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High Altitude Vanilla Bean Cake
4.34 from 36 votes

Vanilla Bean Yogurt Cake with Strawberry Rose Buttercream

Adjusted for high altitudes above 3,500

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 6-inch layers
Calories 761 kcal
Author Janet Barton



  • 300 gr all-purpose flour (2 cups + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 250 gr sugar (1 1/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Strawberry Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 2/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups or 3 cubes unsalted butter cut into 1 tbl. cubes or slices
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1/8- 1/4 teaspoon rose water extract


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Generously coat 3 6-inch round baking pans.  Set aside . 
  2.  Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.
  3.  Slice vanilla bean in half, with the back of a knife scrape seeds from the pod.  Mix into the sugar.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer or other mixing bowl, add vanilla sugar and butter.  Cream together.
  5. Slowly mix in oil.  Beat for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs one at a time.  Mix until light yellow in color.
  7. Add the flour alternately with yogurt beginning and ending with flour.
  8. Mix in vanilla and boiling water.

  9. Pour into prepared pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and cake springs back when touched.  

Remove from oven.  Allow cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Turn cake out onto a cooling rack.  Cook completely.  Cakes may be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 weeks.

To make Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1.  In a very clean bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites and sugar.  Place over a simmering pot of water, stirring constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  Rub a small amount of the mixture between two fingers to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  
  2. Using the whisk attachment, beat until the mixture is a thick meringue and the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.  The bowl must be cool before adding the butter.
  3. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment.  With the mixture on medium-low speed add butter once slice at a time until all of the butter has been incorporated.  The mixture should be silky smooth and thick.  The mixture may begin to look curdled, keep mixing until it is smooth.  This can take 10 minutes or so.  Mix in salt and vanilla.  Add strawberry puree and rose water extract.  Once puree is added keep mixing until mixture is silky again.

Recipe Notes

  • Prep and cook time is for baking cake only.
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream can be frozen for weeks.  Thaw frozen buttercream in a refrigerator overnight.  Bring to room temperature, then beat with paddle attachment until creamy.
  • If buttercream looks curdled, place a warm dishcloth on the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Repeat as often as necessary until icing looks smooth and creamy.
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT look at the nutrition calculations.  Just enjoy a slice of heaven.  Work it off in the morning.  
  • If you live at lower elevation levels, make the following adjustments.  Delete 2 tablespoons flour and Add 2 tablespoons extra sugar, increase baking soda to 2 teaspoons.  
Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Bean Yogurt Cake with Strawberry Rose Buttercream
Amount Per Serving (10 slices)
Calories 761 Calories from Fat 481
% Daily Value*
Fat 53.4g82%
Saturated Fat 30.7g154%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 158mg53%
Sodium 664mg28%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 70.8g24%
Fiber 0.07g0%
Sugar 51.5g57%
Protein 5.8g12%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.