Homemade and Ready to Bake in 5 Minutes

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Homemade cake is uniquely comforting. It fills the house with an amazing aroma, and it's such a welcome after-school snack or special family dessert. While it's always an option to go with a cake mix, this recipe is almost as fast and produces a basic but beautiful cake that is easy to customize with any number of favorite flavors, frostings, fillings or toppings.

Tip

One of the best things about vanilla cake is its versatility and how well it complements other flavors. Combos that would suit this cake particularly well are a raspberry jam filling and whipped cream topping, chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream frosting, or tart lemon curd filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.

Total Time: 45 minutes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 8 to 10 (makes 1 8-inch cake)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil, such as canola or vegetable
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tip

The vanilla bean paste gives this cake a rich vanilla flavor and lovely vanilla flecks throughout, but it's a specialty ingredient that can be hard to find in basic stores. If you don't have it, simply substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350F and prepare a standard 8-inch cake pan by coating it with cooking spray or lightly greasing it with butter or oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, oil, yogurt, milk and vanilla bean paste.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula to combine the batter until no dry streaks remain. 
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake the cake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. The cake can also be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week.

Tip

To make a layer cake, double this recipe and put half the batter into each of two 8-inch round cake pans. After the baked cakes are completely cool, slice off the domed tops, spread filling on top of one of the cakes, top with the second and frost with your favorite icing.