~ A Sweet Cream Cake: A Dream of an Easy Cake ~
Guess who's coming to dinner? Guess who needs a dessert pronto -- that'd be me. Simple, straightforward and scrumptious, this poundcake-ish yet light, dream-of-an-easy-cake recipe should be committed to the memory of every cook who ever entertained the thought of a boxed mix in a time of crisis. Sometimes called whipping cream cake, because heavy cream replaces the butter or shortening (which is why it technically doesn't quality for pound cake status), you really can get this cake mixed in the time it takes to preheat your oven to 350 degrees!
Super fancy? Not at all. Super Good? Yes it is!
OK. I'll give you that one. It's plain. It's the "Plain Jane" of vanilla cakes, which makes it the perfect foil for anything you want to serve it with: fresh berries, whipped cream, or, simply a light dusting of confectioners' sugar (whatever you've got on hand in your refrigerator or pantry). It's somewhat versatile -- within reason. Besides basic vanilla extract, it plays well with other flavors (almond, coconut, rum, lemon or orange to name a few), and, I've even baked it in two 8" round pans, and served it with lemon curd sandwiched between the layers. It's unpretentious yet impressive. Admit it, how many people do you know who can bake a seriously yummy cake from scratch with little time and almost no advanced warning!
If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake!!!
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
no-stick spray, for preparing pan
~ Step 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13" x 9" x 2" pan w/no-stick.
Place the eggs in a large bowl.
Measure and have ready the sugar.
In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir the vanilla extract into the cream (I just add the vanilla to the 2-cup container and give it a little shake to combine.
Note: Don't take any short cuts with this step -- beat for the entire 6 minutes. It does make a difference.
Note: Once again, take the time to mix well after each addition as this gives the sugar time to dissolve.
~ Step 5. On medium-speed of mixer, alternating the cream mixture with the dry ingredients, mix until all of the cream and all of the dry ingredients have been added, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula almost constantly. This will take about 3 minutes. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top.
~ Step 6. Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and puffed through to the center, and, a cake tester inserted in the center in 2-3 spots comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely prior to slicing and serving, about 1 hour.
Cake baking 101 couldn't be any easier, smell more heavenly...
Special Equipment List: 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; toothpick or cake tester
Cook's Note: Before you ask, you can't substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour in this recipe. If you don't keep cake flour in your pantry, you should. Read my post ~ Flour Facts: All-Purpose, Bread, Cake and Pastry ~. You can find it in Categories 5, 6, 7, 15 or 16!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)