My mom has had the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook for a year. This entire last year, she, my sister and I have been absolutely drooling over the cake picture on the cover. Mom gave me my own copy of the cookbook (after she got sick of me always calling her for recipes out of it, I think).
A year of drool finally caught up to us and I decided to pull out the book and make it for her as a surprise for her birthday. It came out so deliciously. It uses about half whole wheat pastry flour and the other half white all-purpose flour. Using the wheat pastry flour makes it a bit denser and not quite as ‘fluffy’ as a traditional cake, but it didn’t take away from the flavor. And with the raspberry filling and creamy frosting, it all blended oh so well together. I promised a few friends I’d share the recipe.
So, here it is in all it’s glory. Please excuse the not so spectacular frosting and decorating job by me. I’m many things but cake decorator is one I’m not. It tasted good though, I promise!
Note, while the cake is pretty simple to make, the frosting is a bit more time-consuming. Well… Actually a LOT more time consuming. I think it took me a total of about 2-3 hours to make and frost the cake. But it was worth it! And the only thing that bummed me out was that by the time I got to the frosting step, I was so tired, I forgot to put frosting between the layers. Oh well. Still tasted good. heh.
Makes three 8″ or two 9″ rounds or one 9×13″ sheet cake. Serves 16
- 2 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 c sugar (either superfine or granulated)
- 3/4 t salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 c milk
- 1/4 c seedless raspberry jam
- Fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour the pans or line the bottom with parchment paper
- Whisk together flours, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream together butter, sugar and alt in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally. It should take at least 5 mins and the butter turns from yellow to white.
- Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Mix half the flour mixture at a slow speed, then add the lemon juice and milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely combined. Scrape sides again and mix until completely combined, being careful not to over-beat.
- Pour batter evenly into the pans. Level the top of the batter with a spatula or back of a spoon. Bake the cakes the amount appropriate for the size: 8″ rounds = 20-22 mins; 9″ rounds = 27-30 mins; 9×13″ sheet cake = 35-38 mins. The cake is one when it begins to pull back from the edges of the pan and is an even golden brown color on the top. The center won’t spring back when done, but neither will it leave a dent.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a rack 20 mins before removing the layers from the pans. Chill the cakes before assembling to make them easier to handle.
- To assemble, once the cakes are chilled, spread the tops of the cake layers with raspberry jam. Return the layers to the freezer for about 15-20 mins before filling with frosting and stacking layers. This allows the jam to set and the layers won’t slide apart while you’re frosting the cake.
- Use the lemon buttercream frosting recipe below to spread a thin layer of frosting over the raspberry jam, stack the layers and frost the outside of the cake. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to use the cake, then take it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours in advance and serve at room temperature, if possible.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 c egg whites (whites from 3-4 large eggs) or 1/4 c meringue powder dissolved in 1/2 c cool water
- 1/4 c light corn syrup
- 1 c sugar
- 1/4 c water
- 1/2 t cream of tartar (if using egg whites)
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c vegetable shortening
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice (divided into 2 Tbsp each)
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- Place corn syrup, sugar, water and 2 Tbsp lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir until combined and the sugar is dissolved. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes with the pan covered to wash off any sugar crystals on the sides. Uncover and cook to the soft ball stage (240 F)
- Place egg whites (or reconstituted meringue powder) in the bowl of an upright mixer (such as a kitchen aid). Beat on a low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar (if using egg whites) and salt. Gradually increase the speed and continue beating until soft peaks form.
- As soon as the sugar reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat. Turn off the mixture. Very carefully, pour about 1/4 of the hot syrup down the inside of the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on high speed and beat well. Add the syrup in two more additions, stopping the mixer every time so the hot syrup doesn’t splash and burn you, working as quickly as possible. If the sugar is slightly overcooked and hardens a bit, return it to the heat for a moment to remelt it.
- Continue to beat the meringue until it cools to room temperature. This takes about 20 mins of continuous beating. If you need to hurry it along, place the bowl in an ice bath for a few moments while mixing by hand then return it to the machine. If you add the butter before the meringue is cool, the butter will melt and the frosting will collapse.
- When meringue is cool, if you have two mixers, mix the butter and shortening together before adding it. Otherwise, beat in the soft butter a bit at a time. If the frosting starts to separate, continue beating without adding any more butter until it looks fluffy again. Beat in the shortening. Beat in the vanilla, remaining 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp lemon zest. If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate before using.
(PS – Happy Birthday, mom!)