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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Whoops I made a mistake! I was talking about my birthday cake!

Last year I made my first cake, and it was my own birthday cake.

That was using a cake mix.  This year I made my first "from scratch" cake, and it was also my birthday cake.

I tell you what:  While I was making the cake, I was lamenting that it was more effort to make a cake from scratch, and that from then on, I would use a mix.

Until I actually tried the cake.  And it was incredible!  It was the best cake I ever had!

The actual recipe I used was to the letter from the smitten kitchen website.

Instead of using two round cake pans and making it into layers, I just baked it all in a 12 inch cast iron skillet.

I'll retype the ingredients and method here:

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of CAKE flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
2 sticks softened butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I actually used 3)
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk

On the ingredients:  

1.  Yes, I used cake flour.  Cake flour is flour specially formulated for cake.  A few friends told me that all purpose flour would have been fine.  I'm sure it would have been, but I used cake flour, and the results were amazing.

2.  Yes, I used pure vanilla.  A few friends also told me that imitation would have been fine, but it's my birthday; I used pure vanilla!  I added an extra teaspoon to give it more zing.

3.  Be sure you take the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator for about an hour before you start making the cake.  I didn't do this, so I was delayed an hour because the butter had to be softened and the eggs had to be room temperature.

4.  Absolutely do not substitute self rising flour.  I realize that self rising flour is flour with baking powder and salt already in it, but this is cake, not biscuits, pancakes or cornbread!  

Now for the method:

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Use a cake mixer!  It will make the job a lot easier!

In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat.  Then beat in the buttermilk.

Then add the flour mixture in small amounts until it's all mixed.

I poured it all in the cast iron skillet and baked at 350 degrees until done.

The recipe also calls for a scratch made frosting, but I used store bought.

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