I’ve had the hardest time making a quality vanilla cake. They always come out way too soft compared to the kind you get at a good bakery, and when I have managed to get one that was dense, it was dry too. I literally have half a shelf full of professional baking cookbooks too, and every time I’ve tried one of their recipes, I’ve clearly screwed something up. They’re all scaled to a professional kitchen, meaning that they make 10 cakes instead of 1, and clearly I’m failing at math when I try to scale it down.
Last Saturday morning I woke up at 4:50am with Mommy guilt because I hadn’t make a first birthday cake for Sophie. Her party is this coming Saturday, and awesome food blogger that I am, I ordered her birthday cakes from my favourite bakery… but on her actual day, I had nothing. And to me, the one thing you just HAVE to have on your birthday is a cake. Thankfully, my mind was working that early, and I remembered Woodland Bakery.
This isn’t a bakery I’ve ever been too, I don’t even think it’s in the same country as me, but I stumbled upon their Facebook page a year or so ago and am always so excited when I see their posts. It’s done by Gretchen Price, a professional pastry chef, and she posts the same recipes she sells at the bakery. And so it is that I used her recipe, Best Vanilla Sponge Cake, and I will never look back or try another. I’m including her recipe below, but if you follow that link I just posted she’s also included a few important notes, as well as how to make a marble version. Go, bookmark her site, it’s so worth it!
Here’s what I whipped up though. And I mean that I whipped it up. The cake was surprisingly easy to make, and turned out as good or better than any I’d bought before. I just iced it with a basic buttercream, and on the inside (it was four layers), I did a thin layer of the buttercream between two, and a layer or strawberry jam in the center. That’s the easiest thing to do. Just dump a bunch of your favourite jam in a bowl it, beat it on medium speed until runny, then spread it on your cake. I’ll grab a slice shot later today to show you.
I can’t stress how perfectly this cake turned out. I have never had one bake up so evenly (no big bulge in the center), or be so dense and moist at the same time. Absolutely phenomenal recipe!