eat cake

i've been wanting to post my favorite cake recipes for a long time now. for the past 2 years i have only been making our cakes from scratch. yes, scratch! and i know you just cringed a little and thought  crazy woman!.  i had several reasons to do this, 1. scratch cakes give me satisfaction. it's like, dude, look what i just did! and 2. they taste so much better and 3. have you read what's in box mixes? i'm just sayin.

i've made several different kinds, but our family loves these two and i've never looked back. a white cake, and a chocolate cake. so when it's your birthday, you get to pick. nothing fancy, just white or chocolate. chocolate or white.  i mean, i just had 4 kids in 6 years. why would i need more than two options? and ohhhhhh they are delicious. so without further ado, the recipes. (and the white cake is the easiest cake i've ever made)

The BEST White Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cup buttermilk (please, please, spend the money and buy buttermilk, it's so worth it! if not, add 1tablespoon vinegar to 1 1/3 c milk and let sit for a few minutes)
1/2 c butter or shortening ( i use butter)
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites

1. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and 1/8 tsp salt.

2. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg whites and beat for 2 min more, scraping Bowl.

3. pour into 2 greased 9" pans. Bake in a 350* oven for 30-35 min (check at 28) or until toothpick from the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Serves 12.

*my frosting i use for this is the wilton's butter cream recipe on their website. 

Perfectly Chocolate Cake (that i stole from the hershey's box) : )
2 c sugar
1 3/4c all-purpose flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil ( i use olive oil)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water (i usually boil this in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave while i'm beating for 2 minutes as per directions)

1. heat oven to 350*. Grease and flour two 9inch round pans.
2. combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 min. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans.
3. Bake 30-35 min (i check at 28...i like to undercook my cakes a little) or until toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely (at least an hour). Frost.
*cupcakes bake for 22-25 minutes (check at 18)

Perfectly Chocolate Frosting (i double this for a two layer cake)
1 stick butter
2/3 c cocoa
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Melt butter on medium. Stir in cocoa ( i use a whisk). Alternately add powdered sugar and milk. beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla.

to make a good cake i must recommend a few tricks i've learned:
1. let your eggs AND butter reach room temperature before mixing. this makes the cake more fluffy and light. if you are trying to defrost butter and you melt it because you forgot to put the butter out, don't use it. start again with another stick. then again, don't make a cake cause i bet your eggs are cold too. please don't microwave those to warm them up.
2. follow the directions. i know right? seriously, if it says mix slowly. if it says mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. don't do it for a minute on high speed thinking you are saving time. do what the words on the paper say! (i've learned this the hard way) over mixing a cake makes it yucky. trust me.
3. use the right measuring tools. all liquid measurements should be made in a glass pyrex measuring cup. all dry ingredients in regular measuring cups. and make sure you spoon the flour into the cups, not pack it in.
3. make sure you grease the pan really really well! use a napkin in butter or crisco and wipe all the sides and bottom. then use a spoonful of flour and sift it all over till it's covered. you'll see the spots that aren't greased, grease them, and then cover with flour. turn the pan over and dump out remaining flour. bake as directed. let it cool for 10 min on a wire rack while still in the pan, release it, and let cool for at least an hour before cutting and layering.
the best white cake


Melanie said...

I love the chocolate cake! Defintely a staple here. It really is the best out there.

I'm excited to try the white. Thanks for posting.

If you ever want a fab scratch red velvet or peanut butter cake recipe, let me know. I'll hook you up. :) (Peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting in between the layers and peanut butter frosting all around...yummy!)

my name is becky kelly said...

just in time! I've been contemplating Hunter's "scripture hero" birthday cake. we'll see if he chooses white or chocolate :) that cake is gorgeous. i'm not really a cherry fan but i'm salivating.

Anonymous said...

Perfect timimg! I have cup cakes to make on Wednesday. I might be calling you about decorating tools :)

Paul Perrin said...

i totally use the hershey's chocolate one too. question on the buttermilk--have you tried almond milk and vinegar??? sounds way gross but SOME of us can't have dairy. sigh. some day, right?

Paul Perrin said...

also a tip for eggs is put them in a bowl of warm water. they'll get to room temp by the time you finish trying to defrost that butter without melting it :)

Anonymous said...

That chocolate cake looks delicious and I don't even like cake!

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