I am constantly on the search for the perfect vanilla and yellow cake recipes from scratch. I have tried so many and still haven't found 'the one." I had been eyeing this recipe ever since I got this cookbook. I was waiting for strawberries to be in season before I tried it. The original recipe is done as a three-layer cake, but I was in the mood for cupcakes!
This recipe is a homemade yellow cake, which the author of the cookbook (Paula Deen's Cousin, Gabriel) claims to be the basis for several of her very popular desserts at her bakery.
I must warn you: If you don't feel like doing dishes, do not make this cake, because it dirties so many dishes. That was my ONLY complaint about this recipe. I tried a plain cupcake the night I made them before I put any frosting on them. I had to make sure the cake was good before I wasted all the ingredients on the frosting, right? It was hands-down the BEST scratch yellow cake recipe I have ever made. It was everything I look for in a cake. . . . so light and fluffy, moist and very very flavorful. I was thrilled . . . I finally found "the one." However (there always has to be a however), the next day, it was a little more dry? I wouldn't say completely dry, just not as moist as it was the night before? They were still really good and I will definitely make them again. The recipe suggests brushing the tops with a simple syrup and I didn't do that until the next day, so next time I will try brushing them the night I make them, to see if that keeps them moist? We'll see and I'll let you know when I try it.
The strawberry frosting I made was horrible and I am not even going to post the recipe? Instead, I will include the link to my FAVORITE strawberry frosting. This was the first time I had tried making a homemade strawberry frosting with fresh, not frozen, strawberries and I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I decided to puree them, because I am not a fan of chunky berries and as soon as I added that puree to my frosting, it kind of separated and the flavor was off? Who knows?
This is what will happen if you fill your cupcake liners too full. It will spread out like a muffin top.
adapted from: this cookbook
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. cream
1 Tbl. vanilla
3/4 of a batch of this yummy Strawberry Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the shortening, butter and sugar, blending until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, buttermilk, cream and vanilla. In four additions, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture to the creamed mixture. Begin with flour and end with flour, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Blend evenly, but do no overmix. Using a whisk attachment on the mixer, whip the egg whites until they will hold a peak. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter in three additions. Divide the cake batter among the prepared muffin cups. Gently tap the pan on the counter or tabletop to level out the batter in the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with *simple syrup. Pipe on strawberry frosting. Yield: about 25-30 cupcakes.
*For the simple syrup: In a small heavy saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes. Allow syrup to cool. With a pastry brush, apply a light coating of the simple syrup on the top of each cupcake. Any leftover syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks for future use.