My Mother is having a significant birthday next month and she has decided that my present to her will be a decorated cake for the family get together. Since I have no idea what to get her, a cake seems like a great idea. Of course being very particular, she wants a vanilla butter cake with buttercream icing, covered in ivory fondant with large pink fondant/gum paste roses and a lace surround…yes Mother dearest!
But before I begin to think of how to decorate this blessed cake, I need to find and practice a cake recipe. If the cake doesn’t taste nice no amount of fancy decorations will make it better!
Vanilla Butter Cake
- 3 cups self raising flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 6 eggs @ room temperature
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 300g/10.6oz unsalted butter cubed @ room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g/8.8oz unsalted softened butter
- 3 cups icing sugar mixture sifted
- 2 tblsp milk
- A few drops of food colouring (I used 4 drops of rose pink) – optional
This recipe makes a huge amount of batter that can be split between two 23cm/9 inch round cake tins, or one large 30cm/12 inch cake tin (make sure they are well lined/greased). The recipe calls for mixing everything all at once in a large mixing bowl…which is unlike any other cake recipe I’ve ever come across. Usually you cream together the sugar and butter, then add the eggs and then the dry ingredients…anyway I decided to do what I was told for once in my life.
My poor mixer worked really hard, but still couldn’t completely mix through the butter properly, so I had to resort to using a whisk attachment…which isn’t ideal, as it over beats the batter and introduces a lot of bubbles. When the recipe calls for cubed butter at room temperature, I think they really want an almost melted butter in the summer heat instead! In the future, I think I’ll split this recipe in half to make it more manageable.
I baked both tins on the same level in the oven at 140C/285F for 1 hour (a cooler oven makes them flat). I let them cool completely in the tin before removing them.
The buttercream icing is really simple. Cream the butter in a mixer until pale and fluffy and then gradually add the sifted icing sugar and then the milk and food colouring. Liberally cover the cake…though I’ll probably need more next time, as I’m planning on making three layers. It looks like one of those naked cakes, which are apparently all the rage at the moment.
Most importantly it tasted really good and had a lovely texture without being too dense or crumbly. Even my nephews who have an aversion to pink icing, loved it. By the way the rose on the cake is a fabric one…my next job is to study and practice making fondant roses. Wish me luck.