Friday, April 16, 2010

cake 'n' stuff

I'm not sure I'd describe it as the best birthday cake ever (the term I used to search for a recipe on Google) but it's a tasty cake that didn't droop in the middle and was made from organic ingredients with no yellow dye #17 in sight. Could have been a little fluffier but maybe I overmixed? I had some leftover batter and make 2 cupcakes which cooked faster and so were actually moister than the cake itself. Which should work out perfectly for the 3 dozen cupcakes I'm planning to make tonight for Birthday No. 2 at the beach.
Thanks to SmittenKitchen for the recipe...

Birthday Cake
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (I used 8-inch pans and just kept a little batter out.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (maybe the pan size but mine took a good 45 minutes to cook). Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

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