Sometimes cake has a mind of its own and just when you think you can tweak a little something the whole cake goes crazy! I have been making this cake for years but when I went to make it for this post, with some minor adjustments, it was not being friendly. Five cakes later and very little sleep to be had, this final cake is tender, moist and delicious.
This is a whole egg, buttermilk cake with a mild flavor that pairs well with any number of fillings or buttercreams. It also has a firm but not too dense texture so it stacks well and takes to fondant covering easily. This cake is very moist too so it will hold up well to a few days of decorating.
One thing to note with this cake is that it very rich in butter and oil and moist and tender from a good helping of buttermilk. For these reasons you need to bake this cake fully; meaning it need to cook a little beyond the point of where a toothpick comes out clean. The edges of the cake, which will have risen will start to sink back down a little bit. This is normal and ensures that the cake will not be moist to the point of being gummy and the structure will be stable enough that it will not sink in when removed. The protein setting must be fully achieved and the starches fully gelled. So err on the side of over baking rather than under baking. This recipe can take it!
This cake has a beautiful balance of flavor. There is enough vanilla to shine through, a buttery element and a slight buttermilk essence. In other cakes, I used too much baking soda and the lovely buttermilk flavor was wiped out entirely. Some baking soda ensures that the cake will not be too tender from the buttermilk’s acidity and lightens the texture by reacting with the acid, but too much will overwhelm delicate flavors in the cake.
I frosted this cake with the Simple Silky Buttercream and topped it off with some modeling chocolate hydrangeas. I used the plunger set that comes in the new Wilton Gumpaste Flower set and found it super quick and easy to use to create these sweet little blossoms. Since they are modeling chocolate they didn’t need any drying time, bonus!
- 16 tablespoons (8 ounces, or 227 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 12 ounces (340 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ tablespoon (23 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (170 grams) all-purpose flour- 1 ¼ cups
- 6 ounces (170 grams) cake flour*- 1 ½ cups
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups (300 milliliters) buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
- Beat butter, sugar and oil for 2 minutes on medium-high speed of mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
- Sprinkle in dry ingredients to distribute. Turn mixer on low and mix to moisten dry ingredients. Pour in buttermilk and beat on medium for one minute until well combines and smooth.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the cake is well done. Do not under bake or this rich cake will be over-moist and unstable. The cake should begin to settle back on itself on the edges. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out to a cooling rack. Cool completely if using immediately, or wrap in two layers of plastic wrap if using later. Frost the cooled cake with your buttercream of choice. Enjoy!
- *If you do not have access to cake flour, substitute 149 grams all-purpose/plain flour and 12 grams corn or potato starch