Two-tiered Vanilla Cherry Buttercream Birthday Cake Part II: Vanilla Cake

You've already read the story of the Fresh Cherry Compote in part one of this epic series of firsts!

The second step to this entire assembly of this Two-tiered Vanilla cake, frosted with Vanilla Buttercream, filled with Buttercream and fresh Macerated Cherries and topped with Home-made Cherry Compote, is the Vanilla Cake. Simply because it needs time to cool, before we can put the buttercream on it. Frosting on even a warm cake will result in oily, runny frosting. None of those words are happy.

This cake is not supposed to be the showstopper on its own. It is supposed to work with the fresh pitted cherries, a lighter than clouds Vanilla buttercream (in the next post of this series) and the Cherry Compote (the first in the series). It's supposed to be fairy-light, but it should be a bit squidgy, so that if the craving strikes at midnight to have a bite of it from the fridge, it should not crumble as you bite it. No. It has to sink between your teeth. So it's a tricky game.

The Vanilla Cake (makes 2 8-inch round cakes) adapted from Amita's Mocha Cake

You need:
  • 1.75 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 cup sugar,
  • Vanilla essence
  • 100 gms butter, I'm using regular Amul salted butter, softened till a finger pressed just leaves an impression, and doesn't mess up the kitchen slab.
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs

The How:
  • If you're using a stand mixer, get it off its stand, and tilt the bowl, using the mixer by hand. It makes a massive difference.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Whip the butter till light and airy, a good 2 odd minutes at least on medium speed.
  • Separate the eggs. Add the whites to the butter and whip like anything till it's almost white and frothy.
  • Add the yolks, and continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Sieve  the sugar into the eggs and whip thoroughly. Remember to scrape down the sides often, so that you actually use all the sugar called for. When it reaches a white ribbon like stage, you'll know you're done.
  • Add the vanilla essence into it. If you have some vanilla sugar, put a bit of that in too. It won't increase the sweetness, but will give a lovely flavour and those black specks of vanilla bean. Mix thoroughly.
  • Now add the flour-baking powder mix and mix until just incorporated. Do not over beat; over beating leads to flour developing glutens, and that's what makes cakes go tough when we thought we're beating it so well to add air into it. Been there, done that!
  • Add the warm milk to the mix. Mix it up till incorporated.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 celsius. Grease two 8-inch oven tins and line with parchment.
  • Pour the batter in, and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 celsius. The batter may be a bit runny, but don't worry about that. Mine was more liquid that pancake batter, and it was the moistest cake I've had.
  • When done, let rest in the oven for about 15 minutes at least, then test for doneness. If need be, bake for another 5-7 minutes, or as need  be. Always let rest before testing, a lot of cooking is done within these few precious warm minutes!
  • When done, let cool in the pan till room temperature or a bit warmer. Flip out on to a plate and let it cool there. Please let it cool completely. Buttercream on even a warm cake will lead to runny oily frosting. So be warned!
When it's fairly warm, a finger pressed to it should have the surface of the cake springing back, saying "Eat me!"

Look at that!

Next up: The Vanilla Buttercream and the Assembly of this epic cake!

See you there!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Archana!

      Don't miss the part I, the cherry compote, and the part III, the frosting and the actual assembly of this cake!


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