In the end, I decided on this Vanilla Buttermilk Cake. Recently, I took a basic cake decorating class, and part of the class included making homemade buttercream icing. I thought this would be a good substitute for the chocolate frosting on PheMOMenon's site....and I knew how to work with the buttercream as that is what we had to use in the class.
The cake is fabulous! I mean, I should say it's one of the best cakes I've ever had! It smelled just like those birthday cake scented candles as it was baking...and tasted even better when it was done. The recipe instructs that you use three 8-inch round cake pans. Unfortunately, one of my cake pans stuck to the cake (or the other way around) and when I tried to turn it over to cool, it crumbled apart...and this is how I knew, right away, that this was one of the best cakes. Ever. We couldn't stop snacking on the crumbly mess. Luckily, we had enough self control not to eat the other two layers that did not stick to the pans, and I eventually got to the decorating!
My sister doesn't like chocolate cake, but she does like the frosting (Coconut Pecan) that is generally on a German Chocolate cake. My mom helped me think up the idea to use that frosting in the Vanilla buttermilk cake. Fabulous idea, Mom! I also used some of the buttercream between layers. Not only was this cake delicious, but it looked pretty too. Everyone was impressed, and my sister had a great birthday (in case you were interested!).
For the cake:
4 whole large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of buttermilk (I used 1cup milk + 1Tbl vinegar + 1/4 cup plain yogurt)
3 cups of cake flour (I used 2-1/4 cups flour + 6Tbl cornstarch)
2 cups of sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces of butter at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and grease the paper.
- Place the eggs and the yolks in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of buttermilk and whisk all the ingredients well. Set Aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a mixer; whisk to blend. Add the remaining buttermilk and butter to the dry ingredients and with the mixer on low speed, blend together. Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat until light fluffy; 2minutes.
- Add the egg mixture in three additions, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among all the pans.
- Bake the cake layers for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack covered with wax paper, and remove the paper from the bottoms. Cool completely.
2 cup vegetable shortening (I know it's buttercream icing, but butter will melt when it's this hot outside!)
2 tsp clear Butter flavoring
16 tsp water
2 lb powdered sugar
2 Tbl powdered egg whites or meringue powder
pinch of salt
1 container of Coconut Pecan frosting
- Cream shortening, flavoring, and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend about a minute or until smooth. Do not overmix to prevent air bubbles.
- Take out about 2-1/2 cups of the frosting and add 2-1/2 tsp of water to make it a bit thinner. This medium consistency frosting will be used for the flowers.
- Add 5tsp of water to the remaining icing. Also add icing color as desired. I used blue. This thin consistency icing will be used to ice the cake.
- Once your cake has cooled completely, cut each cake in half so you will have six layers (I only had 4 since the one crumbled!)
- Place one layer on your cake plate. Top with the Coconut Pecan frosting (store bought).Place the second layer of cake on top of the Coconut Pecan frosting. Top with thin consistency colored frosting. Repeat until you have stacked all your layers alternating filling between coconut pecan and buttercream. To prevent filling from seeping out, pipe (tip 12) medium consistency (white) icing around the outside ledge of each layer before adding the filling.
- Frost the cake with the colored buttercream icing.
- I used coconut pecan frosting to make the tree and flower centers (tip 3) and medium consistency white icing to make the flowers (2D tip)
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