I remember the first time I baked something by myself it was a vanilla cake with a chocolate ganache topping. It seemed like a fairly easy recipe and I was having a huge craving, late at night, like really really late, like the type of late that means nothing outside it’s open. So I was up for the challenge and I failed, miserably. I still ate everything, ’cause I’m like that when cravings attack but still it was bad. So today I felt the need to share with you a fail proof vanilla cake and also how to whip up a chocolate ganache that screams “eat me now!” instead of you know, “you burned the cholate” also, why is it so easy to burn chocolate?
So, enough about cake fails,
we are breaking free from them
This is the perfect cake if you are just starting to bake, or if you want a simple straightforward recipe.
It’s also a no frills one, no fancy flavoring, not fancy ingredients and not difficult techniques, meaning there are fewer things between you now and the cake. Also, it’s basic, so it will pair perfectly with the chocolate ganache or with any other topping, I also like to dunk it on hot chocolate when I’m not that into toppings (or more into actually making the toppings)
so you can pretty much consider this your everyday cake
And if your everyday looks like fail proof vanilla cake and chocolate ganache you just rocked at life.
Meaning my friend that you are going to be rocking at life because you will have this every day
I actually like to bake it every Sunday afternoon and then just eat it during the week. Most of the times I’m into chocolate ganache (also the ganache helps to keep it super moist even in the fridge) but other times I don’t add any topping and then just play with the options during the week (and yes, playing with food still cool) Look what I’m talking about:
Topping ideas for a fail proof vanilla cake
- Chocolate ganache (duh!)
- Vanilla (or any flavor actually) frosting
- Nutella (gosh Nutella!!!!)
- Peanut butter
- Peanut butter and jelly (double power!)
- Marshmallow fluff
- Chocolate Syrup
- Caramel Syrup
- Any syrup
- Nothing, just toast a slice and slather it up with a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey if you are feeling extra fancy
See? I could make that list longer but for the sake of keeping it readable I stopped there (am I the only one that after 10 items forgets what we were talking about?) But trust me when I say you can top it with everything, and anything under the sun and it will probably be delicious, well probably not with any single thing but you get the point here.
You can keep it inside an airtight container for up to 6 days (in my experience at least) but if you plan to keep it longer just freeze it without the ganache. If you are interested in freezing it, head to this how to freeze cupcakes, it’s pretty much the same
Now that you know that it’s super easy and seriously fail proof, and that you can keep it for days, and that you can top it with whatever your heart desires, let’s get to the meat and potatoes, aka the actual recipe.
How to make a fail proof vanilla cake
You will find the complete recipe (that you can save and print!) at the bottom of the post, but in here we are going to be talking about my big fat secret to make it perfect every single time, and the reason this is a fail proof vanilla cake and not your average vanilla cake
I just mix all the ingredients at the same time.
Seriously, friends, that’s what makes it turn out perfectly everytime.
Instead of creaming the butter, adding the sugar, mixing this and that, sifting the flour and then adding thing by thing I just dump everything into the bowl and mix on medium speed until everything is well incorporated. I wish I were nerdier and knew the science behind this, but I’m not I’m just your friend that bakes good cakes which means I have no idea what kind of sorcery is this, I just know it works every.single.time I’m not saying this approach will work out for every baked thing, but for this it’s magic.
Is not simpy that this makes the cake fail proof it also means that every single time you bake it, you will have the same results. Consistency my friends, consistency is the key when baking, because there is nothing worst than trying to bake that delicious cake your made last time only to realize that it doesn’t look at all like that cake.
Also, be sure to use all purpose flour and baking powder, they tend to work better than self-rising flour. However if you only have self-rising flour I’m not going to tell you to skip baking this, just keep in mind that the results may vary a bit.
How to make a chocolate ganache (that is out of this world good!)
Look guys, there is seriously nothing better in the world of toppings than chocolate ganache. It tastes like if you bought it (at the upscale bakery that has a line of people outside every day) but it takes the same amount of time to make than pressing a couple of buttons in your microwave (so, that line at the upscale bakery? yeah it moves slower than your ganache)
You only need 2 things to make a kick butt ganache, chocolate, and heavy cream. 1 part of cream and 1 part of chocolate. That means that no matter the amount of any of the ingredients that you have on hand you can still make this recipe without scaling things down or up. Only have 1 cup of cream? Pair it with 1 cup of finely shaved chocolate. Only have 3 Tablespoons of chocolate? only add 3 tablespoons of cream. Easy peasy folks, just what chocolate should be.
The best chocolate to make ganache it’s the dark kind (think 70%) the taste is richer with it and the final consistency is going to be better too, as opposed to milk chocolate.
I also prefer to make it without adding any more sugar, you seriously don’t need it + it’s easier to just omit the step of incorporating and melting the sugar.
The process of making the ganache is pretty straightforward, mix heavy cream and chocolate shavings in a microwave proof bowl. Place it on the microwave and heat for 15 seconds, mix and repeat the process until everything is melted (around 45 seconds on my microwave) the you are set. Prep of your fail proof vanilla cake (or just eat it with a spoon) and voila!
If you are looking for other vanilla/chocolate recipes make sure to visit these ones. they are all out of this world good!!
- 1½ Cup flour
- ¾ Cup sugar
- 1 Tsp baking powder
- ½ Cup butter
- 2 Eggs
- ½ Cup water (you can use milk if you prefer)
- 1 Tsp vanilla
- For the ganache
- 1 Cup dark chocolate shavings
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a round cake pan.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix on medium speed until everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the batter in the pan and take to the oven.
- Bake for 35/40 minutes or until done.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
- Meanwhile, mix the cream and the chocolate shavings on a microwave proof bowl. Place in the microwave for 15 seconds and mix, repeat the process until everything is melted (around 45 seconds)
- Remove the cake from the baking pan and decorate with the chocolate ganache.
- Serve and enjoy.