Monday, October 25, 2010

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes (or Cake)

This moist and tender yellow cake is an American classic. It can be paired with any of the frostings you love: chocolate, vanilla, coconut, caramel... We make this cake using the "paste method;" soft butter and room-temperature liquids are beaten into the dry ingredients, then the eggs are added one by one. It's a no-fuss way of making a delicious cake every time.
Our guarantee: This cake will be tender and moist. It makes a good layer cake, cupcake, or eat-out-of-the-pan cake, with a fine crumb that you can pick up with the back of your fork.

Baking Banter Blog post for this recipe

Use the Super-Simple Chocolate Frosting recipe for this.

By Volume:

By Weight:

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round cake pans, three 8" round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins (24 muffin cups). You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

2) Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.

3) Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

4) Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.

5) With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

6) Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added.

7) After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.

8) Transfer the batter to the pans of your choice. For layers, divide the batter among the pans. Smooth out the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon.
For cupcakes, scoop by heaping 1/4-cupfuls into the prepared muffin tins.

9) Bake for 40 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 27 minutes for 9" layers; 24 minutes for 8" layers, or 23 to 25 minutes for cupcakes.

10. The cake is done when it's golden brown around the edges and just beginning to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

11) Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.

 

Recipe summary

Hands-on time: 15 mins. to 55 mins.
Baking time: 23 mins. to 40 mins.
Total time: 38 mins.
Yield: one 9" x 13" cake, 24 cupcakes, two 9" round layers, or three 8" round layers

Tips from our bakers

  • The butter in this recipe needs to be very soft. You can soften butter by placing the sticks, still in their wrappers, in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes. If you can leave a dent in the butter with a gentle touch, it's ready to use.
  • To warm the milk before adding it, heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the vanilla after the milk is warm, then add all of the liquid to the recipe at once.
  • Never frost a cake until it's completely cool. For tips on frosting a cake, go to our cake decorating class.
  • This batter weighs 3 pounds; if you're using a scale to measure out your layers, each 9-inch layer should weigh 1 1/2 pounds; each 8-inch layer needs 12 ounces of batter.

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recipe from a King Arthur e-mail

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