Monday, September 14, 2015

White Velvet Cake

White Cake, White Velvet Cake, Wedding Cake, Silver Candle Holders, Silver Cake Topper, Candle Cake Topper, Buttermilk CakeAs 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?

This cake has a classic "birthday cake flavor", and is especially good frosted with chocolate buttercream.  It has a subtle buttermilk flavor that's perfectly sweet, balanced out with vanilla, and the crumb is velvety soft and buttery.  It's so, so good, and has become my go-to white cake base for so many other flavors, as well.




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

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

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

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

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



 
White cake has also been on my mind lately, as I received a lot of questions on one of my old cake recipes, and 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, or used a different sized pan, or didn't follow the mixing instructions exactly, 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, in the end, sometimes, it's just not meant to be.  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've tested this particular white cake recipe of mine many, many times, and I'm so proud of it.  It's a butter based cake, with a light but velvety texture and a beautiful crumb.  The flavor of the cake is exquisite, and an excellent foundation for so many different flavors of buttercreams and fillings.  Fill with fruit compotes or shaved chocolate, creamy ganache or lemon curd, or 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, Buttermilk Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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. 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.
  3. As noted in the recipe below, it's important for the egg whites, milk and butter to be at room temperature.
  4. Cake flour is best for white cakes, as it yields a very soft and tender cake crumb.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Below, I've included my recipe for my standard vanilla buttercream, but many flavors would be wonderful on this cake.
  8. I used Wilton Tip 1M for the piping on the cake.
  9. 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
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 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.  Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt and set aside.

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

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, buttermilk and vanilla, 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 25-30 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

47 comments :

  1. Again..stunning pretty cake and so well styled;)
    Thanks for ths keeper recipe.

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could invite you over for a piece and a cup of coffee. :)

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  2. Stunning!
    The striped candle I noticed immediately....great idea!
    Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    Replies
    1. The fall weather here has been gorgeous lately - sunny and warm but not too hot. :)

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  3. Cake looks delicious....I'm going to try it though I cannot source the cake/sponge flour locally at the mo......but the duct tape ...beautiful ingenious and hillarious....all at the same time

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  4. Looks amazing. Very beautiful and I hope is very sweet

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  5. Your cake looks amazing. I can't watch staring at it. I'll try it soon. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. Is this cake sturdy enough to take ganache and fondant?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure - I never cover cakes with fondant, so it's not something I tested with this recipe.

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    2. It is! I made one covered in fondant this spring and it worked beautifully!

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    3. Where can I purchase fondant ?

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    4. You can find it at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Joanne's, and Michaels, which have a cake decorating aisle, and even some grocery stores like Kroger might have a limited selection of it on the baking aisle. Or you can find it on Amazon.

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  7. I made this and it is the cake I am going with to make a wedding cake for my friend! I did use a 9×13 cake pan as I needed a wider cake for what I am designing. I saw that someone asked the difference in time. I baked it for 22 minutes, what you originally said. It obviously was still very liquid-like. I added 20 more minutes. It came out perfect! Finally I can say I found a recipe to be proud of! Thank you

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  8. Hi Heather,
    I just found your blog and already love it! Especially your White Cake looks so pretty and delicious. I've been looking for a good White Cake recipe for such a long time and I hope that I found it now... There is just a tiny problem: I am living in Germany and I love trying out recipes from other countries, but on your blog I couldn't find any hint, whether you're using American or English cups for converting to grams/litres... Hope you can help me :-)
    Thank you!

    Hülya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like my blog! The Imperial system is what is used in America, not the Metric system, so all of my measurements are in US ounces, pounds, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.

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  9. Can this recipe be doubled? I'm always leary about doing that.

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't say, since I only tested it for the ingredients listed. It might be better for you to mix up separate batches if you need more batter.

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  10. I just made this cake this morning and it is delicious! Perfect delicate texture and flavor! I can't stop eating it and it's not even frosted!

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  11. Can I make ahead and freeze the cake?

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  12. Yes, you can wrap the baked cake layers in plastic and freeze until you need to frost them.

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  13. Hi, your recipe looks divine, tomorrow is my son's bday and I will prepare this one for him. I noticed that my cakes come out nicer when using parchment paper. instead of non-stick spray, can i use parchment for this recipe?

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  14. I've baked the cake for 35mins and the center is still uncooked. Am I doing something wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be any number of things - maybe your oven is mis-calibrated and you're baking it at too low of a temperature, or maybe your measurements for one of the ingredients were off, maybe you're baking it in a different size pan, etc.

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  15. Does this cake recipe translate to use for cupcakes?

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  16. I love the rose piping on the cake. Can you please let me know what tip you used? Thank you!

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  17. Could this recipe be used in making a marbled cake?

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  18. can I use srf that's what we have in the south or do you prefer cake flour?

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    Replies
    1. You need to use cake flour. Self rising flour already contains leavening, so the entire recipe would have to be re-formulated to adjust for the extra leavening.

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  19. This was soooooooooooo good! My new favorite white cake recipe!!! It is so soft and moist and almost like angel food cake consistency! Not dry at all....thank you!!

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  20. I made this cake recipe for my husband's birthday with strawberry filling and a whipped cream frosting. It came out amazing and it was, by far, the best cake I've ever made. Everyone loved it. It was moist, fluffy and delicious, bakery quality. This will always be my go to cake recipe.

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  21. I just made this for my daughter's 1st birthday and it's divine! i have to scale up for her actual birthday party and was wondering if you have ever baked this in a 11x15 pan? I am thinking I will double it but thought I would ask before failing!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried doubling it or baking in a sheet pan, but I think another commenter tried it.

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    2. I made an 11x17” if this cake for my daughter’s bday party this past weekend. I 1.5x the recipe for each layer, baked 1 at a time at 325 for 45 min. Baked up amazing and tasted even better. Love love love this white cake!

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  22. Your cake is amazing....just one question....how did you get the blush color....it's beautiful !!!! Thanks 😊

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    Replies
    1. A small amount of pink food coloring in the buttercream. :)

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  23. Lovely! I recommend caster sugar rather than regular granulated sugar to take nothing away from the velvet texture.

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  24. Can you make this in a Bundt cake

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  25. Tried the butter cream frosting and didn't care for it. I realize it's butter cream but this has to much butter to me. My husband liked it ok but I didn't care for it. Had great spreading and piping consistency though.

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    Replies
    1. If you're used to the extremely sweet frosting that many people make, then this might seem too buttery to you. Although, my buttercream is usually what people rave about the most! :)

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  26. My cake turned out yellow and spongy. Any idea why? The flavor was great but the texture ruined it.

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could help you, but it's just impossible for me to try to guess what went wrong in someone else's kitchen when I wasn't there. It could have been altitude, or a wrong measurement, or any number of things!

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  27. I dont have an electric mixer is there anything i can uae to mix the eggs instead?

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