Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Aren’t they gorgeous? And what’s even more gorgeous is that I’ve finally found my go-to vanilla cake recipe. It works equally well as cake or cupcakes (unlike some I’ve found which are  too soft to work as cupcakes). It also seems to have a decent shelf life, which is important because it’s pretty  rare for any baker to manage to bake and decorate and deliver a cake on the same day – and who knows when it will actually be eaten after that! I’ve had some cakes go stale on me before I could get them to their intended eaters, so it’s really nice to know that this one will cooperate.

This recipe came from user BettyR at http://www.cheftalk.com/t/45372/finally-that-perfect-homemade-yellow-cake

Basic Yellow Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.
Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric  mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.
Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

I haven’t found the perfect chocolate frosting yet – though this one is pretty good – but when I do I’ll be sure to let you know!

By the way, did you know it’s my birthday on Friday? If anyone feels strangely compelled to give me a present, I’d love to have more baking supplies! My most-wanted items are: unbleached all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and unsalted butter. Oh, and rubber spatulas. In the year(!) that I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve worn out TWO rubber spatulas, and a third is on it’s way out. Crazy.

Hope you have a delicious week!

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