Monday, March 2, 2009

Bonnie Butter Cake

I wanted to make it a point not to blog a recipe that somebody else had already done. I mean, really, don't we read blogs to find something different? I have a hundred or so cookbooks so I should be able to find something fresh and interesting, to say nothing of the family recipes I've collected and wanted to share. But as karma would have it, I saw this recipe on The Wooden Spoon that Old Roses had posted and I simply could not resist. I checked my raggedy Betty Crocker cookbook, and yes, I've had that recipe all along. I had been neglecting my old, tried and true friend, when there were still some great undiscovered treasures between her red covers.

So, true to my life experience, I am going to take back that manifesto, and tell you about the single best yellow cake I have ever put in my mouth. Really, I kid you not. I adore yellow cakes; chocolate is good, I make it for others, but I will hip chuck you if you are standing between me and this cake.

Bonnie Butter Cake

2/3 cup butter (do not even tell me you are using margarine here!)
1 - 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 - 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups cake flour (or 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour )
2- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1- 1/4 cups milk

French Silk Frosting (recipe to follow below)

Preheat oven to 350F. Set racks so that the top of the cake will be at the halfway point in your oven. Grease and flour two 9-inch or three 8-inch baking pans.

In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Pour milk into a measure large enough to hold it, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using the high speed on your mixer, mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy, about five minutes. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to thoroughly mix in all the ingredients.

On low speed, alternately mix the flour with the milk (one third of the flour, half the milk, one third flour mixture, remaining milk, and then last third of the flour), mixing well, but taking care not to overmix (you can cause your cake to fall, believe me, I speak from pained experience). Pour into pans.

Now I get all meticulous over this, but I do weigh my pans on a kitchen scale to ensure that there is an equal amount in each. It makes for better, more even baking. If you don't have a scale, use a measuring cup and try to measure out the batter as equally as possible, but don't make yourself crazy. It's just that with equal amounts of batter, chances are greatly improved that all the layers will be done at the same time.

I smooth the batter down with a spatula, and then I smartly slap the bottom of the pans a couple of times to release any air bubbles that might be trapped.

Bake the layers about 30-35 minutes. Right here, I'm going to share something with you that maybe I shouldn't. I'm sure it will cause gasps of dissension and consternation --but I'm going to tell you anyway -- if you can do it without making the cakes fall, rotate the cakes in the oven. My oven tends to be hotter towards the back so that the side of the pan that faces the back is done before the front side. That uneven baking causes my cakes to rise unevenly. So, I usually give the pans a gentle turn, about 20 minutes into baking. However, if your cakes fall, don't say there weren't plenty of others who tried to warn you!
Use a wooden toothpick to test the center, and if the toothpick comes out clean, cake is done.

This frosting is an absolute must for this cake. The two together are a marriage made in heaven and how many of those do you know?

French Silk Frosting

2 - 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup soft butter
2 ounces melted, unsweetened chocolate (cooled)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (or enough to achieve desired spreading consistency)

Sift the confectioners sugar and then combine remaining ingredients, except milk, in a small mixer bowl. Gradually add the milk, beating until smooth and fluffy.

Like Old Roses, I felt that a single recipe of the frosting was inadequate, so I doubled it. If you do decide to double the frosting, use a large mixing bowl. With doubling, I had more than enough, and actually had enough remaining to pipe a simple border, even after spreading a nice thick layer on and over the cake. I still had some left over; the frosting is so good though, I bet it would be wonderful on cupcakes!


  1. Butter Cake. Even the words are delicious! And I'm adopting the term "hip chuck". LOL! Thanks for the recipe! (**Running to check my Betty Crocker cookbook**)

  2. Katy, my favorite cake (since I was 5 years old) has always been yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Yours is beautiful.

    And I (carefully) rotate my cakes to--good tip!

  3. Oh, you dear Ladies! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet notes.

    I love this cake. I've made it several times, and for me, the search for the perfect butter cake is over.

    Although I did see that Dorie has one in her book.....LOL

  4. hi there! just wondering if you would not mind shooting me an email so i can ask you a question. thanks!

  5. Ha-ha! Hip check....I like that one. My kiddos know not to get between me and my dessert but I'm gonna use that one on them if they try anything.

    I have no problem what so ever making a recipe from another blog as a matter a fact its most what I bake AND I'm baking your cake soon! Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, I found your blog through Coleen's.


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