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Welcome to my blog. I cook delicious food and take pictures of it. I hope you enjoy!

New Years Eve Layer Cake

New Years Eve Layer Cake

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Happy New Years Eve! It's almost 2015, and this year, I decided we should go out in a blaze of sugar and butter. 2014 was a year of adventures: a move to Santa Barbara, a new job, a crazy love of food and cooking (oh hello food blog), and a lot of great new friends. I'm excited to see what 2015 will bring, as I'm sure it will be full of excitement. So I'm capping off the year with a little gold and glitz (and a crap ton of glittery sprinkles).NYE Layer Cake with Lemon CurdI got a little crafty and made this adorable mini cake bunting for our New Years celebration, and I decided to plop it on a layer cake filled with lemon curd. We've been eating a lot of heavy food lately, so the bright lemon flavor was perfect!This was my second time making a layer cake, and things went quite a bit smoother this time. Although I did forget to measure my pans (again..) so I had to quickly scoop some of the batter out of the pans when I realized my mistake. That just meant that we got some cupcakes too. This recipe was based off of a basic vanilla layer cake recipe from King Arthur's Flour, and a Buttercream Recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. The Lemon curd recipe is from Ina Garten and it can be found here. It is definitely my favorite new discovery out of this whole process. Lemon curd is delicious. I will be dipping everything in lemon curd over the next few days. (It does make a lot, so it wouldn't hurt to half the recipe.)NYE Layer Cake with Lemon CurdI hope you all have a lovely New Year and that 2015 brings lots of laughter, joy, and good food!xoxo,Sarah

New Years Eve Vanilla Layer Cake + Swiss Buttercream Frosting
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
This classic vanilla layer cake is perfect for any occasion. It's simple to make, and is great when layered with frosting, curds, jams, or sliced fruit.
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • Frosting
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons (the original calls for 3 sticks...have at it if you're feeling buttery)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour three 8" round pans. You can also use one 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round cake pans, or the wells of two muffin tins (24 muffin cups).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the (room temperature) milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a Kitchenaid, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and beat at low speed until the mixture looks sandy.
  4. Add your milk/vanilla mixture to your butter mixture. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixing.
  5. With the mixer running at low speed, add one egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining three eggs, scraping the bowl inbetween each egg. Once all the eggs have been added, increase the speed to medium-high for 30 more seconds.
  6. Transfer the batter to your pans. The batter should weigh 48 ounces, so if you'd like, use a kitchen scale to measure out the layers to ensure even layers. Smooth out the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon. (Cupcakes need about 1/4 cup of batter per tin.)
  7. Bake for 24 minutes for 8" layers. (40 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 27 minutes for 9" layers; or 23 to 25 minutes for cupcakes.)
  8. When the cakes are golden brown around the edge and just barely pulling away from the pans, they're done. Check with a toothpick in the center - it should come out clean.
  9. Place the cakes on a rack to cool and allow them to totally cool out of the pan before you frost them.
Frosting
  1. Place your heatproof Kitchenaid bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl. Using a whisk, whisk them constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160F on a sugar thermometer.)
  2. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and plug it into your Kitchenaid. Attach the whisk attachment and beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it hold stiff (not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and has cooled, about 6 minutes.
  3. Switch to your paddle attachment and turn the mixer to medium-low speed. Add the butter, several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and beat on the lowest speed for 2 minutes to remove any air bubbles. Stir with a spatula to ensure the mixture is smooth.

And if you're like me and you never remember to pull out the butter and milk to warm up before you start cooking, here are two handy dandy tips to help you. (Thanks King Arthur!):

  • Place the wrapped stick of butter in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes to soften it
  • You can microwave the milk for 1 minute to bring it up to room temperature.
Cranberry, Walnut, and Apple Winter Salad

Cranberry, Walnut, and Apple Winter Salad

New Years Eve 2015 - DIY Cake Bunting + A Lemon Curd Layer Cake

New Years Eve 2015 - DIY Cake Bunting + A Lemon Curd Layer Cake