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Baby Vanilla Bean Cake

 Baby Vanilla Bean Cake
Need an impressive dessert for a spring or summer celebration? You'll fall for our moist cake with a rich vanilla custard and cream cheese frosting.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
10 ServingsPrep: 1 hour + standing Bake: 25 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • FLOWERS:
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Edible flowers of your choice
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • CAKE:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • PASTRY CREAM:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • FROSTING & ASSEMBLY:

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Baby Vanilla Bean Cake (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cardboard cake circle (5 inches)
  • 4 wooden dowels (2 inches x 1/4 inch)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, dissolve meringue powder in water. Lightly brush
  • over all sides of flowers to coat completely; sprinkle with sugar.
  • Allow to dry on a waxed paper-lined tray for 4 hours or until firm
  • and dry.
  • For cake: In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar
  • until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after
  • each addition. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With a sharp
  • knife scrape the beans to remove the seeds; stir seeds into creamed
  • mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed
  • mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each
  • addition.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted
  • near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing
  • from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For pastry cream: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch
  • and salt. Stir in milk until smooth.
  • Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add bean and seeds to milk
  • mixture. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and
  • bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  • Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the
  • pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for
  • 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; discard vanilla bean. Stir in
  • butter. Cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate
  • until chilled.
  • To frost and assemble: For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream
  • cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and
  • vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Cut cake into two 6-in. squares, two 4-in. squares and one 2-inch
  • square. Place a 6-in. cake on a cake plate; top with 2/3 cup pastry
  • cream and remaining 6-in. cake. Cut cardboard circle into a
  • 3-1/2-in. square; top with one 4-in. cake. Layer with remaining
  • pastry cream and 4-in. cake.
  • Frost tops and sides of 6-in. layer cake; insert dowels 1 to 2 in.

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Baby Vanilla Bean Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • apart into center of cake to support the next layers. Top with 4-in.
  • layer cake; frost top and sides. Top with the 2-in. cake; frost top
  • and sides. Decorate with candied flowers as desired. Yield: 10
  • servings.
Editor’s Note: Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com. Verify that flowers are edible and have not been treated with chemicals.
Nutritional Facts: 1 piece equals 930 calories, 41 g fat (21 g saturated fat), 226 mg cholesterol, 583 mg sodium, 133 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.
Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.