This moist single-layer vanilla cake has a delicate texture and delectable crumb, but it's the old-fashioned browned-butter glaze that gives it a nutty flavor.
Heat the oven to 400° F.
Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla and milk, beat on medium-high, just until blended.
Do not over beat.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean — 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Unmold and cool completely.
Ice with Browned-Butter Glaze.
Prep Time: 20 minutesTotal Time: 55 minutesBrowned-Butter GlazeUse this old-fashioned glaze to give our Basic Vanilla Cake a lovely nutty flavor.
Melt the butter over medium-low heat until golden brown.
Whisk the sugar, salt, milk, lemon juice, and zest together.
Add the melted butter in a stream while whisking until smooth.
Yields: 3/4 cup Prep Time: 10 minutesTotal Time: 10 minutes