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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Patriotic Vanilla Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

So, it was my husband’s birthday. And instead of making the usual chocolate cake, I decided to go for something a little daring… vanilla. Vanilla cake with buttercream icing. Risky right? Well, it was. Risky because it wasn’t the go to chocolate cake that you saw in one of my previous blogs. And risky because I wasn’t 100% certain that he would love it. Well, okay, that’s a lie. He loves sweets. But chocolate is hard to compete with.

I surprised him with a small early birthday party last month when we were in France with a small gathering of his close friends. For this occasion, we ordered a turtle shaped cake (raspberry sponge inside) to play on his French nickname “Tortue” (literally- turtle). The cake was stunning! Thus, the stakes for his actual birthday cake were even higher. Not only was I competing with my own staple rich chocolate cake which he loves, but I was also competing artistically with the turtle cake.
So, what was I going to do? Flavor wise, I decided it would be vanilla. Something different and equally tasty (I hoped). Esthetically, I knew I could not pull off a cool shape like the turtle. I was stumped. I had no idea what I was going to do. Then, the night before, I had an idea. The patriotic French husband’s birthday cake. Layers of red, white, and blue vanilla sponge complemented with a vanilla butter cream frosting.

The impression this cake makes immediately depends on how you decorate the outside. I went for a plain looking cake (white with blue writing), because I wanted the impact to come when the cake was sliced.

Now you are probably asking… did he like it? Well, I think you can see that for yourself.
Patriotic Vanilla Cake with Butter Cream Frosting
Makes a 3 layer cake - 9" Round

1 ½ cups Butter, Room Temp
2 cups White Sugar
9 Eggs
3 tsp Vanilla
4 ½ cups Flour
4 ½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Salt
¾ cup Milk

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg is added. Add vanilla and stir.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients about 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk and mixing well.

Optional Step: To color the cake: Divide the batter into 3 equal portions in 3 separate bowls. To each bowl, add a few drops of food coloring as necessary and mix until color is even. ( I colored one red, one blue, and left the third without coloring).

Lightly grease three 9” (23 cm) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Fill each cake pan with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
3 cups Icing Sugar
¾ cup Butter, Room Temp
3 tsp Whipping Cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Optional: Food Coloring

Cream butter with vanilla. Add icing sugar and cream. Beat well until light and fluffy. Add more icing sugar to thicken or whipping cream to thin as necessary.

When the cakes are cool, shave the tops of the bottom 2 layers to that they are even. Add an even layer of frosting onto the bottom layer of cake. Place the second layer on top and add a second even layer of frosting. Place the final layer of cake on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining icing. Decorate as desired.


  1. hehe great post! My niece's birthday is coming up and I wanwted to try to bake cakes in jars and send them to her! I was just going to send her chocolate but I think she'll enjoy jars of all differnt colored vanilla cake :)

  2. Love it! I had never thought of making a blue cake before. Perfect for Independence Day.
    Love your site.

  3. So cute! a great idea for the 4th too!

  4. Wat a colourful & unique cake! Very innovative!

  5. Oh! My, my, mine. That is such a great cake! Great and unique idea for the 4th of July.

  6. Great idea. Very patriotic indeed. :)

  7. That looks so yummy! Great job on that cake!

  8. How creative! I LOVE the colors and of course a cake that is so good you want to eat the plate is always a good thing!

    YUM to buttercream too!