A confession of love

It’s true, I idolize Martha Stewart, felony and all.  There is something about her crisp life that is neatly organized and cleaned that I love.  Her food is good, her tips are better (No one else had a solution for when Vito ate an ink pen and spilled the ink all over my brand new couch and white carpeting.  It’s isopropyl alcohol, by the way.  Little bit on a cotton ball, dab it on the ink and it draws it right out. It was miraculous.), and the photos in her books/magazines are inspiring.  That being said, I no longer have a subscription to her Living magazine as the projects aren’t practical for my season in life and I felt like I was paying to read advertisements.  I do however, have her Cooking School book.  I like all the step-by-step instructions and the photos, but what I now like above all else, is this cake recipe.  According to her directions, this recipe is supposed to make 42 cupcakes or 2 9-inch round cakes.  I made the cupcakes, but only got 36 out of the batter.  I like my cupcakes to fill out the wrapper.  Actually, I only got 35 cupcakes.  We left the cupcakes on the dining room table to cool and ran out to get some last minute errands done.  Upon our return, I realized that one cupcake was missing from the rack and Nunzio seemed extra pleased with herself.  

Yellow Butter Cake (From Martha Stewart’s Cooking School)
  • 2 1/4 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and line your cake pans or cupcake tins.  Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Alternate the addition of the dry ingredients and the buttermilk until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.  The batter should be smooth and rather thick.  Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or cupcake tins.  For the cakes bake for 40 and for the cupcakes, bake 20-25 minutes.  Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pans.  Then allow them to cool completely on a baking rack.  Ice with your favorite icing.

I am not a huge fan of butter cream icing.  Perhaps it was all the batches I had to make for my Wilton classes, but I will do anything to avoid it!  I do, however love cream cheese icing.  I like the tanginess of the flavor and the fact that leftovers can be spread on waffles the next morning.  That is, if you aren’t having left over cake for breakfast the day after your birthday!

Basic Cream Cheese Icing
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth on a high speed setting so that there are no lumps. On low speed blend in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Then return the mixer to high speed and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.  If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).  If you prefer a sweeter and/or stiffer frosting, you could add more powdered sugar (up to four cups). I don’t think this is necessary though, as the more sugar you add, the less you’ll be able to taste the tangy cream cheese!

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