Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Cake

I made this birthday cake for a friend of mine last weekend.  I knew that it wouldn't work for my family if I used the frosting that goes with the cake so I used my Instant Fudge Frosting instead.  I didn't use the vanilla bean because I figured my son would be asking me what were the black flecks in the cake.  Besides, vanilla beans are so expensive.  I saw them at the grocery store today at 2 vanilla beans for $17.99!  I would probably use vanilla paste in the future if I have time to order it or look around for it in the local grocery stores.  In any event, this cake was a hit!    

Pink Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake
Source: Sweetapolita


3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature (on counter approx. 20 mins.)
2-2/3 cups granulated sugar
9 egg whites, at room temperature (1 cup and 2 tablespoons liquid egg substitute)
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or vanilla paste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter three 8” by 2” round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
2.     In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high Speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.  Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.
3.     Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.  Mix vanilla extract and vanilla paste (or contents of vanilla bean) into buttermilk.  Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated or finish by hand gently.
4.     Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan on a digital kitchen scale to ensure even layers.   Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes.  Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes clean.
5.     Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently peeling away parchment rounds.  Let cool completely.

Pink Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake
Adapted from Sweetapolita


3-1/2 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


1.      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip butter on medium-high speed until smooth about 1 minute.
2.     Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.  Add in the salt.  Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream on low speed just until incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 minutes.

From Smells Like Home