If I need to bake a cake, my habit is to use a pre-set cake mix. Old habits die hard. Especially when they are easy and reliable and heck, even taste great!
Ever since we tried this Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from Today’s Parent, now every box cake tastes, well, like a mix, to me. It’s not the same as from-scratch. This recipe really is a delightful recipe for any cake or cupcakes you want to make at home. It makes a dense and delicious cake that your family will ask for again and again.
This weekend, my daughter needed cupcakes for a Valentine party so this from-scratch Chocolate cake recipe re-appeared. We planned to use the Chocolate recipe, except, we didn’t have any cocoa left. Never fear! We adapted and made these great Vanilla Cupcakes which you will love too, which was also adapted from the original Today's Parent recipe.
Homemade Vanilla Cake Recipe
Baking Time: 25 to 50 minutes
¾ cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
2cups (500 mL) sugar
2tsp (10 mL) vanilla
2½ cups (625 mL)
1tsp (5 mL) baking soda
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1½cups (375 mL) water, or half water and half milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottoms of cake pans (2 round or one rectangular) with baking parchment paper, and/or grease the paper and sides of the pans. Or line two 12-compartment muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2. Add the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until very creamy — about 2 minutes.
3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in two or three additions, alternating with the water and beating until smooth after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans or cupcake liners. Bake 9 in (23 cm) round layers for 40 to 45 minutes; a 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) rectangular cake for 45 to 50 minutes; cupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes. Just to be sure, a toothpick poked into the middle of the cake or cupcake should come out clean, with no batter clinging to it.
4. For cake, run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen it, then invert onto a cooling rack or plate. Peel off paper and turn cake right-side-up on a rack to cool completely.
Next, we needed icing. We had homemade cupcakes so then we needed homemade icing. The Joy of Cooking Cookbook is my go-to book for most recipes and provided a simple and delicious recipe.
Confectioners Frosting Recipe:
4 cups (460 grams) confectioners’ sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk or light cream
Assorted food colors (if desired)
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and well blended. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk (we added the food colouring to the milk since we knew it would all be pink) and beat to combine. Then, on high speed, beat frosting until it is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap to prevent the frosting from drying out.
This frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Bring to room temperature and re-whip before using. Add a little milk or sugar if needed to get the right consistency. Tint portions of frosting with desired food color.