Chef Stephen Collucci's Vanilla Cake

Chef Stephen Collucci's Vanilla Cake
  • Yield:Makes 1 half sheet pan
  • Active time:10 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes
This recipe appears in:
How 3 of New York's Top Pastry Chefs Helped Me Make a Wedding Cake: Part Four

[Photograph: Jennifer Thibodeau]

This classic vanilla cake recipe from Chef Stephen Collucci is incredibly workable, with a sturdy but yielding texture and an incredible amount of flavor. Each batch easily bakes 1 half sheet pan, or 2 9-inch pans. If you live in a particularly humid environment, add 1/2 a teaspoon more baking powder. And don't underbake—the generous quantity of eggs will cause the cake to sink if it isn't baked all the way through.

Stephen's original recipe calls for the use of a paddle attachment; we've found it works equally well with a whisk attachment or hand mixer, but beware of over mixing.


  • 13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound (2 cups) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 10 eggs
  • Cooking spray, butter or shortening for pans


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet or cake pans with parchment and lightly grease with cooking spray, shortening or butter.

  2. 2.

    Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together until smooth, about 3 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Whisk eggs with vanilla, and gradually stream into batter in 3-4 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl in between. Beat for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the mixtures is smooth and fluffy.

  4. 4.

    On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until batter just becomes homogenous. Scrape down the bowl, and mix further until the batter is smooth.

  5. 5.

    Pour batter into lined and greased cake pans and bake until the center of the cake springs back; roughly 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the pan. Cool completely before cutting or frosting.

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