Hoo boy. It seems like I'm really bad at this blogging thing. I made these cupcakes in September of last year. My computer had been reformatted twice and I just took these photos from Facebook. Oh, the joys of being a procrastinator.
Anyway, back to the cupcakes. White cake is something I've eaten pretty late in life. The first time was last year! Chocolate has always been my first choice when it comes to cakes, mocha being the second. Anything else is tolerable but doesn't excite me. I guess that's what years of eating dry and tasteless vanilla cake does to you.
But this recipe changed my attitude towards vanilla cakes in general. This isn't the first white cake recipe that I've tried but this was by far the best. The others were a reminiscent of the vanilla cake of my youth, dry and tasteless (see one here). I'm so glad I chanced upon this recipe because it's just everything I want in a non-chocolate cupcake. Moist, fluffy and not sickeningly sweet.
What I love about this recipe is that you don't have to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold it in the batter. Just mix it in with some milk and beat it into the flour mixture in two additions. Folding egg whites is one of my downfalls in this baking thing. That's probably why before this recipe, I've never made white cake successfully.
I topped it with my favorite frosting which I've posted on this blog before. I love it so much. It tastes good and is cheap to make. Perfect for a broke, college student.
Nonstick cooking spray
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (11.35 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool
1. For the Cake: Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
4. Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
6. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1½ hours.
Frosting recipe here.