When you think about a birthday cake what do you think of? For me, its a golden layer cake frosted in a heavenly whipping of butter, vanilla, milk, confectioners sugar. Frosting has to send me past the mezzanine on my way to heaven. Cake is the frosting delivery system for me. The cake should have a good body like an Olympic diver and when cut with a knife, continues to stand up straight.
I found the following recipe in a general cookbook. I was looking for something to use for strawberry shortcakes and it worked.
Golden Layer Cake
1stick + 2 Tb soft butter
2 C all purpose flour or cake flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C milk
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter or grease the bottom and sides of 2 -9 inch round cake pans. Dust with flour. Dump out the excess dusting flour. If you use parchment or waxed paper, cut out a circle of the pan and grease and dust that paper, too.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Cream the butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar with the electric mixer still running. Beat until light for 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
Gradually add the flour mixture and the milk alternately by hand. Stir until smooth. Do not over work or your cake will be chewy.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the layer comes out clean.
Remove layers from the oven, allow to cool on bakers racks for 5 minutes before turning the pans upside down. Allow to cool thoroughly. If the cake is the slightest bit warm when frosted the icing will melt.
Sander’s Butter Cream Frosting (its a Michigan thing)
1/2 C Vegetable shortening.
1 stick butter
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
2/3 C milk (the fatter the better) Heated to not quite scalding
1/2 tsp almond extract
Cream together the shortening and the butter, add sugars gradually beating until mixture is no longer grainy. Gradually add the warmed milk, continue beating until very light in texture. Add the almond extract.
Sanders website: http://www.sanderscandy.com They don’t seem to be making birthday cakes anymore. I do wish I had a photo of what they used to have on their store shelves. They were beautiful. And on the sides of their birthday cakes were chopped walnuts. Oh yum.
I worked for the Fred Sanders Company as a teenager. They gave me my first “real” job. In 1970 I made a whopping $2.10 an hour scooping ice cream, making ice cream sodas, hot fudge sundaes and hot fudge cream puff sundaes. How I got through working there without becoming morbidly obese: I never touched a crumb.