Start with a vanilla cake, then add a little cinnamon and you’ve got the always popular Snickerdoodle Cake! Creamy and tender with a touch of cinnamon, this is a crowd-pleasing cake. The White Chocolate Frosting puts this cake over the top!
I love white cakes and have since I was a child. There is something so pure about that burst of vanilla in every bite that thrills me. Perfect for children’s parties, family dinners, birthdays, or even weddings! What about you – do you love white cake too?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a great chocolate cake too, but the purity of vanilla captured my heart. This cake is more like a spice cake with the cinnamon, but based on a vanilla cake.
If you’ve never made a cake from scratch you might be surprised at how simple it is and you likely have all the ingredients on hand. Infinitely more delicious, it is worth the trade-off of convenience in my opinion.
When you have so few ingredients, you want to be sure to use the best quality you can afford. My favorite vanilla is from Nielsen-Massey, their Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste to be exact. I love having the vanilla seeds sprinkled throughout the cake and frosting, reinforcing the flavor in each bite.
A tender, moist cake is the ultimate goal here. Be sure that the butter, eggs, and milk are all at room temperature before beginning to make the recipe so that everything combines completely. And don’t over mix the batter. You’ll have a cake that people will be talking about for months to come!
I hope you make this Snickerdoodle Cake soon for a special occasion, holiday, birthday, or just because you love your family. Feel free to change up the spices if you want or leave out the cinnamon completely and you have the perfect vanilla cake! Happy Chocolate Monday!
Key Ingredients for Snickerdoodle Cake with White Chocolate Frosting:
- Gluten-Free flour blend, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, cinnamon
- Half and half, bourbon (optional), vanilla, butter, sugar, eggs
- White chocolate, butter, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon
What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla paste?
Vanilla extract is a liquid and the paste has the vanilla seeds suspended in a gel medium. The paste has a stronger, more intense flavor. Be sure you are using pure vanilla extract and not imitation – it makes a huge difference in flavor!
To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, heat 3 cups of water in a large Pyrex measuring cup for about 30 seconds, then place the whole eggs in the warm water and set aside for a few minutes. The water will warm the cool eggs and make them ready to use in your recipes.
How to make Snickerdoodle Cake with White Chocolate Frosting:
- Make the Cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl; in a measuring cup combine the half and half, bourbon, and vanilla
- Cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color; add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition
- Alternating add the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients; scrape the bowl well
- Pour batter into a buttered and floured 9×13-inch baking pan and smooth the top; bake about 30 minutes until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool cake completely on a wire rack
- Make the Frosting: Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring often; set aside to cool slightly
- Beat together the butter and vanilla until creamy; mix in powdered sugar half at a time, then mix in the melted white chocolate
- Spread over the top of cooled cake in a decorative pattern; sprinkle the top with cinnamon if desired then cut into squares and serve
When you finish a bottle of vanilla extract, take the beans out of the bottle and transfer them to your new bottle. You’ll get double vanilla without the cost!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
If you prefer to make a layer cake use three 8×3-inch round cake pans, buttered, floured, and lined with parchment. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave in the pans until completely cooled before turning out. Triple the frosting amount to be sure you have plenty to frost between the layers.
Use a 1-for-1 style of gluten-free flour blend. If your blend already has xanthan gum in it, you do not need to add more. Be sure to use a gluten-free flour when you butter and flour the baking pan. It is a good idea to get used to weighing your dry ingredients for gluten-free baking in particular. It will eliminate one of the challenges of dealing with gluten-free flours. And once you’re used to it, you’ll find it so much easier than dealing with measuring cups!
- 300 g (2-1/2 cups) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (only if using gluten-free flour blend without xanthan already in it)
- 85 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) cornstarch (use potato starch or arrowroot if you can't have corn)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
- 1-1/2 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup bourbon* or 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (2 sticks + 2 tbsp; 255 g) butter, at room temperature
- 595 g (2-3/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
White Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 12 oz (340 g) white chocolate pieces, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks; 339 g) butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp vanilla paste or 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (227 g) confectioners' sugar
- Milk, as needed
- Cinnamon, for garnishing
- Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set an oven rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan (use GF flour if needed). Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, xanthan (if using), cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup, stir together the half and half, bourbon*, and vanilla.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium until creamy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. While the mixer is running, break the eggs into a measuring cup with a spout. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Alternate the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, beating just until combined after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beater well, being sure there are no hidden ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. Turn on the mixer one more time to fully incorporate all ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My oven took much longer than I thought it would – trust your instincts and tent the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly before the center is fully baked.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool cake completely.
- Prepare the Frosting: Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 10 second bursts, stirring between each heating, until the pieces are mostly melted. Remove from the microwave and stir until it is fully melted and creamy. Set aside to cool a bit while you cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar.
- Place the butter and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add half the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add remaining sugar, beating again until smooth.
- When the melted white chocolate is cooler but still creamy, add to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat until thoroughly incorporated. If the frosting is too thick, add 1 tbsp milk or as needed, and mix until creamy.
- Frost the Cake: Spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the cooled cake. Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon if desired. Cut into squares and serve at room temperature.
- Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before serving again.
*If you are cooking for someone who is highly reactive or who has Celiac, you may want to be cautious using the bourbon because some distillers add caramel coloring which may contain gluten. In that case you can use the extra half and half or 1/4 cup GF vodka + 1 tbsp brown sugar to approximate the flavor of bourbon.
Cake adapted from a recipe by Savory Simple
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