1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 2 6-inch cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine cream, vanilla, and vanilla sugar in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the little seeds into the cream mixture. Set aside.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip eggs on medium speed until thick and voluminous, about 5 minutes. They should turn a pale yellow and have tripled in volume. Begin adding sugar gradually, continuing to whisk on medium speed until all sugar is added and mixture reaches "ribbon stage" - that is, mixture will fall upon itself, forming a thick ribbon that stays for several seconds when you lift the beaters.
5. Gently fold in about one third of dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, followed by about one half of cream mixture. Continue folding in an alternate pattern, ending with the last third of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to deflate the volume in the eggs!
6. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake until just set in the center or when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Allow cakes to cool about 15 minutes before inverting out of pans. Allow to cool completely on cooling racks.
1. In a medium bowl, cream butter with salt with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until fluffy.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar in a few batches, stirring until completely combined.
3. Add malted milk powder and whip until fully blended.
4. Add heavy cream and vanilla gradually. Whip frosting until well blended and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
[Can also be made in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment]
1. Once cake is completely cooled, remove parchment from bottoms of cake. Slice each cake layer in half horizontally to create 4 even layers.
2. Place bottom layer on a cake plate or cardboard round. Apply a thin layer of frosting and spread evenly.
3. Repeat with next 2 layers. Place last cake layer on top and press gently to adhere.
4. Frost entire cake with a thin layer, making a crumb coat. Chill at least 15 minutes.
5. Use remaining frosting to ice cake as desired.
6. Decorate as you wish! Here, I used some homemade vanilla wafers made by an awesome local pastry chef and some violets from my yard.
Serve at room temperature. This cake is best eaten within 2 days at it tends to dry out a little.