We pick out these products by ourselves - if you procure anything from our suggestions, we may receive a commission. All rates were accurate during publication.
Have you advanced beyond boxed cake mixes? Are you ready to upgrade your cake-making skills? Fortunately, baking a cake from scratch is entirely achievable for the home cook. For novices, we have a perfect recipe and some helpful tips to get you started: classic yellow butter cake straight from your own oven – can you imagine anything better than that? Let's dive in!
While there are countless cake recipes, the creaming method ones (like the recipe below) usually start and conclude identically. Although precise instructions may differ, specific points are widespread among all cakes.
Want airy, fluffy cakes with a delicate crumb? This initial step is crucial and should not be ignored. When creaming softened butter with sugar, beating it furiously, you infuse air to aerate the batter and make it more fluffy when baked, hence aiding the cake's leavening. Your mixer's paddle or blades enable you to infuse air to lighten the butter. Concurrently, the edges of the sugar granules cut into butter, guaranteeing a well-mixed cake batter.
Creaming the butter and sugar generally takes three to five minutes at medium to medium-high speed. The ending mixture will be light, fluffy, and pale in color. Take your time and be patient because once you begin adding further ingredients, you can't undo what's done.
Creaming butter and sugar isn't as difficult or frightening as you might assume, though it is important. If you utilize a stand mixer, let it do the job for you. If you use a hand mixer, wait and see as the butter and sugar whip together to create stunning ribbons of batter. It may be quite lovely and entertaining. Don't forget to begin with softened butter!
Once the butter and sugar are effectively creamed, it's time to add the eggs – one at a time to give them an opportunity to blend smoothly with the batter.
You may add the eggs while the mixer is on low to further blend them in. The eggs must be at room temperature to create a smoother, more homogenous batter; otherwise, the batter may appear lumpy if the eggs are chilly.
Alternate adding the remaining dry mixtures and the wet ones. This method allows the batter to absorb all of the liquids without risking overmixing the dry ingredients (we'll cover this in a little bit!).
To begin with, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together properly. Add half of the flour mixture while the mixer is on low (you don't want the flour flying anywhere). Continue stirring until the final flour lines begin to fade. Stream in the milk with the mixer still operating. It's also a good opportunity to add the vanilla extract. After the milk has been mostly absorbed, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Turn the mixer back on to low speed and add the remaining dry ingredients. As they begin to incorporate, raise the mixer to medium.
Mix the batter until it's smooth and the last visible flour bits vanish. It's crucial not to overmix the batter; otherwise, the cake may come out dense and dry with "tunnels" running through the crumb. If you want a little assurance, stop the mixer while some flour lines remain and mix the rest of the way by hand with a rubber spatula. This manner also ensures that no dry pockets are left at the bowl's bottom.
Making a fantastic cake batter isn't easy, so it's wise to know what to look for when evaluating whether your cake has baked correctly. Instead of merely relying on the clock, here are some additional indicators that your cake is typical:
A cake is fully baked when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs. If the toothpick looks wet with batter, the cake isn't done baking yet. Bake for a few more minutes before checking again. After baking, the cake's surface should bounce back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. In some instances, the cake's sides will begin to detach from the pan when done. Be cautious because if the cake shrinks too much, it could be heading towards overbaking.
Once the cakes are finished baking, set them on a wire rack to cool. It's essential to let them cool for at least 15 minutes, or until they're cool enough to handle before removing them from their pans. If you try to remove a cake that's still too hot, it might fall apart.
For the best results, let the cakes cool completely before decorating, trimming, or frosting them. It's also easier to cut and produces fewer crumbs if the cake is chilled.
This dish is suitable for individuals with specific dietary restrictions, including: shellfish-free, kidney-friendly, fish-free, alcohol-free, low-potassium, vegetarian, peanut-free, pork-free, pescatarian, tree-nut-free, soy-free, and red-meat-free. Based on 18 servings, each serving contains (% daily value): 321 calories, 11.7 g fat (18.0%), 4.8 g saturated fat (23.9%), 51.0 g carbs (17.0%), 0.4 g fiber (1.7%), 37.4 g sugars, 3.2 g protein (6.5%), and 224.2 mg sodium (9.3%).
To make this recipe, you'll need the following ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (plus extra for greasing the pans), 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 2 1/4 cups baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 1/2 cups buttercream frosting, such as basic buttercream (link provided).
Begin the recipe by sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Next, prepare the pans by greasing the bottoms and sides with a little butter, shortening, or baking spray. Flour the sides and bottoms of the pan by scooping in some flour and shaking it to coat the bottom and sides. Alternatively, cut out a parchment round and use it to line the bottom.
Beat the butter and sugar together for about 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed, or until they're fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the batter is smooth and creamy-looking. Ensure that they are at room temperature so that the batter does not appear curdled.
To start, mix half of the flour, salt, and baking powder together while beating. Once blended, add the sifted dry ingredients while the mixer is running on low. Keep mixing until everything is incorporated.
Next, add in the milk and vanilla while beating. Alternate pouring in the liquids with the dry ingredients so that the milk gets absorbed without overmixing the batter. Pour in the milk gradually while the mixer is on low until everything is combined.
Once again, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Make sure there are no visible flour lumps left in the bowl by stirring a few times with a spatula.
Now it's time to divide the batter between cake pans. Use a scale or mechanical ice cream scoop to ensure that the batter is evenly distributed.
After that, smooth the tops of the batter with an offset spatula. To remove any trapped air bubbles, drop the pans against the counter.
Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake should have a golden color, be puffed like a pillow, and pull away from the sides of the pan when it's done. You can also use the toothpick test by inserting one into the center of the cakes. The toothpick should come out clean.
Let the cake cool for 15 minutes while still in the pan. Use an offset spatula to make sure that the cake is completely loosened from the sides of the pan.
When loosened, flip the cake rounds out of the pan and remove the parchment lining. Flip it over again so that it's right-side up to cool completely.
Once your cake is cool, frost and assemble it with the buttercream as desired.
If you want to store your baked cake rounds, simply wrap them in plastic and freeze them for up to 3 months.