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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pillsbury Revised; Scratch the Box.

As a kid growing up, my sisters and I each had our own signature, most favorite cake growing up. My favorite was pink strawberry cake with pink frosting (surprise, surprise), my little sister Laura loved funfetti with vanilla frosting and lots of sprinkles, everywhere, and my littlest sister Lindsay loved frosting.

Now, before you start judging, my mom didn't get all Julia Child on us until at least middle school. This was the 90's after all. I remember for my Dad, my sisters and I would help my mom whip up a golden yellow cake with chocolate frosting...his favorite.

For this past Father's Day, I decided to upgrade the Pillsbury boxed cakes, as delicious as they may still be, to an actual killer scratch recipe for yellow cake.

Here's the one I found...

Ingredients for the Cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract*

Ingredients for the Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

H.T.H. (How The Hell) to Make the Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, "grease" up the baking pans (three 9" round pans).

2. In the bowl of your mixer, add softened butter, canola oil, salt and sugar. Mix on high until fluffy and smooth (about 5 min).

3. Next, add one egg and egg yolk at a time to the bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.

4. In a separate large bowl, sift cake flour and baking powder together. Don't forget the baking powder.

5. Turn the mixer to low (yes, it was still going) and add half of the flour mixture (step 4) to the mixer and fully incorporate.

6. Next, add sour cream to the mixer and blend well. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix well.

7. Finally add vanilla extract and butter extract* to the mixer and finish beating on low until everything is well mixed.

8. Evenly add cake mixture into prepared baking pans and place in oven to bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean - but don't overbake!

9. Remove cakes from oven and let rest in pans for 10 minutes.

10. Next remove layers from pans and place on cooling racks for one hour plus.

Frosting 101:

1. Add butter, confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl of your mixer and mix on high speed until smooth.

2. Then add in vanilla extract and milk until frosting is fluffy and smooth.

3. Try not to eat too much frosting before it gets frosted onto the cake and served.

*Butter Extract - WTF is that? Basically, it's artificial butter - it adds in a rich butter flavor without artificial colors or added fats. It comes in a similar small bottle as vanilla extract and other baking extracts. Don't worry, you can find "artificial butter" that's organic at Whole Foods.

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