Friday, July 31, 2009

To Enter August "En Français"

Well, we made it through July mostly unscathed! With the long weekend on the horizon, it's only fitting that something that's versatile enough to adapt to any occasion - from a simple backyard BBQ to a bridal shower or even taking up to the cottage or trailer - be on the baking rotation around here! In fact, this recipe is the kind of chameleon that is both simple and infinitely complex - an eggy, custard-like batter spiked with just a hint of nutmeg can be baked into a single-layer slab and left unadorned (like I did for our family BBQ a few weeks ago), or made into a two-layer, delicately frosted round cake for a special birthday - something that I would most certainly have done for my French vanilla-loving dad if I had found my inspiration from Vanilla Garlic's blog back in March!

I'm actually very tempted to make a half- or third-recipe of this cake, using it as a base for an ice cream torte, but I'm a little leery of the poportion changes. Instead, I may just make the whole thing, and with the batter not going into the frozen treat make cupcakes instead!

This is the kind of cake that really needs no extra introduction - If you are a fan of French vanilla ice cream, I dare you to try making this without licking the spoon.

French Vanilla Slab Cake
Serves 24
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup "thick cream" (Nestle Carnation makes a canned version, you can also use whipping cream)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F with the rack on the lowest level of the oven, grease a 9x13" pan.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, follwed by the vanilla.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
  5. Separately combine the whole milk and thickened cream.
  6. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately add the flour and milk mixtures to the creamed mixture, folding in each addition thoroughly. Batter will be very thick.
  7. Spread into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake 35 minutes on the lowest oven rack.
  9. Cool completely in pan before slicing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 201.5
Total Fat: 10.2 g
Cholesterol: 55.6 mg
Sodium: 62.7 mg
Total Carbs: 25.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 2.8 g


  1. Right now I want to take a slice of this yummy sounding cake and slather it in fresh berry jam!

  2. That sounds like it could be addictive

  3. I love the nutmeg in this. I grate fresh and the smell of it lingers on my fingers all day long; how enticing.

    And now I have a cake recipe that calls for it - what luck!


  4. I'm with you, make cupcakes too!!! Someone will eat them.


Thanks for the feedback!