Simple Homemade Birthday Cake

I love to bake, but cakes are certainly not my forte.  The last time I tried making a cake from scratch was last year while my in-laws were staying with us during the summer.  In an attempt to impress my mother-in-law, I made Ina Garten’s coconut cake.  It was a total fail. It came out weighing ten pounds (or at least it felt like it), was ridiculously dry, and didn’t even taste like coconut.  I was to blame, not the recipe. My mother-in-law was the only one to request a second piece because she liked to have dry desserts with her tea.  Bless her heart, no wonder why I love her so much.

With a bit of hesitation I dared try to make a homemade birthday cake for Maysoon.  First I searched foodgawker to no avail.  Then I headed over Annie’s Eats because I have had good results from her recipes.  Sure enough she had the yummiest looking cake that didn’t require so many difficult additional steps like others I had seen.  The more steps, the more chances for me to wreck the cake. 

Here goes nothing…

Mini bakers, ready?

Okay girls, the recipe doesn’t call for any cheese.

 Yellow Butter Cake  {via Annie’s Eats}

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1 1/2cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour the edges of the pans, tapping out the excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to blend well and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans to help remove the cakes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and peel off the parchment. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. Level the cakes if necessary.

To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a serving platter. Top with 1 cup of frosting and smooth over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting as desired. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make the chocolate frosting that she posts along with this recipe (you can find it on her blog).  I regret not making more time to do so.  I used strore bought frosting that affected the final effect of the cake.

The result:

It was delicious! I seriously couldn’t believe it. I had finally made a cake that people actually wanted to eat. It came out very moist and the recipe was quite simple. I will make this cake again. Seriously, there is something so rewarding about homemade baking. Especially when it’s done with my sweet little girls.

I decided it need a little something to spruce it up, so I added a “2”. Gently place a cookie cutter on top of the cake. Pour in just enough sprinkles to cover all the frosting inside of the cookie cutter. Gently press the sprinkles down so that they stick to the frosting and don’t spill out on to the surrounding area once you’ve removed the cookie cutter. 
Monster approved. Yay! 


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