My girl Aanu is here again, with a winning cake recipe. If you’ve missed the taste of a true 9ja cake, well here’s a recipe to bring back that distinct taste we all love. I decided to bite the bullet and try it myself. People, I am here to testify. YOU MUST TRY THIS. My results will be below. Thanks Aanu.
VictoriaGrace’s Vanilla Cream Cake
Intro, Techniques & Tips
First, I thank God for all the things I have learned and continue to learn in my journey to becoming a better baker. I’m grateful for all the great authors who have taught me through their work both in text and through videos and tutorials. Thank you to Dooney for the opportunity to share through this blog, and thank you dear reader for taking the time to read, and possible try out this recipe. I would love your feedback. Please feel free to share photos of your finished cakes. I have anticipated some possible questions regarding ingredient measurements, and substitutions for example and tried to give information on them in Baking Basics < https://www.facebook.com/notes/victoriagrace-cakes-et-al/victoriagraces-baking-basics/546610992072616>. If you have other questions on information not addressed here or in the Baking Basics please ask.
Please read the entire document before you begin. This will allow you to note what you will need, and look up or procure what you don’t have. It also allows you to have a general idea about how to successfully execute this recipe. I’ve written these instructions in sequence so you can follow all the way from setting the oven temperature at the beginning to cooling the cakes. I’ve gone into as much detail as possible, even spelling out some things that may seem like no-brainers. I did this because I know each person will have different skill levels so bear with me, and those who are novice bakers. The ingredients are in grams for precision, and to keep things uniform since I had an international audience in mind when putting this together.
Much of the instructions I’ve given will apply to other cakes too so while this may seem like a lot, my goal is to expand your knowledge base and help you get better with baking cakes in general.
The main mixing technique you’ll be doing is folding (your mixer will do the whipping). Folding is not stirring or beating. It’s folding. The goal is to combine the flour mixture with the whipped mixture without knocking out all the air we so painstakingly pulled into the mixture with all the whipping. I can’t stress this enough. If you beat out all the air, your cake will be dense and won’t rise as much as it should. Here, check out this video for a demo. Also note what ‘stiff peaks’ look like.
Stiff Peaks & Folding: http://video.about.com/gourmetfood/Fold-Egg-Whites-Into-Batter.htm
Oven – Place oven rack in the middle level of the oven. Set the oven temperature.
- 350F for LIGHT colored pans
- 325F for DARK colored pans
- 350F for cupcakes
- (2) 8×2 inch Round pans OR (3) 6×2 inch Round Pans OR (2) 12 Cavity Muffin pans (I used 3 inch tall pans but the 2 inch pans are easier to find in stores).
- Prepare pans with floured baking spray or your preferred method of coating your pans. For cupcakes, place cupcake papers/liners into muffin pans.
Baking time – Start checking for doneness at the lower time limit. A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake should come out mostly clean with a few random crumbs. Do not over-bake or the cake will be dry. Actual baking time will depend on your oven.
- Cupcakes 18-20 minutes
- 6 inch pans: 33-35 minutes
- 8 inch pans 35-45 minutes
- Stand Mixer OR Hand Mixer with WHISK attachment
- Kitchen Scale with gram measurements
- Mixing Bowls
- French Whip (optional)
- Rubber Spatula
- Set of Measuring Spoons
- Knife (if using vanilla bean)
- Ice cream scoop (if making cupcakes)
- Wire cooling rack
Yield: Approximately 1045g cake batter. (3) 6-inch round layers OR (2) 8-inch round layers OR 24 cupcakes.
(For my take on substitutions, see #4 and #6 in Baking Basics).
You will need
- 227g Cake Flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder (Aluminum-free)
- 255g Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Bean OR 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Bean Paste OR 1 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract.
- 182g eggs (Room temperature)
- 387g Heavy Cream (36% butterfat)
1. Zero the scale and measure the weight of the mixing bowl of the stand mixer OR a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Write this weight in grams on a notepad or piece of paper.
2. In a medium bowl measure out the cake flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir with a fork and then sift into another medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, measure out the eggs (See end notes below).
4. If using a vanilla bean, cut the bean lengthwise, and with the back of the knife, scrape out the vanilla beans.
5. Add scraped vanilla beans OR vanilla bean paste OR pure vanilla extract to the eggs and then mix with a fork to break up the yolks and combine the eggs with the flavouring.
6. Measure sugar into a medium bowl.
7. Pour heavy cream into the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment (or into the large bowl you measured if using a hand mixer with whisk attachment.
8. Whip the cream on medium to medium high until stiff peaks form—meaning when you pull up the whisk and turn it upside down, the pointy peak formed by the cream stays straight and pointy; it doesn’t bend over or fall. Be careful here, the goal is not to make butter. If you whisk for too long you will make butter. It’s okay to stop often to check the consistency of the cream.
9. Add egg mixture in 3 instalments allowing each addition to be thoroughly combined before adding the next.
10. Add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue whipping until all the sugar is combined.
11. Turn off the mixer. If using a stand mixer, disengage the bowl.
12. Using either the whisk attachment (by hand, not attached to the mixer) OR a French whip, FOLD in one third of the flour mixture until JUST combined. There will still be some unmixed flour in parts of the mixture at this time. Then repeat x 2 for the rest of the flour mixture. Once most of the flour is mixed in switch to the rubber spatula to scrape the side and bottom of the bowl and FOLD in any last bits to smoothen the mixture. At no point in this step will you beat or stir. FOLDING ONLY.
13. Scrape off the batter from the spatula and weigh the mixture and bowl. Subtract the weight of the mixer bowl you noted down earlier from this new measurement. The final weight is the weight of the batter. You should have approximately 1045g.
14. Divide this weight evenly by the number of pans you’re using. This way each pan gets roughly an equal amount of batter. It doesn’t have to be exact. Use a spoon to smoothen the top of the batter. If making cupcakes, use the ice cream scoop to portion equal amounts of batter into each cupcake liner.
15. Bake for the amount of time stated above. Making sure to check at the minimum stated time.
16. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on the wire rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes (5 minutes for cupcakes). The cakes will shrink a little from the side of the cake pan. This is okay.
Aanu’s Baking Tip: The cakes are pretty tender when warm. Remove them CAREFULLY or you risk breaking them. Don’t ruin your hard work. Work carefully. After 10 minutes turn the cakes out of the pans and place right side up on the wire rack. The flat bottom sits on the rack. If you leave it upside down with the crown on the bottom, your cake can crack or break. This recipe tends to bake with a relatively level top though. Cool completely on the rack.
Congratulations! Enjoy a piece of your hard work. Me: i can totally relate. Although it was a good relief to be in the kitchen and no camera in sight. Thanks Aanu.
This cake will even taste better with Aanu’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream. If you want to try both click HERE for the recipe
See End notes for storage and serving suggestions.
- Eggs: Since different countries size their eggs differently, and I’m writing for an international audience I used the weight of the eggs rather than large, extra-large etc. Depending on the size of your eggs, you may need to use a portion of a whole egg. To do this, break the egg, mix it with a fork to combine the yolk and white and then with a spoon measure the required amount to make up the weight called for in the recipe. As a guide you’ll need between 3.5 to 4 eggs.
- Extracts: If there’s one thing to splurge on in baking, it’s your vanilla. Real, PURE, high quality vanilla extract can’t be beat. If using artificial extracts, cut back to 1-2 tsp. as those tend to leave a weird after-taste.
- Storage. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. Refrigeration tends to dry out baked goods. If you need to store for a day or two, wrap in several layers of cling wrap (try not to crush the cake). If storing for longer, place the wrapped cake layers in a freezer bag—press out as much air out of the bag. Then place in the freezer for up to 1 week. Defrost on the counter before unwrapping.
- Serving: Make up a batch of your favorite buttercream or frosting OR if you’re feeling fancy, try out the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I posted earlier <http://www.dooneyskitchen.com/2013/07/02/baking-with-aanu-how-to-make-buttercream-from-scratch/ >. There are flavor variations in that post for the buttercream.
- Smaller batches. I’ve baked as little as one-third of this recipe without issues. Just divide the measurements and round up to the nearest gram.
- Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer? I’ve made the recipe with both. No issues except it might take a tad longer whipping with a hand mixer but this didn’t affect the results.
- For a an album I created showing a comparison of different sizes of cupcake liners, and the scoop I use for my cupcakes: <https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.370304816369902.79729.324144164319301&type=1&l=ff6c741ba8 >