Vanilla Cake with Cooked Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been doing some research on cake recipes that don't use butter.  I mean, what if one day you find you need emergency cake and don't have enough butter?  We must have a contingency plan, or in this case, contingency cake.

Fear not, I've got a special Vanilla Cake recipe for just such an emergency. 

VANILLA CAKE made with canola oil

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup (caster) sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
two eggs - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil (sunflower or corn oil will work, too)

Heat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Place a circle of baking paper in the bottom of the tin so the cake comes out easily.

Place the sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl and beat until they are well combined.  Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the salt, baking powder, and vanilla.  Mix in the milk and gradually add the flour mixing until all the ingredients are combined.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is a light golden colour and well risen.   Remove the cake from the tin, take off the baking paper circle, and place the cake on a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

So, if you don't have enough butter to make the cake, you probably are running low on icing sugar, too.   We can cope with that.  Here is a delicious frosting recipe that doesn't use icing sugar at all!  


2 Tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup (caster or granulated) sugar
4 ounces cream cheese*
4 ounces butter or margarine - slightly softened*
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Place the flour and sugar in a small saucepan and stir well to combine. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps of flour.  Place the saucepan over a low heat and bring up to the boil.  Stir this mixture continuously until it is cooked and very thick.  Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

When the flour mixture is completely cooled, place it in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for a minute or two.  Gradually add the cream cheese and soft butter a spoonful at a time.  Add the vanilla essence and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.  

Chill the frosting while you prepare the cake.  I sliced my cake in half to make two layers because I was taking the cake to my Mum-n-Law's house for afternoon tea.  A filled cake is much easier to transport so I used the frosting to make a 'cake sandwich' and didn't frost the top of the cake.  

I like to store all cakes made with cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator. Be sure to place your cake in an airtight container to keep it moist and fresh.  I even wrap mine in plastic wrap before putting it in a plastic cake box. 

*If you prefer, you can omit the butter in the frosting recipe and use 8 ounces of cream cheese. 


  1. This is a perfect cake emergency recipe! I know a lot of people who use apple sauce in a pinch too :)

  2. Huh, I thought a cake without butter? But I see you used oil instead. Good idea! That cream cheese frosting must be delicious.

  3. What a gorgeous cake friend!!! I need to try the no butter thing or have this one in my back pocket for sure! Delicious!!! Nicole xo

  4. Ha - I love this - I made a cake not so long ago that, if I recall, didn't have butter or eggs in and it turned out pretty good. Everyone needs a good emergency cake recipe. Thanks!


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