Better Than Boxed Cake No Question: Yellow Butter Cake

February 16, 2009

You know bad wedding cake? Cardboard, dry, previously frozen, dish towel cake? This is not one of those. I love this cake.

My test cake told me to throw caution to the wind and go with yellow cake. I was ok with not having a white cake… like I said, the cat’s out of the bag on that one (bride has 3 kids).

I would make this cake for all occasions because it is so good. You don’t know what good yellow cake is until you have had this one. SERIOUSLY.

This cake tastes like a cloud. Moist, not oily, flavourful, not-too-sweet. The eggs boast flavor. The milk lends softness. The cake flour and manic sifting make for an even rise (no muffin top – sorry) and an incredibly fine crumb. Warm cuddles.

I want to say that method prevails in this recipe. It is simple yet complex so I will outline the often overlooked must-DOs, the oddities that pastry chefs do to set themselves apart:
- Eggs should be room temperature – I left mine the night before because I have little care for things in the world like salmonella wimps.
- Butter should be room temperature. Leave out for at least 2-3 hours. Do NOT put it in the microwave. I read that it changes the structure of the solid which scares me.
- Sift the flour. Do not skip this step if you have any dignity. The more you sift, the finer and more delicate the crumb. Think lightness.
- Do not overbeat the egg whites into a crumbly mess. This happens quickly in a Kitchenaid.
- Treat your batter with care. Do not pound it down to deflate.
- Prep the pans for easy removal. PAM, parchment, PAM.
- If you are adjusting baking for pan size, adjust the time, not the temp.
- Cool the cooked cake properly. On a drying rack cool for 10-15 in the pan. Depan. Cool for at least another hour depending on the size of the cake.
I also recommend a kitchenaid or three (in my case).

YELLOW BUTTER CAKE (makes 11 cups)**

SUMMARY: Ideally you should have two kitchenaids because this is like a sponge cake. There is a yolk batter component and a egg white component. You will make the yolk batter, beat whites separately and then fold them in with love and care.

WARE: Kitchenaid and a sifter.

TOTAL TIME: 2 – 3 hours depending on cake size; Active time 45 minutes.

- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 4 c cake flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1 ½ c sugar
- 6 large eggs separated, room temp
- 1 ½ c milk
- ½ t salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Rack should be in the middle. Prep pan as mentioned above.

1. Sift together the powder and the flour. Sift four times into the receptacle.

2. In a kitchenaid with a whisk attachment whip together the butter and the sugar. This will take some time. The butter should change color, get a little lighter. The sugar granules should disappear.

3. Separate eggs into whites and yolks in 2 bowls. At medium speed add egg yolk one at a time to the butter mixture. Each should be incorporated before you add the next.

4. Add the milk and flour mixture to the butter alternating 3-4 times. Incorporate each step of the way. I measured the flour again before adding. I found that I had leftover flour. Too much flour will bring the cake down.

5. In another bowl beat the egg whites and salt until stiff but not crumbly.

6. Sacrifice ¼ of the whites to the yolk batter and mix in to loosen it up.

7. Fold in the rest of the whites with as few strokes as possible.

8. Pour into the prepped pan.

9. Bake.**

10. The cake is ready with you can stick a toothpick in it and it comes out clean. As soon as this happens, take the cake out and cool as mentioned above.

**I used a 1/3 recipe for a 6 inch cake 1.75 inches high. 60-70 minutes
I used a 2/3 recipe for a 10 inch cake 1.75 inches high. 80 minutes.
I used a 1 1/3 recipe for a 14 inch cake 1.75 inches high. 90 minutes.

I leveled and torted each cake to make 2 layers, each .75 inches high.

Make a test slice to eat!

1 comment:

Elra said...

Katie, you are an amazing girl, truly amazing and talented.

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