Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Best Birthday Cake

I made this recipe for our Financial Peace party a few weeks ago.  The cake got rave reviews! 

The BEST Birthday Cake
https://www.craftsy.com

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream --You can substitute yogurt or buttermilk

For the buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Food coloring in your desired colors
Milk or cream, to thin (if needed)

To garnish (optional):
Sprinkles
Birthday candles


Step 1:

Make the cake. Adjust an oven rack in the middle position; preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease, flour and line the bottoms of two 8-inch(or 9 inch is what Beth used) cake pans with circles of parchment paper.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set to the side.

Step 3:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a bowl for the moment, and set to the side.

Step 4:

Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a rotary beater. In the bowl (it's fine to use the same bowl you just used for the egg whites; no need to wash), cream the butter until fluffy and light, 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.

Step 5:

Add the sugar(s), and mix until combined and smooth, about another 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Stir in the vanilla.

Step 6:

Add the sour cream and flour mixtures alternately, in 2-3 additions each. Mix until the batter is smooth and lump-free, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The batter will be fairly thick.

Step 7:

By hand, fold the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently and only until no streaks of white remain.

Step 8:

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating at the 20 minute mark. To test doneness, insert a cake tester or toothpick in the center of the cake. It should come out mostly clean.

Step 9:

Remove the cakes from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, run a sharp knife around the perimeter of each pan, to loosen the edges. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks, gently peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely. Once cooled, level the cakes if necessary.

Step 10:

Make the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until very smooth. Add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the salt, and stir to combine, first on low then on a higher speed as the sugar is absorbed. Continue adding the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the buttercream has attained your desired spreading consistency. Stir in the vanilla and any colorings you'd like to add. If at any point the buttercream becomes too thick, add milk or cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the consistency has thinned out to your desired consistency.

Step 11:

To assemble, stack one of the cake layers on a platter, and apply a generous amount of buttercream on top, spreading it evenly all the way to the edges of the cake surface. Place the second cake layer on top; if you have leveled the cake, place the cut side down so that the flattest surface is facing up.

Step 12:

Apply a crumb coat (a thin coat of buttercream that is meant to contain crumbs and doesn't have to look pretty), and let the cake chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Once the crumb coat has set, use the remaining buttercream to ice the top and sides of the cake. You can pipe designs or take any liberties with cake decorating that you like! Garnish with sprinkles and birthday candles.

Recipe notes:
This cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container; it can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Refrigeration is not suggested. Beth DID refrigerate it over night

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