Saturday, June 23, 2012

Week 25: Birthday Sheet Cake

I just returned home from a five day, girl's, beach trip.  All we did is spend five hours on the beach each day, crochet, read, laugh and eat.  You'd think I would come home relaxed and energized to jump into our family's routine.  But, as I sit here at my computer, I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open at 8:45 pm.
I made this week's cake for a precious friend who was having a baby shower at her house.  I found the recipe, years ago, in Ina Garten's book Barefoot Contessa Family Style.  Each time I watch her on the Food Network, I am so inspired.  She says not to try new recipes when you have company; but I love to try new recipes and often do when we have company.  So, when Debbie and I were having lunch and she said she wanted me to bake a cake for a baby shower she was having I thought of the sheet cake in Ina's cookbook and then realized I hadn't made it before.  I decided to give it a try and Debbie said everyone enjoyed it.  Ina used a chocolate frosting that you can find here...  Deb wanted a white buttercream.  The recipe I used is at the bottom of this post.

Birthday Sheet Cake
Source:  Ina Garten

For the cake:
18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan, or a half sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand held mixer like I do). On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

Basic Buttercream Icing

1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar

Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix at slow speed until smooth.  Spread on cooled sheet cake.

Happy Baking!

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