Photo Credit: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York's Sweetest Bakery
From mini cupcakes to multi-tiered wedding extravaganzas, learning how to make a cake really just begins with some basic baking techniques. The secret to a light and moist cake comes from creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy: this creates air bubbles, which help the cake rise in the oven.
Once the butter and sugar are creamy and whipped, eggs are added to bind and add structure to the cake, then flour and any additional liquids and flavorings join the party in increments. Alternating between the dry flour mixture and liquids like milk or water ensures you don’t overbeat your batter.
Cocoa powder can be added to the flour mixture or melted chocolate to the liquids to make a chocolate cake; lemon zest and juice, and buttermilk or yogurt make a sunny, summery cake.
2 softened sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter on medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.
3. Add the sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Combine the flours, and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla, beating well after each addition.
6. Scoop the batter into two 12-cup muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.
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