I’ve been on a quest to make homemade versions of my childhood / adolescent / collegiate box favorites. Following in the footsteps of Biquick pancakes and Wheat Thins, my carb cravings led me to the box yellow cake mix. (It didn’t hurt that I happened to have egg yolks and buttermilk on hand.)
One of Rice Kernel’s favorite books is “It’s My Birthday.” It’s a simple story about a little boy and his animal friends and their journey to gather all the ingredients necessary to make a birthday cake. This yellow cake reminds me of that story – it is nostalgic and basic. Simply flavored with vanilla and butter, the cake has a tender, soft crumb with a mildly sweet, vanilla and custard flavor – just like a box cake mix. There’s nothing “healthy” or “rainbow diet” about this recipe (although I was inspired by my vegan friend and used Earth Balance, for what its worth). It’s a butter-sugar-flour-eggs old-fashioned yellow cake – one that is fitting of birthdays and deserving of your most desired frosting.
Yellow Cake, modified slightly from Baking Bites
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance, room temperature
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk (I used low-fat)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour mixture. Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
- In a large measuring cup, combine egg, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Continue to beat until liquid is fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely and peel off parchment paper before frosting. (Baking bites has a chocolate frosting recipe. Enjoy with your favorite frosting or as is.)