My friend and I have decided to search for the perfect yellow cake. The idea for this search started when my friend told me that she was craving a yellow cake with chocolate frosting – the prototypical cake in my mind. She asked me if I knew of a good recipe, and I told her that I didn’t. Thus, the search began.
We then planned to meet each other once a week and try out a recipe. On the first week, we were hoping to try out the recipe from her grandmother because she says that it was her favorite growing up. After weeks and weeks of begging for the recipe, she was never able to get it from her grandmother until today! We will be trying out that recipe tomorrow, so I will keep you posted.
On this post, I present to your our first attempt. At the end of the post, I will give you the rating we and two other people gave on this cake. This first recipe comes from one of my most reliable food blog for good recipes – Mel’s Kitchen. I love her recipes and get excited about just about any recipe that pops up.
When she blogged about a homemade yellow cake mix recipe, I was so excited. I was even more excited that I had all the ingredients in my apartment already, including the powdered milk….ahhh, the powdered milk (from hereon, we will call this ingredient PM). After making the batter, we tasted it and were surprisingly disappointed. The PM was the most salient taste; it really tasted off. Nevertheless, we forged ahead, baked, and frosted the cake with my favorite chocolate frosting.
My beloved, overheated oven caused the cake to burn around the edges while the center was still not done. I continued to bake the cake and then cut off the burnt, crusty tips. After frosting the cake, I cut into it in order to take photos. The knife struggled through the burnt, overly-done edges of the cake and then I pulled out the piece only to reveal an underdone cake! I cut another piece that looked a bit better and took photos of it instead.
We tasted the cake reluctantly and were disappointed. My friend was more disappointed than I. I think the problem primarily came from the powdered milk and the oven. I should have used a newer box of PM and maybe I could have ground it up a bit before adding it to the cake mixture because the granules were quite large. Also, I need to request the apartment owner to install a new oven for me hahaha. I hope I have luck with that. Anyway, everyone who tasted the cake loved the chocolate frosting, but that had nothing to do with the yellow cake in itself.
Here are the ratings:
Lydia’s husband: 8.5/10
My Neighbor: 8.5/10
So, the non-picky people gave the cake a much higher rating. I think if I were to fix the two problems mentioned above, the cake would dramatically improve. So, with that said, I wouldn’t totally dismiss this recipe at all. I plan to try it again under better circumstances. Despite the negatives, this cake was moist and buttery. All the homemade yellow cakes I’ve made prior to this one tasted like sweet cornbread for some reason. This one tasted like a cake even with the problems it had.
For the next cake, we will be using my friend’s oven, and this recipe doesn’t require PM :). Stay tuned!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or 1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour and 3 Tbsp cornstarch) 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Process sugar, flours (or flour and cornstarch if making the substitution for the cake flour), milk powder, baking powder, and salt in a food processor for 15 seconds to combine. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you want this much finer than, say, a pie crust). Freeze the dry mixture in a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 months or use immediately.
To make the cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan of choice (I used Baker’s Joy).
1 1/4 c warm water
2 large eggs, room temperature
With an electric or stand mixer, beat the prepared cake mix, warm water and eggs until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-27 minutes for two 9-inch layer cakes. See the note above the recipe for alternate cooking times with other baking pans. Cool the cake(s) in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
from the Daring Baker’s Dobos Torte. Recipe copied from PastryPal
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Guittard semi-sweet chocolate)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
1 1/4 cups (125 g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil, and place a larger bowl filled with the chocolate over it. It will melt gently. Let the chocolate cool to lukewarm on the side.
Meanwhile, beat the butter until completely smooth. Add cocoa powder and beat in. Sift the powdered sugar directly over the bowl and beat that in.
Next, in goes the vanilla and the melted chocolate.
Mix together, and place a crumb coating on the cake. Refrigerate or freeze the cake for 30 mins-1 hour. Then, add another coat of frosting.
*If you want to do a lot of decorating with his frosting, I suggest making another half portion of this frosting or doubling it.