Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old Fashioned Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Here is another recipe from Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. I've probably made this cake about 5 times. According to Reeni, this recipe was originally published in 1910 (McCall's Book of Cakes and Pies). I can tell you it is still phenomenal today. I've only made a few tiny changes. First, I cut the sugar back from 1 1/4 cups, to 3/4 cups. I tend to load up on the icing a bit, so I needed to balance it out. The other change I made was to beat the batter just a bit longer. Probably an extra 2 minutes or so. If you don't beat it for 2 minutes or longer then it makes a very crumbly cake, almost like a cornbread (still delicious, by the way). If you mix it for several minutes, it creates a dense cake, which holds together better. It isn't as dense as a pound cake though, for example. So depending on what texture you're looking for, you can adjust the time accordingly. Also, it doesn't rise very much, which I love because it creates a beautiful flat surface that doesn't need to be leveled. 

The buttercream frosting is pretty straight forward: butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Easy-peasy. You could also use shortening, but I tend to stay away from that as much as possible. Cream cheese frosting is good with this as well. And I haven't tried this yet, because if I did I would be the only one in my house that would eat it, but I think a layer of jam in the middle would taste and look great.

The batter 
Pour in cake pans (2) 
Remove from oven and let cool 
In the meantime, make the buttercream frosting 
This is the middle of the cake

Top it with the other cake and finish frosting (I find it easiest to pile the frosting on the top and then frost down the sides)
Inside view 
Close up, minutes before my toddler ate it :)

Old Fashioned Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Original Recipe: Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Serving Size = 2 8-inch cakes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add to a large bowl, or to your mixer bowl (I used my Kitchenaid mixer). Add the milk and butter. Beat together for 2 minutes (I beat it together for at least 3 or 4) on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla. Beat for another 2 minutes (again, I beat it together for 3 or 4 minutes) on medium speed.
  4. Pour into two greased 8-inch round pans (I used 9-inch round pans). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pans, on wire racks, for 10 minutes. Carefully flip out of the pans and let them finish cooling on wire racks.
  6. When completely cool, add the frosting.

Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened but not melted (room temperature)
  • 4 - 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. With a mixer, beat the butter until creamed. Add the milk and vanilla, mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it reaches desired consistency.


Pamela said...

Wonderful Recipe, I will be trying this using whole wheat flour.

Reeni said...

Thanks for making and posting the cake Elsa! It is one of my family's favorites too! I'm going to change the amount of time I have recommended for beating it. Your pictures make me want to go bake it right now!

Elsa said...

It's definitely a favorite in my family now too! I actually didn't type that correctly. If you beat it for 2 solid minutes, then I'm sure it comes out correctly.... but you have to make sure you beat it that long, and I go ahead and beat it a little longer just to be safe. A few times I beat it for less than 2 minutes and it was still amazing, but more crumbly.

Elsa said...

And I've updated the info. :)

Addicted to Recipes said...

I love cake - thank you so much for sharing. Would love for you to link up at
Have a great night!

Gypsy Heart said...

Sounds wonderful! I will definitely try it.


April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I adore old fashioned recipes, cookbooks and family food history! It's a real passion of mine. Your old fashioned yellow cake looks wonderful, and it's great you have managed to adapt the recipe to a lower sugar version as well. It's nice to have your hints and tips as well - it's often only by making these recipes a few times that you can get the very best from them. It's lovely to benefit from your experience with it. Thank you for sharing this!

The Daily Smash said...

These look yummy. Just found your blog its so fun.. Come and check out my blog

Have a great day

Rianne said...

I did this. It was great! I used only 3 cups of confectioner sugar and put 1/4 cup more of Butter so it would taste like buttercream and not confectioner sugar.

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