Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, 2011! Yellow Layer Cake with Fudge Frosting

I don't usually make new year resolutions, but thanks to the disaster that is this cake, I'm making an exception this year. I resolve to successfully assemble and frost a layer cake before 2011 comes to an end. Do you remember my first post? A delicious German Chocolate Cake that was hideous as could be. How about my first attempt at Carrot Cake? Misshapen layers and uneven frosting. I'm surprised that Cake Wrecks hasn't already accused me of stealing their idea. And now there's this monstrosity.

Before I forget to say anything nice about this cake, I should tell you that it is absolutely the best yellow cake with chocolate frosting I've ever tasted. The rich, buttery flavor of the cake pairs perfectly with the intensely chocolatey fudge frosting. If only it looked as delicious as it tastes. I won't bore you with the details of how it went wrong, but in the end I had to peel the top layer off with my hands and try to cover all the leftover crumbs with the little frosting I had left. Then, like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound, I tried to disguise my cake wreck with rainbow nonpareils. Sprinkles make everything better, right?

At this point, I would normally start pouting like a six-year-old and throw the whole thing in the trash, unable to bear the sight of its imperfection. But after tasting a few pieces of that top layer as I peeled it off the rest of my sad little cake, I couldn't care less what it looked like. It was that good.

So happy birthday, 2011. Let's hope that by 2012, this cake will be forgot and never brought to mind.

That was lame, I know.

Yellow Layer Cake
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cubed


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Run the mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds to combine the dry ingredients. With the mixer still running on low, add the butter one cube at a time, and continue to mix until the butter and flour form pea-sized clumps.

4. With the mixer still on low, add 1 cup of the egg mixture. Once it's incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the remaining egg mixture. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium-high about 15 seconds more.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pans. Invert each pan onto a plate and peel off the parchment paper. Re-invert the cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Fudge Frosting
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook: Heart Health Edition

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla


1. In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, cocoa, milk, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Allow the mixture to boil for 3 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for 45 minutes.

2. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in powdered sugar until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

1 comment:

  1. I totally love all of your posts. Your pictures are taken so well, I always think I can just reach into the computer and pull out the food. I want to be one of your first customers when you open your bakery.