I know just how busy our lives are nowadays. With two little kids running around the house, a full time job and trying to stay in shape for a bicycle team, my time is stretched just about as far as you can without going crazy. The last thing you think you would have time for would be making a cake from scratch at home. After you see this super easy recipe with only 9 ingredients, you won’t ever want to go back to a boxed cake again.
Most of us have all of the ingredients we need to make a cake, we just don’t realize that it isn’t that hard to make one from scratch. Not only are you making something that you know exactly what goes into the cake but you are putting a little bit of yourself into the cake and that is truly something special.
Let’s dive into the recipe and instructions and you’ll see just how easy it is to make a standard white birthday cake. A simple recipe for basic vanilla frosting will follow the cake. I have used some things that you might have a variation of in your home. Instead of whole milk you might have 2%. Instead of cake flour you might have all purpose. You can use these but keep in mind they will change the texture a little bit.
Classic White Birthday Cake Recipe
Nonstick cooking spray with flour- Baker’s Joy works wonders!
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces)
1 cup whole milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1. Set oven rack in middle position. (If your oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions and you’ll stagger the pans on each layer) and heat to 350 degrees (325 with convection oven). Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with Baker’s joy then line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds.
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and whisk lightly until blended.
3.Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
4. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Make sure the pans are at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion like described above so the air can circulate. If you have a convection oven, this doesn’t apply.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Here’s the frosting recipe:
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of table salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter , softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Stir the cream, vanilla, and salt together in a small bowl until the salt dissolves.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until smooth, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Beat in the cream mixture. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, 4 to 8 minutes.
These are some pretty simple recipes that anyone can make. You’ll find it is very rewarding to make your own cakes. Take the extra 10 minutes to make the cake from scratch. Have your kids help. It is a great time to share that are gone way too soon. If you have a cake that you make and are really proud of it, please share it with me on a site I set up to show off your cakes.