Thursday, July 15, 2010

mmm, cake.

Here is a rare occurance: I wrote out an actual recipe, with timing and measurements.  But this slightly altered Betty Crocker recipe has become my current favourite basic cake recipe---it's simple, and while very tasty by itself, you can add anything to it to make it more interesting.  I dedicate this post to Tessa and Ifi, because they said words that made my heart flutter: "It's so yummy! Can I have the recipe?"

San's Betty Crocker's Silver White Cake
Prep: 10 minutes (yeah, right). Bake: 45 minutes. Cool: 1 hour 10 minutes.
Servings: ~12. Pans: 13"x9" rectangle, two 9" round pans, or three 8" round pans.

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 large egg whites

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour bottom and sides of pan(s).
  2. Beat everything except egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds.  Use a spatula to scrape the bowl, then beat on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  3. Beat in egg whites on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl.  
  4. Pour into pan(s).
  5. Bake times:
    13"x9": 40-45 minutes.  9": 30-35 minutes.  8": 23-28 minutes
    Bake until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, or when cake springs back when touched lightly in centre.  
  6. Cool rectangle in the pan on a wire rack. For rounds, cook 10 minutes, then remove from pans to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Variations that I have done:
  • Chocolate glaze: Cover pan with a chocolate glaze. ...I bet this would be deadly with a ganache.
  • Blackberry chocolate: fill layers with blackberry filling and cover with chocolate glaze or chocolate buttercream. Make sure the blackberry filling is not liquidy, or else you end up with what looks like a beheaded cake.  Behold:

  • Cinnamon swirl: sprinkle (okay, I mean dump) a bunch of cinnamon on top of the batter before baking, take a chopstick and swirl the cinnamon around.  After cooling, cover it with a simple powdered sugar icing.  Here is a quickly taken, phone-quality photo:

Ones that I have thought about, but haven't tried yet:
  • adding dried fruit, especially raisins and pineapples, or mangoes!
  • pumpkin cake!
  • apple cake!

Some notes:
  • instead of cake flour, substitute 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising). This is the original recipe, and I haven't tried it, to be honest. I bought some cake flour a while ago to make a birthday cake with this recipe, and it turned out so well I didn't want to mess with it, and bought more cake flour to have around.
  • instead of almond extract, use vanilla extract. Mmm vanilla extract.  I love the almond flavour in this, because it gives the cake itself some character. Also I don't normally give it 1 tsp, I give it 1 tsp and a little tiny splash.  This is me cooking, after all.


  1. Yum! I'm thinking of making some different sauces with all the sweet cherries I just got, and I bet they'd be a good substitute for the blackberries you used. (Messy or not, that thing still looks GOOD!)