This classic yellow cake is rich and
buttery without being too sweet. It's sturdy enough to be cut into
all 12 of our cake shapes--and it won't fall apart when you frost
it. Of course, if you're pressed for time, you can substitute your
favorite boxed cake mix.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs (for a white cake, use 6 egg whites)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup buttermilk and 1/3 cup plain yogurt)
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour your cake
pans (see our list of pan sizes below). Cream the butter and sugar
until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well
after each addition.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the buttermilk, vanilla
extract and butter mixture into the dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time,
scraping the bowl frequently. Pour into the prepared pans and bake
according to the times listed below, or until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out clean. Serves 10 to 12.
This cake batter can be baked in all sorts of ovenproof pans or
bowls. If you don't already own the pans we suggest for our cake
designs, you can buy disposable versions (or borrow them from a
neighbor). Pour the batter from one batch of this recipe into any of
the following combinations of pans and bake as directed.
PAN SIZES AND BAKING TIMES
• Two 8- or 9-inch rounds or squares; bake for 20 to 35 minutes.
• One 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan; bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
• Two Bundt or ring pans; bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Two 12-cup cupcake tins; bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
• Two 6-inch half spheres (available at cake supply stores) or two 1
1/2-quart ovenproof bowls (stainless steel or Pyrex); bake for 30
• Two rimmed 12- or 14-inch pizza pans; bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Five mini loaf pans; bake for 20 to 30 minutes.