Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best Vanilla Cake Ever!



Full credit for the ultimate vanilla cake and vanilla frosting goes to Rosie from Sweetapolita.  Not only were the directions really easy to follow, but I made two batches on two different days and they came out exactly the same AND perfect.  I have never made a cake this way before.  It was backwards from the way I've usually done it.  It almost seemed like making pastry for a minute.  The only thing I did different was add 1 Tbs. of vanilla bean paste and then 1 Tbs. of vanilla extract.


I made this cake for my daughter, Ryan's, very special 18th birthday party. Everyone loved it.  Some said it was the best vanilla cake they've ever eaten.  I was totally thrilled with the way it turned out.  I think it was quite convenient that Ryan wore a sweater with the exact color of the icing.  Made for a nice picture.





The frosting is so smooth and buttery.  You've never tasted anything like it. And, it was so easy to work with.  It was easy to do the crumb coat and even easier to add the second coat.  It was a dream to spread on the cake and just as easy to pipe on the decoration.  I have never worked with a frosting that works in every way.  The icing on the cake (so to speak) is that it tastes sooooooo good.


CAKE INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 whole egg, room temperature
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 3/4 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes & room temperature
6 Tbs. vegetable shortening

WHIPPED VANILLA FROSTING INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes & room temperature
5 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 1/2 Tbs. milk
1 1/2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
pinch or two of salt
few drops of food color (your choice)
your choice of sprinkles for decoration

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CAKE


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease each pan.  Line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the parchment paper.  I used  10" and  8" pans.  I had to use each pan twice to make a total of 2 10" layers and 2 8" layers for a total of a 4-layer cake.  I probably doubled the recipe.  (I'm adding this recipe months after I added this post, but I think I had leftover batter and made another smaller layer just to have around).

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of milk, egg whites, whole egg and vanilla and almond extracts.  Set aside.

Sift cake flour, baking powder & salt twice.  Add sifted ingredients to the mixing bowl.  Add sugar.  Combine on low for 30 seconds.

Add butter & shortening.  Blend on low speed for 30 seconds.  Add remaining 1 cups of milk.  Mix on low just until blended.  Increase speed and mix for no longer than 1 1/2 minutes.

Add the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing 20 seconds between each batch.

Scoop batter into pans (I used a 1-cup measuring cup to ensure I had the same amount of batter in each pan), until batter comes halfway up to pan.  Level batter with a small offset knife.  I like to bang my pan onto the counter, though :)

Bake cake layers in center of oven for 20 minutes.  Check to see if done with a cake tester or tooth pick.  If the cake is not done (batter sticks to the tester), continue to bake 2 minutes at a time, testing each time.  Do not over bake. Place layers on a wire to cool for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, place the last two layers into the oven and bake as above.

When all layers are cool, loosen sides of pan with a metal spatula or butter knife.  Invert on wire rack.  Place a second wire rack on top of the layer and, holding both wire racks, gently flip over.  Remove the top wire rack.  This is the simplest way I have found to flip a large layer so that it can cool completely.  If you plan on making the cake in advance, wrap the layers in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for two days or place in freezer. 


INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHIPPED FROSTING

Whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until pale and creamy.

Add confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt.

Mix on low speed for 1 minute and medium speed for 6 minutes.  Frosting will be very light and creamy.  If you want your frosting (outer and filling) to be the same color, add your food coloring now.  If you would like a different color for filling, (as I did) remove several cups to a medium bowl and mix the second color.  I estimated the amount for filling.  After doubling the frosting recipe, I found that I had more than enough frosting and even had lots left over, so don't skimp on the filling.

Frost cake immediately.  If your cake has been in the freezer, there is no need to defrost first.  As a matter of fact, it is a lot easier to work with.

Before you frost the cake, level the layers by cutting off the top until flat.  I use a Wilton wire cutter specifically for cakes.  It took me awhile to figure out how to use it.  I couldn't figure out how to change the width. Once I did, I discovered it is the best thing since sliced bread.  It enabled me to cut each layer to exactly the same width.

After the cake is completely frosted, use whatever decorating tip you choose.  I did use the largest ones I had.  It was a total experiment.  I just picked one and used it.  This was one of the easiest frostings I have ever worked with.  When you are done, decorate with sprinkles as you choose.  The choices are endless.

It is so delicious!  Enjoy!





8 comments:

  1. You're cakes is beautiful! I'm planning on making this cake for my daughter's birthday next week. How many days in advance can it be made and where do you store it to keep it fresh and prevent to it from drying out? Thanks so much.

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  2. Hi Shauna, thank you so much. You can make the cake as far in advance as you like. After the cake is completely cool, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and throw them into the freezer. You don't even have to wait until they defrost before you frost it. You can frost it the night before or the morning of the birthday. Have fun.

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  3. Shauna. Your post encouraged me to finally post the actual recipe. I hope this helps. Peggy

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  4. Looks like it turned out great! Love the recipes from Sweetapolita and found your blog from her site.....
    Question for you - would you say this recipe turned out dense like a pound cake or was it on the fluffy side? I'm trying to come up with a vanilla cake recipe for my own daughter's 3rd birthday but prefer something a little lighter than pound cake....so hard to find the right one! I've got a perfect chocolate one but I think her little friends (and my carpet) would do better with vanilla. :)

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  5. It is nowhere near a pound cake. But, it's also nothing like a boxed cake, which has no substance whatsoever. It is the perfect moistness. Your daughter wilk love it!

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  6. That's what I was hoping to hear! Thanks for the quick reply! I'll be giving this one a try! I tried the fluffy white cake recipe on Rosie's site but it came out a tad dry. My coworkers devoured it but it wasn't what I was looking for. It was a little dense and just not quite there.
    by the way, did you weigh your ingredients as she suggests or just use the amounts listed?

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  7. Rebekah, I just measured the ingredients. I don't think I've ever weighed ingredients before.

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    Replies
    1. SincE I posted this, I have since bought a digital scale and use it when a recipe calls for grams, etc.

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