Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Junior's Decorator's Buttercream

 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


Anonymous said...

I love this buttercream recipe. Is this buttercream really sweet?

Anonymous said...

Where do I buy the shortening?

Heidi said...

I bought my hi-ratio shortening at a specialty cake decorating store in the Seattle area. I have not found it anywhere else other than the internet. You can use regular shortening as well (such as Crisco) and your icing will still be delicious. The hi-ratio shortening SUPPOSEDLY makes for a better consistency and less greasy feel to your icing. I've even heard hi-ratio shortening results in better tasting icing as well. I know many folks who use just plain Crisco and they like the results just fine. So don't feel you need to invest in hi-ratio shortening because it is a lot more expensive than Crisco. I've just heard about it for years and cake decorators swear by it so I had to try it.

Heather Sellers said...

Will this work for cupcakes? My daughter wants vanilla cupcakes for her birthday :) If so, do you know about how many cupcakes it will make?

Anonymous said...

Oh My! You make the most beautiful cakes! I bet they taste
good too. ;+)

Anonymous said...

I also want to decorate cupcakes, so I'm curious about how many cupcakes it would cover.
Your blog is so inspiring, I feel like I could make beautifull cakes, cookies and cupcakes. I will start with cupcakes for our company dinner for thirty five people.

Paula said...

I have tried many different buttercream frosting recipes throughout the years of my cake baking. I was looking for one that would compliment a coconut cake without overpowering it. This one certainly fit the bill. I used coconut flavoring and vanilla flavoring along with about 1/4 cup of coconut milk in addition to the heavy whipping cream. YUMMY yet not heavy or overpowering. I also used white food coloring found at specialty cake shops to make the frosting a pure white color. It turned out beautiful and delicious as well. This one is a keeper!

Anonymous said...

I made these for my birthday it was delish! too bad i cooked them for to long or they would have been perfect

Anonymous said...

I used this cake recipe. The cake turned out really good! I'll definitely be adding it to my cakes list. I didn't do the icing. I used a cream cheese icing instead. Overall, the cake was amazing and not too sweet. Very fluffy and moist.

Kristen said...

This is my go-to vanilla cake and buttercream cake frosting recipe. I've made the cake in two round pans, I've used it for cupcakes, it makes 24 regular size cupcakes, I just pulled an 11X15 pan from my oven and it also looks great. Same oven temp, same cooking time. This recipe has never failed me. Thank you for the best vanilla cake ever.

Unknown said...

This is the best recipe ever! Thanks for sharing it. I make it for every birthday gathering and my whole family loves it! 💗

Unknown said...

Is there any substitute I can use instead of the shortning?

Heidi said...

There is no substitute for shortening in this recipe. I mean, u can use butter but then u are making a totally different recipe. If u really want to use all butter then find a classic swiss meringue buttercream. Many people prefer that to a shortening recipe. For this recipe there is nothing as good as hi-ratio shortening.