RECIPE: Vanilla Birthday Cake

By Larissa Phillips

I like a classic yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting. However, since I also like using a little bit of white whole wheat flour (a lighter, finer type of whole wheat) and less-refined sugar like Sucanat, my cakes are usually more of a dark amber color. If you like a lighter color, use all white flour and white sugar.

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar or Sucanat
3 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cup unbleached white flour, or cake flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Equipment: three 9-inch cake pans, buttered and dusted with flour

1.    Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and light. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one by one.

2.    Sift the dry ingredients together. Add to the batter gradually, alternating with the milk. Add the vanilla extract

3.    Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Icing

This icing is rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet or buttery. I like it much better than the butter cream frostings that are so popular right now.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp heavy cream

Heat the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter until they are smooth and combined. When the mixture reaches a boil, add the chocolate. Let simmer, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes. Take off the burner and let cool to 110°, or until you can touch without burning your finger. Add the cream and vanilla and beat with a mixer. The longer you beat, the thicker the icing will get.

The Mothership Method - Blog by Larissa Phillips

Feeding Your Family feature articles for April 2009