27 August 2009

benji's birthday cake

here is yet another of my attempts to make a cake from scratch just like my mother did throughout my childhood. thankfully these 8 inch babies behaved themselves and tasted delicious and mostly came out of their pans perfectly. i have to thank mr. Heaven-sent Buttercream Frosting who filled in all the dents.

here benji is seen following orders to empty all cooking utensils onto the kitchen floor. he works with gusto, tossing utensils at a most rapid pace and feels no need to be shy or quiet about it. he is fearless about sharp edges too. this is a task that he deems must be done two to three times a day (whether baking a cake or not). since he is the sous chef - no shoes, hairnet or apron is mandatory. benji is passionate about cooking and he loves tasting the confection throughout the process. he may have learned that from his mother.. or father.

mmmm. mmm. mm. it's official, benji loves birthday cake. thank you to benji's oma & opa who were so sweet to share the celebration with us on sunday evening.

ala The Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites (not beaten)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13-by-9-by-2 inches, two round 9"pans, or 3 round 8" pans.
  3. Beat all ingredients except egg whites in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add unbeaten egg whites; beat in egg whites on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
  4. Bake rectangular pan for 40 to 45 minutes, 9-inch round pans 30 to 35 minutes, 8-inch round pans 23 to 28 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
  5. Cool cake on wire rack. Cool layers 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Frost cake with traditional buttercream frosting.


3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 2 tablespoons milk

  1. Mix powder sugar and margarine.
  2. Stir in vanilla and milk.
  3. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.

Frosts one 13 x 9-inch cake or fills and frosts two 8" or 9" cake layers.

[Note: To fill and frost three 8-inch layers, use 4½ cups powdered sugar, ½ cup butter softened, 2 teaspoons vanilla and about 3 tablespoons milk.]


Diana said...

I wish I could jump right through the screen and dip my finger in that icing. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Hil said...


Hannah said...

pretty cake! i have never been successful at layered cakes. you've inspired me to try again.

kh said...

Marta I Must know what that font text name is you have in your photos. I neeeeed it.

The cake looks heavenly. Love your lil sous chef.

Heather Scott Partington said...

Mmm! yum. Love all your kitchen pics too. (And the earlier post about Julie and Julia. Loved it!)

al + sar said...

marta you are super woman, i dont know how you do it!

Misti said...

My mom keeps a box of tupperware and plastic containers (like sour cream, etc) just for my niece to play around with on the floor. She loves that more than many other toys! She pulls open drawers, too, I don't think you can prevent that much!

and now I have to bake a cake. ;)

Jake said...


lizzy said...

i forgot about the cake and the sweetness for all i saw was your benji's gleaming marbles o' eyes. he's such a handsome chap.
also, i love your black and white ensemble, complete with apron and how you documented baby's deliciously messy cake eating.

whit said...

Mart..you are the cutest mom ever. Look at that cake!!! I wish I was there to help celebrate!!! You guys are the best.

Travelin'Oma said...

We were lucky to sample this pretty, delectable cake.
Thanks for making it a couple of days early!

Krista said...

mmmm. that cake makes me think i need to bake one for my be-lated birthday.
I just put a stop to sid emptying out that drawer. I'm nervous he'll cut his foot one of these days...so now it's just the towel drawer for him.

talesofahummingbird said...

Marta - it is both scary and fascinating how very similar we are in momma mode and the rest that makes us who we are - you are 4 months ahead of me in the "my first baby" experience and I love reading about the memories that made up your day. you channel those joyful bits with perfection and I am always wanting more. always smiling. always getting so inspired for my little one's first birthday bash. and my first homemade cake for my boy. anyway, pointless comment here - just saying thanks for the big smile and the heart full of anticipation.

summer said...

marta, your cake looks like it could be on the cover of martha stewart living. truly. and you've completely mastered that whippy frosting look that i love. ahh. my frosting always ends up flattened straight as a sheet because i can't seem to create those pretty waves and tips. i'll have to keep practicing. anyway. i am so happy that benji's first cake was such a beautiful triumph! thanks for sharing your recipes, too!

Carina said...

I have used that recipe many times, and I know how to fix it: add another 1/4 cup of flour. That particular cake always falls on me since I am at a higher elevation, and so are you.

Happy caking!

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