Whether it’s a fancy wedding or birthday cake, or maybe an all-butter pound cake at a barbecue, people can’t help but smile and get ready to dig in. Cake makes the dessert world go around and round.
Nevertheless, there are times when you’re not in the mood to tackle making a cake from scratch. You want something fast and easy. So, before you pick up a box of cake mix, this recipe for vanilla cake comes together in a snap. Moreover, it doesn’t contain any butter or dairy.
King Arthur’s Vanilla Cake is reminiscent of a recipe that became popular first during the Great Depression and then again around World War II when items like butter and eggs were rationed. The result is a light and tender cake with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s also vegan and can be adapted for gluten sensitivities.
Vanilla Cake Pan Cake by King Arthur adapted by Still a Chick Lit
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour plus 2 tablespoons of xanthan gum)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) water
1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar. (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)
4 1/2 teaspoons (21g) cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon (14g) clear vanilla or vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons (57g) butter, regular or vegan, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups (283g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if it’s lumpy.
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla or vanilla
about 2 tablespoons (28g) water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8” square or 9” round pan that’s at least 2” deep.
To make the cake: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the water, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. It’s OK for a few small lumps to remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top feels set, the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and either serve the cake warm from the oven or allow it to cool completely in the pan before frosting.
To make the frosting: Beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until no large pieces of butter remain.
Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the water, beating to incorporate. Add enough additional water, a teaspoon at a time, to make a spreadable frosting.
Leaving the cake right in the pan, if desired, use a spatula or flat knife to apply the frosting.
Storage information: Store the cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for more extended storage.