Vanilla Celebration Cake

Thursday, June 16, 2011
So can you guess where I'm headed this Fall? PITT.

I made this cake immediately after we returned home from visiting the PITT admissions office. It was such a thrilling and exiting day! We talked to an admissions counselor and I got to learn a lot about the school. And that night, I put in my enrollment deposit. Did you know the deadline to basically pick what college you're going to is May 1st? Yeah, well this decision was made round-abouts April 21nd? Yeah, cutting it pretty close.... But ultimately I feel like PITT is the best choice for me!

My ephiphany came one afternoon (April 16th?) while I was driving around Oakland in dowtown Pittsburgh (where PITT's campus is) with my friend Vinnie. As we were driving I would point out places and streets and name things for him. I'd show him some places I love going to or wish I could go to. Eventually he stopped me and said, "Sherry. Why aren't you going to PITT?" I have an obvious love for Pittsburgh. I can't explain it. The culture, the theater, the arts, the food, the people. It's home. It's not that I'm afraid to leave and be on my own, it's that I'm already where I need to be. Trust me, I'm more than ready to be on my own!
I love the atmosphere of downtown Pittsburgh and I can't wait to be immersed in it everyday=) Sure my parents only live 15 minutes away, but being in town is a completely different world. And, staying close to home will allow me to keep in touch with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and sister, who are all major parts of my life.
Now you may be wondering what I plan to study while I attend PITT. Well, I'll save that for another post;) Now let's talk about cake!

I don't often make celebration cakes. They are big and my family is small. And this cake was BIG. And I probably ate half of it. No lie. It was SOOO good. As you may have noticed, the layers are HUGE. Yeah, that was a surprise to me as well. I put the batter in 2 9-inch round pans, and seriously these things puffed up like crazyyyyy. Now, they may look a little brown on top, but the inside is perfect! I was worried when I saw the tops, but one bite immediately set aside my fears. That said, a longer baking time was needed. The frosting recipe I choice was my go-to vanilla frosting recipe from Martha Stewart. Absolutely perfect. In fact, the frosting just barely covered the sides of the cake and I was worried with how thick the cake was if the frosting would be balanced enough. And guess what? It was perfect!

The cake is a tight crumb and oh so moist. It's going to be my go-to vanilla cake recipe from now on. It is incredibly easy to work with and yeilds amazing results! Use this recipe if your making a vanilla cake for a celebration because you'll certainly please everyone!
Vanilla Cake
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons  baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2 )Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

3) Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.


  1. Looks yummy!

    Happy blogoversary :)

  1. Monet said...:

    Congratulations, sweet girl! You are going to love little sister is going to school in West Virginia, so we are flying into Pittsburg in the Fall. Maybe I can see you! Thank you for sharing with me today. I hope you are having a happy Monday! Much love and blessings from Austin!

  1. Katie said...:

    Congratulations! This cake is definitely the right way to celebrate. :)

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Those cakes look BEAUTIFUL in the cake tins! They rose so nicely! I just started a baking blog ... feel free to check it out and follow by email if anything tickles your fancy :)

  1. Jacque Ojadidi said...:

    Thanks for share this article
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