One of these days I think my kitchen bench is going to collapse under the weight of all my cook books. Truly. I love flipping through the glossy pages of perfectly styled pictures. I love coming across unexpected gems. I love the wonderful prose that accompanies so many cookbooks these days. Granted, Im not sure I need twenty different recipes for white sauce. But you can never have too many chocolate cake recipes! The quest for perfection never ends.
Whenever I feel guilty about how many cookbooks I have I always like to console myself with the fact that I have cooked at least something from every cookbook in my collect. At least I thought I had…
Last year my sister bought me the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Hooray! After my excitement wore off I was quickly put out by the complete lack of understandable measurements included in the book. Does anyone outside of America know how many grams one stick of butter is? Ok, so I can google it but how would you interpret “one package of instant pudding mix”? Which packet? Much much should it make? What kind of pudding? ARGH! Everything is also in cup measurements without being accompanied by gram or ounce equivalents. This would be fine, except that the measurement for American cups are different to Australian ones… uh oh.
So there it sat. Lonely and unloved on my bookshelf. Until it was called upon, one courageous wednesday afternoon, to create a truly amazing Vanilla Layer Cake.
I decided to take the plunge and do my best with the equipment and knowledge I had. The mix looked pretty good before it went into the oven, and when it came out, it looked even better!
The mixture produced two flat but pretty tall cakes. I promptly cut their tops off to even them up, and cut them each in half. Cruel? Maybe. Thats just how I roll.
I felt like there was still something missing from the decoration but as it was only a practice, I figured it would still be ok! And yes, my cake it a little slanty. But it was… erm… intentional?
I have a theory. All food tastes better if its pink. Now, my lovelies, would you agree?
Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake Recipe – From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
2. Cream the butter until smooth
3. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy (about 3 mins)
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
5. combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk. Beat well after each addition
6. Add vanilla extract and mix in well
7. Divide batter between two 9 inch round cake pans (the recipe said 3 but I only had two and it worked out pretty damn well) and bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean
8. Let the cakes cool in the pans for ten minutes then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack
9. cut into however many layers you wish and fill with your choice of filling!
Traditional Vanilla Buttercream – From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
8 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl with four cups of icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the remaining sugar one cup at a time, until the icing is the consistency you require (you might not need to add all the sugar, its all up to you)
3. Add food colouring as desired