I can't say I'd ever made a butter cake before - vanilla cupcakes yes, but those attempts had left room for improvement. So I wanted to find a new recipe, one that was tried and true, so like all good Gen X cooks, turned to the Internet to help me. It was on Bakerella's blog that I found the recipe. Her post about it can be found right here, although she calls it a yellow cake - same same right? Americans sure love their cakes layered and I've found a lot of their cake recipes make a fairly large quantity of batter. This recipe made enough to fill a lamington tin (I think that's what it was) with enough left over for a mini-cake tin. Ordinarily it will fill 3 x 20 cm cake tins.
I made the cake the day before and covered the tin in cling wrap. It was beautiful the next day. The key to this cake being so moist and yummy is creaming the butter and sugar for a loooong time - I set mine to cream while I get all the other stuff measured and done. So, here it is...
Best Butter Cake Ever
1 cup of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-raising flour
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour 3 x 20cm/8 inch cake tins, or whatever you choose to use.
Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
Alternate adding flour and milk beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla to mix until just mixed. Pour batter in to tin/s. and then carefully drop the tin/s onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake (nice tip!).
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done. Cool in pans for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks. Once cooled, you are ready to ice /assemble your cake.
OK so Miss J's big day was the hottest Sydney day all summer, so I had no choice but to refrigerate it after icing it. I have since read a great tip that says to use vegetable shortening instead of butter as it doens't melt as easily (also makes the icing whiter, better for adding colour). It was my very first attempt at icing anything big with buttercream and despite my fears of it all going horribly wrong, it actually came up kind of cute.
Hmmm, I think it looked better in real life. Anyway, it tasted great, so that's what really matters right? I even overheard my Mother saying 'she makes a good cake', which is the my-Mother-the-most-immodest-cook-ever equivalent of an Academy Award.
Next up... I made a variation! Chai Latte Butter Cake.