I'm not a baker.
I've never claimed to be great at baking but I absolutely love it. I love the whole process from beginning to end. I love that measurements need to be exact. I love creaming butter and sugar together and creating a light, fluffy batter. And above all, I love the smell a cake makes when it's cooking in my oven.
So when a cake comes out looking exactly how it should, even better than I expected, and tastes just as good as it looks - well, I'm one very happy girl. Very happy!
Good Friday was my sister-in-law's birthday, and to go with glasses of bubbles I made the Cake of the Year, aptly named-
The Perfect Party Cake
I spotted this cake originally at Honey and Jam (she makes cakes look so beautiful!), however the recipe is originally from the cookbook My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 1/4 cups of flour | 1 tbsp baking powder | 1/2 tsp salt | 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk | 4 large egg whites | 1 1/2 cups caster sugar | 2 tsp grated lemon zest | 112g butter (equivalent to 1 stick of butter), at room temperature | 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract (I just used lemon juice)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and butter two round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Put aside.
- Whisk egg whites till a fluffy (not stiff) then whisk in the milk. Put aside.
- In a separate bowl, rub together the lemon zest and sugar until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until light in colour. Beat in the extract (juice), then flour mixture and milk-egg mixture alternatively, still beating on medium speed until the batter is homogeneous.
- Divide between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Cool for about 5 minutes in the tins before removing.
- While still warm, poke each layer all over with a fork, and pour over lemon glaze (recipe follows). When cool, frost cake and garnish with candied lemon slices.
Lemon Glaze | 1/4 cup caster sugar | 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Combine sugar and juice and stir with a fork.
Hannah used a Black Tea frosting on her cake, however as this cake would be eaten by children also, I went for a more mainstream frosting in the form of - Cream cheese and white chocolate frosting
450g cream cheese, at room temperature | 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature | 1 tsp vanilla extract | 220g white chocolate (do not use a baking chocolate), melted and cooled to lukewarm temperature
- Whisk together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat well, then add the melted chocolate and beat well.
Happy birthday Ms J. I hope you've been enjoying the leftovers!