Friday, June 20, 2014

absolutely the best yellow cake with swiss meringue buttercream

I have made quite a few yellow cakes in my baking life - after all, yellow cakes make great bases on which any type or frosting and/or decorations can be added.
When I read the title of this cake, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, I started baking when I was about 11 and I have baked many cakes. To claim that this was "absolutely the best" yellow cake, hmmm, I was not sure about that.

So I did my research. And I got a bit less skeptical. Apparently, many fantastic bakers believe that this cake is one of the most popular yellow cakes in the USA, next to the Magnolia yellow cake.

So it was with some excitement that I baked this cake.
And I was floored by the results. I baked my cakes using three 6-inch pans and I ended up with 6 fat, gorgeous layers, which meant I was able to make the type of cakes I like best - a really, really, really tall cake!

If you've always wanted to make a 3-, 4-, 5- (or more) layer cake, but have not done so because you are worried it is difficult to do so, let me reassure you that it really is not that hard.
Sure, to make a professional-looking cake takes some practice, but if you just want to make a cake for your loved-ones or friends, the cake does not need to look perfect. I'd rather receive a not-so-well-decorated home-made cake than a "perfect" store-bought one any day!.
To make this cake, I started by creaming together butter and sugar.
Until the mixture turned smooth and light in colour.
I added the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition.
I added the vanilla extract.
Once the vanilla was blended, I scrapped the mixing bowl to ensure that everything was mixed.
I added the flour and milk in the ratio flour-milk-flour-milk-flour, making sure to mix only until just incorporated after each addition.
The batter was done!
I divided the batter among 3 6-inch baking pans that had been lined and greased. And baked them for 30 minutes.
Once baked, I left the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10-15 minutes before transferring them onto the cooling racks to cool completely.

To frost, I cut each cake in half, sandwiched the layers with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and completely frosted the exterior of the cake with more Swiss Meringure Buttercream!
This cake is soft, and moist, and so versatile!
I so love my baking assignment this month with the Cake Slice Bakers because there is so much room for creativity!
This is for sure, my favourite bake from Carole Walter's Great Cakes thus far!

A giveaway!
I have tons of kitchen equipment and one of the things I cannot do without when I cook or bake are my measuring cups. Not just any old measuring cups, mind you. OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cups! A patented angled surface lets you read measurement markings by looking straight down into the Cup and eliminates the need to fill, check and adjust the amount of liquid you are measuring. The handle is soft and non-slip for a firm grip, and cup, ounce and milliliter measurement markings increase convenience. The set includes 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup versions.

To take part, click on the picture above!

Absolutely the Best Yellow Cake (Serves 12-16)
Adapted from Great Cakes by Carole Walters

3 cups (285g) sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter
2 cups (450g) caster sugar - I reduced this by 50%
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) whole milk

1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C).
2. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and put them in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with beaters or the paddle attachment. Soften on low speed. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
3. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 8 to 10 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
4. While the butter and sugar are beating, Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
5. Add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.
6. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add the dry ingredients in four batches, alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Center the pan on the rack and bake for 65 to 70 minutes (I baked mine for 30 minutes), or until the cake is golden brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out dry.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and set the pan on a cake rack to cool to room temperature. If you are using a pan with a removable bottom, remove the pan by lifting up the center tube and running a sharp, thin-bladed knife under the cake and around the inner tube to loosen the cake. Invert the cake onto the cake rack.
9. If your pan does not have a removable bottom, run a thin, sharp knife around the outer sides and inner tube, then invert the cake onto the rack. Place on a cake platter top side up. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioner's sugar.
10. Store at room temperature under a glass cake dome or in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups)
Adapted from bakersroyale

5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
454g unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160F while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed  until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.

For step-by-step tutorial, see here.

This post is linked to Cook Your Books, hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY, and Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen.
Last but not least, I am linking this post to Say G'Day hosted by NatashaInOz.


  1. Looks so good babe.... so awfully sinfully devilicious yummy!!! Love the shades of blue too.. so wanna bake 1 too...

    1. Hey Priscilla make it!!!! I can't wait to see your cake!!

  2. Diana, that is a very tall cake! So, that means we get a very thin slice each is it hee..hee...I also love the way you colour the buttercream. Wish I could have a taste!

    1. Phong Hong, I think everyone can manage only a thin piece. It was so filling hahaha :)

  3. Hi, Diana. This yellow cake is so "tall".
    Thanks for sharing this recipe with LTU!

  4. Gorgeous! Love the layers and the exquisite colors in the Swiss meringue buttercream, Diana!

    1. Thanks Kim! I just saw your cake - I am going to leave a comment now. <3

  5. Your cake is beautiful, love the ombre effect!

  6. Diana that cake looks so beautiful! Love the blue you used!!


  7. Your presentation of the yellow cake is AWESOME!! Love that height!

  8. WOW! Just WOW! It certainly looks like the "Absolute best yellow cake" ... and BLUE! ;) ... beautiful! You did an amazing job! I am happy it did live up to the expectations for you... :) Great choice!

  9. Love the ombre look, it looks lovely :) Glad you enjoyed the cake too!

    1. Thanks Laura - this is now my favourite yellow cake!

  10. Gorgeous cake! Love the colors!
    I always seal my cakes with press-n-seal, it keeps the moister in! Love it!

  11. the layers and the color of the frosting!!!!

  12. I love tall cakes too and the ombre frosting is just beautiful. Is it wrong that I also noticed your pretty nails?

    1. Thank you Felice and thank you once more for noticing the nails haha :)

  13. Hi Diana,
    Your cake is simply beautiful! I love the colour of your frosting!
    And it looks really yummy too!
    Thanks for linking!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing this at the Say G'day Saturday linky party. I've just pinned this and shared on G+.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  15. Hi, can these be made into cupcakes with the same fluffy texture? Thanks :)

    1. yes. see here: