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Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe & Video

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You'll love this moist and dense Vanilla flavored Butter Cake. While you can cover it with a variety of frostings, one of my favorites is this delicious Cream Cheese Frosting with its light and fluffy texture and sweet yet tangy flavor. Depending on the occasion, garnish the top of the cake with candy sprinkles, birthday candles, fresh berries, or even fresh flowers

This Vanilla Cake is what is commonly referred to as a 1-2-3-4 Cake. Popular since the 19th century it is an easy cake to remember. The numbers 1-2-3-4 refer to the quantities of ingredients; 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, and 4 eggs. I have cut back a little on the amount of sugar, but otherwise the formula is almost the same. This cake is made using the 'creaming' method where the butter and sugar are beaten together first and then the eggs, followed by the flour and milk are added.

While you can frost the cake immediately after it has been baked and cooled, I like to chill the cake until it's firm (at least a few hours or even overnight). I do this because a freshly baked cake is quite fragile and when you try to spread the frosting there is a tendency for the cake to tear. The extra step of chilling until firm makes the spreading of the frosting so much easier.

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Yellow Butter Cake

White Cake

Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Cupcakes

 Yellow Cupcakes

White Cupcakes

Vanilla Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) cake pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat, on medium high speed, until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour.  

Place the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center (the cake will just be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan).

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool, in the pan, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment paper and re-invert cake so that the top is right side up. Cool completely and then cover and refrigerate until firm (this will make it easier to frost the cake).

Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until incorporated. Add the very soft cream cheese in four to five additions (scraping the bowl after each addition), beating until incorporated and the frosting is nice and smooth.

Place the cake on a cardboard cake board or your serving platter. Frost the top and sides of your cake. The cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about five days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serves 12 - 14 people.

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Vanilla Cake Recipe:

2 3/4 cups (355 grams) all purpose flour

1 tablespoon (11 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

4 large (200 grams) eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (10 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) room temperature milk (full fat or 2% reduced fat)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (180 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon (4 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice

12 ounces (340 grams) full fat cream cheese, softened

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