Saturday, November 6, 2010

In search of the perfect vanilla butter cake

I love butter cake! The problem I have now is that I want to make vanilla butter cupcakes and it seems they dry out on me too quickly. Yes, I can put a sugar soak on them but I don't want to add more sweetness only moisture.
I have tried several recipes and this one seems to work out the best for texture, taste and shelf life. But I still would like it a bit more moist. What I do to fix this is pipe a filling into each and every cupcake. This mimics what we do with layer cakes anyway so I find it to be the best solution for my issue with dryness.
This mixing method I use to produce the moist, light and buttery cake is the two stage.
It is a bit different than most recipes in that you mix together the dry ingredients with the fat/butter before adding any of the liquid/milk and eggs. What this does is coat the flour particles with fat creating tenderness. Then you whip it up to add air cells and viola! You have a light and tender cake.
Starting with your ingredients:

 For the best mixing have all your ingredients at room temperature especially the butter! Butter creams the best at 70 degrees F. I have added the vanilla to the milk since it is distributed better in fat.
Then add your butter and dry ingredients with just a tiny bit of the milk. This creates a kind of thick paste for batter. Be sure and scrape the bowl with each addition of liquid or you will have a very lumpy and uneven batter and hence a lousy cake.

 Add the rest of the liquid ingredient in two parts, scraping in between each. The batter should look very smooth and creamy and slightly loose... not runny just a bit loose.

This cake will rise well so don't over fill the pans. I usually fill about 2/3 of the way.

 You can see the nice the airy texture.
Nice large crumbs produce a tender cake. Now all you need is a fabulous buttercream!! And here is the final product... aren't you hungry now :)
This is a rich chocolate buttercream on top of the butter cake and I piped a dark chocolate ganache in the center...mmmmmm....c h o o o c o l a t e....

And here is the recipe for Vanilla Butter Cake!
3/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp.) 
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Add the soft butter and half the milk. 
Mix on medium speed until thick and smooth.
In a small bowl mix together the eggs, the rest of the milk, and the vanilla.
Wisk until blended.
With the mixer on low speed add half the egg/milk mixture and when it is blended in turn up on medium high for 30 seconds. Scrape the side of the bowl well and add the rest of the egg mix. Again mix slowly until just blended and this time turn the mixer on high for 10 seconds. 
Scrape the sides and if there are lumps mix briefly until the batter is smooth and silky.
Bake in cupcake pans for 15 - 18 minutes at 350F. It makes about 18 cupcakes. 
Top with your favorite icing. 


HaleyLeann said...

You just created the perfect cake. *drooling* I am your newest follower. Strange, cause I thought I was following you a long time ago!

chefany said...

Hi Haley! Thanks for following... let me know if you have any suggestions for my blog... I love to hear from my followers! I am working on a video of the croissant one! :)

Emmy said...

I seriously cannot wait to try this recipe!!! Mmmm cake...

Questions: What kind of tip do you use to pipe those pretty swirls on the tops of your cupcakes? And how do you get them to look so nice?

~ Alicia :o)

chefany said...

Hi Em!!
I use a large round tip and I pipe in a spiral upwards.
The buttercream I use is nice and shiny too that helps. I use an italian style buttercream. It's very yummy!

Raina said...

Sounds and looks delicious. I am always looking for a good vanilla cupcake recipe. I love yours with the combo of the chocolate butter cream:)

Kendall said...

wow. My mouth is watering. Completely sold. Now could someone just please make me a cake...

Thanks for the information. I'll return the favor by giving you a link to another of my favorite culinary related sites:

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Mary said...

You always showcase such great recipes for your readers. This is a lovely cake. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary