Friday, October 16, 2015

Naked Vanilla Layer Cake

Hi, guys.'s mid-October and I'm posting for the first time since August. I am terribly sorry. I've been battling a combination of work and life busyness in tandem with the "I don't wannas!" But I've also been getting some exciting things together, and I look forward to sharing them with you.
In the meantime, all of my siblings celebrated birthdays last month, and mine is next Wednesday! Life just keeps on rolling while things are rolling. You know what I mean? Things change or stay the same, but life keeps moving.
Fortunately, when things start to get crazy, there's cake. Specifically, THIS cake. A light, fragrant vanilla sponge iced just between layers, for a simple, fun, delicious birthday celebration! I made this cake for Lydia and Joe, but couldn't let it go without tasting a bit for myself, and it was so good.
This is a super easy cake to bake from scratch, originally by Martha Stewart. I tend to avoid her recipes because they have like 217 ingredients and as many steps, but this one was SO EASY! I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe (because who needs anything else?) and added some sprinkles for a festive touch.
Add this simple cake to your next celebration. It'll be worth it, I promise! I picked up this recipe from Only From Scratch.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cake pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I rarely measure my powdered sugar--but I don't like frosting that's too sweet, so that measurement is an approximation)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of vanilla extract
For the cake:  preheat oven to 350.  Butter or grease two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and either line with buttered parchment, or butter and flour pans. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until just combined.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with an off-set spatula.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 33 to 35 minutes {If using 9-inch pans, 28-30 minutes}.  Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes.  Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

For the frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add vanilla, then beat until smooth. Spread half of the frosting onto the bottom cake layer, starting from the middle. (If you frost too close to the edge, the frosting will squish out of the edges!) Spread it thickly outward from the middle of the cake, leaving about an inch margin.

Set second cake layer on top and spread the rest of the frosting using a butter knife or an offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, and enjoy!

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