This single layer vanilla bean cake recipe is moist and delicious and makes just one, 9 inch cake layer. Paired with this perfectly sweetened strawberry swiss meringue buttercream frosting, it's a flavorful combo that's wonderful for spring, summer, or any time of the year!
Vanilla Bean Cake Ingredients
To make this vanilla bean cake, you'll need:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- unsalted butter (room temperature)
- granulated sugar
- egg whites
- vanilla bean paste (not extract)
- whole milk
Tips for Making the Best Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are thoroughly clean and dry before starting. Go an extra step further and wipe them both down with a paper towel with some white vinegar on it.
- You'll know when the sugar and egg whites mixture is ready for beating because you won't be able to feel the sugar granules when you rub a little bit of the mixture together between two fingers. It should be smooth and not gritty or sandy in texture. You can also use a candy thermometer and heat the egg white mixture to 150ºF.
- When you remove the mixing bowl off the simmering pot of water, make sure to have a towel ready to dry off the bottom, so you don't burn yourself with any of the hot water.
- As the mixer beats the egg whites mixture into the meringue state, you can place some ice packets around the bottom to help cool it off.
- The butter you add to the meringue should be softened and cut into 1 tbsp.-size pieces. Allow each piece of butter to be fully absorbed before adding the next one.
- As you add the butter, the meringue will get a little soupy—just keep mixing it! After you've added in the butter, switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and mix anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Your buttercream will be ready when it's nice and smooth in texture.
- You'll add in the freeze dried strawberries (pulsed into a fine powder using a food processor) last using a spatula. Don't use the hand mixer or stand mixer to add this part in.
- If you're not going to use the swiss meringue buttercream right away to frost the vanilla bean cake, you can cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Before using, bring the buttercream to room temperature (about 30 minutes), then whisk it again with your mixer to bring it back to the smooth consistency.
Helpful Tips for Making Single Layer Vanilla Bean Cake
- The Texturra Performance 9" Round Cake Pan is non-stick, but I would still recommend using a flour-based baking spray to lightly coat the pan.
- The recommended bake time for this vanilla bean cake recipe is 25-30 minutes at 350ºF. For my oven, the 30 minute mark worked perfectly, but I would suggest checking your cake at 25 minutes first. You can check by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake.
- If you won't be decorating the cake right away, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (after it's cooled completely, of course), place it in a storage bag and let it sit out overnight at room temperature.
- Use a serrated knife and a rotating cake stand to cut the cake into 2 layers.
Recommended Baking Tools
- 2-cup Ninja Food Processor - for processing the freeze dried strawberries into a fine powder)
- Texturra Performance 9 Inch Non-Stick Round Pan
- Versa-Tools Spatula Set
- 3 Piece Icing Comb Set
- Naturally Flavored Sprinkles and Jimmies
Single Layer Vanilla Bean CakeAuthor:
single layer vanilla bean cake
single layer vanilla bean cake
- Adjust the oven rack to the 2nd level position (just above center) and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray the 9 inch cake pan with a flour-based baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.1 cup All-Purpose Flour, 1 tsp. Baking Powder, ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy.6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- Add in the egg whites and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Add in the vanilla bean paste.3 Large Egg Whites, 2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
- Switch the mixer speed to low and alternate between adding in the dry mixture and the whole milk, and mix until just combined.5 tablespoon Whole Milk
- Pour the cake batter into the lightly coated 9" round cake pan, place in the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350ºF or until an inserted toothpick into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
strawberry swiss meringue buttercream
- Using a small food processor, process the freeze dried strawberries into a fine powder. Gently remove the top of the food processor to avoid having the strawberry powder go everywhere.1.2 oz Freeze Dried Strawberries
- Place the sugar and egg whites in a glass or metal mixing bowl (either one that is stand alone or part of a stand mixer), and set over a pot that is filled with 1"-2" of simmering water.4 Large Egg Whites, 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
- Whisk continuously until the mixture reaches 150ºF and/or the sugar has completely dissolved. You can check this by taking a small amount of the egg white mixture, rubbing it between two fingers. It should be smooth and not gritty in texture.
- Carefully remove the mixing bowl from the simmering pot, wipe the bottom off with a towel, and beat the egg white mixture using a hand mixer or your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high to high speed until it forms the stiff meringue peaks and (this is important) the bottom of the mixing bowl is cool to the touch. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla extract, salt, then the unsalted butter one piece at a time, allowing each piece to fully absorb into the meringue mixture. If it looks mushy or curdled, continue to beat on high speed. After you've added in all of the butter, switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and mix anywhere from 5-10 minutes. The meringue buttercream is ready when it is nice and smooth in texture.2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ⅛ teaspoon Salt, 1 ½ cups Unsalted Butter
- Using a spatula, fold in the freeze dried strawberry powder.
- When it's time to frost the cake, carefully cut the cake into two layers using a serrated knife and (optional) a rotating cake stand.
- Chill the frosted cake for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator (optional step) before running the icing comb over top. Add the sprinkles, then enjoy!
- If not using the buttercream right away to frost the cake, you can cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Before using, bring the buttercream to room temperature (about 30 minutes), then whisk it again with your mixer to bring it back to the smooth consistency.
This recipe post was originally sponsored by Wilton. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help to make Beyond the Butter possible!