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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Golden Layer Cake - Bittman Style

It has been forever since I have "tackled Bittman". I love his books - they are set up just the way I love them. Give me a recipe and then show me 27 other variations. It is how I cook generally - IF I use a recipe at all.

Sylvia and I were discussing what we should do for St. Patty's Day - her teacher taught them to make Leprechaun Milk - it is magical and delicious. First you need "spetachio" pudding and some milk - put a little bit in a jar with a lid and shake shake shake - ta da! Leprechaun Milk!!! If you put too much dry mix in the Leprechauns turn it into pudding - true story!!! (I you can't find "Spetachio" you can try Pistachio).

After we had fun with that she wanted to make a green cake. I had to ixnay the green colored cake - just sounded gross but I agreed to make a cake with her.  So out came my "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman and on pg 907 was a delicious sounding recipe for Golden Layer Cake. Perfect because we decided it is the gold at the end of my rainbow!! Being that I am a leprechaun and all!

Sylvia helped crack eggs and stir flour, she poured the batter into the pans and frosted it all by herself - a wonderful helper for sure.
I don't know why she is making that face - silly I guess!

Golden Layer Cake - with a hint of orange

10 TBS of butter, softened
2 cups cake or all purpose flour plus a little for flouring the pans
11/4 cups sugar
4 eggs or 8 egg yolks (all yolks will make it yellower and richer)
1 tsp vanilla or 1 TBS grated or minced orange zest - I grated my own
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" or 3 8" layer cake pans; cover the bottom with a circle of wax or parchment paper, butter the paper, sift flour  over the pans; invert and tap to remove the excess flour.

2. Using an electric mixer  cream the butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar. Beat until light in color and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the vanilla or orange zest and the almond extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the egg mixture by hand , a little at at time, alternating with the milk. Stir just until smooth. (can you guess what I didn't see to do?)

3. Put the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted int o the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack to finish cooling.

4. Frost or glaze. I did a bit of both - I had buttercream icing in the fridge from another snack and I just kept adding frozen oj concentrate until it was thin enough for Sylvia to swirl around. I then grated a little more zest on top for taste and garnish!

This cake is fabulous. I will absolutely be making it again. We aren't huge frosting people and so swirling was better. I used 2 different sized pans and so it had a tiered look and I thought it was lovely - so did Sylvia!!

Because I had all the ingredients this was a very frugal cake for me. Loving it that the chickens are laying!

I am linking this to the  Tackling Bittman and His Buddie's Recipe Hop and Simple Lives Thursday 
Life as Mom's URS - St. Patrick's Days Feasts 
Erin @ Ekat's Friday Potluck


  1. This looks like a very special cake. Sylvia is a cutie.

  2. Thanks Ann - we think she is ;o)

  3. Sylvia is cute . cake looks awesome.

  4. She really is a cutie...and hmmmm, the cake looks so delish!

  5. The cake is beautiful and your daughter is adorable!

    I have been looking for a recipe that uses egg yolks. My husband is a yolk waster - making pancakes and waffles on the weekend with just egg whites and though he is a dear sweet man and I appreciate that he makes breakfast on the weekends, wasting egg yolks drives me crazy. Definitely going to try applying this consept to other baked goods.

  6. The cake is looking so great and special. I loved the way icing is done and it is presented.

  7. I know that it's kinda nuts that everyone in my blogging circle is crazy about Bittman, and I don't exactly know who he is. But the other day when I was at my mom's, I saw him on a tv show. And I've gotta say, I was very impressed with his laid back manner of presentation. I've nearly stopped watching cooking shows because of all of the hyper "personalities."

    Anyhow, how is anyone ever gonna notice your cake when you put such an adorable ham in your picture. She's a scene stealer every time!

  8. Sonia - thanks I think Sylvia did a great job decorating the cake (I only helped a bit).

    Butter - I have never seen Bittman on TV - I have wondered what he would be like - and Yea I put her in the pictures so you aren't really focused on the lack of photography/food styling skills!