If you make a cake for breakfast…IMG_2609

…it needs to require a special occasion. In this case, a last day in a city you love, for the people you love.

IMG_2613If you make a cake for breakfast…it will start with the usual suspects: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. If you’re making a Vanilla Dream Cake, this will take a lot more water and a little more attention. It’s worth it.

If you make a cake for breakfast…you’ll have to get some pans ready.

IMG_2582And then you’ll have to fill those pans and marvel at the small miracle that none of that cake batter landed on the counters or the floor.

IMG_2583If you make a cake for breakfast…you’ll have to wait about 30 minutes. Given that this is a breakfast cake, the waiting isn’t a favorite of mine. But during that time, you can make some delicious frosting, and be okay with the fact that powdered sugar will inevitably land everywhere. Mistakes are especially allowed in the morning.

IMG_2585If you make a cake for breakfast, you will do a loud whoop and run around your kitchen when your cakes come out this perfectly (the butter/flour method of preparing a pan never fails).IMG_2592If you bake a cake for breakfast…you’ll need to make a sandwich first. In this case, two cakes sandwiched between a layer of fluffy white frosting.


If you bake a cake for breakfast…you’ll need to frost that whole thing. Which is fun at first…IMG_2588But then gets hard, and you need a little help.

IMG_2590If you make a cake for breakfast…you will try incredibly hard not to ruin everything as you take some pictures of your final work. Then the hunger and anticipation of the morning will get to you, and that first slice will have been all worth it.IMG_2604If you make a cake for breakfast…you’ll write about it just a few days later and find yourself already homesick for mornings like this.

Make a cake for breakfast.

Vanilla Dream Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 large eggs

for the frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 3 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted.

Let cool completely (about 20 minutes in the fridge) and then whisk in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and the scrapings from the vanilla bean. Beat in eggs. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch – then frost.

Vanilla Buttercream:

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Increase speed to medium and add vanilla extract. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting is too thick, add remaining 1 tablespoon of milk.

To assemble:

Assemble the 2 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop the cake into the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.

Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge if not serving within the next couple of hours. Let cake come to room temperature before serving (let cake sit on counter for about 30 minutes before serving to warm up!).

Or, eat right away and without abandon.


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