Friday, February 14, 2014

Perfect Vanilla Cake and Cupcake Recipe



Good-old chocolate and vanilla cakes and cupcakes are my favorite. Store bought cake mixes are fine if you want to make something quick, and you know it will be good. But if you want to make something even better, from scratch, this is exactly it.

Last year I was in a real online haunt for a good home made recipe, and man did I waste a lot of time, money and hope on that. I was starting to give up when I clicked on this amazing website and there SHE was (yes, I am totally calling the recipe a “SHE”, because she is so good!).  Gloria is the talented recipe creator and she makes Glorious Threats. Her website is full of amazing photos showing all those recipes to try. I haven’t try them all yet, but I gave her vanilla cupcakes recipe a try, then I decided to try it on a cake, and that´s was it, the research stopped! Well no, the research never stops, what stopped was me trying random online recipes with no success whatsoever.

Here is the recipe:
-1 ¼ cup of cake flour
-1 ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-2 eggs
-3/4 cup of sugar (standard)
-1 ½ teaspoon of any extract. I use vanilla extract.
-1/2 cup of oil (could be olive oil, vegetable oil, etc)
-1/2 cup of buttermilk. Make buttermilk by mixing ½ cup of milk with ½ teaspoon. Stir and leave for 5 minutes before using.


How to:
- Preheat oven to 350ª F / 180ªC.
- In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, sift and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla (or chosen flavor) and oil, beat until incorporated.
-Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the buttermilk mix just until incorporated. Then the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk.  Beat until just combined. Do not over beat. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
- The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a cake pan prepared with parchment paper on the bottom. Or grease pan with butter and flour. 
- Bake cake in pre-heated oven for 28-30 minutes.  Open oven just until minute 13 to 15 and flip cake pan so front will go to the back and back to the front, so everything bakes evenly.
- Let cool in pan 10-15 minutes, then remove cake from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.

NOTE: Do NOT use all-purpose flour for this recipe. Use cake flour. That is what makes this recipe special.

Where the hell do I find cake flour?
At the beginning I didn’t know where to find it. It´s usually not available at grocery stores. They usually only have all-purpose. But I found mine at a cake supply store. It´s a bit more expensive, but it´s worth it.
I have done this recipe with all-purpose flour, and then with cake flour as the original recipe suggest, and there is a reason for that.  It´s 100000 times better with cake flour.

I use this recipe on an 8 in cake pan. I double the recipe to make a bigger cake. When it comes to cakes, the bigger the better.

Here is the step-by-step, plus some tips and tricks and storage:







Give it a try, you won´t regret it. I know about behind scared when you try a new recipe. You don’t want to waist any money or time. And all you want is a good, fluffy, delicious, go-to recipe. I have been there. It stinks. If you are too scared, try the recipe first by making some cupcakes.  So you just make one batch of the recipe, or make the cake!

Renee!