Double Vanilla Butter Cake with Chantilly Cream

January 21, 2016
4.6 Stars
Photo by Posie Harwood
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

  • Makes one 8-inch round cake
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

  • Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
    Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
  • Maya Duna
    Maya Duna
  • Xianmei
  • Kara Weber
    Kara Weber
  • charles

90 Reviews

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.
Author Comment
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?
Author Comment
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?
Author Comment
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!
Author Comment
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
charles November 26, 2018
Going to make it this weekend. I live in a high elevation area, anyone have any recipe alteration recommendations for high altitude cooking?
charles January 4, 2019
Turned out great, ended up making it twice, because people kept eating it. Dont know if it is because of the altitude that I am cooking at, but the cook time was way too long. The first time i checked on it at 35 mins and it overcooked, not burnt, but you could tell it was ready to come out awhile ago. The second time I checked on it at 30 mins and it was still completely cooked. When I make it again, which I will, I might start checking on it more regularly starting about 20-25 mins.
Victoria C. August 6, 2018
This is a GREAT recipe, very delicious and a little unusual - a real keeper. Just be sure to mix the butter in VERY WELL. I now use BraveTart's suggestion and make it in a Fat Daddio's 8 x 3 inch cake pan. Definitely make the chantilly cream. I have not made it with two layers as I don't really like layer cakes, but I have been thinking that like a Victoria Sponge, it might be good with two layers divided by some strawberry jam.
Barbi D. March 5, 2018
Ok so I’ve made this cake twice. 1st time I accidentally put 4eggs instead of 3. It came out thick. Like cornbread(my husband said). 2nd time, I followed direction exactly. Still thicker than normal cake . Is this how it’s suppose to be (thicker than traditional cake). ???
Author Comment
Posie (. March 6, 2018
Yes it’s definitely a thicker batter than a classic yellow cake!
Ann January 7, 2018
The batter was amazing. It looked gorgeous in the oven, rising a lot as described, then.... at 35 minutes I checked it. It seemed to need another 5 min. After the 5 minutes I went to take it out and it had completely sunk in the middle though sides were pulling away.
Not sure what happened here. Any ideas?
alison P. February 7, 2019
sounds like you had too much batter for your pan. try using a taller 8" round next time, or a 9" .
Katherine L. November 13, 2017
This recipe has been on my list of recipes to try & finally got around to making it tonight. Cake was nice & moist & I could have eaten the entire bowl of Chantilly cream by itself. I'll definitely be making this again.
Molly M. October 7, 2017
I'm not a terribly experienced cook/baker so I must ask: salted or unsalted butter?
elizabeth February 7, 2019
Baking usually calls for unsalted, and better quality makes a different. I also always use cake flour for cakes and cookies.