Golden Vanilla Birthday Cake
Photo: Penny De Los Santos
These directions may seem contrary to everything you've been told about making cakes. The wet and dry ingredients are added all at once, and the batter is beaten on high speed—something we've all been told is a no-no if you want tender, airy cakes. Well, just trust me here and you'll be rewarded with the most moist, buttery crumb imaginable.

Makes two 8-inch cake layers

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated natural cane sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the vanilla buttercream:
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Directions


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 8-inch cake pans. Place an 8-inch circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan. Lightly flour the sides of each pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until combined; set aside.

In a small measuring cup, whisk the milk and vanilla together until combined; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat again until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour in the milk and flour mixtures, and starting on low speed, mix until all the ingredients are just combined. Turn the speed up to high and beat for 10 seconds. Scrape down sides and beat for 10 more seconds.

Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Gently tap the bottom of the pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake, side by side on the center rack of the oven, for 32 to 35 minutes, until tops are golden and a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with buttercream frosting.

To make frosting, add the butter to a large bowl and beat on high until fluffy, or about 1 minute. Add the sugar and vanilla. Start out mixing on low speed until all the sugar is incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, and beat on high for 4 minutes more. Use immediately, or store in a tightly covered container, in a cool dry place, for up to 2 days. Stir vigorously with a butter knife or offset spatula to fluff the frosting back up before using.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Homemade with Love © 2013 by Jennifer Perillo, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

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