Whipped Cream Cake

Maybe I should have called this cake "Where's the Butter?" because at first glance there appears to be no butter in it. In reality, the butterfat contained in the heavy cream is more than the butter usually added separately! As this seems to be, perhaps, the most popular of all the cakes in my newest book Rose's Heavenly Cakes I've decided to list the recipe on this blog for easy access.

Whipped Cream Cake

Serves: 8 to 10
Baking Time: 25 to 35 minutes

This unusual old-time recipe was sent to me by chef Anthony Stella, a restaurateur in Delaware, who asked if I could perform a makeover on it. What intrigued both of us about the recipe was that at first glace it seemed to contain no butter or oil. But on closer analysis, I discovered that the butterfat contained in the cream was more than equal to the usual amount of butter added.

My makeover involved a nip and tuck, decreasing the sugar and baking powder and increasing the salt to compensate for the saltiness previously provided by a higher amount of baking powder. I also increased the overall yield by one and a half times and baked the cake in a fluted tube pan to give it an attractive appearance and more center support. The result is a perfectly even and exceptionally moist and tender cake.

Batter Ingredients

Bleached Cake Flour or bleached all-purpose flour, sifted (2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all purpose--measured by sifting into the cup and leveling it off: 8 ounces/225 grams)
Baking powder (2 teaspoons)
Salt (3/4 teaspooon)
Heavy cream, cold (1-1/2 cups/12.3 ounces/348 grams)
3 large eggs, at room temperature (1/2 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons/5.3 ounces/150 grams)
Pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
Superfine sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/8 ounces/225 grams)

Special Equipment One 10-cup fluted metal tube pan, coated with baking spray with flour

Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C (350°F/175°C if using a dark pan).

Make the Batter

Mix the Dry Ingredients In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and then sift them together to make the mixture easier to incorporate.

Mix the Liquid Ingredients In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whip the cream, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla just until lightly combined.

On medium-high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The mixture will thicken into mayonnaise consistency (unless high-butterfat cream is used).

Gradually beat in the sugar. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate it. [Here's a slight change in how I now incorporate the flour thanks to both Marie Wolf and Hector Wong commenting on the difficulty with a rubber or silicone spatula] Detach the bowl and whisk beater from the stand.

 Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture and, with the whisk attachment stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture and continue folding and mixing until all traces of flour have disappeared. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatula or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.

Bake the Cake Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely.

The cake requires no adornment, but I love to serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar or a large dollop of lightly sweetened Whipped Cream.

Notes: Do not chill the bowl and beaters for the heavy cream because the eggs will not emulsify as readily if the whipped cream is too cold. High-butterfat (40 percent) heavy cream produces a finer, more tender crumb. This cream is generally available only to bakeries and restaurants, but it is certainly worth asking your local baker to sell you a container.