Customized Classic Baked Vanilla Bake by Anthea Cheng

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Christ is risen!

Blessed Feast on the Uncovering of the Relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh! Many years to those of you who have the name Sergey! Spraznika! 🙂 Today it was a big celebration and I wanted to make a showstopper cake. I was thinking of making the frosting with vanilla frosting dyed green and flavored with peppermint but I couldn’t make it in time. And I decided to go a different route: vanilla frosting topped with slivered almonds. Simple and beautiful.

Anthea Chang’s Notes: This cake is fluffy, and has a delicate crumb. I use this recipe as a foundation for all of my baked cake recipes so it’s very customizable! When you make layered cakes, each layer needs to be as flat as possible. To achieve this, I set the oven temperature relatively low. I multiplied this recipe by 1 1/2 for a three-layered cake and paired it with the classic American-style Buttercream. For a single layered cake, use an 8-inch (20 cm) cake pan and bake it for more than 50 minutes.


I think the self-rising flour (and the oven temperature) is the secret not-so-secret ingredient that makes this cake amazing! This recipe is the best recipe I have come across for basic cake batter. We may not always have self-rising on hand, but all purpose flour, baking powder and salt one would definitely have on hand. Use this following recipe from Epicurious to use in this recipe if you don’t have self-rising flour on hand. I’ve made it at least 3x using this recipe and it worked out perfectly!

For every cup of self rising flour: measure out 1 level cup A.P flour. Add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk to combine.

Dry Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (300g) self rising flour

1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients

2 cups (475mL) plant based milk

2/3 cup (160mL) light tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower

1 tbsp (15mL) apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar

1 tsp vanilla bean extract or powder (I use 1 tbsp)

1 tsp to 1 tbsp almond extract, optional

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C, gas mark 3). Line two 6-inch (15cm) cake pans with parchment paper or brush with oil.
  2. To make the cake: In a large bowl, food processor, or stand mixer, whisk all the dry ingredients until combined and there are no lumps. Add all the cake wet ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined and there are no lumps.
  3. Evenly divide the cake batter into the 2 baking pans. Bake for 50 minutes or until the skewer can be inserted into the middle of each cake and it comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the cake pans for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and place them on a wire rack. Set aside the cakes in an airtight container in thee refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to frost them (this helps minimize any breakage).
  4. Prepare your desired frosting according to the instructions.
  5. To assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, slice the domes off the cakes, ensuring each is as flat as possible (save the scraps to enjoy later). Place one cake layer on a serving plate and generously spread a layer of frosting on top. Gently place the next cake layer of frosting making sure it is level. Spread a thin layer of icing on the sides and top of the cake and use a cake scraper to level it out. If desired, use the remaining frosting to decorate the top of the cake.
  6. Serve immediately or set aside in the refrigerator in a large airtight container until ready to serve! Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

For a refined sugar-free cake, substitute the sugar with coconut sugar. Note that this will make the cake a light brown sugar.

For a less sweet cake, decrease the sugar to 1 cup (200g). This amount of sugar is needed for the cake to maintain its structure. The less sugar you use, the denser the cake.

For a gluten-free cake, substitute the self-rising flour with 3/4 cup (120g), white rice flour and 1/2 cup (68g) gluten free flour blend, increase the baking powder to 4 tsp (18g), and add a pinch of salt.


For a healthier sugar alternative, I used monk fruit sugar. It has a low glycemic level making it diabetic friendly. It has zero net carbs, zero calorie, its keto friendly and is easily 1:1 sugar replacement. If you don’t have the sugar enzyme to digest sugar, try monk fruit! My husband can’t digest sugar either and this is the one thing he can actually digest without an issue.


“Incredible Plant-Based Desserts: Colorful Vegan Cakes, Cookies, Tarts, and Other Epic Delights” by Anthea Cheng


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