I was really looking forward to making this cake. It's my husband's favorite- the only birthday cake (or any cake, for that matter) that he ever wants. Any time I'm cooking anything, he'll come in and ask (with hope in his voice), "What are you making? Is it yellow cake with chocolate frosting?" And this time it was!
This cake is light and tender, and has a beautiful, small crumb. It tastes just like it smells- a sweet, rich, buttery, vanilla mouthful. The slightly browned edges of the cupcakes were the tiniest bit chewy (in a good way), and tasted like a sugar cookie.
1 and 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 eggs yolks, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
Center an oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 inch cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt, then whisk together to ensure that they are well mixed. Set aside. In mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently. Turn mixer to low speed. Drizzle the oil and vanilla into the mixture until well combined. Blend in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix just until barely combined to avoid over-beating. Scrape sides of bowl frequently.
In a separate chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks (the author says to do this with a hand whisk. I used an electric mixer). Gently fold the whipped cream into the cake batter. Divide batter equally between the two cake pans.Tap pans lightly on counter to remove air bubbles.
Bake until centers spring back when lightly touched, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Flip the cakes out of the pans, and let them continue to cool, top side up, until they reach room temperature. Leave the parchment paper on the layers until ready to assemble the cake.
While the layers cool, prepare your frosting (recipe follows). When cakes are completely cool, remove parchment paper and frost as for a layer cake. You can prepare as two layer cake, or cut each layer in half horizontally and frost as a 4 layer cake.
Our cookbook author suggested a ganache-type frosting, which would no doubt be delicious, but not the classic frosting that I remember. I chose to frost mine with a recipe of my mom's.
Mother's Chocolate Frosting
Makes 2 cups (double if you frost a 4 layer cake)
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar (I always sift; there are usually lots of little lumps)
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, cook first 3 ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Remove from heat. Using an electric hand mixer, beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed until smooth, scraping sides frequently. Frost as desired.
If you'd like to see what the other Cake Slice Bakers created this month, click here!
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