Very Vanilla Butter Layer Cake

A butter yellow layer cake guilty of one thing and one thing only. Vanilla overload.  I dedicate this to vanilla lovers everywhere with vanilla extract, vanilla beans and  vanilla sugar in the batter.

A freshly baked cake infused with so much vanilla has an unbelievably delicious fragrance. You might catch yourself trying to taste the air. Or looking around to make sure you’re still here on Earth. And not  in cake heaven. Not that I ever did any of those things. Silly.

With 6 egg yolks, a stick of butter and heavy cream in the batter this won’t rise as much as your everyday layer cake making it heavy and dense. O.K.  So it’s guilty of more than one thing; of being extra rich and fatty too. You caught me.

Then there’s the frosting.

Whipped beyond belief, for over 10 minutes, the cream cheese frosting is super smooth and creamy. With more vanilla and butter. Like there wasn’t enough in the cake.

From head to toe, inside out and upside down. Dreamy vanilla.  The new chocolate.

Very Vanilla Butter Cake & Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 33 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Very Vanilla Butter Cake & Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

A butter yellow layer cake dedicated to vanilla lovers everywhere!


butter and flour, for greasing pans
2 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups vanilla sugar*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with butter and dust lightly with flour, tapping out the excess. You can also line the bottoms with parchment rounds first, if desired.
  2. Into a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter for 3 minutes on medium speed, add the sugar and beat 3 more minutes, add vanilla extract and beans, beat 1 minute. Add egg yolks, beat 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Mix milk and heavy cream together. With mixer on low speed add flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down sides of the bowl at least once during the process.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from middle. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; turn out and continue cooling on racks, right side up, remove parchment if used.
  5. frosting:
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese and butter together on low speed 5 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar a cup at a time, beating well after each addition, beat in vanilla extract and beans. Beat on low-medium speed 10 minutes.


*To make just enough sugar for this recipe, measure a cup and a half of sugar into a container with a tight lid and place half of a split vanilla bean into the center. Allow to infuse 2-4 days, stirring the sugar once daily.

The cake should be kept refrigerated and removed an hour or so before eating to come up to room temperature. Unless, like me, you adore cold cake.

What's decorating the top? Lindt assorted truffles.

Recipe adapted from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson

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