As you know I bake tons of cookies and bars but very few cakes. While I love to eat cake, I would much rather bake bars or cookies. The reason is simple: I like the versatility of bars/cookies and the ability to reduce/increase recipes easily without it negatively affecting the final baked good. Plus, I love to chill or freeze cookie dough for future use (something that you can not do with cake batter to my knowledge).
I was asked to bake cupcakes for a recent baby shower. Now, I know I could have taken the easy way out and use a boxed mix but I jumped at the chance to try a new recipe and not have to eat 24 cupcakes by myself!
I turned to the internet and found a great Classic White Cake Recipe from RecipeZaar. It was a snap to prepare, used ingredients I commonly have on hand and came out great. It was the perfect cake for those with little experience at baking cakes.
Using tips from my grandma, I used ingredients that were all room temperature. I sifted together the flour, baking soda and salt and I creamed the butter and sugar very very well until it was light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. I had to change the original recipe a bit because I only had five eggs so I subbed one whole egg for two of the egg whites called for. What I ended up with was a cake with a subtle flavor and a light crumb. I did not think the cake was overly sweet so it was just perfect with frosting (I cheated and used canned, but next time I would make my own).
I will be using this recipe again. I think it would make a great layered cake (I will need to work on my decorating skills) I also would like to try this with flavored frosting or some lemon zest in the batter.
I would rate this recipe an 8.5
Classic White Cake
adapted from RecipeZaar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (I used 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg)
3/4 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used 2 1/2 teaspoons)
Preheat oven to 350.
Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
Butter two 9-inch diameter by 1 1/2-inch deep layer pans or 1 (13 by 9 by 2-inch) pan and line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper. (OR line muffin tin with cupcake liners)
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Combine egg whites, (and whole egg if using), milk and vanilla extract.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add half the milk mixture.
Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Scrape bowl and beater often.
Pour batter into prepared pan (s) and smooth top with a metal spatula.
Bake cake (s) about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Or bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness at 18 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely before frosting.
*The frosting I used was Duncan Hines Classic HomeStyle Vanilla (with blue food coloring)
*Decorations are from Wilton that I found at the grocery store