Every year, when Bill’s birthday rolls around, he has visions of a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
This recipe, from Martha’s American Food cookbook by Martha Stewart, is the recipe I used for his birthday cake recently. It’s actually for a 4-layer cake ~ I wasn’t that adventurous, and made it 2-layers.
According to Martha, “butter cakes” are a departure from the tradition of cake baking inherited from the Europeans, who relied on whipped egg whites for loft in sponge cakes, and glazes to moisten the airy layers. With the advent of chemical leaveners, American bakers could increase the amount of butter in their cakes and still get a glorious lift ~ resulting in a new kind of cake with ultra-moist layers.” “Butter cakes,” such as this one, quickly became the American standard.
By the way, the cookbook is filled with lots of great recipes, and this one made Bill a happy man for his birthday!
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
1½ cups flour, plus more for pans
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter two 8”x2” round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment.
Butter parchment and dust with flour, tap out excess.
Sift together flours, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl when needed.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla.
With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.
Beat well after each addition.
Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake until tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool in pans on a rack for 20 minutes.
Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen and turn out cakes onto rack.
Let cool completely, top side up.
*Place one of the layers on serving plate, spread with frosting.
Place other layer on top and frost entire cake.
8 to 10 servings
1½ pounds semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
1 pound plus 4 tablespoons (4½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
Heat chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over(not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine cocoa and the boiling water; stir until cocoa is dissolved.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.
Add melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Beat in cocoa mixture.
Makes 7½ cups (enough for an 8-inch layer cake)
*Pam’s note: As I stated earlier, this recipe is for 4 layers. If you desire, cut each of the 2 layers in half horizontally with a serrated knife to make 4 layers, and frost each layer. This frosting recipe makes plenty of frosting to cover the cake.
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes!