Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yellow Butter Cake Recipe

Baby girl with baby goat!

It's Pioneer week on Growing Gourmets!  I love, love, love the Little House series.  Have I told you that before?  Really, I appreciate anything that has to do with the amazing men and women who survived the American frontier by hard work, perseverance and cooperation.  Their ability to survive speaks to something inside all of us.  The question of whether, if we were in their place, we would be able to create something out of almost nothing and make a life for ourselves and our family.

I am reminded of this each time I plant tomatoes or basil or something small in our garden.  We don't really rely on it for sustenance, it's just a supplement to the many trips to the grocery store.  We have so much prosperity,it is good to be reminded of those who don't, both in the past and present.  It is inspiring to read stories of families who not only survived, but thrived, enjoying the goodness of hard work, fellowship and simplicity.

On a sweeter note, an anonymous reader requested the delicious yellow butter cake recipe I used for the baby girl's birthday cake.  Trust me, over the years I have tried so many different yellow cake recipes it would make your head spin.  I know, I know, there are perfectly good box mixes out there, but I want homemade!  All the cakes I tried in the past came out too dense; more similar to a pound cake than a light, fluffy birthday cake.  This recipe seems to do the trick for me.  I actually doubled it for the party to make three tiers but one recipe will get you two 9 inch rounds. 

Now, this cake was made in about an hour and a half, quite "fast and furious" because I was out of time.  So I went with the "home-baked" pioneer theme and kept it super simple.  I wanted to make an apricot filling between the layers, but baby girl wanted plain. (sigh)   I added almond flavoring to the batter which really enhanced the taste  It wasn't overwhelming, just a subtle addition to add more flavor.  My oldest said it was the best cake ever!  Which is always nice to hear, even if the compliments come when they are feasting on large amounts of sugar.

Yellow Butter Cake
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoons almond extract
3 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk

In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, then yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.

In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir about a third of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in half the milk just until blended. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, then remaining milk, followed by remaining flour. Scrape batter equally into two buttered and floured 9-inch round cake pans and spread level.  Bake in a 350° oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Don't over bake.  Cool on racks in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks and remove pans. Cool completely before frosting.

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