I, as I'm sure everyone else, am always on the look-out for the perfect recipe, that can become my go-to i.e. one I can bake without having to worry about it! CakeCentral, an awesome site for everything cake, recently had the amazing idea to start a bake-off to find the perfect recipe, tackling a new kind of cake each month. This month was Yellow Cake and I made an awesome cake recipe for it. While I can't say that this is the ultimate, I won't ever try any other recipe again cake, it was pretty good. The best yellow cake I've had yet.
Not So Lemon Lemon Cake
From Magnolia Bakery
[I halved the recipe and got 2 8" cakes]
1 cup[2 sticks/225 g] butter, softened
2 cups[450 g] sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups self-raising flour *
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
*Alternatively, you could use all purpose flour. Just take one cup A.P flour, minus 2 teaspoons. Add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt
Though the cake requires lemon, the taste doesn't really come through after baking, so making it an ideal basic cake recipe. The lemon just adds a deeper, indistinguishable level, that I quite love!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare 3 x 9in round 2in deep pans (line with parchment)
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 mins).
- Add eggs one at a time combining well after each addition.
- Mix the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest together.
- Add flour alternately with the milk and lemon juice in three parts mixing well after each addition.
- Divide the batter equally between the 3 pans and bake for 25 mins [Mine took 30] until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the centre and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 mins and then turn out onto racks to cool completely.
- Fill and frost as desired. Serves 12-16 wedges.
I know I should have used the cake for practicing my decorating, but no one at home wanted more cake! So I left the cake as it was, and made a cherry sauce to go with it, but allowing each person to customize as they wished. And it was perfect for testing purposes, there would be no filling/icing to mask the flavor of the cake. I didn't really follow any recipe for the cherry sauce, but here it is anyway -
About 35 pitted cherries [I didn't have a pitter, so I used a fork to squeeze the pits out, after they became soft]
About 100 ml water, or just enough to cover the cherries
1 tbsp sugar
Boil the cherries, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Cover the saucepan, and simmer until cherries become soft, and water thickens into a sauce [This has a very large window, so simply stop boiling when the sauce reaches desired consistency]
This is when you will use the fork to remove the pits, if using non-pitted cherries.
The sauce goes very well with the cake, and everyone literally engulfed it. As you can see below, being the mango lover I am, I also tried with the reduced mango puree as before, but it didn't go as well as the cherry sauce did.