2 1/4 c. cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
This cake is great for last-minute dessert: since it uses oil instead of butter, there’s no need to wait for the butter to soften. Bake it in a bundt pan, and you may be able to get away with a dusting of powdered sugar as a finishing touch.
Yield: 1 bundt cake, 2 8-inch layers, or 1 9x13 cake, or about 24 cupcakes
On Cake Flour:
Cake flour is finely milled wheat flour. Because it’s milled so finely, it’s less dense than all purpose flour.
To substitute all purpose flour for cake flour: measure out a cup of flour, then subtract 2 Tbsp.
Prepare your pan by spraying thoroughly with nonstick spray. If you’re using 8-inch round pans, flour the pans as well: drop a Tablespoonful of flour in the greased pan and tap it around so all the nonsticked sides and bottom have a thin coating of flour.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in sugar to thoroughly combine. Add oil and milk. Use a hand mixer to beat 2 minutes.
Add eggs and vanilla, beat another 2 minutes.
Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake as specified below.
For a bundt cake:
Bake a bundt cake at 350° for about 45 min., until golden brown on top (well, bottom, eventually), and starting to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.
Allow to cool in pan long enough so that you can touch the sides of the pan, then turn out to cool completely on a rack.
For a layer cake:
Bake 2 8-inch round cake pans at 350°F for 25-30 min., until cake springs back to touch and the sides start to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.
Allow to cool in pans 10 min., then turn out onto racks to cool completely.
To finish a layer cake:
On your cake plate, place two sheets of waxed paper, each one covering one half of the plate. Place the flattest layer on the waxed paper. Top with a thin layer of frosting. (Try a batch of "Fix-it-up Frosting."
If you’re worried about running out of frosting, smear a layer of jam over the bottom layer. Red would probably be best – strawberry, cherry, or red raspberry. If you have some fresh raspberries, a layer of these on top of the filling adds a special touch.
Gently lay the top layer on top of the filling. Spread frosting over the top of the cake. Then begin to work on the sides.
Once the sides are frosted, gently pull the waxed paper out from under the cake…and with it any frosting mess that would have otherwise ended up on the plate.
To finish a bundt cake that came out of the pan neat and clean:
Prepare a simple glaze and pour over the still-warm cake. In a small bowl, combine about ½ c. powdered sugar (10X, confectioner’s sugar) with enough milk or water to make a drizzly consistency. Add the water a little at a time so as not to get too much. Drizzle over the cake.
Or just dust with a little powdered sugar and you’re off to the bake sale!
If your bundt cake came out of the pan in two horizontal halves:
Congratulations, you now have a layered bundt cake. Place the bottom half on the cake plate, add frosting in the middle and put the top half on top. (Thus the invention of "Fix-it-up Frosting."
) Smear more frosting on the top. No need to cover the whole cake.