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birthday cake you’ll be smitten with

7.21.2009

There is something so comforting about yellow birthday cake.  It doesn't pretend to be special or fancy.  It very simply states eat me, enjoy... who cares if you get frosting on your face?  Deb at Smitten Kitchen recently posted what she discovered to be the perfect yellow cake recipe, and seeing how everything I’ve tried from her blog turns to gold... I’m inclined to believe her.  Sure, you could easily make your yellow cake from a box and the guest of honor would probably never know the difference, but think of the oohs and aahs you’ll get when you tell them you made it from scratch.  Judging from these mouthwatering pictures, I’d say it’s worth the effort. 



{images & recipe via smitten kitchen} 

Yellow Layer Cake
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake

Ingredients
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Makes 5 cups of frosting, or enough to frost and fill a two layer 9-inch cake
Only cooking note: Be sure that your sour cream is at room temperature before you make the frosting. 

Ingredients
15 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but can be used to pick up the flavor of average chocolate)
2 1/4 cups sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Combine the chocolate and espresso powder, if using, in the top of a double-boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring well, and then heating in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.) Remove from heat and let chocolate cool until tepid.

Whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Add the tepid chocolate slowly and stir quickly until the mixture is uniform. Taste for sweetness, and if needed, add additional corn syrup in one tablespoon increments until desired level of sweetness is achieved.

Let cool in the refrigerator until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. This should not take more than 30 minutes. Should the frosting become too thick or stiff, just leave it out until it softens again.  

Karyn - (French Charming) (July 21, 2009 at 3:46 PM)  

That cake looks divine! I love yellow cake with chocolate...YUMMY!
Thanks for the recipe.

xoxo
Karyn

Karine (September 14, 2009 at 11:14 AM)  

This was the most amazing birthday cake ever!!!! Thank you Becca! I'm still dreaming of this cake days later...

xoxox,
Karine!

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