You are currently viewing Pocket-Friendly Takes On Classic Vanilla Cake

Pocket-Friendly Takes On Classic Vanilla Cake

Sjaan van der Ploeg’s pocket-friendly takes on classic vanilla cake: dust off your apron in celebration of World Baking Day on 17 May 2023.

Four delightful, pocket friendly selections of the best takes on vanilla cake. 

Basic vanilla cake with raspberry icing and white chocolate ganache 

Serves 12 • Total Time 1 Hr 20 Min, Plus Cooling 



300g cake flour  
2 tsp baking powder  
½ tsp salt  
220g butter, softened 
280g sugar 
1 cup plain yoghurt  
½ cup milk  
3 eggs  
1 egg yolk  
2 tsp vanilla essence  


500g icing sugar, sifted  
250g butter, softened  
1 cup raspberry jam, beaten   


150g white chocolate  
50g cream  
Edible flowers (optional)  



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line base of three 20cm round cake tins. 
  2. For the cake, sieve flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar together for 4 minutes until pale, scraping down sides of bowl every minute. 
  4. Mix yoghurt and milk in a jug. 
  5. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, until completely mixed through. Add vanilla essence. 
  6. Beat through flour and milk mixture alternately until batter is smooth and fluffy. 
  7. Divide batter equally between tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool cakes completely. 
  8. For the icing, beat together icing sugar and butter until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Fold through raspberry jam. 
  9. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, top with a dollop of icing and spread over the surface. Stack another cake on top of the first, ice and repeat with last layer. 
  10. Melt white chocolate and cream in a double boiler and stir until smooth. 
  11. Pour white chocolate ganache over cake so that it drips down the sides. Decorate with edible flowers, if using, slice and serve. 


Cake truffles with chocolate and caramel shell 

Makes 40 Truffles • Total Time 1 Hr 30 Min 




1 batch vanilla cake batter  
½ cup plain yoghurt   


80g dark chocolate, melted  
80g white chocolate, melted  
½ cup caramel, whisked until smooth  



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line base of one large cake tin. 
  2. For the cake truffles, prepare vanilla cake batter according to adjacent recipe. 
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden but cooked through. Cool completely. 
  4. Break cake up into crumbs. Add yoghurt and work through to create a smooth dough. 
  5. Measure out tablespoons of cake mixture and roll in-between palms to create smooth balls. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Chef’s Tip 
Freeze any extra cake balls in an airtight container. Thaw completely before decorating.  


Lemon meringue vanilla cupcakes 

Makes 20 • Total Time 1 Hr, Plus Cooling 



2/3 cup lemon juice
100g butter 
½ cup sugar  
3 eggs   


1 batch vanilla cake batter   


2 large egg whites, at room temperature  
½ cup sugar 
¼ cup water  
¼ tsp cream of tartar  



  1. For the lemon curd, add lemon juice, butter and sugar to a pot over medium-low heat and stir until melted. 
  2. Whisk in eggs and stir until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Make sure to keep heat low so eggs don’t start to cook. 
  3. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Cover bowl with clingfilm, making sure to press it against surface of curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool and firm, about 3-4 hours. 
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. 
  5. For the cupcakes, prepare cake batter according to the Basic vanilla cake with raspberry icing and white chocolate ganache recipe.
  6. Pour batter into each cupcake liner, filling until 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. 
  7. Cool cupcakes in muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. 8. Use a sharp knife to cut a small hole in the centre of each cupcake. Fill with cooled lemon curd and close with reserved cupcake. 
  8. For the meringue, place egg whites in clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Or place in a mixing bowl and prepare a hand-held electric beater. 
  9. Place sugar and water in a pan over medium heat. Stir sugar without boiling until completely dissolved. 
  10. Bring sugar mixture to the boil without stirring, and boil until it measures 110°C on a thermometer. 
  11. Start whipping egg whites. When frothy, add cream of tartar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. 
  12. When sugar mixture reaches 118°C, remove from heat and pour onto whipped egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whip egg whites until mixture forms a thick, glossy meringue, about 5-8 minutes. 
  13. Dollop onto each cupcake. Use a blowtorch to toast meringue, or grill for a few seconds in an oven. 


Marbled sheet cake with chocolate-coffee icing 

Serves 16 • Total Time 1 Hr 



1 batch vanilla cake batter. Use the same recipe as the Basic vanilla cake with raspberry icing and white chocolate ganache. 


6 Tbsp cocoa powder  
2/3 cup milk  


100g butter, softened  
1/3 cup cocoa powder 
2 cups icing sugar, sifted  
¼ cup strong coffee  



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line base of a 22x30cm rectangular cake tin. 
  2. Prepare vanilla cake batter according to the Basic vanilla cake with raspberry icing and white chocolate ganache recipe.
  3. Divide cake batter in half. To make the chocolate batter, add cocoa and milk to one portion and mix until combined. 
  4. Spoon dollops of each batter into prepared cake tin. Using a butter knife, swirl it through the batter. 
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. 
  6. For the icing, beat together butter, cocoa and icing sugar until smooth. Add coffee and stir to combine. 
  7. Slather icing over cake and serve.


Photography: Zhann Solomons  


0 / 5. Vote count: 0