Today’s recipe is from Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams.
A tribute to her heritage, Grandbaby Cakes has snippets from Jocelyn’s life as a Chicagoan with family ties in Illinois and Mississippi. The book has a sweet scrapbook design and is lovely to look at, but don’t be fooled by all the warm fuzzies. Behind the cute stories and photos, there’s solid baking advice and information useful for bakers of all levels. In what I hope evolves into a series of cookbooks, this Grandbaby Cakes book focuses specifically on cakes — some classic, others more eclectic.
Chapters are divided into pound cakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes, baby cakes, celebration and seasonal cakes, and within each chapter are cakes that range from easy to more complex, though even the “hardest” of the bunch is pretty simple — maybe just a little more time consuming. Whatever mood you’re in, Jocelyn has a cake for it. I’ve already bookmarked several including an Arnold Palmer Cake made with a lemon cake and iced tea frosting, Blood Orange Mimosa Cake (perfect for using leftover champagne), the Peach Cobbler Shortcake and the cool and refreshing sounding Watermelon-Berry-Lime Icebox Cake.
But rather than bake one of the more creative cakes, the cake I wanted to try first was Jocelyn’s Classic Yellow Cake.
A baker who can produce a truly good yellow cake can make just about anything, so I wasn’t surprised that Jocelyn’s yellow cake was excellent. In this cake and others she employs smart tricks such as using a mixture of oil and butter for moistness and baking cakes at low temperatures rather than the usual 350. In addition to its taste and texture, it’s also a tall and stately and just the right size to hold all the whipped chocolate frosting.
If you’d like to try the yellow cake, here’s the recipe. For the rest of them, buy the book! It’s worthy of any good collection.
Reprinted with permission from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.
Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook Yellow Cake
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 7 large eggs room temperature
- 3 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Liberally prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans with the nonstick method of your choice. (I recommend the parchment method described on p. 17.)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add the granulated sugar. Cream together for an additional 5 minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour in 2 batches. Add the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. The finished batter should be pale yellow and have a silky texture.
- Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 27 to 32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a layer comes out clean—but just barely. It is crucial that this cake not be overbaked! The layers should have a rich golden color and a spongy texture.
- Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the layers with foil or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
FOR THE FROSTING
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter and beat for 2 minutes on high speed.
- Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Once everything is fully incorporated (the frosting will look crumbly), turn your mixer back up to high speed. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whip until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Once the layers are completely cooled, place 1 layer on a serving plate. Spread just the top of the layer with 1/3 of the frosting (please refer to the Basic Frosting Instructions on p. 18). Add the second layer and spread with another 1/3 of the frosting. Add the final layer, bottom-side up, and spread with the remaining frosting. Frost the top and the side of the cake.