Birthday Cake

It was my birthday on Saturday, 24 years old. I'm officially in my mid 20s, not quite sure how I feel about that! One thing I do know how I feel about is cake. In case you didn't know, I absolutely love cake. It is probably my favorite dessert, especially a classic white cake. Birthdays are exciting because they give me a chance to make and eat cake. And although I love chocolate, when it comes to cake, white cake steals my heart.

I've made numerous recipes over the past several years, and they're all good, but I tried another new one this year. It was fabulous! Super moist and full of vanilla flavor, a classic white layer cake. I loved it. I made this cake to take along to my small group meeting where we had three birthdays to celebrate. It was a hit and I will be making it again soon.

Happy Birthday!!

Ready to mix it up

The butter is softened

Now we're ready to bake

Looks great, smelled even better!


Spread it on...

...and smooth it out


It was a great birthday!

Adapted from, originally from Cook's Illustrated

Classic White Layer Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting pans (9 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature (3/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (I didn't have any, so I used 2 tsp of vanilla instead, it worked fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (1 1/2 sticks)

    Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
    Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

    Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

    Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

    Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

    Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Butter Frosting

    • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (1 1/2 sticks)
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 pinch salt

    For the Frosting: Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed until sugar is moistened. Increase speed to medium-high (high if using handheld mixer); beat, stopping twice to scrape down bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Avoid overbeating, or frosting will be too soft to pipe. (If you like a lot of frosting, or you want to do some decorating, I would make a recipe and a half for this cake. I personally don't like to skimp on frosting.)