This vanilla cake is anything but basic—the tang of buttermilk adds interest, while brown sugar bumps the earthy vanilla notes. Christina Tosi uses it as the base for her towering, masterful Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake.
- Nonstick baking spray
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extact
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Heat the oven to 350°. Line an 8 x 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and then spray with nonstick baking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with both of the sugars on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and continue mixing on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly drizzle in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until the batter doubles in volume and turns white, 6 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days.