Thursday, March 4, 2010

versatile vanilla cake

I love cake.  My husband loves cookies and brownies.  I let him pick the sweet treat this week and I was so surprised when he selected a vanilla cake with whipped frosting.  This cake is called a versatile vanilla cake because it can easily be changed to chocolate or lemon.  I will be making those in the future.  We all thought the vanilla cake was VERY good. The cake was moist, dense and had very little crumb to it.  When I went to make the frosting I automatically took out 2 sticks of butter before reading the directions.  I was surprised to see a frosting recipe with no butter. I was a bit skeptical because I had never made frosting this way.  The frosting was good but, I think I was fearful of over beating so, it probably was not as fluffy as it could have been.  It is light and tastes almost like a marshmallow.  I think the frosting will be really good on the chocolate version of the cake.  The frosting looks very pretty when frosted and holds shape well but, really needs to be served that day.  If you cover the cake the frosting will settle into the cake a bit due to the moisture.  If you keep the cake uncovered then it will dry out.  I covered it and the frosting did sink but, the taste was still very good the next day.  I just had a slice for breakfast!
Vanilla Cake
Martha Stewart Everyday Food

Serves 12

    * 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 1/2 cups sugar
    * 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
    * 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    * 1 cup low-fat buttermilk


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  4. Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with whipped frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides. (Store unfrosted cakes at room temperature up to 1 day. Once frosted, serve within a few hours.

Whipped Frosting


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer),~ 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat); reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

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