I love white cake with white icing. It's my favorite. I have come across so many recipes for white cake and have tried MANY of them. I have a favorite white cake recipe that uses a white cake mix as the base.
But the other day I came across Sweetapolita's blog and her from scratch white cake looked so perfect that I had to try it. I'm very impressed with it. The texture is lovely and the flavor is delicious. The recipe calls for vanilla extract but I used a combination of vanilla paste & vanilla extract. I didn't measure my vanilla, I just dumped and I used a lot but the results are outstanding. I would definitely make this cake again. In the directions it says to make sure not to overbake. That is so true. It's a fine line between perfectly done to overbaking. One minute can make a world of difference in your cake texture so watch carefully. I always remove my cakes from the oven BEFORE my toothpick come out clean. I remove the pans when the toothpick still has moist crumbs attached. I figure that the residual heat will continue baking the cake even after it's removed from the oven. I doubled this recipe and it made a perfect 3 layer 9 inch cake.
Onto the icing......I have had the Junior's cheesecake cookbook for a few years now. I don't think I've ever made anything from it till now. I tried the Decorator's Buttercream for this cake. The original recipe calls for all butter & no shortening but I came across another blog who used the recipe and exchanged part of the butter for hi-ratio shortening. Well, it just so happens that I recently found a super good deal on hi-ratio shortening and I purchased a lot. I've heard that it's awesome for icing. I couldn't wait to try it out so I used it. I'm VERY impressed with the results. I highly recommend this icing recipe. The texture is so smooth, silky & a bit light & fluffy. The butter gives the icing great flavor but the hi-ratio shortening gives the smoothness but without the greasy mouth feeling of regular shortening. I've heard that it holds up wonderfully in very warm weather, whereas butter would melt.
As for my "lovely" design on the side of my cake, I came across a blog that used this method.
I was intrigued so I had to try it. It's more difficult than it looks. I didn't have enough icing to do the top of my cake and barely had enough to cover the sides since it requires such a thick layer of it. It was kind of fun. Maybe I will try it again. The icing recipe I used made it a dream to pipe. Wonderful recipe for piping designs on a cake.
So in closing, I am recommending both recipes. The vanilla cake recipe AND the Decorator's buttercream are both wonderful recipes!
Fluffy Vanilla Cake
from Sweetapolita's Blog
Yield: One 2-layer, 8-inch round cake
5 large egg whites (5 ounces/150 grams) at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk (180 mL/6 liquid ounces), at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (9 grams)
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted (11 ounces/315 grams)
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces/350 grams)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams)
3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces/170 grams), at room temperature and cut into cubes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly.
7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be careful to not overbake. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
Decorator's Buttercream based on Juniors Decorator's Buttercream
from Juniors Cheesecake Cookbook
2 lbs. (8 cups) of confectioners' sugar, well sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup regular shortening or high-ratio shortening
(or you can use just 2 cups butter & no shortening but it won't be as white)
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/3 -1/2 cup heavy cream
Onto a parchment sheet, or into a large bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and the salt, being sure to break up out any stubborn sugar lumps. In the large bowl of your electric mixer, using the paddle attachment on high speed, cream together the butter and shortening; beat for about three minutes, until light yellow. With mixer still running, add the corn syrup and vanilla. Stop and scrape the beaters and bowl. Now on low speed, add the sugar in 3 additions, beating well after each one. Pour in the cream and blend until the frosting seems of reasonable spreading consistency; if it seems too thick, add in more cream as needed, a teaspoon or so at a time. Keep the frosting tightly covered until you're ready to use it. If you won't be using it within a couple of hours, cover and refrigerate it