Friday, January 22, 2010

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

This was my first triple-layer cake, and honestly, I don't know that I'd do another one. One piece of a two-layer cake is heaven, but one piece of a three-layer cake was a bit much, even for me.

As you may remember, I'm on the hunt for the perfect yellow cake, and had heard that this one might just be it. It comes from the famed Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes cookbook, which I've heard nothing but wonderful things about, so I was really excited to give this recipe a try. I'll tell you this much - it definitely looked beautiful, but it didn't taste as awesome as I wanted it to.
The cake was a bit dry for my taste, though it was still tasty - I am looking for the perfectly moist, buttery, yellow cake to make for Baby's birthday next month. This, unfortunately, was not it. It was, however, a super cake and was a big hit at a recent dinner party I had. The frosting was not as awesome as I'd hoped for, either, now that I think about it, I've definitely had better fudge frosting, but this one sure did pipe pretty.

**UPDATE: I'm such a tool. I totally did make a three-layer cake before this one. The now-infamous Tiramisu Cake I made for Husband's birthday was my first three-layer cake. That tasted way better than this one.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
from Sky High, Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans or spray to coat with vegetable oil. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.
2. Put the eggs and yolks in a medium mixing bowl, add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.
3.. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl; whisk to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup buttermilk to these dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, blend together. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
5. Bake the cake layers for 28-32 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes; then carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.
6. To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup of the frosting over the layer, right to the edge. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and use all but 3/4 cup of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. With an offset spatula, smooth out the frosting all over. Place the remaining frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip and pipe a shell border around the top and bottom edges of the cake.

Instant Fudge Frosting
makes 5 cups

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Then process until the frosting is smooth.


DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

That cake looked amazing. I'd love to dive in. Have you tried Carol Walter's Best Yellow Cake? It always works for me. You might be able to find it online. If not I have the recipe in a book and I can scan it to you. Just e-mail me at and I'll scan a copy to you.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

That looks sooooo good! DH is cooking breakfast right now, and I'm ridiculously hungry. Cake this early probably isn't a good idea, though!

Confessions From A Working Mom

Andrea said...

oh what a great looking cake - thats a weekend project for me sometime (im definitely not a good baker :)

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