This moist and dense vanilla bean cake is absolutely divine! The vanilla bean takes this batter to a whole new level, while the sweet buttercream frosting locks in the flavor. Top with fresh berries or dust with powdered sugar and you have an amazing and gorgeous cake!
This recipe is for a triple layer 8 or 9 inch cake. Obviously I have two tiers of multiple layers in the pictures, but all I did was double the recipe (and yes, that makes for needing a LOT of butter!).
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 c. sugar
4 egg whites, room temperature
3 tsp. vanilla
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and seeds scraped out
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8 inch round cake pans with non stick cooking spray (with flour, or use regular spray and parchment paper), and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until a paste forms. Scrape down the sides. Add the egg whites, vanilla and vanilla bean and mix until just combined. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and powder. Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add 1 cup of the milk and slowly mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour, followed by milk, and end with the remaining flower. Scrape down the sides again and mix once more if need be. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the tops are golden and the inside is cooked through (comes out fairly clean with toothpick, very moist so you may still have some on the toothpick). Cool the cakes fully before frosting.
3 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 c. shortening
12 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
6-7 Tbs. milk
(This will make enough for the cake in the pictures, if you are only doing an 8 inch 3 layer cake, cut in half.) Beat the butter and shortening in an electric mixer until combined. Add in 6 cups of powdered sugar and let mix together. Add the vanilla and 4 Tbs. of milk and mix until smooth. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar. Test for thickness, and add the remaining milk, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
I went for more of a naked cake look, so I frosted about 1/3-1/2 inch frosting between the layers, and then put a very thin layer around the edges, scraping off the excess.