Question: who had the brilliant idea of using a toothpick to check for a cake’s doneness? I really want to meet them.
Speaking of cake…
With chocolate frosting. And chocolate curls.
I was luckily able to go home for a long weekend for Easter. But, since I unluckily wasn’t home for my birthday, my mom decided she wanted to celebrate while I was home. Thus, we decided to tag-team the making of my birthday cake and broke out the Betty Crocker cookbook.
My grandmother was, apparently, quite a good baker, and we ended up with some of her cookbooks. She specialized in delicious summer pies (endeavors which I am not quite ready to contend with yet) but also made wonderful cakes. But the reason they were so good was because they were made from the bottom of her heart – because she cared for whoever she was making the dessert for. Even though I never really knew my grandmother, I feel she’d be proud of me for taking after her and loving people through the food I make for them.
Hunting for a good yellow cake recipe turned out to be more difficult than expected. There are a gazillion recipes for a good chocolate birthday cake…what about a yellow birthday cake? Are yellow cakes too boring? Are they not festive enough? Are they not flavorful enough? (If you were wondering, the answers to the latter three questions are no, no, and no)
No offense to chocolate cake, or you chocolate cake lovers. I just love me some fluffy, wonderful yellow cake.
Oh, from scratch.
I tweaked the recipe a bit to my own personal taste and from what I had researched online. Using buttermilk in baked goods has become my standard procedure, and just a little bit of almond extract makes a big difference. What I was particularly surprised about, though, was one of Betty Crocker’s instructions: “Combine all ingredients in bowl.” All at once? Just like that? All right, I can handle that.
So I floured the pans, combined and mixed the ingredients, placed them in the over, and waited.
Glorious, glorious, yellow cake.
Well, technically, “New Starlight Cake”. Whatever that means.
Of course I had to add sprinkles.
New Starlight Cake
adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 15th Printing (1972)
makes 2 round 9-inch cakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- a few drops of almond extract
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans.
- Measure all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a hand-mixer, blend for about 1/2 a minute on low speed, constantly scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat for about 3 minutes on high speed, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Pour into pan(s). Gently shake to ensure cake batter is equally distributed.
- Bake 30-35 minutes if using round pans or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
(By the way, I made chocolate cream cheese frosting – unfortunately, it was not everything I hoped for. Substitute your own favorite frosting.)