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White Butter Cake Tested Recipe

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White Cake Recipe

Growing up, not a birthday went by that my mother didn't make a White Butter Cake that was filled and frosted with a creamy smooth icing. I never got tired of this cake's sweet and buttery flavor and light fluffy texture. There are many ways to serve this cake, from the formal where it is lavishly filled and frosted with icing, to other times when you may want to serve it plain with just a dusting of powdered sugar. Of course, fresh berries look quite stunning when used as a garnish for the top of the frosted cake.

This White Butter Cake recipe is made using the 'combination' method of mixing. This method is similar to the 'creaming' method the only difference being that the eggs are first separated, and while the egg yolks are added to the butter and sugar mixture, the egg whites are beaten separately and are then folded into the batter at the end. You will find that this produces a cake that has additional volume and lighter texture than with the 'creaming' method. 

While you can fill and frost the cake layers once they have been baked and cooled, I have gotten into the habit of first placing the layers of cake in the freezer, for about an hour. This extra step, while it may take a little planning, makes the spreading of the frosting a much easier task. For a freshly baked cake is quite fragile and when you try to spread the frosting there is a tendency for it to tear. Freezing eliminates this problem. You can sandwich the two cake layers together with just the frosting, or you can add a layer of lemon curd, ganache, strawberry or raspberry sauces, or even your favorite jam or preserve. This White Butter Cake is frosted with a delicious Cream Cheese Frosting which combines cream cheese with butter and confectioners sugar. This produces a frosting with a tangy yet buttery flavor that is wonderfully creamy smooth. This cake can be assembled the day before serving but if you are garnishing the top of the cake with fresh berries, I would leave this step to just before serving.

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White Butter Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper.

While eggs are still cold separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl.  Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  

In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese together until nice and smooth with no lumps. Add the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the zest and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Assemble: Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with about 1/4 cup of strawberry sauce or your favorite jam.  Next, spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting on top of the sauce or jam. Place the next cake layer, top of the cake facing down, onto the filling. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving garnish the top of the cake with fresh berries.

Makes one - 8 inch (20 cm) two layer cake.

References:

Foster, Sara. 'The Foster's Market Cookbook'. Random House, Inc. New York: 2002.

Purdy, Susan G. ' A Piece of Cake'. Collier Books. New York: 1989. 

White Butter Cake:

2 large eggs, separated

1 3/4 cups (175 grams) sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling:

1/4 cup strawberry puree (sauce) or 1/4 cup of your favorite jam

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

2 1/2 cups (290 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

zest of 1 lemon or orange (outer skin of lemon or orange)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish:

Fresh Berries

Note:  Cream of tartar is used when whipping egg whites to stabilize them, and to prevent over beating and the whites from drying out.

 

 

 
 
     
 

 

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