Vanilla Bean Cake Layers
Makes three 8-inch round layers
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 341g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups (540g) granulated sugar
- 9 (275g) egg whites, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups (630g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (22g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
- 2 cups (500ml) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla bean paste, OR 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix vanilla extract and vanilla paste (or contents of vanilla bean) into buttermilk. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated or finish by hand gently.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan on a digital kitchen scale to ensure even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes clean. Try not to over-bake. Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
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