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Vanilla Bean Cake

Spring is the perfect time to celebrate all things beautiful—and the beautiful women in our lives. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day, a birthday, or graduation to show your mom, sister, or best friend they’re lovely. Set a pretty table with a beautiful cake centerpiece. Spring provides us with many gorgeous floral options to add to our tables. Using flowers to decorate cakes* is an easy way to create a unique centerpiece—perhaps using your guest’s favorite florals.


I used a simple white chocolate ganache for this cake and highlighted it with editable paints. Adding macron cookies to the design enabled me to add another texture and fun design with the paint. I wanted a taller cake, so I made two batches of batter for additional layers.


"There’s nothing better than cake but more cake.” —Harry S. Truman

Typically, I use a Swiss buttercream frosting with this cake. However, the ganache requires a firmer buttercream. Before frosting the cake, it’s essential to apply a crumb coat to keep your frosting smooth. Refrigerate the cake between the crumb and final coats. If using a ganache topping, return the cake to the refrigerator again before applying.


Play with your design. Go minimalist or go wild. Have fun!



2 cups cake flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

½ cup unsalted butter softened

1 cup castor sugar** divided

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved

2 large eggs, separated

2/3 cup milk

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1 recipe of vanilla buttercream frosting



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat three 8-inch round cake pans with flour-infused baking spray. Set aside.

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl and using a mixer at medium-high speed, cream butter, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

  3. Add the reserved vanilla bean seeds to the butter mixture. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With a mixer at low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

  4. In a separate medium bowl and using a mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

  5. Using a spatula, gently fold whipped egg whites into batter until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide batter evening among pans, and level tops using a spatula.

  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a wood pick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cool in pans for 10 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

*Remove leaves and wilted petals; trim, wash, and dry the stem before use. Although pretty enough to eat, don’t.


**Castor sugar is superfine granulated sugar that dissolves almost instantly. If you don’t have castor sugar, process granulated sugar in a food processor for at least 1 minute.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 2-pound bag of powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. meringue powder

2 sticks unsalted bugger softened

1 stick Crisco

4 Tbsp. milk


Cream butter and Crisco. Add remaining ingredients, blending slowly. Once incorporated, beat at medium-high until light and fluffy. This recipe can be halved. Refrigerate leftovers.



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