Double Vanilla Butter Cake with Chantilly Cream

January 21, 2016
22 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes one 8-inch round cake
Author Notes

Moist and buttery, this cake (adapted from Nielsen-Massey) couldn't be simpler to make. Using vanilla paste and vanilla extract gives it a depth of fragrant, sophisticated vanilla flavor that elevates the cake from everyday status. Sweetened, vanilla-flecked whipped cream tops it off.

If you can't find vanilla bean paste, substitute with an equal amount of vanilla extract. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 3 eggs, warmed slightly (see step 2)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 14 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • For the Chantilly cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment, grease the sides and base, and dust it with granulated sugar. Set aside.
  2. If your eggs are cold, place them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Having your eggs warmed will help with the next step of beating lots of air into them.
  3. In a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand-held electric mixer), beat the eggs with the sugar for 4 to 5 minutes. Don't skimp on this step! The mixture should be pale and almost doubled in size. When you lift up your beater, the mixture should fall in thick ribbons.
  4. Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, and salt and mix gently.
  5. Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour into the batter until no streaks remain. You want to be careful not to deflate all that air you just spent time beating into the eggs and sugar.
  6. Add the melted butter to the batter and fold gently but thoroughly using a spatula until the batter is well-mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake should start to pull away from the sides. It will puff up considerably in the oven, but will deflate a bit once you take it out, which is fine.
  8. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Turn it out into a wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. To make the Chantilly cream, beat the cream with the vanilla bean paste and sugar until stiff peaks form. Serve the cake sliced and topped with the cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Pate
  • Carole Smith
    Carole Smith
  • Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
    Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
  • Maya Duna
    Maya Duna
  • Xianmei

98 Reviews

electra5me September 20, 2023
This cake is VERY sweet. I didn't even bother with the chantilly cream. If I were to make it again, I'd reduce the sugar by a quarter to a third cup. Also, the recipe should call for a deep cake pan. I used a regular cake pan and it spilled over. I was able to salvage it, but the end result wasn't pretty.
Francine R. June 3, 2023
I don't know what I did wrong, but once I poured the batter into the 8" cake pan it was clear the pan was too small. I put tin foil on the rack below the cake and the cake spilled over and it's a mess. Also taking much longer than 40 minutes to bake. Am hopeful it will recover and I can take it to a friend's house for a dinner party tonight.
BTW, I have never had a problem with any of your other recipes.
electra5me September 20, 2023
I had the exact, same issue. I had to bake it for about 55 minutes total. I have a feeling, if we'd used a deeper cake pan, it would have baked in the time specified.
Pate May 3, 2023
Please provide recipe in grams. I truly do not understand why this site does not provide metrics for baking recipes. It is much more accurate and easy to measure.
Carole S. April 29, 2023
Would love some metric measures, what the heck is 14 tablespoons of butter, surely easier to weigh in a bowl with scales that zero in between...
Shavon H. February 24, 2023
I may have overbaked, so it was a just a tad dry. But overall, a light and lovely cake. The vanilla paste is so worth it (my first time using) and I'd def bake again!
Calle June 29, 2022
Ohhh this is good. My daughter wanted a vanilla cake for her birthday so I made this and it was a huge success. The texture is so good and the flavor is wonderful. I actually like that it’s a smaller size, I feel like that’s a better size slice for not overdoing it. This will certainly be in our rotation.
KAREN September 12, 2020
Delicious, too small, would suggest doubling the recipe. I would love it if Food 52 would when saying measurements of butter, to make it in ounces. It is so difficult to judge. Today I measured out 14 tbsp of butter. By the time I had melted the butter to add it was too much. It was worth making for sure. double the order thought.
Ann-Marie D. August 16, 2020
I am excited to try this recipe so the first two cakes are in the oven. Some comments pls. Can you: 1. Not sure why food52 refuses to not put grams for their pastry recipes, but can you? 2. After heating up the oven, it would be great for butter to be melted and cooled as the second step. 3. And this is tricky recipe as there's so much gentle folding of ingredients and many people don't know how to do this. Maybe some tips?
Venus April 6, 2020
I rarely write reviews for recipes, but this has become one of my favorite go-to dessert recipes, and I just had to leave a positive comment! So delicious, fool-proof, crowd-pleasing, easy, and quick. And best of all, it uses a few simple ingredients that I always have on hand. Even without heavy cream to make the cream topping, it's still a winner with just a simple dusting of powdered sugar. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!
Rose S. June 9, 2019
Ehh. Just ehh.
Cindy June 2, 2019
So, wanting to know if there was a taste difference in sources of vanilla paste/vanilla, I made this twice. The first was using Nelson Vanilla bean paste and extract. The second was using “homemade” vanilla bean paste (vanilla beans purchased in Madagascar, cut in half, stood on end in vodka for 6 weeks, and then milked for the seeds by squeezing them out. To smooth and distribute the seeds, I used a 1/2 teaspoon of bourbon mixed with the seeds.). The extract was vanilla beans in vodka. All volumes of ingredients were converted to weight.
They were both great. There was a very subtle taste difference when my husband blind tasted them, saying the homemade had a slightly different aromatic and hit in the mouth for flavor. He added that most likely, if put on the same plate, very very few people could tell the difference between. All in all a winner and a good way to bring the vanilla as primary focus.
Posie (. June 2, 2019
What a cool experiment! So glad you love the cake — it really is such a fantastic way to highlight vanilla and all its nuances.
Karen March 10, 2019
Just made this cake & it is divine!!! Checked it after 30min & it was done. I found the paste at Michaels for those wondering where to purchase.
Carolyn K. March 8, 2019
I made this cake. IT IS SENSATIONAL!
Carolyn K. March 8, 2019
I wish the recipes would use gram measurements for sugar & flour.
Kelly March 1, 2019
Probably the best yellow cake I’ve ever made. It is SO tender! I followed all of the instructions with the exception of lining the cake pan with parchment paper (the cake came out of the pan easily). This is a keeper.
Phanzy February 28, 2019
How much flour by weight?
Posie (. March 1, 2019
120 grams.
Carolyn K. March 8, 2019
Phanzy March 8, 2019
200g granulated sugar.
Ann-Marie D. August 16, 2020
Can you add grams for all the measurements?
Maya D. February 28, 2019
Which speed should eggs and sugar be mixed in the stand mixer?
Posie (. February 28, 2019
Medium-high speed!
Xianmei February 17, 2019
Simple but delicious cake. I added 1 tablespoon lemon zest for an added kick. Thanks for sharing!
Posie (. February 17, 2019
Oh great idea! Am going to try that.
Kara W. February 16, 2019
This has become our family's favorite - we love sharing the recipe, and it's really fun to make. It's delicious, works for special occasions, birthdays, or just Sunday night with a roasted chicken. We most frequently sprinkle some berries (usually raspberries, though your favorite work just as well) over the cake & cream. We also usually eliminate the sugar from the cream - the cake is plenty sweet for everyone. My oven is far from high quality, and I've never had a problem with the cake collapsing or any such. Always comes out like a dream. (Note - this review was co-written with my 10-year-old, who is a super picky eater who does not like to cook - and LOVES making and eating this cake).
Virginia February 7, 2019
I remember makythis a few years ago and was not overjoyed with the result. I decided to try it again because it sounds delicious. Overall, it tastes eggy and I feel like I wasted 2 sticks of butter. It’s just OK. A batch of blondies would be a better use if ingredients and calories. This is ok with whipped cream and fruit, but I think angel cake is a better match