Baking the Cake

Hey cake virgins!!

Let's talk cake. Delicious, mouth-watering, succulent cake. As the basis for all our decorating, what kind of cake you bake can spell masterpiece or disaster for your cake. For example, don't use a soft, crumbly cake when you want to stack two or more cakes as the weight will just crush the cake down. This recipe is from Wilton (I know, surprise, right?) and is for a basic yellow cake. What I love about this cake is that, once cooled, it is a strong and sturdy cake, perfect for sculpting or stacking. I've used it on numerous occasions,  since basic yellow cake is usually a crowd pleaser.

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and line with waxed paper or parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating one minute. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Fill and frost as desired.

Quick Note:
Now, the recipe gives you the baking time for two 8-inch rounds, but don't worry! You are in no way stuck to just making this batter into two 8-inch round cakes! You can easily make this into whatever shape you want, using the right pan. The baking time will change of course, but there is a quick and easy solution to this.
The easiest way to make sure your cake is cooked right is with the use of a toothpick or any other long, stick thing you have lying around the house. Check your cake often, using a oven light if you have one since that will keep all the heat inside the oven. Once the cake starts looking golden and cake-like, open the oven, and stick the toothpick into the center of the cake. If, when you pull it out, the toothpick is clean (meaning no pieces of cake crumb on the stick) then your cake is done! If you do see crumbs on the toothpick, close the oven and give it a few more minutes, and check on it again.
This ensures that your cake won't be overcooked, but also not underdone.

There are HUNDREDS of other cake recipes out there, so you certainly aren't limited to just using yellow or white cake. Just make sure that whatever recipe you use, that it suits your needs. Don't choose a soft, crumbly cake when you want to build a three tier cake or sculpt anything. Try recipe sites like Recipezaar and Epicurious to find great cake recipes!

So grab that mixing bowl and get baking!

Until next time cake virgins!


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