Moist, tender white cake reminiscent of its buttermilk cake cousin, Red Velvet Cake, our White Velvet Layer Cake is flavored with pure almond extract and a hint of vanilla. It is iced with a truly extraordinary frosting, Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream, fitting for the most special of occasions.
It’s a Virtual Baby Shower for Georgia!
This post is part of a virtual baby shower for Georgia of The Comfort of Cooking. She is expecting a baby girl in June!
Georgia is a very talented food blogger, photographer, and cook. I adore her and her blog. She has always supported me as well as so many other bloggers. Georgia specializes in simple and scrumptious comfort food often with a twist. Some recipes are indulgent treats while others are lightened up classics. Her exceptional food styling never fails to capture the fresh food she makes. If you have not been to her blog, you have been really missing out!
About the Cake
It was so much fun to conceive the idea for this cake with the pink theme and carry it out. In fact, I actually accomplished something food scientist and cookbook author, Shirley Corriher, said she had tried to do in her cookbook, BakeWise.
Shirley wanted to create a layer cake that was moist and sweet enough with self-rising flour—specifically White Lily® Self-Rising Flour with impeccably even leavening distribution—because this flour creates velvety smooth cakes without those dreaded holes (due to uneven leavening distribution). Also, White Lily® Self-Rising Flour is made from Southern soft red winter wheat whereas cake flour is made from Northern hard red winter wheat. There are also gluten and protein as well as milling differences, but I am going to leave this food science bit for an upcoming post on flours.
The even leavening distribution, and using a soft red winter wheat flour to create velvety cake layers, was important to me because I wanted to create a new classic, so-to-speak, and make it quintessentially Southern (just like Red Velvet Cake and White Lily® Flour) because Georgia’s little baby girl is and will be a Southern Belle. 🙂
Shirley gave up and went with regular cake flour because, as she stated, her cakes made with White Lily® Self-Rising Flour fell in the center. Well, I did it! The trick was getting the proper ratio of fats to work for a moist, tender, velvety crumb with no big holes—the ideal velvet layer cake.
As many skilled bakers know, whenever you use a little oil in cake batter along with either butter or shortening, it really helps the moisture factor because the oil is liquid at room temperature whereas butter and shortening are not. I definitely wanted to use butter for flavor, a good shortening for keeping the cake white in color and the oil (almond oil) for moisture. I had also tested the cake using cake flour and by splitting the liquid between buttermilk (I use organic which is very thick) and whole milk. But, using all buttermilk won out with both White Lily® Self-Rising Flour and White Lily® Bleached All-Purpose Flour. The cake also needed to be sweetened with 2 full cups of sugar to make it sweet enough—just the way Shirley would like and the way I like it.
As for the mixing technique, I chose the Two-Stage Method I learned from Rose Levy Beranbaum in her cookbook, The Cake Bible, but popularized by Cook’s Illustrated. Of course, in addition to other mixing methods, Shirley includes this method in her cookbook, BakeWise.
This method proved to be aces. Although the cake layers have a tight crumb, they are amazingly moist as well as tender, airy and light.
The reason for only 2 cups (480 ml) of batter per cake pan, and going with three (3) 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans, was to create an easy recipe for an attractive multi-layered cake whilst eliminating the step of “torting” the cake layers by slicing them horizontally. Again, I wanted an easy no-fuss recipe for Georgia since she will be a new and very busy mom.
For me, I prefer triple layer 8-inch (20 cm) round cakes over double layer 9-inch (23 cm) round cakes because the cakes stand tall and pretty. When cut for serving, the slices are not short, squatty and elongated as with double layer 9-inch (23 cm) cakes or super-hefty looking as with triple layer 9-inch (23 cm) cakes. In addition, cakes are less likely to fall in the center, like Shirley experienced, when using 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans with such a delicate butter cake batter.
When Caroline of Chocolate and Carrots, and Erin of Texanerin Baking, coordinated this virtual baby shower with the theme, Think Pink!, I was happy to bake and post something special and pink, like this original recipe, for Georgia and her baby-to-be (princess-to-be?), along with everyone else participating. A special thank you to both of you, Caroline and Erin, for organizing this fun event!
Congratulations, Georgia! Wishing you and your family all the best…always!
To my readers, check out what fellow bloggers have created especially for Georgia’s Think Pink! virtual baby shower:
- Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse from Texanerin Baking
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Petit Fours from Chocolate & Carrots
- Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes from Grandbaby Cakes
- Beet Pesto Pasta from Little Kitchie
- Strawberry Almond Cream Tart from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Mini Lemon-Rhubarb Bundt Cakes from Girl Versus Dough
- Lightened Up No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits from Steph’s Bite by Bite
- Strawberry Swirl Sour Cream Bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
- Lemon Raspberry Poppy Seed Cookie Cups from Cookie Monster Cooking
- Rhubarb Cream Cheese Hand Pies from Eats Well With Others
- Kale Salad with Strawberries, Goat cheese, and Strawberry Vinaigrette from The Roasted Root
- Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata from The Lemon Bowl
- Roasted Strawberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecake from Baker by Nature
- Strawberry Lemonade Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars from A Kitchen Addiction
- Strawberry Lemonade Bars from Confessions of a Confectionista (formerly Culinary Couture)
- Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze from One Sweet Mess (formerly The Messy Baker)
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!Print
Moist, tender white cake reminiscent of its buttermilk cake cousin, Red Velvet Cake, our White Velvet Layer Cake is flavored with pure almond extract and a hint of vanilla. It is iced with a truly extraordinary frosting, Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream.
For the Cake
- 2½ cups (280 g) sifted White Lily® Self-Rising Flour
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (48 g) Spectrum® Organic All Vegetable Shortening (palm shortening)
- ¼ cup (56 g) almond oil, or favorite vegetable oil
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 g) egg whites (about 6), at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure almond extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- Additional all-purpose flour and shortening or vegetable oil, to prepare cake pans
For the Frosting
- 1 to 1½ recipes Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™
For the Cake Adornments
- Fresh red raspberries and/or strawberries, optional
- Three 8-inch by 1½- to 2-inch (20 cm) round cake pans
- Four wire cooling racks, with the fourth being used to flip cake layers right side up
- One 8-inch (20 cm) cardboard cake round, helpful but not necessary
- Cake Turntable, such as Ateco®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Angled or Offset Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Wax paper, for lining cake plate for icing, helpful but not necessary
- Piping bag, coupler and/or decorating tips, not necessary if no piping is desired
- Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Grease three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans with shortening or oil. Line bottoms with parchment or wax paper circles. Grease paper linings and dust lined pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix self-rising flour and sugar (or flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda if using White Lily® Bleached All-Purpose Flour as indicated in the Recipe Notes section below recipe) on low speed (stir) until well combined and aerated, about 1 minute. Add butter, shortening and oil and mix on slow speed until thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very thick.
- In a 2-cup (500 ml) glass liquid measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, egg whites and extracts using a fork until well blended. Slowly add half of the liquid mixture to the batter and mix on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add remaining liquid mixture and beat just until smooth and thoroughly combined, again scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, about 1 minute.
- Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour batter into prepared pans dividing evenly (a little over 2 cups or about 480 ml of batter per cake pan). Smooth tops evenly with rubber spatula and then rap each pan on counter surface 2 to 3 times to expel any air bubbles. This step will create a nice level cake.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. (I have found that 28 minutes is perfect.) Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around edges of each cake to loosen, then invert onto wire rack and peel away parchment or wax paper. Turn right side up onto wire racks (using an additional rack to flip) and cool completely or wrap while still warm to retain moisture. Wrap each cake layer tightly in plastic food wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to fill and frost.
- To frost and fill cake, use a scant ¾ cup (180 ml) frosting between each layer and then proceed to frost the cake as desired with remaining buttercream.
- To make a Rose Cake with “Rose Swirls”
- Use a scant ¾ cup (180 ml) frosting between each layer and then proceed to frost the cake with a “crumb coat” or thin coat, but not too thin. The cake should have good coverage and you should not see the cake peeking through the frosting.
- Next, assemble your pastry bag with coupler and tip. (I like to use my Ateco No. 846 tip because it makes gorgeous swirled roses. However, you can also use an open tip like the Wilton 1M.) Fill pastry bag and twist closed. Make sure your hands are not too warm or your buttercream will get too soft. You are now ready to pipe roses!
- To pipe roses, start at the bottom and work around the cake to complete a full circle of roses. To pipe each rose, start in the center of where you want your rose to be. Then pipe in a circular fashion counter-clockwise going around the center point once or twice depending on the size of roses you desire. The roses don’t need to be perfect! This is what is so great about piping swirled roses as they look lovely shabby and chic. It is best to end in the same place each time and I like to end at the top right side of each rose.
- Once you complete the first row around the cake, continue with the next row and then the top. To fill in any gaps, I like to pipe small stars or flourishes that contour the rose swirls. Rose Cakes are the best. So simple, but so stunning!
- To Bake Cupcakes
- See specific baking directions and tips in the Recipe Notes section at the bottom below recipe.
- In general, most cake batters may also be baked in standard paper bake cups in standard 12-cup muffin pans for cupcakes. Usually, a one-layer cake recipe will yield 12 to 15 cupcakes and a two-layer cake recipe will yield 24 to 30 cupcakes. Fill cups at least 2/3 full and bake at 350ºF (177ºC). until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 15 to 20 minutes. (An exception to this is Wicked Good Kitchen’s Carrot Cake recipe which requires a gentle oven at 325ºF (165ºC). So, be sure to bake cupcakes at the same temperature as the cake recipe requires.) Rotate pan halfway through baking time for even baking and check for doneness 5 minutes before recommended baking time in recipe. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer baked cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting.
- Yield: Makes one 3-layer, 8-inch (20 cm) round layer cake; 10 to 12 servings.
Please note that prep and cook times are for the preparation and baking of the cake. They do not include the time needed to prepare the buttercream (or the component recipe for the sauce in the buttercream recipe) or the time for frosting, filling and piping decorations.
In general, prepare as many component recipes in advance for a stress-free day in the kitchen the day you assemble and frost the cake. I like to prepare each component in advance, with the exception of the buttercream, and then prepare the buttercream the day I assemble and frost the cake. By preparing component recipes in advance, it will assure you have enough time to chill the cake before slicing and serving.
Cake may be made 1 day in advance. Keep wrapped in plastic food wrap at room temperature overnight.
After assembling and frosting the layered cake it is best to chill it until the buttercream is firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Chilling, before slicing the cake, will yield neater cake slices for a better plated presentation.
Store any leftover cake covered in the refrigerator.
How to Measure Flour for this Recipe: When measuring flour by volume with measuring cups, sift the flour first onto a sheet of wax paper then spoon flour lightly into cup before leveling off with a thin metal icing spatula or straight edge of a knife. This way, you should obtain approximately 112 grams of flour per cup (the same weight as cake flour) for a total of 280 grams for 2½ cups.
How to Bring Eggs to Room Temperature: Should you forget to bring your eggs to room temperature by setting them out for an hour before starting recipe, do not worry. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, fill a medium bowl with warm tap water—not hot, but warm so the eggs do not cook. Carefully place the eggs into the bowl of water so they are fully submerged. Allow eggs to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove eggs from water and towel dry. Eggs should now be at room temperature and ready to use in recipe.
How To Properly Rap Cake Pans: Hold each pan a few inches above the counter (2 to 3 inches or 5 to 7.5 cm will do) then carefully drop pans flatly onto countertop 2 to 3 times. This step will expel any air bubbles and will ensure nice level baked cake layers.
To Make a Rose Cake: You will need 1½ recipes of Strawberry-Raspberry Mascarpone Buttercream, about 8¼ cups (1,980 ml). This will make just enough to frost, fill, and pipe roses as shown for a 3-layer, 8-inch (20 cm) round cake.
To Prepare Cupcakes: Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350º F (177ºC). Line standard 12-cup muffin pan with standard paper bake cups. Divide batter evenly among 24 muffin cups (baked in two batches), filling each cup 2/3 to 3/4 full. Filling batter two-thirds full will yield more cupcakes with the cupcake batter baked just to the top of each paper bake cup. Filling batter three-quarters full will yield fewer cupcakes with the cupcake batter baked just slightly over the top of each paper bake cup.
Bake cupcakes in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 16 to 18 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking time for even baking. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer baked cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting. Yield: Makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.
Note: These cupcakes will puff up considerably during baking but then settle down into a level top at the end of baking versus a domed top. Leftover cupcakes can be frozen and stored up to 3 months if wrapped tightly in plastic food wrap and stored in heavy-duty freezer bags. As always, label and date the bag.
White Lily® Bleached All-Purpose Flour may be substituted for White Lily® Self-Rising Flour in the same amount (2½ cups or 280 grams) in this recipe, but you will need to add and sift into the flour 2 teaspoons (9.6 grams) baking powder, 1 teaspoon (4.8 grams) fine-grain sea salt (or ¾ teaspoon regular table salt, about 4.5 grams) and ¾ teaspoon (3.6 grams) baking soda.
Sorry, there is no substitute for the Spectrum® Organic All Vegetable Shortening (palm shortening) called for in this recipe.
Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommends selecting organic ingredients whenever possible.
For this recipe, we highly recommend organic grass-fed butter, buttermilk, eggs and confectioners’ sugar as well as Nielsen-Massey® Pure Vanilla Extract, Nielsen-Massey® Pure Almond Extract and 365 Everyday Value Expeller Pressed Almond Oil by Whole Foods Market®. In addition, we highly recommend Driscoll’s® Fresh Organic Red Raspberries and Strawberries.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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