Monday, February 21, 2011

Polka Dot Birthday

She LIVES! I know, it has been almost a year since I have posted anything on here! School honestly took over my life. But now that I have graduated and am currently somewhat unemployed I have found a little time to bake again. I have definitely missed it.

Yesterday was my friend Ariane's birthday. I love this girl and so I figured I'd throw a little party together for her. This little party didn't end up being so little. It turned out perfect! Lots of friends and good food. I made hamburger and hotdog buns, cookies, and a cake to celebrate. This cake is a new favorite of mine. Ariane asked for either a confetti cake or the traditional yellow with chocolate frosting. I decided it had been too long since I had had a real good yellow and chocolate cake so that is what I chose. I like to make my cakes tall so I used a recipe from Sky High: Irrestible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. The cake was almost as moist as I had hoped and wasn't quite as yellow as I remember yellow cake being. But it was still tasty enough for me to indulge in 2 slices... yeah I know, that is just how I roll. Next time, however, I think I will try this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Supposedly it is the best! The frosting on this cake, however, was pretty much delectable and SO easy! It is a must try!

Sorry for the not-so-fabulous photo. I have
gotten out of habit of setting up photo shoots
for my food and had to take it with my iphone.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 or makes a 6-inch triple layer cake with leftover

4 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

3 cups cake flour

2 cups sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch or 6-inch round cake pans or spray to coat with vegetable oil. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.

Put the eggs and yolks in a medium mixing bowl, add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl; whisk to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup buttermilk to these dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, blend together. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.

Bake the cake layers for 28 to 32 minutes for the 8-inch cake pans, or 25-30 minutes for the 6-inch cake pans, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes; then carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup of the fudge frosting over the layer right to the edge. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and use all but 3/4 cup of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. (If using 6-inch cake pans, you’ll have quite a bit of leftover frosting.) Place the remaining 3/4 cup frosting in a pastry bag with a medium star tube and pipe a shell border around the top and bottom edges of the cake.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

4 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tablespoons half-and-half

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Source: adapted from Sky High: Irrestible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

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