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Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream | All images © Beyond the Butter, LLC.

Single Layer Vanilla Bean Cake

Author: Jennifer
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!
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


single layer vanilla bean cake

strawberry swiss meringue buttercream


snigle 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.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy.
  • 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.
  • Switch the mixer speed to low and alternate between adding in the dry mixture and the whole milk, and mix until just combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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. 
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