Just Say "No" to Dry Yellow Cake
Yellow cake has always been one of my favorite kinds of cake, but I have often been dissatisfied with the texture of the average yellow cake: slightly dry and reminiscent of cornbread. I decided one day that I would experiment and try to create a yellow cake that had a texture more to my liking. This recipe is the result of that experimentation. I realize the average yellow cake does not have almond flavoring, but that is also in keeping with my personal preference. I hope that if you are looking for a moist yellow cake that tastes a little out of the ordinary, you will be pleased with this recipe.
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Serves 10-12 people
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Prepare two 9-inch cake pans, or one 9" x 13" pan, by lining the bottoms with parchment paper, then lightly greasing the pans (or prepare two 12-count cupcake tins if you wish to make cupcakes). If you do not use parchment paper, then flour the bottom of the cake pans lightly after greasing them. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, whip together the butter, oil, and sugar.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract to the bowl and beat the ingredients together until they are well-combined.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the main bowl a few spoonfuls at a time. Alternate between adding the flour and adding some of the milk. Mix well until all of the flour and milk have been added to the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake the layers on the center rack of the oven for 28 to 30 minutes. (Bake cupcakes for 14 to 16 minutes, and a single cake in a 9" x 13" pan for 34 to 38 minutes.) The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of it comes out clean. Remove the layers from the oven and cool them on wire racks. Remove the layers from the cake pans once they are completely cool.
- If you prefer a more traditional-tasting yellow cake, simply leave out the almond flavoring and increase the vanilla extract by 1 teaspoon.
- If you have never used parchment paper to line the bottom of your cake pans, I suggest you try doing so. The paper makes it so much easier to get the cake out of the pan, and you never have to worry about broken cake layers! The easiest way to cut a piece of paper that fits precisely in the bottom of your cake pan is to flip the pan over and cut the paper around the edge of the pan (see photo below).
- Use a measuring cup when putting the batter into the cake pans, distributing equal amounts to each pan. This will ensure that you have cake layers that are the same height once they are done baking.
- Because this cake's texture is somewhat dense, it lends itself well to the cutting and handling involved in making a shaped cake. I used it to make the bridal shower cake in the example below. You could use this cake as the basis for a variety of shaped cakes for other types of parties as well, such as baby showers, graduation parties, or birthday parties.
© 2014 Rhosynwen