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White Butter Cake Recipe & Video

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Layer cakes are always well received and they seem to make any get together a little more special. This two layered White Butter Cake is no exception. It's buttery sweet and I like to sandwich the two layers together with raspberry jam and a tangy sweet cream cheese frosting. The frosting is also used to cover and decorate the cake. I often pile some fresh berries in the center of the cake which makes it look so beautiful.

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 beaten butter and sugar mixture, the egg whites are beaten separately and are then folded into the batter. You will find that this produces a cake that has additional volume and lighter texture than with the 'creaming' method. We use cake flour in this recipe which gives the cake a soft and tender crumb. You can make your own cake flour by combining all purpose flour with cornstarch. To make 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour, take 1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour and remove 3 1/2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. If measuring by weight then you will need 150 grams of all purpose flour and 25 grams cornstarch.

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 or refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up the cakes. This extra step 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.

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White Butter Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place your oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

Separate your eggs while they are still cold, 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 the flour with the baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until soft. Add 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

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

In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, fitted 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 (on high speed) until stiff and shiny 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 (in two additions) until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans (about 340 grams of batter in each pan) and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (the cakes will spring back if lightly touched in their centers and you will notice that the cakes are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan).

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of each cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan and gently peeling off the parchment paper. Re-invert each cake onto a greased wire rack. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator or freezer for about 30 minutes. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting: In your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until nice and smooth with no lumps. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the zest (if using) and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Assemble: Place one of the cake layers onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with your favorite jam. Next, spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting on top of the jam. Place the next cake layer, top of the cake facing up, onto the filling. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. If you like you can pipe a border around the outside of the cake. (I used a small star tip, Wilton #96.) Cover and refrigerate until serving time. If desired, garnish the top of the cake with fresh berries.

Serves about 10 - 12 people.

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White Butter Cake:

2 large eggs, separated (36 grams egg yolks and 65 grams egg whites)

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

2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

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

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 grams) milk, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) cream of tartar


1/4 cup (75 grams) jam or preserves (homemade or store bought)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

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

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

3 cups (360 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

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

Garnish: (Optional)

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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