Ask Terri a cooking question

HOME | Cooking Basics | Kitchen Tools | Cooking Tips | Ingredients | Wine & Food | About Terri

« Baking 101 Cooking Class | Main | Grilled Asparagus Salad with an Orange and Fennel Vinaigrette »

April 06, 2015

Basic Cake Recipe

From this basic cake recipe we'll create 4 outstanding cakes from scratch

Basic Cake with Vanilla Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Grenache
Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting
Lemon Cake with Lemon Glaze

Any of the cakes can be made into two-9 inch rounds, Bundt, or 9x13 sheet cake but the baking times will vary.
Learn how we did it!


Yield: Two 9-inch Cake Rounds


2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans (or pan of choice- but adjust cooking times, see below).

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, mix with a wire whisk.

In a smaller bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until completely combines. Slowly add flour to egg mixture alternately with milk. At end of addition batter should be smooth. Divide equally between 2 pans.

Bake cake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert onto a rack and cool completely before frosting. Use frosting of choice.

For a 9 x 13 pan - Bake at 350° F. for 30-38 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

For a bundt pan- Bake at 325° F. for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes 3 cups

½ cup butter, softened
4 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5-6 tablespoons milk


In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Yield: About 3 cups.

Chocolate cake:
I added English Toffee Bits for fun

Use basic cake recipe:
First heat milk on low heat. Add 6 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate squares into milk and stir until melted. Then alternately add flour and chocolate milk to the butter and egg mixture. Then proceed with the recipe. Bake cake in 2 (9 inch) prepared round cake pans. Drizzle each cake with ganache.

For the Ganache:

In a medium sauce pan heat 1cup heavy cream on medium low heat until slightly warm. Add 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate and continue to heat while stirring until all chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Cool until just warm. Cool slightly before using.

Apple Spice Cake:

Use basic cake recipe:
Add 1 cup peeled and chopped granny smith apples and ½ tablespoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ cup brown sugar 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter and stir to mix. Then proceed with the recipe. Bake cake in a prepared Bundt pan.

Caramel Frosting

Enough for 2- 9 inch round cakes

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk or cream
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and mix in 3 tablespoons milk and brown sugar. Boil vigorously for 1 minute.
Remove from heat, and beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Cool slightly, and beat in the vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick

Lemon Cake:

Use basic cake recipe:
Add two teaspoons fresh grated lemon peel plus juice from 1 lemon to the batter. Bake cake in prepared 9x13 baking dish. Can also add grated lemon peel from another lemon to garnish cake.

Lemon Glaze

Makes ¾ cup Ingredients: 2 cups confectioner’s sugar ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Place confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice (glaze should be thick, yet pourable). Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency.

Posted by terri at April 6, 2015 03:34 AM