Buttermilk Layer Cake

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Though there is nothing wrong with a bakery cake — all those gorgeous piped roses! — there is really nothing better than a homemade cake. Homemade cakes say, “It is perfectly fine to stuff into my smallish home, play pin the tail on the donkey and leave with a loot bag holding edible bracelets and a plastic puzzle that will break in a week.” Take back childhood, people! Here is a marvelous recipe adapted from “The Joy of Cooking,” which calls out lustily for a chocolate frosting.


  • Vegetable oil for greasing pans

  • 2 ⅓

    cups cake flour

  • 1 ½

    teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼

    teaspoon salt

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla

  • 6

    ounces butter

  • 1 ⅓

    cups sugar

  • 1

    cup buttermilk

  • Chocolate Satin Frosting (see recipe)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and set aside. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
    2. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy. Over the course of 3 minutes, beat in the sugar. Over 2 minutes, add the egg mixture. Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the flour and buttermilk in three parts, scraping the bowl.
    3. Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the tops. Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.
    4. To frost cake, place 1 layer on a cake plate, rounded side down, trimming if necessary so it lies flat. Spread with a third of the frosting, top with the second layer and frost the remainder of the cake.
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