You'll need a 16-cup tube pan or angel food cake pan for this recipe; if not using a nonstick pan, make sure to thoroughly grease a traditional pan. In step 2, don’t worry if the batter looks slightly separated.
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Grease and flour 16-cup tube pan. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Whisk milk and vanilla in measuring cup.
2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk mixture. Mix on low until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use rubber spatula to give batter final stir.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Place cake in cold oven. Adjust oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake, without opening oven door, until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 80 minutes.
4. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve. (Cooled cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)