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Everyday Vanilla Cake

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Everyday Vanilla Cake
It is always nice to have a cake around the house. My grandmother might say that you need to have something sweet on hand in case company shows up, because it is always polite to offer guests something to nibble on with their coffee. I personally like to have some cake around because I like to have something to nibble on with my own coffee – although I think that the company argument is fair if you have relatives who like to drop in unexpectedly. For these “everyday” cakes, I like recipes that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of special ingredients, so I can whip them up anytime I’m in the mood for a piece of cake.

This Everyday Vanilla Cake is a recipe that you probably have the ingredients for in your kitchen right now. But don’t be fooled by how simple this cake is, because it is very tasty and could be just the thing you need to satisfy a cake craving. It has a tight, soft crumb and is reminiscent of pound cake, although this cake is lighter in texture than a pound cake is. It has a subtle vanilla flavor and there is just enough sweetness in the cake to let it shine. You really can’t go wrong – especially if you are a vanilla fan. If I want to boost the vanilla in the cake even more, I might scrape half a vanilla bean into my cake batter along with the sugar, though the vanilla extract does a very nice job flavoring this cake, too.

I like to keep this cake plain and serve it as-is, much as you would with a pound cake. It is quite good on its own and very versatile this way. For instance, you could serve two slices with fresh berries for a take on strawberry shortcake or toast a slice and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If do you prefer your cake a little dressed up, however, you can top it off with a little vanilla (or other flavor) glaze made with confectioners sugar.

Everyday Vanilla Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, adding them one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Add in remaining flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf. Serves 8-10.

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  • Carla
    March 18, 2013

    This looks great!

  • Holiday Baker Man
    March 18, 2013

    I love this… no pressures of a perfect pound cake!

  • Dana
    March 18, 2013

    You read my mind… A simple cake mix to throw together anytime. Thank you!

  • Cookin Canuck
    March 18, 2013

    I’m afraid that if I get a cake like this on hand, I might nibble away until the whole thing was gone. I love a simple cake like this!

  • Linda
    March 19, 2013

    Nicole, I was gifted some wonderful Hawaiian vanilla beans that I would like to use exclusively in a vanilla recipe. Would it work to do one whole vanilla bean and leave off the extract or would that take away from the overall vanilla flavor that obviously has to be prominent? Thanks.

  • Michael
    March 19, 2013

    Yum! This looks simple enough for a quick breakfast!

  • Kate @ Only Cake Pops
    March 19, 2013

    Yummy! Simple, sweet and delicious, especially with a piping hot black coffee.

  • Kelly
    March 19, 2013

    You can’t go wrong with vanilla cake, its my favorite! 🙂

  • naz
    March 19, 2013

    very simple recipe got to try thanks so much for sharing

  • Marianne
    March 24, 2013

    I made this and it turned out perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Bether
    March 28, 2013

    I loved this cake……b
    It seemed as if the loaf pan was too small…..it overflowed

  • Dani
    April 5, 2013

    The first time I made this cake, I also suffered a pan overflow that was more akin to a volcanic eruption. I used a disposable pan that was quite tall and narrow. But I’m pleased to report that the second time round, I used my 9×5 pan and it worked perfectly. I also added mini chocolate chips and a glaze for my sweet-toothed husband. Delicious.

  • Bonnie M.
    April 14, 2013

    I made this today and it’s sooo good! I usually bring my baked goods into work to share, but this is staying home this time! They’ll get to try it the next time and I make it.

  • Douglas E. Welch
    May 1, 2013

    I am on a restricted calorie diet right now, but I am always looking for simple desserts where I can have a slice with my coffee in the morning and evening without blowing out my calorie count for the day. This looks simple yet very tasty and something I could have without too much guilt or worry. Nice to see something look so good without a heavy glaze or frosting.

  • diane
    May 7, 2013

    thanks you for sharing…i love your recipes and stories too!

  • Monika
    July 4, 2013

    Finally!!!! I have found one basic cake recipe….been looking for it since days…searched so many food blogs for simple cakes but they were actually NOT so simple. Thank you 🙂
    will definitely make one today

  • Monika
    July 5, 2013

    Made one, awesome it is. but turned out too soft. Where did I go wrong?

  • Karren
    April 21, 2014

    I made this and it turned out perfect. The texture very moist, it almost melts in your mouth. All I did was add a bit more sugar, and a lime glaze over the top. Delicious.

  • Teya
    May 25, 2014

    How could you make a chocolate version of this? I LOVED this recipe so much when I made it, I don’t want to mess it up at all. Do you have a chocolate version of the same cake? Or an idea of how to alter this cake to make it chocolate?


  • Nicole
    May 28, 2014

    Teya – A recipe for an everyday chocolate cake is in the works, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can add chocolate chips to this recipe for a little chocolate fix.

  • Emily
    September 18, 2014

    This is so simple, easy, and doesn’t make your tummy hurt from too much sugar. This is soooo good!

  • Michelle
    May 27, 2015

    This cake was easy to make. This is my first loaf pan cake recipe I have tried, I usually use bundt or tube pans. Awesome; it came out good and taste really good! Thank you for posting this recipe. 🙂

  • Ahlam
    August 25, 2015

    I tried it and it was very very delicious! and easy to make! Also my guests loved it!

  • Hannah
    December 15, 2016

    I made this last weekend and it was so delicious. I served it with lemon curd, blackberries, and raspberries. But the leftover cake was delicious just on their own. I was really pleased how the leftover didn’t dry out.

  • Susan Green
    December 17, 2016

    Do I need to make 1 1/2 of this recipe for the Twas the night before Christmas loaf pan?

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