Monday, March 26, 2018

White Velvet Cake

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake TopperAs it's the week before Easter, I thought a beautiful, snowy white cake would be just the thing to inspire your holiday baking and decorating for next week.  Last year, I decorated a cake with coconut, paper bunny ear toppers, and a pink chocolate bow, and in spite of (or perhaps because of) its simplicity, it's probably my favorite Easter cake I've done.  This white velvet cake would be the perfect canvas for a festive Easter cake to complete your table next Sunday...


This pretty cake was also perfect to showcase my beautiful silver candle holder cake toppers from Silver Celebrations London.  These are the "Buttercups and Bees" candle holders, and they are so lovely that I wish I could put them on top of all of my cakes.  I love all things girly and feminine, and these are like jewelry for your cakes.  How to choose from all the gorgeous designs they have available?



White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper


 
White cake has also been on my mind lately, as one of my past recipes for a white cake has been pinned over 220,000 times on Pinterest, and as such, has received far more feedback than any other recipe I've ever posted.  And while most of the feedback is positive, there are commenters who have struggled to achieve successful results with the recipe, which is frustrating for me, as I test my recipes multiple times - and most of my cake recipes are tested dozens of times - so I know it's a good recipe.  I also realize that people are far more likely to post a review or comment if they have negative feedback rather than positive, but still, it's hard for me not to take the negative comments personally.  I'm a perfectionist, even going so far as to delete old recipes from my blog that I no longer feel live up to my standards, and I stand by the recipes I create.  So with that said, I wanted to address some of those comments and questions.

The most common questions I see are these: why doesn't my cake look as fluffy as yours? why is the texture too dense or rubbery?  why didn't my cake rise? why did my cake fall?  why is the color yellow instead of white?  I substituted/changed this, that or the other thing, and my cake didn't turn out, why? I baked this cake in a different size pan, at a different temperature, for longer, for shorter, in cupcake liners, etc, and it didn't turn out, why?

Okay, so, while trying to be as nice and helpful as possible, I also have to be honest (as well as dole out a bit of tough love) and say that most of the time, I simply don't know.  I simply can't know.  If I'm not in your kitchen with you, there is just no way for me to know what went wrong, whether you made a mistake, or if it was due to something out of your control, because there can be so so many different factors that affect how a recipe, especially a cake recipe, works for one person and not for another.  Not all cake recipes work as cupcakes, and vice versa.  If you changed an ingredient or two, used a different sized pan, etc, then I think you already answered your own question as to why it didn't turn out quite the same.  Perhaps your oven is not calibrated correctly, and you need to use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is preheating to the correct temperature (my own gas oven runs low, and I have to set it to about 60 degrees hotter than what I'm aiming for, something that I quickly discovered after we bought our house and suddenly everything was taking twice as long as it should have to bake).  It could be that you measured something wrong, or forgot an ingredient; we all make mistakes.  I once grabbed a bottle of Worcestershire sauce instead of vanilla extract and added it to chocolate chip cookie dough - you can imagine the result.  Maybe your dairy products were too cold, and letting them sit out at room temperature for a while would help.  Maybe you opened the oven door too many times before the cake was done and let the heat escape or caused the cake to fall.  Maybe your baking soda or baking powder was expired.  Maybe you packed too much flour into your measuring cups.  Maybe you over-mixed or under-mixed the batter.  Maybe you over-baked or under-baked the cake.  In the case of whipping egg whites to fold into the batter, perhaps they were over-whipped or under-whipped.  Maybe it was a very humid day when you made your cake.  And finally, there's altitude.  I live in Denver, Colorado, where it's not only typically very dry, but we're also over 5,000 feet above sea level, so all of my recipes on my blog are tested at high altitude.  If you live at a lower altitude, or at sea level, you may need to experiment with some adjustments in order to achieve your own perfect results. Generally speaking, for high altitude baking, we use a little more flour and liquid, and a little less sugar and leavening agents, so at low altitude, you would do the opposite. There are many, many articles online that offer simple conversion formulas and guidance on how to adjust these ingredients for high or low altitude.  And, no, I won't do the math for you.

And, in the end, sometimes, it's just not meant to be.  Whipping egg whites is a tricky business, and it can be difficult to know if you've whipped them sufficiently, or not enough, if they're too wet, too dry, too soft, too stiff, or if you're folding them in too gently or aggressively.  And I understand how frustrating it is to really, really want to make a recipe, to be certain that you're doing it right, and yet it just doesn't work for you.

So, all that said, I recently spent an entire weekend testing an alternate white cake recipe, one that doesn't require any whipping or folding of egg whites.  This new recipe is more forgiving, and as it is butter-based, it has a slightly more firm, velvety texture than the almost-angel-food-cake lightness of my other white cake, with a flavor that is just exquisite.  I couldn't say which I prefer, as they are both different but equally wonderful white cakes that make a good foundation for so many different flavors of buttercreams and fillings.  Fold a handful of berries or chocolate chips into the batter, or fill the layers with creamy ganache or lemon curd, frost with a fresh strawberry buttercream or fluffy toasted coconut - there's really nothing you couldn't do with this cake.




White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper




Baking Notes and FAQs:
  1. As with everything I bake, my cakes are baked at high altitude (I live in Denver), and to achieve your own perfect results, you may need to make a few slight adjustments if you live at a lower altitude or sea level.  There are many articles online that can offer advice on how to adjust your flour, sugar and leavening for various altitudes.
  2. Unlike my other white cake recipe with whipped egg whites folded into the batter, this cake bears no resemblance to a sponge cake or angel food cake.  It has a beautiful flavor, a light tender crumb, and slightly firm, velvety texture since it is butter-based.  It would be perfect for a wedding cake and would hold up well under ganache and/or fondant.
  3. You can try substituting a neutral-tasting oil for the butter, if you like, but the flavor won't be as nice, and the color will not be as white.
  4. As noted in the recipe below, it's important for the egg whites, milk and butter to be at room temperature.
  5. Either cake flour or all-purpose flour can be used; I actually used half cake flour and half all-purpose flour for mine, due to running out of cake flour after a morning of recipe testing.  I can't be sure of the results if you were to use gluten free flours.
  6. The cake can be baked in advance, each unfrosted layer individually wrapped well in plastic wrap, and frozen for several months.  Thaw wrapped cakes out overnight, at room temperature.
  7. Any flavor of extract you like can be used, but clear ones such as orange, coconut, lemon or almond will keep the cake nice and white.  Scraping the seeds of a whole vanilla bean into the batter would be heavenly.
  8. Below, I've included my recipe for my standard vanilla buttercream, but many flavors would be wonderful on this cake.  I frosted mine with a combination of cream cheese frosting and snickerdoodle buttercream that I needed to use up from my freezer.
  9. Fresh berries, tossed in a tablespoon of flour and folded into the batter after it's mixed, which be a fabulous addition.
  10. I used Wilton Tip 1M for the piping on the cake.
  11. The candles are from Shop Sweet Lulu and the silver candle holders are from Silver Celebrations London.


White Velvet Cake
printable


Cake.
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour (all-purpose flour can also be used)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Buttercream.
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk or cream, if needed

Cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch round cake pans.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 7-10 minutes, scraping the bowl down every few minutes, until very light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, sour cream and extracts, just to combine.  With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix for 1 minute to combine; it will look lumpy/curdled.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the mixture, mix on low for 30 seconds, and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes for a light and airy batter.

Divide the batter between the cake pans.  Bake for 25-27 minutes until the centers are done, then set the pans on a wire rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt and mix until combined.  Add the vanilla and milk, increase the speed to medium high and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy.

When the cakes are cool, run a knife around the edges, remove from the pans, and frost with the buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

9 comments :

  1. I am pretty much obsessed with your recipes. Does this one stay moist forever in the fridge, too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you make it a few days ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, uncut, and it will stay very moist. Once cut, I would say 2-3 days. :)

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  2. Can't seem to find pin button.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I'll have to look into why that's not showing up on my images. In the meantime, you can use install and use the Pin It Button from Pinterest, which you can add to your Bookmarks toolbar on a web browser, or on an iPhone, just press and hold the image, then click Share to find the option to save to Pinterest.

      Delete
  3. I can't wait to try this. for EASTER!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This cake looks amazing! I’m looking for a nice light and fluffy white chocolate cake recipe. Do you think I could add melted white chocolate to this recipe and achieve a similar result?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how that would turn out.

      Delete
  5. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Queen Size Mattress

    ReplyDelete

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