, sugar, baking powder, and egg whites. These egg whites lend the cake its signature light white color, making it visually appealing as well.

Unveiling the White Cake Flavor

The flavor of a white cake is subtly sweet, allowing it to harmonize effortlessly with a range of fillings and frostings. Enhancements such as almond and vanilla extracts add a delightful dimension to the taste. Choosing high-quality extracts and butter enhances the cake’s flavor, resulting in a rich, buttery, and satisfying treat.

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Ingredients for the Perfect White Cake

To create this heavenly dessert, you will need:

  • 8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 14 oz sugar
  • 6 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 14 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon clear almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 oz milk at room temperature
  • 2 oz vegetable oil

How to Make Homemade White Cake From Scratch

Now, let’s walk through the steps to craft this homemade white cake:

  1. Preheat your oven: Set the temperature to 335ºF (170ºC). Prepare two 8″x2″ cake pans with your preferred non-stick method.

  2. Prepare the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

  3. Combine the dry ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar: Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and whip on high until the mixture becomes light and white, which should take around 5 minutes.

  5. Incorporate the egg whites: Add the egg whites one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing on low. Ensure each egg white is fully incorporated before adding the next.

  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the egg, butter, and sugar mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Then add half of the wet ingredients, followed by the remaining dry, the rest of the wet, and finally, the remaining dry. Mix until just combined.

  7. Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake at 335ºF (170ºC) for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Cool the cake: Allow the cakes to cool for ten minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack. While still warm, wrap them and place them in the freezer to flash chill. This preserves their moisture. Once cooled but not frozen, trim off the brown edges.

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Creating Easy Buttercream Frosting

For a luscious buttercream frosting, follow these simple steps:

  1. Combine egg whites and powdered sugar: In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk together the egg whites and powdered sugar on low. Increase the speed to high, gradually adding small chunks of butter, vanilla, and salt.

  2. Whip the frosting: Increase the mixer’s speed to high and whip until the frosting becomes light, fluffy, and white.

The Golden Drip Effect

To add a touch of elegance with a golden drip, try the following steps:

  1. Melt the chocolate: Combine white chocolate and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the chocolate is completely melted, then whisk until smooth.

  2. Add color: Incorporate a few drops of food coloring into the mixture. Stir until fully blended.

  3. Allow it to cool: Let the mixture cool to approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This step is crucial, as applying it while too hot can melt the frosting.

  4. Apply the drip: Once the mixture has cooled, apply it to the top edges of your chilled cake, allowing it to gracefully drip down the sides.

  5. Add the golden effect: After the chocolate has set and firmed up, create a paint by combining Everclear (a type of alcohol) with gold dust. Gently paint this mixture over the drip, giving it a radiant, golden appearance.

Tips for the Perfect White Cake

Here are a few handy tips to ensure your white cake turns out spectacular:

  1. Preparation before baking: Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature, preventing the batter from breaking or curdling.

  2. Weigh your ingredients: For accuracy and a foolproof recipe, use a scale to measure your ingredients, including liquids.

  3. Get organized: Embrace the practice of Mise en Place, having everything in its place. Measure out your ingredients in advance, ensuring they are ready to use. This minimizes the chances of accidentally omitting an ingredient.

  4. Chill your cakes: Always refrigerate your cakes before frosting and filling. This makes them easier to handle, especially if you plan to stack them.

  5. Use specified ingredients: If the recipe calls for specific ingredients, such as cake flour, avoid substituting with all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Following the recipe as is ensures the best possible outcome.

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Pairing Frostings with White Cake

Here are some frosting ideas that beautifully complement white cake:

  1. Vanilla Buttercream: A classic choice that impeccably complements the delicate flavor of white cake.

  2. Cream Cheese Frosting: The tanginess of cream cheese adds a delightful contrast to the sweet white cake.

  3. Chocolate Ganache or Buttercream: For chocolate enthusiasts, opt for a rich chocolate frosting to create a decadent combination of flavors.

  4. Fruit-flavored Frostings: For a refreshing twist, consider frostings infused with lemon, strawberry, or raspberry.

  5. Almond Buttercream: Since white cake often features almond extract, an almond buttercream can elevate this flavor profile.

The Importance of Oil in This White Cake Recipe

Oil plays a crucial role in this white cake recipe, as it contributes moisture and creates a tender, fluffy texture. Unlike butter, which solidifies at room temperature, oil remains in a liquid state, ensuring the cake stays moist even when cool. Vegetable or canola oil works perfectly in this recipe.

White Cake vs. Vanilla Cake

White cake and vanilla cake may sound similar, but they have distinct differences. While both cakes may utilize vanilla extract for flavoring, the key contrast lies in the eggs. White cake exclusively uses egg whites, resulting in a lighter color and a slightly distinct taste. On the other hand, vanilla cake incorporates both egg yolks and egg whites, resulting in a gently yellow hue and a richer flavor profile.

White Cake vs. Yellow Cake

The primary distinction between white cake and yellow cake lies in the eggs. White cake solely uses egg whites, giving it a lighter color, while yellow cake incorporates whole eggs, resulting in a delightful yellow hue.

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Storing Your White Cake

Properly stored, a white cake can last in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days. Slice the cake and place the individual slices in airtight containers or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating.

Freezing is also an option for white cake, extending its life to 2-3 months. Keep in mind that freezing alters the texture, making the cake slightly denser compared to its fresh state.

White Cake’s Nutrition Facts

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for white cake:

  • Calories: 589kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 37g
  • Saturated Fat: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 89mg
  • Sodium: 125mg
  • Potassium: 111mg
  • Sugar: 50g

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of sugar should I use for this cake?

It is recommended to use granulated sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for the frosting.

Can I replace the milk with coconut or almond milk?

Certainly! You can substitute milk with coconut or almond milk if desired.

Can I use sour cream in this white cake recipe?

Yes, you can use the White Almond Sour Cream cake recipe, which is a modified box mix. It includes sour cream and eggs to boost flavor and moistness. If you prefer a scratch recipe, it’s best to follow the provided recipe as is.

For more delightful recipes, visit Family Cuisine!

Try out these scrumptious recipes as well:

  • Flag Cake
  • Angel Food Cake
  • German Chocolate Cake
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake

Enjoy baking this exquisite Ina Garten Vanilla Cake and cherish the joy it brings to your family and friends!

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