Monday, June 18, 2012

Basic Yellow Cake

Here is my classic recipe for a"basic yellow cake".  I grew up eating Chinese-style bakery cakes, so my normal cake was a Vanilla Chiffon Sponge Cake.  However, this cake is a wonderful change from the feathery light chiffon sponges. This recipe is still very fluffy and tender. 

I used this recipe to make a White Forest Cake for Father's Day.  As you can see, there isn't much left over from dessert!   By the time I served the last piece, my son asked for seconds! 

This is a very easy recipe with basic ingredients.  I use this recipe in place of boxed yellow cake mix.  It is a versatile cake that can be easily paired with chocolate frosting or whipped cream (and cherry pie filling). 

I have tried different recipes for basic yellow cake and I still go back to my old Betty Crocker Cookbook's Starlight Yellow Cake.  The original recipe calls for shortening, but nowadays, butter is preferred.  When pressed for time, I use soft non-hydrogenated margarine for cookies and cakes instead of waiting for butter to soften.  Of course, some recipes have no substitutions for butter, but no one can tell the difference with this cake.   

I reduced the sugar to 1 cup and it is still very sweet, especially if a filling or frosting is used.  Because of this change, I should have reduced the milk, as the cake was not firm enough to withstand the weight of a triple layer cake.  Maybe next time, I will try to cut down to 3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup buttermilk if I use a buttercream frosting.

Basic Yellow Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened (I used soft non-hydrogenated margarine)
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup sugar and it was plenty sweet)
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 tsp)
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk (I used 1% buttermilk)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13 x 9 inches, 2 round pans 9 x 1 1/2 inches, or 3 round pans, 8 x 1 1/2 inches with butter and lightly flour.

Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally; pour into pan(s).

Bake rectangle 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch rounds 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch rounds 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.

Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack; cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.

Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frost as desired.

- From Betty Crocker's Cookbook: Everything You Need To Know To Cook Today

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