Friday, September 14, 2012

Basic Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I have a confession.  On this cake, I didn't stick completely to Martha's recipe, in two ways.  The first way was I wanted to give the cake a little taste boost and used an actual vanilla bean (it was hard to find: Whole Foods) instead of vanilla extract.  It definetely paid off.

The second change was the website recipe called for the egg white frosting (holy smokes.  Again!  Really!  That frosting is foul!)  I made my own go-to chocolate frosting.  And, it also paid off in a big way.  My poor 6 year old (sarcasm).  I said "A" do you want some cake?  No.  I replied, "I put my frosting on it."  She quickly said, "OK then."  It is sad when my sweet tooth kid will turn down cake because of the last few weeks experience with the Martha Frosting.  Whoo!  ANYWAY, the chocolate frosting and the vanilla tasting cake was OUT OF THE PARK.  The cake was gone by Wednesday.

Cake Ingredients

1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose Flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
3 large Egg yolks
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
1 Cup low-fat Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla (I just used the amazing vanilla bean). Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. (Mine took about 18-20 minutes in the volcano oven).  Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with Frosting of choice (recipe below). Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides.
Chocolate Frosting
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
5 Tbs Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Baking Cocoa
Mix shortening, milk and vanilla together.  Add powdered sugar and baking cocoa until smooth.  You may need to add more milk to get the frosting to the desired thickness.  (This recipe is super great for sugar cookies also).
Rach's Tips
This cake truly was yummy.  It was straight forward and with a different frosting was perfect.  If you don't have buttermilk, you could use sour cream or yogurt as a substitute.  I don't ever have buttermilk but use regular milk with a little bit of lemon juice in it.  Happy baking!