This is a vanilla cake. But it’s not just any old regular vanilla cake. It’s a vanilla cake brushed with a sweet cream syrup, slathered with butterscotch frosting, and covered with nonpareils. The recipe for this little beauty comes from Cake Magic: Mix & Match Your Way to 100 Amazing Combinations, a cookbook that provide so many combinations of cake flavors, syrups, and frostings that you could bake a cake every day for several months and never make the same thing.
Vanilla Cake with Sweet Cream Syrup & Butterscotch Frosting
Makes one nine-inch, 2-layer cake
(from Cake Magic: Mix & Match Your Way to 100 Amazing Combinations)
My notes are in [ ] below.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or 1 cup vegetable oil [I prefer butter because it’s provides a richer flavor.]
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Sweet Cream Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
[I only made half of this frosting recipe. It was enough frosting for a thin layer between the two layers, and fully frosting the top of the cake. For me it kept the cake from being too sweet.]
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup malted milk powder [I used dry milk powder, without the malt]
Pinch of salt
4 cups (about 16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butterscotch flavor or to taste [I used Frontier Butterscotch Flavor. You can use 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract if you want to make vanilla frosting]
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and the side of two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans [or a 10-inch Bundt cake pan, a 13×9 inch sheet cake pan, ). Dust with flour to coat, then invert and tap out any excess. 24 cupcakes- use liners, no need for greasing and coating the tins.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
- Stir in the yogurt, butter, water, vanilla, and eggs until moistened and no lumps remain (be careful not to overmix).
- Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until the layers are domed and golden brown, and a few moist crumbs cling to a skewer interested in the center of the cake, 30-40 minutes (40-50 minutes for a Bundt, 25-30 minutes for a 13×9-inch cake, and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes).
Sweet Cream Syrup
- While the cake is baking, make the sweet cream syrup.
- Combine the sugar, cream, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- Use the syrup warm or let it stand covered, until it reaches room temperature. Note: Sweet cream syrup will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week. Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat before using.
- After removing the hot cake layers from the oven, pierce them, while still in their pans, at one-inch intervals with a skewer or a paring knife to create channels for the syrup to seep into the cakes.
- Pour or generously brush the syrup over the surface of the hot layers, dividing it between them as evenly as possible.
- Transfer the soaked layers (still in their pans) to a wire rack to cool completely (1 to 2 hours). When they are cooled and no longer wet to touch, carefully turn them out of their pants and frost.
- Make the frosting while the cake cools.
- Combine the butter, milk powder, salt, and two cups of the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, and beat on medium speed until the frosting is pale and no longer grainy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the butterscotch flavor (or vanilla extract), and beat until frosting is very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Note: the frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Before using, bring it back to room temperature and stir vigorously or beat it again for best results.
- Frost the cooled cake layers.