Vanilla Bean Berry Cake

by Megan on April 26, 2011

On Sunday, I woke up early to drive this cake to my favorite lady’s house for dessert.

I went to church with tights that matched those raspberries. I turned off the tea water and ate chop suey. We passed the carrots, buttered french bread, and talked about summer, root beer floats, and bluebirds. And then took seconds.

While still full, I sliced this cake and placed it on my Aunt Wanetta’s pretty blue and white plates, that were passed on to her from her mom.

We talked about vanilla beans and then compared this cake to strawberry shortcake. “Can you believe this frosting is made with granulated sugar?!”

I could eat this cake daily. I want to pack it in my car and drive to everyone’s house. I want to drive it to your house. I want you to have this.

Do me a solid, ok? Buy lots of berries and make this cake. It’s a dreamboat.

Vanilla Berry Cake {recipe makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake or 24 cupcakes}
Recipe from Organic and Chic via Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch round baking pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Spray again.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure that everything is well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the milk, vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in three batches. Start and end with the flour mixture. When the batter is just combined, shut off the mixer and thoroughly incorporate the dough with a rubber spatula. Divide batter between two cake pans. Sprinkle with some blueberries and gently press them into the batter.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes*, or until a pale golden color, and a skewer inserted int he center of the cakes come out clean. (For cupcakes bake for 25-30 minutes.) Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool. Frost and berry only when cakes are completely cool. Note: I placed the cakes on the wire rack in the freezer for 30 minutes before assembling, and it worked fabulously.

While the cakes are baking start the frosting! The flour mixture needs to cool.

Frosting using granulated sugar and flour?!  It’s the perfect sweetness, you’ll love it!

Vanilla Bean Whipped Buttercream Frosting
Recipe adapted from Organic and Chic via Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out*, reserving beans
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

* or 1 1/2 T vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup milk with the flour and vanilla seeds. Whisk together until there are no lumps. Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cups milk, whisking constantly and cooking until the mixture barely comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken slightly. Immediately remove the pan from heat and keep stirring, it will continue to cook a minute or two on it’s own. Add the vanilla bean pods and set aside to cool to room temperature, steeping with the whole vanilla beans in the mixture. Refrigerate for a few minutes until cooled to room temperature. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to get the vanilla bean pods out and to keep any lumps from being in the mixture. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter on medium speed, 3-5 minutes, with an electric mixer until soft, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes, stopping the mixer now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then resume beating.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Frost your cake.

Assemble: Remove the cake layers from the freezer. Place one layer on your stand/plate with bits of parchment paper or foil underneath to keep the stand clean. Frost the bottom layer. Sprinkle with berries. Top with the next layer and frost the top and sides. (I found that since I put so many berries in the middle that I almost ran out of frosting! I had just enough. So keep in mind that if you put a lot of berries in the center, like I did, it’ll make your cake a teeny bit taller.) Decorate with more berries and chill. Remove from the fridge an hour or two before serving.

Easter festivities.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kang li April 26, 2011 at 8:43 am

The photos are so gorgeous! Love the vivid colours of those fruits.

Reply

mum April 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I think this would be lovely for a birthday.. or something.. I would LOVE it.. berries are my favorite thing!!! I wish I could have been with you and Auntie.. <3

Reply

Megan (megabite) April 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Oh, you’d totally love this! I wish you coulda been there too.

Reply

Kerri April 27, 2011 at 5:49 am

I bet Aunt Wanetta was so happy to see you. She is so spunky and fun. The cake looks yummy as usual. Did you know Wanetta is my cousin? About 3rd I think.

Reply

Megan (megabite) April 27, 2011 at 6:08 am

Thanks Kang – li!! <3

Kerri – We had so much fun!

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cindy April 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

what a fun holiday! i love the table shot…so pretty. I have that book…it’s great, I am IN LOVE with that frosting technique too, light fluffy goodness and less sugar than the traditional!

Reply

Megan (megabite) April 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Cindy! I don’t own that cookbook… yet. But I saw this cake on Joy the Baker and saw that the strawberry cake you made used the frosting from that cookbook and it made me feel more at ease over a frosting with flour in it. (I tried it once before and it was a mess… probably because i overcooked the flour and then added a warm mixture to butter. Oops.) So yeah! Your strawberry cake totally made me feel like this frosting would work. :)

Reply

Lucy April 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Wow, this looks stunning! I can’t wait til the weather warms up a bit over here, our berry season kicks in and I can make this. It would have been a perfect Royal Wedding garden party cake for tomorrow, but will just have to wait for another occasion!

Reply

Megan (megabite) April 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks, Lucy!

Oh, I bet you’ll love it! I hope it warms up soon, too.

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