Monday, August 27, 2012

Best White Cake

(Wait a second, you charlatan, that's the cake you just posted and it was chocolate. Okay, you caught me. The thing is: When you have a house full of 7 children, thinking about taking pictures just doesn't rank very high in brain function. And then, before you know it, the cake is gone.)

Since we're talking about cake and all, let me tell you about this incredible one we made several weeks ago. It. wasn't. chocolate. I know, you've hit the floor. Your relatives are calling 911 as we speak. Well, get up because if you die of cardiac arrest, you want to die after you eat this cake.

As you know, chocolate is definitely the cake of choice around here. Partly because Kip loves it with his whole soul and part of my stay-thin plan is to have him eat the majority of the sweets I make (Does this make me a bad person? Yes. But it's a variety of bad personness that Kip rather enjoys. Which is no excuse. But still.) Also, I've spent a lot of time (probably more time than a person should be proud of) finding some perfect chocolate cake recipes and perfecting my chocolate cake skills. And, while the white and yellow cakes I've tried have come out fine, they just haven't been good enough to sing about. Nevertheless, a couple of weeks ago, my sister and nephews were visiting. Apparently, they didn't get the memo about chocolate cake being the only cake and my nephew Noah requested, gasp, a white cake. A white cake dyed in a rainbow of colors, mind you, but a white cake at heart nevertheless. What was I to do?

Fortunately my sister-in-law had sent me a recommendation for a killer white cake months ago. I'd been needing a reason to make it and here that reason stood in cute little blond-headed form.

Now I have to tell you that if my cake goddess sister-in-law hadn't recommended it, there's no way I would have picked this cake out of a line up. Why? The ingredients are posted kind of weird and the instructions are whacked. Still, I have to give the person who posted this credit. Because it's awesome. Not to toot my own horn or anything (toot toot), but it'll be even more awesome with the instructions below. (P.S. After writing this boast, I nearly forgot to list the sugar; don't worry; I caught it; whew.)

Best White Cake
adapted from food
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cost: $1.85
eggs: .50, milk: .15, flour: .30, butter: .85, other stuff: .05

Note: You're going to have egg yolks on hand after this. Make yourself a lovely pudding. Or some ice cream. Of just add them to some regular eggs for a rich omelette.

5 egg whites
1 C buttermilk (or 1 scant cup milk mixed with 1 Tbsp white vinegar)
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
3 C cake flour (which I did use, although my sis-in-law says all purpose works too)
2 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, very soft (if using salted, omit some or all of salt)
1 C boiling water
food coloring if your nephew is requesting a rainbow

Preheat oven to 350. Take 2 9-inch pans, grease them, line them with wax paper, and grease them again.

In small bowl combine buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) and baking soda.

In medium bowl whisk together egg white, 1/4 C of the milk mixture, and the vanilla. (Just whisk it until it comes together; you're not going for a lot of air in the whites or anything.)

In large bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients (including the sugar). Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 C milk mixture. Mix on low until moistened and then increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until well incorporated.

Gradually add the egg mixture, mixing to incorporate. (We kind of did this in batches. We added 1/3 of the mixture, then beat, then another 1/3, beat, then the last 1/3, and beat.) Scrape down the sides as you do this.

Add the boiling water and beat until everything is incorporated. It's going to be runny and you might feel nervous. Don't feel nervous. It'll be great.

Add food coloring if using. We poured our batter into the pans and then just gently swirled to get a green and a blue layer.

Bake 15-20 minutes. It should be taken out when you stick a fork in and it comes out with a few moist crumbs and is just barely starting to pull away from the edge (just barely). (Note: The original recipe said 35 minutes. I don't know what it is about cake recipes. I feel like many of them have you bake your cake until it's 2 days old. Maybe it's my oven, but I'm pretty sure it bakes at the correct temperature. Anyway, we checked ours at 20 minutes and it was definitely done, but if yours takes longer, don't despair.)



  1. Just a suggestion even thought that cake looks absolutely kid jumping up and down with joy delicious maybe we could invasion what it would taste like it we saw a picture of you...actually eating it. For all we know it might be cardboard covered with fruity pebbles! :)

    1. Well, I do have some shots of Savannah sitting on the counter while I was making it:).

  2. This cake looks and sounds delicious.

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