I found this recipe in my Cooks Illustrated cookbook. It got rave reviews on their site as well so thought I would give it a try. After screwing it up my first attempt... I had the sugar measured out but forgot to add it to batter. That's what I get for trying to talk on the phone and make a cake at the same time.. Oops!... the second attempt was a pretty good success.
The cake is light but I wouldn't necessarily say it's "fluffy" To me the cake itself tasted kind of bland but once the filling was added and frosted it tasted too sweet. The frosting is of a good consistency and pipes well. It's very tooth aching sweet though. It kinda tastes like the frosting in the can you get at the store. The Smuckers jam tasted too sweet to me as well. Maybe it was just my taste buds that day (as I'm seeing a pattern here) but not sure if I would make this cake again or not.
I think this would be better with a lemon curd or some other type of tart filling. It is however a nice looking cake and easy to throw together. The only changes I made to this recipe was I omitted the almonds, used fine sugar in place of the regular sugar and halved each layer to make a 4 layer cake.
Anyway, give it a try and let me know what you think. The frosting by the way is lighter than it looks I didn't have good lighting in my kitchen when I took the pictures.
Classic White Cake
Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still cool
4 cups confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
Pinch table salt
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds (2 1/2 ounces), toasted and chopped coarse
1/3 cup raspberry jam (seedless)
1. For the Cake: Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
4. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
6. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
7. For the Frosting: Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed until sugar is moistened. Increase speed to medium-high (high if using handheld mixer); beat, stopping twice to scrape down bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Avoid overbeating, or frosting will be too soft to pipe.
8. For the Filling: Before assembling cake, set aside 3/4 cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread small dab of frosting in center of cake plate to anchor cake, and set down one cake layer. Combine 1/2 cup of remaining frosting with almonds in small bowl and spread over first layer. Carefully spread jam on top, then cover with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Pipe reserved frosting around perimeter of cake at the base and the top. Cut the cake into slices and serve.