White Cake with Buttercream Frosting


I went to a potluck today. As matter of policy, I like to bring desserts to potlucks (even though there are always too many) because I am really bad at making tasty main dishes or even sides. For this potluck, I made my favourite moist white cake. It's made from a recipe on the King Arthur Flour web site. I won't re-type the recipe here because it's theirs, so follow the link and check it out.

I like that this cake doesn't require a whole lot of hard work; it's a cake I can throw together in an hour, if I need to, with added time for cooling, of course. My real gripe is that sometimes people ask me which mix I made it from, even though it doesn't taste at all like a mix. Those people don't know that the way to make a white cake is to simply not put in a bunch of egg yolks. There's no special magic. (This recipe uses one yolk, which is not enough to make a difference; you can add food colouring to make it wild colours if that's your bag.)

The best thing about this recipe is that the sour cream (I always make it with sour cream after one bad yogurt experiment) adds a real richness and moistness without overwhelming you with flavour. You also want to be sure to use cake flour, for the fine texture. Do a lot of sifting, and if you use a stand mixer be sure you scrape down the sides a lot because this batter needs aeration. Once the cake is in the pans and ready to go in the oven, I like to let it sit for ten minutes and come into its own at room temperature before I pop it in the oven. This probably doesn't do anything, chemically, but the cakes where I've done that have come out lighter and fluffier, so I do it every time now. That's the power of superstition.

It's a good recipe for a child's birthday because it is pretty bland and is sweet. I pair it with a buttercream (1 cup butter, 3 cups confectioner's sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, colouring, you know the drill) and make it in two 8-inch layers, which makes a nice-sized birthday cake and enough frosting to get the job done and not have too much left over. I like to use a lot of colouring on the frosting, so it doesn't look too bland. I haven't tried it with chocolate frosting, but I was thinking today that that would be pretty tasty.

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This page contains a single entry by Ayse published on June 8, 1904 10:04 PM.

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