Makes: One 9 inch layer
Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C
Baking Time: 30 to 40 minutes (35 to 45 minutes for a sheet cake)
This versatile layer cake is one of the lightest and fluffiest of yellow cakes. We used it for all of our Power of Flour postings’ tests, adjusting the baking powder depending on type of flour or flour combination used. The cake also serves as an excellent test for confirming your oven’s temperature. It has been featured in various forms in The Cake Bible, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, The Baking Bible, and Rose’s Baking Basics. It is also the Base Formula Yellow Base Cake in The Cake Bible’s Wedding and Special Occasion Cakes chapter.
Special Equipment One 9 by 2 inch round (or 8 by 2 inch square) pan, encircled with cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment round, then coated with baking spray with flour
Preheat the Oven
* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.
Set Up for Ingredients (Mise en Place)
* About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).
* In a 2 cup or larger measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg yolks.
Make the Batter
1) Into measure with a spout, add 59 grams/1/4 cup/79 ml of the milk and vanilla and whisk just until lightly combined.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
3) Add the butter and the remaining buttermilk and holding the beater with your hand, mash the butter and buttermilk into the flour mixture so that it doesn’t jump out of the mixer when beating. Then mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4) Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake the Cake
6) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (35 to 45 for a sheet cake), or until a wire cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean.
Cool the Cake
7) Let the cake cool in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes (15 minutes for a sheet cake). Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Peel off the parchment and reinvert onto the wire rack. Cool completely.
Store Airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 1 week; frozen, 3 months.
* It is essential to measure your egg yolks, as egg yolks are frequently smaller by up to 25% from the standard size. Therefore our stating up to 6 yolks on the chart.
Make This Recipe Your Own
* For a two-layer simply double the recipe in half (including the leavening).
* When unmolding the two layers, leave them upside down to help flatten the slightly rounded top. When composing the cake, set one layer, rounded side down on the cardboard round or plate. Frost the top and slide the second layer, rounded side up, on top.
* For a 13 by 9 inch sheet cake, double all of the ingredients except to use only 4-3/4 teaspoons/21.4 grams of baking powder.
White Velvet Layer Cake
What to do with those egg whites? Bake an egg white cake. Make the same recipe using.
3 egg whites 90 grams / 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml)
baking powder 3-1/4 teaspoons