Monday, July 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean Latte Cake

Here is a wonderful cake that I had made after spotting it on The desserts on her site are truly gorgeous; she has some insane talent!

I had also seen a beautiful cake decorating technique while browsing recently, and I wanted to try it out as well.  The tall (it's three layers!) Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake from Rosie of Sweetapolita seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

I doubled the Vanilla Bean Latte Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe in order to have enough buttercream to fill, frost, and decorate this cake.  (The particular amount I used is listed below, feel free to half it if you only want one batch of frosting).  This particular buttercream just might be my new favourite, I kept finding myself trying to eat the frosting all by itself!  I used Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe since I am comfortable with that particular one, but you could also use your own favourite Buttercream recipe and flavour it as listed below.

This cake is so delicious and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser with the adults.  It is perfect for a girl's night or dinner party!

The Vanilla Bean Cake recipe makes three 8" round cakes. It is a bit of a denser vanilla cake recipe than the one I usually use for my cupcakes and cakes, and it is perfect for stacking and holding it's own with the delicious Vanilla Bean Latte Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  I loved this vanilla cake recipe and will definitely be using it again in the future.

Vanilla Bean Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 9 egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Butter three 8" round cake pans and preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add the egg whites slowly, and mix well
  4. In a second bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
  5. In a third bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla
  6. Add 1/3 the dry ingredients to the sugar/butter mixture and mix well
  7. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture and mix well
  8. Repeat until all ingredients are added, and mix in the last 1/3 of dry ingredients until the batter just comes together
  9. Pour 1/3 of the batter into each pan and spread the batter evenly in the pans
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of a cake
  11. Let cool completely before stacking and frosting
  12. Before assembling, level the cakes (if required)
  13. Place the first cake on the plate or cake-stand you are using, and spread about 1 cup of buttercream on top
  14. Place the second layer on top of the first and again spread about 1 cup of buttercream on top
  15. Place the third layer upside down (so the smooth bottom is facing up)
  16. Finish decorating the cake as you like!
  17. Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Latte Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 10 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 pounds butter (unsalted and room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 2 tbsp instant expresso powder disolved in 2 tsp hot water
  1. In a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water (I used the bowl of my stand mixer), constantly whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are smooth and warm to the touch (the temperature should reach 160 F for safety)
  2. Remove the bowl from from the pot and place on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment
  3. Starting on low, slowly increase the speed until you reach high speed, and whisk until stiff peaks form
  4. Let the stand mixer continue until the bottom of the bowl is room temperature (do not add the butter if the meringue is warm!)
  5. While the stand mixer is running, cut the butter up into approximately 1 tbsp pieces
  6. When the bottom of the bowl is room temperature put the mixer on medium and slowly add the butter a few pieces at a time
  7. When the butter has been completely added, switch to the paddle attachment and mix for a few minutes until smooth
  8. Add the dissolved expresso powder, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds and mix well
  9. Fill, frost, and decorate your cake as desired
  10. Enjoy!