Wedding Cake w. Lemon Curd, Strawberry Jam, and Vanilla Butter cream
This is my standard wedding cake (if I’m going the non-chocolate route) and it always receives rave reviews: a firm, buttery cake sandwiches layers of homemade lemon curd and berry jam. I’m doing a wedding cake at the end of next month and plan to use homemade blackberry jam (we picked what seemed like buckets of blackberries in Sebastopol a few weekends ago that I preserved on a sunny Saturday afternoon) in a nod to the locale of the event (i.e. Sonoma County). Of course, you can make this for any occasion – birthdays, Sunday tea, etc. etc. …
For the cake
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two (or three) 9-inch baking pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper (note: sometimes I like to bake this in three layers; each layer is thinner than if you use two pans, but simply divide evenly between however-many pans you choose to use and all will be well). Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
Whisk baking powder and salt into flour.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla to the mixture.
Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with one third of the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated.
In another bowl, whisk or whip egg whites to soft peaks. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.
For the vanilla butter cream
(makes about 4 cups)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more, if needed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.