How To Make a One-Bowl Vanilla Cake — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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Sometimes you need a cake — like, now — and getting out a stand mixer and dirtying a few bowls isn’t ideal. It’s often in these situations we lean on cake mixes to get a cake in the oven. Inspired by the virtues of cake mix (it is easy and reliable, after all) we set out to create an everyday vanilla cake — something sweet but sturdy and resilient that we could quickly turn into everything from an everyday coffee cake to cupcakes to a giant ice cream cake sandwich.

Honestly, this cake can come together faster than your oven will preheat. So go set it to 350°F and then come back here to learn how to make this universal cake. It can be as simple or as stunning as you choose, and it will bake up at least a dozen different ways — all of them buttery, fragrant, and delicious.

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