Monday, February 29, 2016

Buttermilk "Birthday" Cake

When I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker's Blog, I wanted to make it soon because it just looked so simple and old-fashioned and good!  I made it a few weeks after finding it when a friend was moving. It was very well-received.  I didn't have any heavy cream, so I didn't add that part to the frosting, and it was fine without it.  Check out the original link up there if you want to to see the frosting the original way.  Don't wait for a birthday to make this cake!  Take it to your next potluck or just make it for fun anytime.  PS; Since I didn't use the cream I think I should have reduced the butter to only 1 stick (1/2 cup); not 1.5 sticks and will reflect that below.)

Buttermilk "Birthday" Cake
adapted from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the Chocolate Buttercream
(double the frosting recipe for a layer cake of generously frosted cupcakes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more if needed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk (more if needed)

1.  To make the cake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan or 2 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (you can also use a large bowl and electric hand beaters) cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stop the mixer and and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

3.  In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter and egg mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2-3 minutes more.  Pour batter into prepared pan or pans. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until cooked through and the top springs back lightly when touch. Test the cake by inserted a skewer into the center of the cake. Cake is done when just a few crumbs are left on the skewer.

4.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan completely before frosting. If making a layered round cake, remove the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Let cool completely before frosting.

5.  To make the frosting, cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Butter mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add powdered sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute.  Slather cake generously with frosting and top with sprinkles if desired.  
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