This Bakery Style Vanilla Tea Cake looks superb gussied up with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and a pile of fresh berries. A delightful treat anytime, this cake is the epitome of a beautiful, yet simple, summertime dessert! Bake, slice, and serve with ice cream or whipped cream!
Summer is here which means it’s time for desserts to get dressed up with fresh, locally grown berries – if you can find them! I’m not a big lover of sugary sweet desserts, which is why this Bakery Style Vanilla Tea Cake is perfect for someone like me. The dominant flavour in this cake is the vanilla, and the sugary sweetness that you are likely to find in other cakes is nowhere to be found!
Don’t mistake me – this cake is anything but bland! In fact, I ate a slice of it without anything on it at all. It is super moist and soft and so delicately sweetened. If you’re a lover of vanilla, this cake is for you! And, because it’s such a mellow cake, it’s perfect for paring with your favourite fresh berries. My favourite berries happen to be strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries – and, in that order!
You can certainly choose any berries that you like. In fact, this cake would pair well with fruits too. Freshly sliced, summer ripe peaches would be divine! So would other stone fruits such as nectarines, plums, and apricots!
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DECORATING SKILLS NOT NEEDED
My Bakery Style Vanilla Tea Cake is the ideal cake for me, because my cake decorating skills are terrible! The dusting of confectioner’s sugar and the pile of fresh berries is my lazy attempt at cake decorating. I’ve tried many times to decorate a cake using frosting and fondant, but I can’t seem to master the art at all. I’ve purchased the frosting bags and tips in all shapes and sizes, but even they don’t help.
I think the main reason for my lack of cake decorating skills is that I consider myself to be a comfort food, self-taught, home cook. When I was growing up, food wasn’t about pretty, it was about family, friends, and filling your belly! This, of course, was long before the invention of Instagram and the term foodie was born.
I love pretty things, just like everyone else, but I also pride myself on catering to the home cook, just like me, who doesn’t rely on a fancy cooking apparatus, who doesn’t have any formal chef training, and who has one goal: get a great tasting dish on the table. It’s that simple.
With that said, however, I do think that this cake is the answer to all of us who suffer from that damn cake decorating disease. (Yes, I just wrote that!) A cake such as this is not only super delicious and moist, but I think it’s pretty as well. And, anyone – yes, anyone! – can make a cake look just a pretty as this one does!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature!
- Sugar – Sugar will caramelize when baked, which will help to brown cookies and cakes.
- Eggs – Whenever you set out to bake, make sure your eggs are at room temperature too – just like your butter!
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Baking Powder – This is used to increase the volume of the batter and to add texture as well.
- Salt – This is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. In baking it helps to enhance and balance sweetness.
- Milk – When a baking recipe requires milk, I always use whole milk, unless otherwise stated.
- Confectioner’s Sugar – This superfine sugar is sometimes called powdered sugar. It is used in frostings quite often. When dusted lightly onto cakes and cookies, it adds just a touch of sweetness, but more importantly, it looks very visually appealing!
- Fresh Berries
HOW TO MAKE A BAKERY STYLE VANILLA TEA CAKE
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, in a bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until well combined. You can use a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy – about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
Next, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined. The mixture will be very thick! Finally, add the milk and mix into the flour mixture. The milk will lighten up the batter.
Pour the batter into a nine inch round pan that has been greased and floured. Tap the cake pan firmly on your countertop or onto a wooden cutting board to flatten the cake batter into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Test to see if the cake is fully baked by inserting a toothpick into the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes and test again.
Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the cake pan for fifteen minutes. Remove from the cake pan and allow cake to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack. When ready to serve, dust with confectioner’s sugar and top with fresh berries.
HOW TO GREASE AND FLOUR A CAKE PAN
The experienced baker knows all too well that it is important to have a well greased cake pan. Too many of us home cooks have had the unfortunate experience of a cake sticking to the pan. It happens to all of us at some point, but the more experience we become, the lesser the chance of ruining a perfectly good cake.
Sometimes all you need to do is grease pan. You can do this with butter, shortening, or with a non-stick cooking spray. Other times, you need to grease and flour the pan. In this instance, you grease the pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle in a coating of flour. I like to add a tablespoon of flour to the pan and maneuver the pan so that the flour moves around the inside of the pan, sticking to the grease to create a wall of protection between the pan and the batter.
Ensure the pan is fully coated, then turn the pan upside down and gently tap out any excess flour. This will prevent those ugly white spots once the cake is fully baked. Here’s a quick video that will show you just how to do it!
PRESENTATION IS IMPORTANT
When it comes to presenting this Bakery Style Vanilla Tea Cake or any other cake, I’m all about a pretty cake stand. In fact, I have about six full-sized cake stands, two mini cake stands, and three cupcake cake stands. A good cake stand is imperative to any home cook. I use mine for cakes, obviously, but I also like to stack muffins and cookies in them for a pretty – and inviting – display on my table or counter. Who wouldn’t like to visit a friend who has sweet treats piled high under a clear-domed lid of a large cake stand?
Presentation, however, is in the eye of the beholder. You might look at the photos of this cake and think that it’s not very pretty at all. But, I think it looks great! But, more importantly, it tastes great! If you’re serving this cake as a dessert, slice it all up and place it on a cake stand like you see here. You can pile the berries on the cake too, or serve them on the side.
Now, you can search high and low for a dessert topping in these photos and you won’t find one. That’s because I had prepared whipped cream for the photos. I thought the cake would look lovely with a big dollop of whipped cream on the cake. But, I completely forgot to add the whipped cream to the cake before taking the pictures. Still, I think the cake looks wonderful! Now, let’s dig in!
If you have any leftover cake, you can store it for 3-5 days on your countertop on a cake stand with a lid. Alternatively, you can wrap the cake well with plastic wrap. If you do plan to store the cake, remove all of the berries and fruit from the cake first. You can pop those back into the fridge to snack on later, or add them to your morning smoothie.
Even though the cake is safe to eat after being left on the counter for a few days, this cake does lose its moistness after a day or two. But, never fear! If your cake becomes a little stale, pop a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds. It will soften it up quite nicely. And, since it is now warm, it is a good time to add a scoop of ice cream!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Bakery Style Vanilla Tea Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- confectioner's sugar, for garnish
- fresh berries, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy – about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
- Next, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined. The mixture will be very thick!
- Finally, add the milk and mix into the flour mixture. The milk will lighten up the batter.
- Pour the batter into a nine inch round pan that has been greased and floured. Tap the cake pan firmly on your countertop to flatten the cake batter into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Test to see if the cake is fully baked by inserting a toothpick into the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes and test again.
- Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the cake pan for fifteen minutes.
- Remove from the cake pan and allow cake to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.
- When ready to serve, dust with confectioner’s sugar and top with fresh berries.
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