Over the weekend I baked three different yellow cakes. All were variations on basic 1-2-3-4 cake and of the three, my favorite was Magnolia’s. But I had to move on and decided to try three more recipes which were significantly different than 1-2-3-4 cake. I chose the Cook’s Illustrated Fluffy Yellow cake recipe, a recipe by Shirley Corriher and a recipe off a site called Egg Beater.
First up, the Cooks Illustrated Cake which I baked this morning. Honestly, I could just stop here. This cake was exactly what I was looking for. It was softer, tighter crumbed, lighter and better than all the 1-2-3-4 cakes. I’m not expecting the other two to be better than this, but you never know. CI just upped the ante. It also proves that reader/sometimes commenter Katy G. is always right about everything. She recommended this recipe to me months ago.
Because CI is so methodical, you might want to get the recipe from Cooks Illustrated themselves or from someone who posted the recipe without paraphrasing much. I’ve included 3 links that contain the recipe.(Update: The first two are now broken so I deleted them. Now there’s just one).
I halved it, baked it in a 9 inch round pan and frosted it with what has become my house chocolate frosting.
Sorry the picture is not very exciting, but what can I say? It’s a half cake baked in a 9 inch round pan. Maybe I’ll go stack what’s left of it on top of itself and make a two layer.
Cook's Illustrated Fluffy Yellow Cake -- Best Yet!
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour plus extra for dusting pans (280 grams)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar 350 grams
- 10 tablespoons 140 grams unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks room temperature
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust with flour.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in large bowl.
- Whisk melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks in another bowl (or a 4 cup liquid measure).
- Using a stand mixer with whisk attachments, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl so that your mixing bowl is clean.
- Add flour mixture to the empty mixing bowl. With whisk still attached and with mixer at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
- Using rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until cakes appear set and are beginning to pull away from sides of pan. Let cakes cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes and invert.