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October/November 2011

Yellow Layer Cake

We were looking for a moist, tender cake that was both foolproof and full flavored. By changing mixing methods and ingredient ratios, we achieved our goal.

Why This Recipe Works

Traditional yellow layer cake should melt in the mouth and taste of butter and eggs. But many layer cake recipes that we tried came out crumbly, sugary, and hard. As for the flavor, they tasted merely sweet. We made a few refinements to the usual yellow layer cake recipe. For starters, we took down the sugar slightly, which allowed more buttery flavor to come through. Melted butter blended more easily into the dry ingredients, and the addition of vegetable oil ensured a moist cake. Whipped egg whites gave the cake a light and airy texture, but left them sturdy enough to stand up to a heavy slathering of frosting.

Ingredients

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Instructions

Serves 10 to 12 (Makes enough batter for two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake layers)

Ingredients

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2 cups (8 ounces) cake flour
1 ½ cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
5 large egg yolk plus 3 large egg whites
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
teaspoon cream of tartar
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 10)

  • Calories 371
  • Cholesterol 117 mg
  • Fat 16 g
  • Sodium 235 mg
  • Saturated 7 g
  • Carbs 52 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Monounsaturated 6 g
  • Sugar 31 g
  • Polyunsaturated 1 g
  • Protein 4 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Serves 10 to 12 (Makes enough batter for two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake layers)

We developed this recipe using Softasilk Cake Flour.

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch or three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Whisk flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolks, melted butter, oil, and vanilla together in separate bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Whisk one-third of whites into batter. Using rubber spatula, gently fold remaining whites into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, smooth tops, and gently tap pans on counter to release air bubbles.

4. Bake until tops are light golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes (for 8-inch pans) or 20 to 25 minutes (for 9-inch pans), rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discard parchment, and let cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.