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I’ve been dreaming up this recipe in my head for a while. Until now, I had never produced a white or yellow cake that has left me satisfied. Perhaps I can blame it on eating boxed cake mix as a kid, but the homemade recipes I’ve tried were always way too dense for what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong – those cakes have killer flavor. You can really taste the buttery goodness. But, blame it on the box, they were just pound cakes baked in the wrong pan. Sure those cakes would be great for building a cake shaped like a car or rocket ship, but not what I was looking for in a super moist – killer yellow cake. FINALLY I’ve done it.
I made this cake for my sister, Marian’s, birthday this past week. We went glamping in this structure called a “yurt”. Normally I wouldn’t be down for straight up camping, but the yurt had an outlet, fan, portable heaters, bunk beds, and a clean outhouse that was walking distance from our site. We brought the cake with us in a cooler and everyone was swooning over it. Needless to say, I was incredibly pleased with myself, and you will be too!
How beautiful is this inside of this structure?
NOTE the cake pictured is made from about 1.5x the recipe. (I also made about 6 cupcakes on the side to be safe).
Here are some of my favorite cake decorating tools:
I surprisingly prefer Wilton brand cake pans because they are light weight. My cakes also never stick to the sides (after proper buttering and flouring, of course). But when it comes to tips, I always prefer Ateco over Wilton. Also make sure you use extra large piping bags when frosting cakes, because refilling is such a burden (and typically a mess, as well).
- Moist Yellow Cake
- 3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla (or sub 1 tsp almond extract)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- (recipe can be halved)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
- 2½ - 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (1 half pint)
- 1 tsp. almond extract, optional
- Berry Syrup optional
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 heaping tablespoons of berry jam (I used strawberry)
- Apricot Glaze
- 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
- splash of water
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- In a medium bowl, combined the dry ingredients and mix well.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, melt the butter and let cool slightly (it should still be melted). Then add the oil, buttermilk, water, vinegar and then the eggs. (It is best to combine the ingredients in that order so the butter is guaranteed room temperature so as not to cook the eggs).
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Distribute between 2, 8 inch cake rounds that have been greased with butter and dusted with flour.
- Lower the temperature of the oven to 325 F. (Do not wait for the oven temperature to reach 325. Put the cakes in immediately)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife or cake tester comes out clean. (If baking cupcakes, bake for about 20)
- Cream the butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone until light and fluffy. Then add the salt and confectioners sugar and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whip together the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to over mix because it will become grainy and change the texture and appearance of your frosting.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
- If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate and take out 10 minutes to bring to room temperature before applying to the cake.
- In a small sauce pot, mix together the water, sugar and jam. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Let cool. (this can also be done in the microwave)
- If making a 4 layer cake: Using a large bread knife, trace the outside of the cake and then slowly saw back and forth through the cake, making sure the knife is as parallel as possible.
- Spread a layer of the berry syrup on top of the first layer of cake (this should be the rough, cut side if making a 4 layer cake)
- Pipe or spread a thin layer of icing on top of the berry syrup.
- Evenly distribute sliced berries on top of the icing layer.
- Place the second layer of cake on top, and so on. Do not put any berry syrup on the very top layer of the cake, because the frosting is too difficult to spread and your cake will look too crumby.
- Roughly spread the frosting all over the cake to create a crumb coating. I like to refrigerate or freeze my cake for 10 minutes before proceeding. Ice the rest of the cake and garnish with fresh berries.
- Glaze the berries with simple syrup or apricot glaze (microwave for about 15 seconds, or until thin and pourable) and refrigerate until serving.