The tie was between The Classic and Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream. I know I have said before that I do not like fruits and most vegetables. I’ve been told I used to eat them all the time when I was a baby, but I don’t remember a single day in my life when I enjoyed eating a fruit or vegetable. Bananas are one of the ones that I know for sure I do not like. I have tried it multiple times alone and in smoothies. Bananas are not my thing at all, so you can tell right away which cake I decided to bake.
I made this cake for my birthday on January. I’m now 19… and I feel old. I know you’re laughing because 19 isn’t old, but I feel old. I recently found out the Polar Express came out when I was in the 5th grade, now I’m a freshman in college, tell me that’s not old!
This cake really, truly is The Classic. It’s a yellow cake with fudgy chocolate frosting, and what’s more classic than those two flavor combinations, riddle me that! I really wanted to post it on the 7th because I was that excited about this cake, but I abided by the rules and waited two full weeks to tell you all about this fabulous cake.
The yellow cake flavor is spot on. It’s springy, yet dense and moist at the same time. Not to mention the color is an oh so lovely and classic yellow. And the chocolate frosting? My, my, what a delight that was. There are only three ingredients in this frosting: brown sugar, heavy cream, and semi-sweet chocolate. Those three ingredients produce the best chocolate frosting I have yet to taste. I do have to warn you that using chopped chocolate will probably be much easier to melt than chocolate chips. My chips didn’t melt all the way and I spend an hour picking out chocolate chunks. I also halved the recipe below to make just one two-layer cake.
From Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson
Makes one three-layer cake
1 1/3 cup (5 1/3 oz.) sifted cake flour
¾ cup + 2 tbsp. (4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (14 oz.) sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
4 egg yolks, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
½ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup (3 ¼ oz.) dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place a medium bowl (not plastic) in the refrigerator to chill. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease each pan and set aside.
To make the cake: sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk together the mixture to ensure all ingredients are blended together.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer’s speed to low and drizzle in the oil and vanilla. Mix until combined; the mixture may look a little curdled. Blend in the egg yolks and whole eggs one at a time, adding the next as soon as the previous one has disappeared. With the mixer still on low speed, gently add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl every once in a while to make sure all ingredients are being blended together.
Take the chilled bowl out of the refrigerator and pour the heavy cream into it. Whisk the heavy cream to soft peaks with a hand held whisk (just do it, it’s a nice arm workout). Gently fold the cream into the cake batter. Divide the batter equally between each prepared pan (approximately 1 lb. 6 oz. of batter will go into each pan). Gently tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake until the cakes the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 35-40 minutes. I would check the cakes around the 30 minute mark though, just in case. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Flip the cakes out of their pans, leaving the parchment paper on until you assemble the cake. Let the cakes continue to cool on the rack, top side up, until they reach room temperature.
To make the frosting: put the chocolate into a medium heat-resistant bowl. Combine the cream and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the cream begins to simmer, remove from the heat quickly and pour the liquid over the chocolate. Swirl the bowl to confirm that all the chocolate is coated in hot cream. Place a lid or plastic wrap over the bowl and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid or plastic wrap and slowly begin to whisk the mixture, starting with small circles in the middle and working your way outward until you have smooth, glossy frosting. Stir the frosting every 5-10 minutes until it reached spreading consistency, about an hour. If the frosting stiffens up, put it in a warm place to soften up.
To assemble the cake: cut each cake layer in equal halves to create four layers. Lay one of the two cake bottoms (cut side up) on a flat plate. Using an offset spatula, frost the top with ½ cup of frosting, spreading it out to the edge of the cake. Next, align the one of the top two layers (cup side up) on top of the frosted cake and spread another ½ cup of frosting over the top of the cake. Stack the last layer (cut side down) on top of the frosted second layer. Apply a thing layer of frosting around the cake to cream a “crumb coat.” Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting is firm, about 10 minutes. Take the cake out and frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
This cake will keep up to three days when stored in an airtight container.