Believe it or not, this is the first layer cake I have ever attempted to make. I have been making cupcakes up until now, never a full-on layer cake. I was surprised to find that it was not all that much harder than cupcakes. I did get the layers a little too dark for my taste, so I shaved off the sides and tops until they were uniform. I also discovered that frosting hides a lot of cake sins. I chose a chocolate buttercream that we had made not too long ago for cupcakes.
This cake tastes lovely, and it is very moist and crumbly. Homemade cakes are very different from their mix-in-a-box counterparts, and I think I might need to check out more varieties. Now that I have conquered bread – for the most part – I might need to move on to a cake challenge.
Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Yellow Layer Cake recipe via Smitten Kitchen
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (17.5 oz) cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 c (14 oz) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 c (16 oz) buttermilk, well-shaken
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with spray oil and lightly flour.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium 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 Buttercream via Brown Eyed Baker
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate.