1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 3 tablespoons milk
Directions to prepare Vanilla Dream Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until melted.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then whisk in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and the scrapings from the vanilla bean. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don’t cook). Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch – then frost.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Increase speed to medium and add vanilla extract. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting is too thick, add remaining 1 tablespoon of milk.
Assemble the 2 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop the cake into the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge if not serving within the next couple of hours. Let cake come to room temperature before serving (let cake sit on counter for about 30 minutes before serving to warm up!).