Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Who doesn't love homemade birthday cake?

This is the second time I have made Deb's Best Birthday Cake recipe.  The first time was over a year and a half ago for my son’s nineteenth birthday.  (Is he really that old?)  I followed the recipe and frosting recommendation with only one (slight?) variation.  I used AP flour instead of the recommend Cake Flour, because that was what I had at the time.  The cake was good, certainly better than box mix, and pleased my picky eaters to no end.  But personally, I found the cake a little heavy, almost on its way to being a pound cake.  I had to wonder was it the flour.  (Side note--The leftover cake did freeze well and made for good snacking.)
Fast forward to today well stocked kitchen full of cake flour.  With my husband’s birthday looming I had to try this cake again.  This time I used Cake flour and made only half the recipe because neither he nor I need that much cake in the house. I also switched up the frosting to a non Chocolate base for the Lenten season. 
The cake flour did make a noticeable difference in the overall cake texture.  Rather than heavy, the cake was . . . hmmm  . . .  I think sturdy is the right word - a great cake and ice cream style birthday cake.    You know what I mean, a cake that doesn’t fall apart as ice cream melts into the nooks and crannies ‘cause what self respecting birthday party doesn’t have Cake and Ice cream ( candles and pin the tail on the donkey.   
I used a simple buttercream frosting this time and it worked brilliantly.  With a scoop of ice cream, this cake was the birthday cake of grand childhood party memories.
A center layer of fresh strawberries and jam would be terrific with this cake as well.  Come to think on it, I’m guessing that it would also be great as a base for strawberry short cake. 


Yellow Cake Recipe
Serves : 8                                                 Prep Time: 15min                                  Cook Time:40
2 cups plus 1 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with pam and line with circle of parchment paper, then spray parchment.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer paddle blade at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined.  Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely.

Quick Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Serves : 8                                                 Prep Time: 15min                                  Cook Time:40
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 – 5 Tablespoons heavy cream
Whip butter and sugar with Whisk Attachment, add vanilla and cream.  Continue to beat until fluffy. 

Enough to frost 12 cupcakes or  9 inch round single layer cake generously. 

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