Quick fix birthday cake

The smell of fresh baked breads and cakes when I visit bakeries is just tempting. My eyes wander across the glass shelves lined with baked goodies.

But when it comes to surprising your dear ones, nothing’s better than a self baked cake!
One main advantage of baking your own goods is the fact that you know and control the ingredients that go into it, so as to customize it for your dear ones.

Most people find baking strenuous because the outcome flops. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me for cake recipes and all they emphasize on is “easy”. Here’s a no fail recipe, which I used to make a simple birthday cake for my husband. You can use this cake batter to make cup cakes too. The key to making a good cake is to follow the recipe exactly!

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • Butter( at room temperature) – 1 stick( 115 gms)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Eggs(large) – 2
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tspn
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tspn
  • Salt – 1/8 tspn(optional)
  • Milk – 1/3 cup

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F( 177 C)
  • Butter an 8″ round cake pan or line it with parchment paper.Set aside
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Now add the flour mixture and mix
    Stir in the milk until batter is smooth. (Do not over beat the cake batter as it will result in a hard cake)
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven.Do the toothpick test to see if the cake is done.
  • If the cake is not done, bake for 5-10 more mins.Repeat tooth pick test.
  • When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest in the cake pan for 10 mins.Then remove the cake from the cake pan gradually by making resting it upside down on a flat .
  • Never allow the batter to sit for a long time as this will make the cake hard.

Toothpick test:  Take a tooth pick or a knife or a bamboo skewer and poke it till the bottom of the cake.If it comes out clean the cake is ready.If it comes out with wet cake batter, it needs additional time to bake.

"Vanilla sponge cake"

Cake frosting:

There are many variations of butter-cream frosting. There is the American butter-cream which uses powdered (confectioners’) sugar and becomes stiff when dried. French butter-cream combines egg yolks, sugar syrup and butter into a deliciously smooth and rich frosting (that must be refrigerated). Butter-cream icing can also be tinted or flavored. I have made the simple American butter-cream frosting for this cake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions:
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer or a hand blender on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
  2. Frost the sponge cake with the butter-cream frosting and give it a smooth finish.
  3. As this was a quick fix cake, I ended up with topping my cake with fresh strawberries. And yes this was a delight for my hubby, thankfully he loves fruits…infact everything with fruits !!

And tada! You are a great baker 🙂

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