11.13.2011

simple cake



I felt like baking yesterday. When do I not? I didn't want to run out to the store for ingredients, partly due to laziness and partly due to saving money. I found this recipe for a yellow cake on Food Network. What I love about yellow cake is that it's so simple to make and so tasty to eat, especially when it's accompanied by cream cheese frosting.

I had some black fondant left over from some previous projects, so I cut out the shape of a heart to give the cake a little extra prettiness.

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows, or about 2 cups frosting of your choice
  • Two 6-inch cake pans
Directions
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Grease cake pans.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.
Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly in the cake pans. Bake, rotating the pans once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely.
Using a palette knife or rubber, spread some of the frosting all over the tops of the cakes.


Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heave cream at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest 
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to hght, and mix until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and zest. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy.

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