June 19 marked my five-year anniversary at my company. Because I'm always looking for a good excuse to bake, I decided to make my own celebratory cake. And, because I like to make things more complicated than they need to be, I decided to make it from scratch.
Not really having a trusted recipe on hand, I decided to use one I had torn out of a recent Better Homes & Gardens that didn't look too complicated. The headline said it was the only cake recipe I would ever need, so being a trusting person, I thought it must be good.
If you want a copy of the recipe, you can find it online here. A few things about this recipe. At first I was a little nervous because I don't have three, 9-inch pans, then I remembered some aluminum ones I had bought for something and not needed, so I pulled them out to use. But, it did make me realize I need to invest in some good pans. I also realized as I started making it that I was out of parchment paper, something I usually keep on hand, so I decided to take the risk and line my pans with wax paper. It worked pretty well, though I would still probably use parchment paper in the future. Also, I luckily read this recipe before I started baking (which is something I'll admit I don't always do) to realize I needed to let the egg whites sit out for 30 minutes.
I, sadly, didn't take any pictures of the cakes in the baking process. When I pulled my cakes out of the oven, they of course were lopsided. I probably could have cut them down, but I decided that was too much work. I was afraid it was going to look funny when put together but once I got the icing on, you couldn't even tell.
Speaking of icing, in my office, there are chocolate lovers and haters (I know, how can you hate chocolate?), so I decided to make a black and white cake so everyone could enjoy. I made a half batch of vanilla sour cream frosting and a half batch of chocolate cream cheese frosting and iced the cake right down the middle.
It took some work to get it even, but icing layer at a time helped. The consistency of the icing helped, too. It was thick and spread easily.
I even added the decorative "swirls" to make it prettier.
And, to cover up the ugliness of the "seem," I added some walnuts.
Needless to say, the next day at work, it was a big hit. Better Homes & Gardens did not disappoint.
The nice thing about it was you could try both the vanilla and chocolate! I actually did and couldn't really decide which one I liked best. So, the verdict is in ... this is definitely a recipe to use again.