Learn how to make a two or three layer 6 inch cake from any of your favorite cupcake or 8 inch cake recipes, including this 6 inch vanilla bean cake recipe. This size cake is perfect for small gatherings and smash cakes for 1st birthdays.
½cup(113g) unsalted buttermelted and allowed to cool
1cup(200g) granulated sugar
1large eggroom temperature1
¼cup(61g) full fat yogurt or sour creamroom temperature1,2
VANILLA BEAN FROSTING
1cup(226g) unsalted buttersoftened to room temperature
4 to 5cups(480-600g) powdered sugar
1whole vanilla beanor 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
¼ to ⅓cup(60-80g) milk or cream
⅛ to ¼teaspoonsalt
VANILLA BEAN CAKE
Pour the cream into a small saucepan. If using a vanilla bean:using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half, scrape out the seeds, and put everything into the saucepan with your cream.If using vanilla paste, simply pour into the cream and stir to combine.
Heat the cream over low heat until it just starts to steam. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, remove the pods with a fork or tongs. Cream is now ready to use. If you used vanilla paste, it is ready to use after the 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter, sugar, egg, yogurt, infused cream, and vanilla extract on medium to high speed until completely smooth.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Then, fold gently by hand with a large spatula and press out any large lumps of flour that remain by scraping them against the side of the bowl. Small lumps are ok.
Divide the batter evenly between the two or three pans, then bake 18-20 minutes for three layers or 20-22 minutes for two layers until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans before removing and assembling.
VANILLA BEAN FROSTING
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or cream. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. If frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Add salt to taste.
Using a large serrated knife or a cake leveler, level the cake layers4 to create flat surfaces.
Place one cake layer cut side up on your cake turntable, serving platter, or cake stand. Using a small offset spatula, spread frosting over the cut surface, spreading it out evenly.
Place the second layer cut side down, and repeat step 2 with more frosting. If you have a third layer, place that one on top of the frosted second layer, again, cut side down.
To make a crumb coat: this is not a required step, but I always like to include one. After your cake is stacked, smooth out the frosting on the sides of the cake peeking out from the layers, then refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes. When your cake is chilled, spread a thin layer of frosting all over the top and sides of the cake to lock in the crumbs. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before adding the final coat of frosting.
Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake, then use a bench scraper, if desired, to smooth out the top and sides. Decorate as desired.
To add filling to any of the layers: use a piping bag to create a well of frosting around the edges of your cake layer, then spread your filling evenly into the space you created with your well, being careful not to fill higher than the line you created. See photos in the text above for a visual.
Refrigerate cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing to help the cake hold its shape. Store leftover cake covered tightly at room temperature up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Room temperature ingredients: these are always a good idea when using room temperature butter as it makes for easier incorporation into the batter. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
Full fat dairy: it is imperative to use full fat dairy in this recipe for moisture, since we’re using melted butter, therefore removing some natural moisture.
Parchment paper rounds: I highly recommend parchment paper rounds with any cakes, but more specifically 6 inch cakes, because the smaller the cake, the harder it is to get out of the baking pan. Trace your pan on parchment paper, then cut out rounds with scissors.