Cake is hot, people are not.

This-Is-My-Kind-of-Cake Golden Layer Cake


Continuing on my Augustus-Gloop-like cake bender, I recently threw caution to the wind and interviewed a new golden layer cake. Historically, I’ve depended on Betty Crocker’s good old standard, but I was flipping through my Gourmet cookbook the other night, half-heartedly contemplating taking on something involving fruit and/or custard, and realized I’d never tried their version of the Yellow Menace. Was there a void, it has been filled. Light, fluffy, moist but not soggy, and a superb vehicle for Chocolate Buttercream, my barely-altered version of Gourmet’s All-Occasion Yellow Cake produced a literally gourmet version of Betty Crocker’s: a little more class, a little less soul. I think we can all agree which of those virtues is slightly over-rated. If not, might I suggest you’d be more comfortable in Rachel Ray’s world. As soon as I can find an available cake stand, I’ll see what happens when I substitute buttermilk, and while I hope it helps achieve an actually yellow and less anemically white color, that experiment most likely will not warrant publicity.

It’s important to know going in that this cake retains a seriously springy dome even after resting upside down, so you may want to trim the layers flat. I opted for more mass, and found the pillow effect homey and comforting. I might rename this Narcolepsy Cake, but I suspect that after I finish my current term serving as housing for people, my impromptu porch snores will conclude.

Speaking of lodging multiples, I’d like to share a disconcerting tidbit I discovered about human reproduction. It turns out that theoretically, a “lady” can become pregnant with children of multiple fathers simultaneously. Well, only if a) she shoots double eggs, and b) she’s, shall we say, extremely socially active. Here’s the kicker; it’s not even just theoretical. There are enough cases of this not only happening but SOMEONE ADMITTING TO IT that you can hop on Google and there they are. Honestly, it’s not the wantonness or wildly inappropriate honesty that offends me. My generally good opinion of cats has always been marred by the fact that they routinely birth multi-father litters. There’s just something so unabashedly crass, so depraved-Mardi-Gras-pub-crawlish about that particular evolutionary agreement. Now, however, I have absolutely no proof that my cat is not my peer species-wise, and that leads me to question the fare I serve him as well as wonder if I’ve committed a whopping karmic faux-pas in hindering his own, shall we say, social activism.

2 C cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 C sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C milk

Set your oven to 350, grease up and flour two round cake pans. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar by hand until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and stir until consistent. Dump in the dry ingredients, and start stirring with one hand while pouring in the milk with the other. Once the batter is moist and all flour has been incorporated from the sides and bottom of the bowl, throw it under the mixer and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, or until lump-free. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, and bake them side by side for 22 minutes, switching their positions at 12 minutes to ensure even rising. Let the layers sit in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting them onto wire racks, where they should cool completely before being frosted with the previously mentioned Chocolate Buttercream. And try not to think about the cat thing while eating.

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