When we were in NY, we ordered a slice of this yummy cake at lunch. The cakes looked so delicious, it was hard to make a choice. Since we were already toting around a to-go sack from the Little Pie Company (with some of their oh-so-delish sour cream apple walnut streusel pie and a brownie and a Red Velvet cupcake) we decided on some ginger snap cookies and a slice of this yummy “Simply Delicious Yellow Cake with Sweet Pink Buttercream Frosting”. We were not disappointed. The frosting is sweet, and goes perfectly with the not too sweet cake. Amy’s book recommends using a scale to measure ingredients by weight, instead of volume. I decided to give it a try. Purchased a small inexpensive digital scale, and set out to re-create our NY experience, here in B-town. Goodness. The results were mmmmm. Wouldn’t this be the perfect cake for a little (or big) girl’s birthday party? So beautiful. Oh and the million dollars? Just wanted to see if you are still paying attention. Happy Friday!
Simply Delicious Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Amy’s Bakery
adapted to mountain elevation on 10-1-09 see measurements in ( )
Baking powder 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon or .71 oz (2 teaspoons)
Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
Milk 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons or 12 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla extract 2 teaspoons
Unsalted butter, slightly softened 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons or 11.29 oz.
Sugar 2 3/4 cups + 2 teaspoons or 19.75 oz
Eggs 5 large or 9.17 oz
Sweet Pink Buttercream Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (325 for mountain elevation). Grease the cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of baking parchment then dust them lightly with flour. Shake out the excess. Or use Baker’s Joy baking spray that contains both oil and flour, so you don’t have to flour the pan. With Baker’s Joy, put the parchment liner in after you spray the pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk them gently for even distribution. In a separate bowl combine the milk and vanilla.
Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs gradually, mixing well after each addition, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
Lower the mixing speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture to the butter in 3 parts, alternating with 2 parts of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until it is evenly incorporated. This is a thick, fluffy batter, resembling whipped cream. There should not be any lumps or dry pockets of flour remaining. If the batter has a curdled appearance it has not been mixed enough. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another minute or until it is thick and fluffy.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 or 3 prepared cake pans. Weighing the batter into the pans is the most accurate way to do this. This ensures that both layers are uniform in size, and finish baking at the same time. You’ll have approximately 930 g/32.8 oz. of batter per pan. The pans should be about ⅔ full. Smooth the batter so it fills the pans evenly. Place the pans on the center rack in the preheated oven. Bake them for about 35 to 40 minutes (40-45 min), or until the cake is almost ready to pull away from the side of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Rotate the layers carefully from front to back after 20 minutes, for even baking if pans are unable to bake side by side.
Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack that has been sprayed with cooking spray and lift off the pans. To prevent cracking, carefully right each layer so the top side is up and the parchment-lined bottom is down. This is where I use the wrap and freeze method. Wrap all layers in saran wrap and freeze immediately. When cakes are completely frozen, remove from refrigerator, and frost. Cool them on the rack completely. Before frosting, be sure to remove the parchment from the bottom of each layer. While the layers are cooling, prepare the frosting. To assemble the cake:
Place one layer, top side down, on a flat serving plate. Cut several 4-inch-wide strips of parchment or waxed paper to slide under the edge of the layer, to keep the plate clean. Using a thin metal spatula, spread the top of this cake round with a ½-inch thick layer of frosting, leaving a ¼-inch unfrosted border around the edge. Place the second layer top side up on the first, aligning the layers evenly. Spread a generous layer of frosting around the sides of the cake, rotating the plate as you work so you’re not reaching around the cake to frost the other side. Try not to let any loose crumbs get caught in the frosting. Let the frosting extend about ¼ inch above the top of the cake.
Starting in the center of the cake, cover the top with a generous layer of frosting, taking it all the way to the edge and merging it with the frosting on the sides. Try to use a forward-moving, circular motion, not a back-and forth motion to avoid lifting the top skin of the cake. Rotate the plate as necessary. Use the spatula or a spoon to make decorative swirls. Slide the pieces of paper out from under the edge of the cake and discard them. Store the cake at room temperature.
Confectioner’s sugar 7½ cups or 29.80 oz
Unsalted butter, slightly softened 1⅓ cups or 10.56 oz
*Poured (not rolled) fondant generous ⅓ cup or 4.87 oz
Milk, whole ¼ cup or 2.19 oz
Vanilla extract 1 tablespoon + ¼ teaspoon or .46 oz
Kosher salt ⅛ teaspoon
Red food coloring 1 to 2 drops
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 21 oz. or 5½ cups of the confectioner’s sugar, the butter, fondant (if using), milk, vanilla, and salt in the bowl until they are smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes; start out at low speed and increase the speed to medium when the powdery sugar has been moistened. Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until the frosting is of good spreading consistency, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often. You may not need to use all of the sugar. The frosting should be stiff enough to hold its shape but not so stiff that you’ll be unable to spread it easily on the cake. Add 1 or 2 small drops of red food coloring and continue beating the frosting on medium-low speed until you have a uniform pale pink color. This frosting is heavy but it should still have a fluffy quality.
The frosting can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but it should be used within 3 days.
-I measured and weighed everything, just to compare the difference. I know serious bakers weigh their ingredients, and swear by it. It was amazing to me to see the difference in the true volume vs weight. Sometimes a whole 1/2 cup difference!
-The recipe yielded more than the 32.8 oz of batter per pan. I believe it was around 40 oz per pan. One pan overflowed just a bit. Not enough to set off the smoke alarm, but just a tad. Next time, I will cut some of the liquid (milk) and baking powder. We are at about 4,300 ft. (elevation) so, normally I adjust cake recipes that are created in other parts of the country. I really wanted to try this recipe just as it was printed. When I experiment to suit mountain elevation, I will add the adjustments to the original recipe with an update. Updated 10-09 see changes for mt. elevation in red ( ). Still sank a little, one more try and we should have this perfect for high altitude!
-*I did not use the poured fondant. Simply made the frosting without the fondant addition.