January 14, 2012

Well, what do you think?

There’s been a little redecorating around here. We’ve moved the furniture around, but don’t worry, your favorite chair is still right over there.  Just click on RECIPE  in the top navigation and you’ll get quick links to my most popular recipes (canning, mostly) or click through to the RECIPE page with an index of all the recipes, by category and by month. Thanks go out to the clever web designer Barb Kiebel of Kinetic Web Design.

This all feels celebratory, sort of like a birthday, almost, or maybe I’m just thinking about the 37 (!!!) friends with birthdays in the coming month (including ME!) And that never fails to make me think of cake. Birthday cake. Classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting, just like my friend Kathleen makes whenever there’s a birthday.

Want perfectly even layers? Weigh your bowl before adding ingredients, then after. Divide in two, then pour half, by weight, into each baking pan.

Sometime after Kathleen’s first child was born, her neighbor taught her to make this simple, easy, delicious birthday cake. Cupcakes, layer, or sheet cake, the recipe works perfectly every single time. Best of all, it’s likely you have all the ingredients right on your shelf. And you make the whole thing in ONE BOWL!

It’s a crazy idea – mixing the butter right into the dry ingredients and then the eggs, seems impossible, right?  This week, Gail (One Tough Cookie) told me it is a Rose Levy Birnbaum technique. Who knew? All I know is I like it.

You don’t need to celebrate a birthday to have this cake, but if you need an excuse, why not help me celebrate the launch of my newly redesigned blog?  And when you blow the candle out, make a wish.

Perfect Birthday Cake
Recipe Type: dessert
Author: mrswheelbarrow
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 8-12
The perfect yellow cake, tight crumb, moist, and easy to put together. Makes a two layer 8″ cake, sheet cake or 12 cupcakes
  • For the cake
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • For the chocolate frosting:
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 4 ounces melted chocolate
  • 2/3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk, as needed to achieve consistency
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 325
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer.
  4. Stir in sugar.
  5. Add butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 30 sec., then at medium speed for 2 minutes, then beat in the eggs for 2 minutes.
  6. Divide the batter into two 8″ round pans, buttered and floured.
  7. Bake 30-35 min. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and allow to cool completely.
  8. Frosting: Beat together all the ingredients and frost immediately. The frosting will set up in a few minutes.

18 Responses to “Almost Like a Birthday”

  1. Winnie

    Wonderful re-design Cathy!!! Love how it highlights everything it should. Maddie’s birthday is this week so I may just make this yummy cake! xoxo

  2. Dana

    My first time on your site & I came for the cake. Looks easy enough for even me to handle, and just in time for my little girls birthday next month! I love that there is not an ounce of shortening and it all goes into one bowl. Thanks for sharing this one 🙂

  3. Linda Langness

    I like the new look! Your website is inviting and easy to navigage. I like your recipes and your writing voice.

    And I can’t wait to try the cake. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Most of my cake recipes are too fancy and rich.

  4. Jessica

    The site looks great – and so does that cake. I love yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting – can’t go wrong with the classics!

  5. Kimmy

    Nothing like freshening things up, I love it! As for birthday cake, I feel as if you *never* have to justify it. I see every day as a birthday of some sort, so you go on with your bad self, and make it whenever you want!

  6. A Canadian Foodie

    I am not sure. I am glad you love it. I preferred your old header, but people always say those things. Change is hard. Barb is brilliant and I love your menu bar and how clean your page looks. I have to now check out your front page, if you have one.
    Congratulations on the make over.


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