E just celebrated his birthday and he is a fan of a plain white cake with white frosting. No frills just a basic cake. I normally use a cake mix but this year I decided that I would make him a full from scratch cake. The least I could do with him turning (gasp) 42! :) Love ya honey.
I found this recipe from Joy of Baking and it was a good cake (a touch more work than I thought it would be and I realized I need multiple mixing bowls for my stand mixer).
White Butter Cake
2 large eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper.
While eggs are still cold separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan.
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.