A Monday Recipe: Purple Birthday Cake

Ok, only the frosting is purple, and it's not a special recipe or anything. Regular ol' buttercream with violet gel color mixed it. We were celebrating Aldous' 3rd birthday but since both boys had bad colds, we did it just as a family...no guests! You can tell they're both a little under the weather.(not too sick for cake, though!)

However, the cake part is super good! It's an easy white cake that doesn't require beating the eggs separately. It's got great flavor and texture and is pretty moist.

Here's the recipe:

Basic White Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (I used milk + vinegar)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Spread evenly into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Frost as desired.

The frosting I used is a basic buttercream, and I added some of Wilton's violet gel food coloring in at the end. I told Aldous he could have any color of frosting he wanted, and he chose purple. He was pretty happy with the result. It wasn't as horrible as it could have been, but it was still plenty weird.

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened. Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.


Purple or not, it was a darn good cake! happy birthday, Aldous!


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