Video: Vanilla Celebration Cake

This is seriously the most amazing cake. It baked so evenly and so well and was remarkably easy to cut into three separate layers. It also traveled well. (Rumor has it that it tasted good too.) I'll definitely make it again and again.

Vanilla Cake via Jane Hornby's What to Bake and How to Bake It
NOTE: This is just the recipe for the cake part of Hornby's Vanilla Celebration Cake. You can frost it with one of your favorite frosting recipes, though I encourage you to seek out a copy of this book to read Hornby's full recipe! The book comes with so many baking tips and is generally pretty great. 

For the cake:
6 eggs, room temperature
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) soft butter, plus extra for greasing
1 3/4 cups sugar, ideally superfine
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)

Preheat the oven to 325F. Double-line a 9-inch springform or regular deep round cake pan. (Hornby says that double-lining with parchment protects a cake that's going to be baked for a long time, like this one is.)

Separate 3 of the eggs and add the whites to 3 whole eggs. (FYI: You won't need the other 3 yolks in this recipe.) (Maybe you can find a use for them? I never can.)

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until very creamy and pale. Pour 1 egg white or egg into the bowl, then beat in until fluffy and light. Repeat until all the egg has been used. If the batter starts to look a bit lumpy at any point, beat in 1 tablespoon of the flour.

Mix the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl. Sift half of this into the cake batter, fold it in, then fold in the buttermilk. Follow with the rest of the flour mixture to make a smooth and fairly thick batter.

Spoon the batter into the pan and level the top. Make a slight dip in the center, which will encourage the cake to rise without a dome. (Dude, this totally worked!)

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until it has risen well and is golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Check carefully, as the cake may sink or seem heavy if underdone. In the meantime, make the syrup: gently heat the sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Once out of the oven let the cake cool in the pan until just warm, then poke 25 holes right through it. Slowly spoon the syrup over it, letting it soak in after each addition. Let cool completely in the pan. (It can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month!)


Matthew said...

Important Update: Dionne brought us back two slices of cake. THANK YOU DIONNE!!

Amelia Morris said...

@Matthew we should've gotten the camera back out and filmed our reactions to finally tasting it! IT WAS SO GOOD!! Hopefully everyone will take Dionne's word for it, right?? I mean, Dionne is pretty trustworthy and she was at the actual party.

Matthew said...

Dionne was not a paid spokesperson for the cake. She was a real life cake eater and I for one appreciate all she does. THANK YOU DIONNE!

Caley said...

Is this Canada talk all a tease or is a visit in the works? If so, YAHOOOOO! Toronto would be lucky to host you!

Lydia said...

I bought an epub of your book for my Kobo (Canadian e-reader). I hope it counted towards points for Canada! I loved it, of course. Sheesh. Too much to discuss.

I wish Edmonton was as alluring as Vancouver but yes, Vancouver is super enjoyable.

Sara said...

I love the Canada shout out! I love how confused Teddy looks when you jump down to get the ball.

Unknown said...

I watched this twice because I couldn't get enough Teddy

Mary Anne said...

I just can't stop wondering why you weren't invited to this party!!?? Also, you are a cake making machine. I envy your mixer.

Amelia Morris said...

@Caley I mean, I *really* want to visit! But that's as far as we've made in the planning stages. Someday though!

@Lydia thank you for buying a copy! Also, Edmonton sounds great too. I guess I should start my planning by getting Teddy a passport?

@Mary Anne I was invited, Mare! I just had a scheduling conflict so I made the cake the day before.

HAILEY said...

How imperative are good soccer and fence climbing skills for a successful outcome of this cake?

Also, I don't even like white chocolate OR frosting but you kind of sold me on the frosting. yowza!

Dani Elis said...

Teddy steals the show again! Loved the video!

I have Jane's book too and have been meaning to make something out of it for a while now, I have recipes tagged but haven't gotten around to making any of them!

So many recipes and not enough time :S

Kara said...

I love this video!!!! Top five of all time (first will always be the Eminem potato pancake flip tho.). Teddy is unbearably sweet and I hope fights were avoided

BrooklynSalt said...

You shoulda told your friend that Celebration Cake is a cake with one slice taken out of it for good luck.

Luisa said...

TEDDY. TEDDY! Love that kid. The cake looks crazy delicious and your decorating skills make me happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the frosting type of person, but you got me longing for this cake now!

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Unknown said...

You ROCK! I am almost finished your book and so glad that I found your blog! Love it to bits xox. Please please keep writing wonderful books!

Amelia Morris said...

@Kate Musgrove: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

AM2109 said...

If you come to Canada, please put Calgary on your list! Host of the 88 winter olympics if that sweetens the deal (do you like winter olympics, or is it just summer olympics?)! I would love to hear a reading from you here: http://shelflifebooks.ca