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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yellow Cake

I had the honor of making a wedding cake for a family friend.  Katie and Marcus got married December 28th.  It was a beautiful wedding and an even more lovely couple.  Earlier this month I did a cake tasting with them and they requested a yellow cake with lemon curd filling on the bottom 12" layer and for the top 9" layer raspberry jam filling.  It was a small, simple two layer buttercream cake, but any cake takes some amount of work.

Yellow Cake


  • 1 and 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Cake Flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose Flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Buttermilk or Whole Milk
  • Bake 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
I quadrupled this recipe to make one 9" round layer and one 12" round layer of cake.

The first thing I did was make butter.  Whip heavy whipping cream for 10 - 15 minutes until it separates into butter and buttermilk.
Strain the butter and save the buttermilk.  Then mash the butter against the strainer to get all the buttermilk out and rinse the butter ball in bowl cold water.  Strain the water out and you have ready to use butter for the cake.  1 pint or 2 cups of heavy cream makes about 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of buttermilk.  Remember, save the buttermilk, I need this for later.
Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add all the dry ingredients together:  Flour, Cake Flour, and Baking Powder in one bowl.  Get the Buttermilk (saved from making butter) ready in another container.  Alternate adding dry flour mixture to the batter with the buttermilk.  Starting and ending with milk until everything is combined.
Pour the batter into greased and floured cake pans.  A double recipe made enough for one 12" pan and one 9" pan.  Which means I need to repeat it to make enough cake.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes for the 12" cake and about 20 minutes for the 9" cake.  Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before trying to get them out of the pan.  I know, earlier I said 350 degrees, but my oven runs hot and I did not want to run the risk of burning them so I set it lower to 325.
Another set of cake batter ready for baking.  Note to self, I really need to invest in another 12" cake pan.  Washing it between baking gets a bit annoying.
Allow the cakes to cool.
I am running out of space on my little kitchen counter.
Cut the tops off of the cakes.  Reserve for Cake Pops.  Fill the top 9" top cake layer with raspberry jam.
Cover with the other side of the cake.
Crumb Coat with vanilla buttercream and refrigerate.
Fill the bottom 12" layer with lemon curd filling.
Crumb coat with vanilla buttercream and refrigerate.  I am running out of room in my refrigerator.
Frost both cakes with vanilla buttercream.
Smooth out the frosting.
Add dowels to the 12" bottom layer to keep the top 9" layer from sinking into the middle.  I stuck the dowels in the cake first to measure how deep they should go.  I think I used 8 wood dowels for this one.  I first centered where the 9" cake would go on top and drew a circle around the cake with black edible marker.
Cut the ends off the dowels and re-insert into the cake.
They should be flat so the top layer sits on them without sinking or looking lopsided.  You can always cover any gaps with frosting.
I used Black Edible Marker to draw the lines.  I do not think that will look good if someone gets a cake piece with black on it so I had better scrape off the black frosting parts.  I also added 4 dowels into the top layer of the cake to hold the cake topper.  Store in the fridge until ready for transport.
Off to the wedding.

Here is the final product.  A yellow buttercream cake with raspberry filling on top and lemon curd on the bottom.  Decorated with fresh basil leaves and kumquats.
Here is my family.  My brother Richard and my parents.
Close up of the cake.


Our Bride and Groom, Katie and Marcus with Dad and I.  They are the cutest couple and I wish them the best.  Congratulations!