A Cake A Week #3 : Seeking the perfect recipe for an Eggless Vanilla Cake

around here, the family birthday parties begin in April and with just about a month before we celebrate Mr MN's birthday I have begun to panic ... for i do not have a good recipe for  the perfect Eggless Vanilla Cake. why eggless.. because this man LOVES vanilla cakes with rich chocolate frosting... and this year he celebrates his birthday on a Monday... another day of the week when i do not have non-veg. so I have been all over the place looking for that "killer birthday cake recipe" that makes all the celebrations worthwhile ...  that led me to one of my favorite baking references.... Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen. there i found  the

Now that lady knows to bake... and her post literally made my heart skip a beat.  Of course her's was with eggs and i assumed that a simple egg substitute like vinegar and baking soda would lead me to the end of my quest.  but not quite.. texture-wise the cake was excellent. we had no complains there.. and it tasted good too... but what made the recipe fall short of perfection was the egg substitute that i had used... it had my cake breathing of soda at every other bite.. though the soda smell lessened and reduced to a negligible whiff in the next 8 hours it was something i did not like and i am sure no one does... so that killer of a recipe did not work for me... since my cake wasn't a big hit i was in double minds about whether or not to share with you what i did... but on second thoughts i thought why not. perhaps you can make use of my experience and avoid the same mistake... and if you are an expert maybe you can tell me where i went wrong and what i can do to avoid the terrible soda smell the next time.  

now here's my Cake followed by the recipe which did not work too well... 
Recipe Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/8 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of vinegar + 2 tablespoons of water + 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (used as a substitute for 2 eggs)
1 cup  buttermilk (made by adding milk at room temperature to 1 tablespoon of vinegar so that the two together yield 1 cup of liquid)

for a crust
3/4 cup ground oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice from 1 blood red orange

what i did
  • i preheated the oven to 350 degree F ; sifted the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and kept it aside. 
  • next in a  glass bowl, i whisked the softened butter and sugar until it was creamy, then added the buttermilk, vinegar + baking soda mixture, vanilla extract and whisked until the ingredients were well combined.  
  • i then gradually started folding in the dry ingredient mixture. i must have been a few spoons away from folding in the flour mixture completely into the batter when i felt that the batter was too thick. at this point to add moisture to it, i added the applesauce. once that was done, to me. the consistency of the batter appeared like the batter of a cake with eggs. 
  • I was happy and very hopeful.. and thought that adding a crust to the cake would make it even more tasty. so  i mixed together the ingredients for the crust and spread a smooth layer of it in my iron skillet and put the skillet in the preheated oven with just the crust layer. after 5 minutes i took the skillet out, poured  the prepared cake batter over the crust and transferred it back into the oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, i.e until a tooth-pick inserted came out clean.
the cake had risen well and after letting it cool for an hour, it came off the skillet easily.. and then i began to see my mistakes. baking the crust a little more than the rest of the batter was clearly a bad idea. it had burnt. anyway that did not seem like a major problem... because removing the slightly burst crust did not effect the cake much. the main problem was the soda smell which was pretty dominant in the beginning and gradually diminished but did not vanish completely. 

since the experiment did not go as desired, in the beginning i wasn't sure if i wanted to decorate it. but for practice-sake i decided to do it anyway... first i frosted the cake using Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle Classic Vanilla frosting. Then attaching Wilton's 224 tip to  Wilton's Ready to Use Yellow and White Decorating Icing Tube, I piped  out some flowers atop the vanilla frosting.. i first tired piping white roses. they didn't come out so neat. then by chance i piped out this dainty yellow darling...
this pleases me so much that i piped some more till a side profile of the cake looked like this...
incase you want to know, for those pretty yellow flowers, you have to  press your icing tube fitted with 224 Wilton piping tip very close to the surface, and after the initial frills have been piped out, lift off the tube lightly making sure that the edges of the piped frills rest on the edge of the flower. 

so that was my #3 cake of A Cake A Week. Now that you know my story wouldn't you like to share your recipe of the perfect Eggless Vanilla Cake with me. I'll really need one and will highly appreciate if you share yours with me.

Hoping to hear from you soon... 
yours lovingly.......

sharing this with the following parties and seeking help from whoever stops by...


  1. Tanu, substituting eggs with a baking soda mixture will definitely make the cake taste - errr, soda-ish. Sometime back I came across some options here in the English Kitchen - http://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-to-substitute-for-eggs-in-baking.html (I don't know whether you like people leaving links in the comment section. If you don't - I'm sorry :)) I haven't tried any of those except bananas and flaxseed. (Flaxseeds will leave their mark in the taste - so I wouldn't recommend that although, it won't be that noticeable if you are frosting the cake.)

  2. Thanks a lot Priya. I visited the English Kitchen. It was a very helpful link. I'll try the other substitutes now. thanks again !

  3. Hi Tanu, that's a beautiful cake. The little flowers look very cute.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

  4. Happy to Follow you.. wud be glad if u can follow back too and pass my Liebster award to you http://ammirasoi.blogspot.ae/2013/03/my-first-liebster-award.html

  5. Very pretty & yummy cake Tanu!! I'm so glad to be your new follower :)


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Best, Tanusree

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