If you wonder what is the occasion for this cake? My answer is, “COMPLETELY NOTHING. My kids are just too obsessed about cakes and birthdays, not necessarily any birthday cake of any kind.”
Probably after Ethan turned 3 years old, he started to associate cakes with birthday. Whenever he sees a cake, he will request to put the candle, blow the fire, and automatically sing, “Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to Ethan……” And yes, every time it must be HIS birthday. And Maya will just drop whatever she’s doing, jump on the highchair, clap her hands like nuts and get ready to dive into the cake.
And now I’m obliged to make every cake look celebratory.
Ingredients (8-inch 2-layer cake):
6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon food coloring of your choice
2 tablespoons sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
To prepare the cake, lightly combine the egg yolks in a bowl, add 1/4 cup milk and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed. Add butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
Gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating well to incorporate the egg.
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the cakes (in the pans) on a wire rack to cool. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the buttercream, put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use an electric hand mixer to beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.
With whisk attachment, continue whipping the mixture in a standing mixer until thick, glossy, and cool.
Switch over to paddle attachment. While mixing on medium speed, continuously add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add vanilla and salt, mix well.
Right before frosting the cake, add the food coloring in the buttercream and beat for another 10 seconds, or until the color are evenly distributed.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 of the buttercream. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with another 1/3 of the buttercream. Smear the remaining 1/3 of the buttercream on the sides of the cake, and garnish with the sprinkles.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.