Triple Vanilla Cake


It’s become known that I’ve made a few cakes for the Cyruses in LA. I figured I’d share the one I made for Tish Cyrus’ wedding cake a few months back. She wanted a very classic, high-quality vanilla cake, and I gladly accepted the challenge (and it was a challenge to keep it simple and clean and avoid adding other ingredients!) But I love this recipe because it’s super adaptable ‒ you can add blueberries, blackberries, apple, pear, stone fruit, chopped chocolate, citrus zest or spices. The key to getting this cake perfect is being extremely careful not to overmix the batter and to keep a close eye on it as it bakes so as to not overbake it by even a few minutes. If you do it right, this cake will be the most flavoursome, pillow soft, buttery vanilla cake you’ve ever had :)

For the cake:

150 butter, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp imitation vanilla

1 tbsp vanilla paste

4 free range eggs, room temperature

50ml light olive oil

200g plain all-purpose white flour

70g ground almonds

½ tsp sea salt

2.5 tsp baking powder

180g plain, unsweetened yoghurt at room temperature

For the icing:

150g butter, at room temperature

220g icing sugar

100g cream cheese (not light, or spreadable), at room temperature

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp imitation vanilla

1 tsp vanilla paste

For the optional decorations:

A few fresh edible flowers or petals

A handful of freeze-dried fruit

1 tbsp sugar pearls

A handful sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C on fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm / 9" cake pans with baking paper.
  2. To make the cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and 3 types of vanilla until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well before adding in the next. Next beat in the oil.
  4. In 2 parts, fold in the ground almonds, flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Finally fold through the yogurt. Be very careful not to overmix.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the 2 pans and spread out to the sides.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, vanillas and icing sugar until very pale, light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese little by little and continue beating until the icing is completely smooth.
  9. When the cakes are fully cooled, spread some icing onto one layer using an offset palette knife. Place the other layer on top of this and neatly ice the top. You won’t need to use all the icing. Decorate as desired.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves 12
Prep time: 30 mins
Bake time: 30 mins
Ready in: 2 hours