If you haven’t read my blog before,  allow me to clarify…anything in this pinkie-purple color is me talking…anything in black is the original recipe. I hope this helps!

Looks great...but comes with a warning...use as prop only.
Looks great...but comes with a warning...use as prop only.

Best Yellow Layer Cake by Smittenkitchen.com

Everyone needs a killer yellow cake recipe. Who doesn’t? This is mine, (Smittenkitchen…not mine) and dare I say, it should be yours too. (Not really) It just works. (Not really) Every time. (Not really) And if you’ve ever tried a yellow cake mix and wondered why yours didn’t come out that consistently plush (but not freakishly unnatural) at home, dare I say it’s because you hadn’t made this one yet?

Well…I was very hopeful, but it was just OK for me DOG.  My Betty Crocker/Duncan mix is much better than this recipe! Maybe I just didn’t bake it with LOVE!

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake (I have yet to audition the cupcakes, shame on me) I did audition the cupcakes and they weren’t great! Maybe it was the frosting I couldn’t get past…IDK…but I didn’t like them!

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising) I couldn’t find cake flour at my grocery store…pretty lame huh?…so I used regular and sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.) I did cupcakes and three mini cakes, and no, I didn’t line the pans with parchment and then butter…and I had no problems…huh.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

ND3_1182Adapted from The Dessert Bible

Yes, it’s true: A chocolate frosting recipe without any butter, whipped eggs and barely a modicum of added sugar. Oh, and you don’t even need an electric mixer to make it. What are you waiting for? Ummm….if you like your frosting sweet…run, don’t walk to your nearest buttercream frosting recipe.

Only cooking note: Be sure that your sour cream is at room temperature before you make the frosting. I did not (the original recipe does not warn of this) and just as I poured in the melted chocolate, my super buzzed on my apartment door to check on my always-malfunctioning oven and when I’d returned minutes later, the chocolate had seized a little, leaving little bits (like chocolate chips!) throughout my frosting. These could have been strained out but I decided they made the cake more rustic. Nevertheless, room temperature sour cream — a temperature closer to the tepid chocolate — should allow you to avoid this, ringing doorbells or not. Nice tip…but since I won’t be making this again it’s a moot (yes it’s really moot, not mute) point.

Hmmmm, yeah… this was not my favorite! It was a strange aftertaste, that frankly, well…sucked! Icckkkk!

Makes 5 cups of frosting, or enough to frost and fill a two layer 9-inch cake

15 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but can be used to pick up the flavor of average chocolate)
2 1/4 cups sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the chocolate and espresso powder, if using, in the top of a double-boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring well, and then heating in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.) Remove from heat and let chocolate cool until tepid.

Whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Add the tepid chocolate slowly and stir quickly until the mixture is uniform. Taste for sweetness, and if needed, add additional corn syrup in one tablespoon increments until desired level of sweetness is achieved.

Let cool in the refrigerator until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. This should not take more than 30 minutes. Should the frosting become too thick or stiff, just leave it out until it softens again.

So I made the cupcakes and they looked good. Unfortunately, I didn’t try one before I added the frosting. Bummer! They were probably good! I may try the cake recipe again. Maybe!? The cake which is pictured above, looked AWESOME!! I put raspberry preserves in between each layer and topped it with fresh raspberries and chocolate swirls that I made from chocolate candy coating.