Making a good-looking and delicious cake at home without using any cake mixes sounds like an insuperable challenge. You always want to embark on it, but end up purchasing a last-minute cake from your nearest grocery store.
Maybe, it’s better to avoid cake baking stress and order this magnificent dessert from catering services, especially if you’re getting it for a special event.
You’ll save your time and nerves, as well as end up with an amazingly decorated piece of eatable art perfect for a birthday party, baby shower, wedding, or any other special occasion.
Go to HireRush.com to post a cake baking request for catering services in your local area and don’t forget to mention the desired design and cake size in your brief task description.
But, it’s always good to be able to bake your loved ones a homemade cake from scratch every now and then, surprise someone with sweet and delicious homemade present and save your money by providing your family with home baked cakes for your family events and gatherings.
Baking cakes/cupcakes is also a fun thing to do with your friends or kids.
And, as it’s not nearly as hard as you think, you may totally improve your cake baking skills and even attempt recreating one of those impeccable designs.
But, in order to be able to do that, you need to learn your basics. And, when it comes to cake baking basics, a vanilla sponge cake with buttercream icing is on top of the list.
It’s the most basic cake recipe you can ever imagine. It’s like a blank sheet of paper that may be turned into a real masterpiece suitable for all occasions.
And, that’s the cake we’re going to bake. Don’t hesitate to follow this recipe. (You literally can’t screw it up even if you try)))
Things you need to bake a vanilla buttercream sponge cake from scratch:
- hand mixer/kitchen aid
- two large mixing bowls
- two 8-inch cake baking pans with removable bottoms
- wax paper to line pans
- several smaller bowls
- sauce pan
- (optional) icing bags and nozzles
- Measuring cups/spoons
Ingredients for vanilla sponges:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1tbsp of vanilla extract
- 2tsp of baking powder
- 1/2tsp of salt
How to make sponges from scratch:
- Line and grease your cake pans and preheat your oven to 350F.
- Take a large mixing bowl (or use your Kitchen Aid bowl) and crack the eggs into it. Add all of the sugar to them and mix them together on medium speed until sugar and eggs are combined together.
- Set your mixer on high speed and continue whisking until the mixture is thick, smooth and even. By the end of mixing, it should increase in volume by 5 times or so.
- Take a saucepan and add milk and butter to it. Put it on the stove (low heat) and melt the butter. Make sure to turn the oven off just before the mixture starts boiling.
- Let butter and milk mixture cool down a little bit and add vanilla to it.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and combine them with egg and sugar mixture. Don’t stir them together, but gently fold dry ingredients into the eggs not to lose their volume.
- When that’s done, pour about 2 cups of this cake mixture into the saucepan with milk and butter and mix them together.
- After that, pour this liquidy stuff into the main bowl with cake batter and combine them together using a wooden spoon.
- Divide the finished batter between two cake pans evenly and put them into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Don’t forget to check on your cakes at 25-30 minute point. Use a toothpick to see if they’re all done or not. They might be ready earlier or later depending on your oven. So, my point is – bake till ready.
Once your sponges are out of the oven, let them cool down before removing them from pans. You may also cut them in half to make a 4-layer cake.
And, you may also sprinkle them with a little bit of lemon juice and sugar syrup to make your sponges a little bit more moist and balmy.
Ingredients for buttercream cake frosting:
- 3 cups of icing sugar
- 1/3 cup of softened unsalted butter
- 1 1/2tsp of vanilla + a little bit of scrapped vanilla bean (optional)
- 1-2tbsp of milk
- pinch of salt
How to make buttercream icing:
- In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar together.
Set your mixer on low speed not to end up with a cloud of icing sugar in your kitchen and a ton of it up your nose.
- Speed up your mixer once sugar and butter are combined, add vanilla and milk to the bowl and continue mixing until your frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Add 1tbsp of milk first. If you feel that your frosting is too thick, add another one.
Decorating your cake
Ice your sponges once they’re completely cool. Spread your frosting with a long flat knife.
You may add some fruit jam and ice your cake between the layers with it, along with buttercream frosting. Crushed nuts, banana slices, and dried fruit pieces may turn into quite tasty mid-layer frosting filling.
Having a hard time with the even finish? Don’t try too hard. Use a fork or a spoon to recreate an interesting frosting texture and hide your icing imperfections.
Use a piping bag and nozzles to recreate a couple of pretty designs along the cake’s edges.
Add a couple of berries or sprinkles for a pop of color. Oreos and KitKat sticks make amazing cake decorations as well.
Generally, cake decor is completely up to you. Visit Countryliving.com if you’re running out of creative and easy ideas.
Don’t forget that you may add a little bit of food coloring to your frosting to make your cake fit the color theme of your party.