Sometimes simple is the best and this Foolproof Vanilla Custard Cake is simple and best!
Also known as the California Fruit Cake
The Vanilla Custard Cake is an old school bakery cake that caused lines to form outside of the bakery door on a Sunday morning!
Simply made with two layers of fluffy yellow cake and a quick stove top custard!
Loaded up with the entire recipe of the vanilla custard
Normally I make three layer cakes but this time I really wanted to showcase the thick layer of creamy vanilla custard
No being chintzy here toady!
The California Fruit Cake~ as it was made in all the bakeries in New jersey including mine
A light almond buttercream to finish it all off and sliced toasted almonds to decorate the edge
Adorned with all the fresh fruits of the season and sometimes canned peaches or pineapples too
Notes for Success:
If you plan to serve this cake over several days I would recommend to melt some apricot jelly with a tablespoon of water to glaze the fruits from air exposure and prolong the shelf life
For the custard, cornstarch is a very difficult ingredient to measure consistently with a volume spoons measure
So while I list both measures below I cannot stress enough how the grams measure with a scale is going to give you the best results.
Many times people have complained that their custard is like rubber and they don’t know why!
This is from a heavy measure of cornstarch when using volume measuring spoon vs the 100% accurate scale measure in grams.
I tend to use cake flour and all purpose flour together in many of my cake recipes
Some people are not familiar with what cake flour is so be sure to click the link to read all about it!
But I have also used all ~ All Purpose Flour too in the total amount of 370g
I often get questions about gluten free options with my recipes
While I am not a gluten free baker I can confidently say this yellow cake recipe works great with a 1:1 Gluten Free mix *I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill
For the Yellow Cake Batter:
- Plant Milk 1½ cups (355ml)
- White Vinegar 1½ Tablespoons
- Vegan Butter ½ cup (113g)
- Vegetable oil of your choice ½ cup (117ml)
- *or more vegan butter melted
- Granulated Sugar 1¾ cup (350g)
- Salt ½ teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract 3 teaspoons (15ml)
- All Purpose Flour 2 cups (250g)
- Cake Flour 1 cups (120g) *see notes above
- Baking Soda 2 teaspoons
For the Custard:
- Soy Milk 2¼ cup (533ml)
- Granulated Sugar ¾ cup (150g)
- Cornstarch 5 Tablespoons (40g)
- Turmeric ¼ teaspoon
- Vegan Butter 1½ Tablespoons (21g)
- Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
- 1 Recipe your favorite buttercream
- Sliced toasted almonds for garnish approx ¾ cup
- Assorted fresh and/or canned fruits of your choice
- Apricot Jam ¼ cup *optional, see notes above
- Grease & Parchment line 2-8" cake pans Preheat the oven to 350°F
- First prepare the cake by combining the vegetable oil with the melted vegan butter add the vanilla extract and set aside
- Combine the soy milk with the vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, including the sugar.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and whisk smooth (this will be the plant milk mixture and the butter/oil mixture)
- Pour the batter into the greased and parchment lined pans and bake immediately in the preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes, then turn the open temperature down to 325°F to bake the rest of the way, approximately 15 minutes more or when you gently press the centers they are springy to the touch. Or do the toothpick test for moist crumbs.
- Cool in the pans until you can safely touch without burning yourself then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Next prepare the custard: combine all the ingredients except for the vanilla extract and the vegan butter in a medium sauce pot over and cook over medium to high heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly to avoid scorching the bottom .
- Once it starts to bubble let it boil on low heat for about 10 seconds.
- Remove from the heat and add the vegan butter and vanilla extract and stir until melted and smooth.
- Once the cakes are completely cooled (I Like to refrigerate mine for several hours to make sure they are also very COLD)
- Build the cake with a ring of buttercream to hold in the custard filling.
- Crumb coat and then do a final icing with the buttercream
- Decorate the edge with sliced toasted almonds and then arrange the fresh fruits on top.
- For a video visual on how to assemble a similar cake CLICK HERE
The California Fruit Cake must be kept refrigerated at all times and will stay fresh for about 6 or 7 days wrapped loosely to prevent drying.
I do not freeze cakes filled with custard as they turn soggy & the custard will crystallize