Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vanilla Bean Milk Bundt Cake (one bowl, one whisk)

Vanilla Bundt Cake

This is such a simple recipe that I almost didn't share it here. Then I saw a post over on London Bakes, eloquently discussing how great simple can be in the midst of all the stuff and the fuss and the noise. So on point. After reading her post, I realized that my latest favorite baked good had been exactly that--simple. A vanilla bean bundt cake, whipped up by hand, in one bowl, with one whisk. I am certainly a lover of recipes with many parts and steps (as I am sure can be gleaned from some of the more involved recipes here). But sometimes, I want cake y'all, and I want it now.

I think part of what I love about this recipe is that the steps usually completed by a stand mixer or electric beaters--whipping the butter and sugar, beating in eggs one at a time, etc.--are instead done by hand. I realize that may turn some people off, but I feel a sense of satisfaction in putting a little elbow grease, a little extra love into it. Especially when the results are as moist and delicious as these.

Vanilla Milk Bundt Cake

The ingredients for this cake are things I virtually always have on hand, and the method is super quick and easy. The only prep required is room temperature butter, which is typically not a problem for me since I usually keep at least a stick of butter out of the fridge at all times anyway (ya know, just in case). But if you aren't crazy like me and need room temperature butter in a flash, simply cube the butter and let it sit in a sunny window for 20 minutes or microwave it on low power in 15-second intervals until soft.



I love this cake on its own, but it's especially wonderful with vanilla frozen yogurt and blackberries. It's pretty much the perfect cake to make on a whim when craving dessert or when needing to impress unexpected guests. What more can I say? I love this cake.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Vanilla Bean Milk Bundt Cake

Note: I sometimes add a splash of almond extract or lemon zest or a pinch of cardamom for a little twist, but do try it with just vanilla first, as it is truly lovely that way. I like to use room temperature eggs and milk if I have extra time. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes.

113 g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
3 eggs
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk (2% milk or buttermilk also works)
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
188 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a regular bundt pan. In a large bowl, whip together the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Add the remaining ingredients and mix about a minute until super smooth. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top (I usually do this part with a clean index finger). Rap pan against the counter a couple of times.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. I actually find it's best the day after it's made.

Vanilla Cake

31 comments:

  1. hmmm, can i have a piece? ..looks so fluffy!

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  2. Sometimes simple is just the best. This cake looks perfectly delicious!


    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

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  3. Of course! :) It is super moist and fluffy.

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  4. mmm, yes I totally agree with you and Stephanie, simple bakes are so good, and often the most satisfying! I could definitely see making this with some lemon zest in it like you suggested (I'm a total lemon cake fiend hahaha). Lovely photos (especially that last one!!) :)

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  5. I'm glad you decided to share this after all. I love this type of simple cake. It looks gorgeous, sound delicious.

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  6. Thank you! Lemon cake is a totally acceptable thing to be a fiend for, I think.


    And you are creating simple, clever, delicious bakes left and right--it's super inspiring!

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  7. Thank you, this cake is definitely a current favorite of mine. I am learning more and more how much I appreciate simplicity--there's something wonderfully comforting about it.

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  8. Everyone needs a beautiful, simple vanilla cake in their life. Very glad you decided to post this :-)

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  9. I absolutely adore cakes like this. Such simple elegance. And honestly, I would take this over a fancy frosted cake any day. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  10. I'm so glad you posted this recipe, I've been waiting for it since you first mentioned it! (And thank you for the link to my post, I'm so glad it resonated!)


    There's nothing better than a simple vanilla cake and this looks just perfect.

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  11. I love simple cakes. This looks so delicious - I can't wait to try it!

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  12. This looks divine, I'm a massive fan of simple cakes. I love doing things by hand sometimes - I almost always whip egg whites or cream by hand now. It's so satisfying.

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  13. I adore them too. Simple elegance is the perfect way to put it!

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  14. Of course! It was a wonderful reminder that every day, go-to bakes can be just as special and delicious as the fancier or more complicated ones.

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  15. Oh, that bottom photo just makes me sigh. I am a huge fan of simple cakes and think they are the best. I've discovered the wonderful flavor and aroma of cardamom and now like to add that to a simple bread or cake. www.rileymadel.blogspot.com

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  16. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Beautiful.

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  17. Beautifully done! I'm a fan of the simplicity.

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  18. What a simple and lovely cake. I can't wait to try!

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  19. I always appreciate a recipe like this that can be done in one bowl, I am a fan of simplicity.

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  20. This cake looks perfect! An airy, gorgeous, and simple cake is just the thing for a quiet afternoon.

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  21. This is such a beautiful bundt and I'm sure it tastes amazing, too!

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  22. Forget Those CaloriesMay 22, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Hey! I tried this amazing recipe out and the results were FANTASTIC. I absolutely love this cake!!! It has now become one of my favorite things to bake :-) Thank you so much!

    http://forgetthosecalories.blogspot.sg/2013/05/vanilla-bean-bundt-cake.html

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  23. Hi! May I know whether it's okay to use vanilla essence instead of vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste? If so, how much would I need?


    I was looking for new recipes and came across yours. Just one look at your cake and I told myself that I HAVE to try it. :) Looking forward to your reply!

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  24. Vanilla extract/essence will definitely work. I've not tried vanilla essence, so I'm not sure how it compares to extract and paste. But extract can be substituted in equally to the amount of paste. Hope it turns out!

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  25. I made this and im in love...
    I accidentally put in all the ingredients and then realized i had no milk, so i substituted for coconut milk and hoped for the best, and it turned out lovely

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  26. Can you please tell me what photo camera you are using? :)

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  27. I tried this today, and realized I had no actual vanilla, but vanilla sugar. So I added that instead, and a bit of cinnamon. SO delicious! I highly recommend, and this is my favourite recipe I have ever read/made.

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  28. Wish there was conversion for high altitude. Sigh.

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