Happy September Cake-erellas!
Am I the only one excited about Autumn or what? I feel like everyone is dwelling over the fact that Summer is passing us by but we still have 2 more weeks until Autumn has officially begun (Sept. 22 if your curious) and to be honest I can not wait for this heat to leave us so I can actually straighten my hair without the need to put it back up in a pony tail because I just CAN NOT deal with it being down. Now that I have vented, literally, let's move on.
I feel like you have all been here on the journey of my nieces month birthday celebration and they are already 4 MONTHS OLD! Time really is flying by. For their monthly cake I decided to try, TRY, to make a Vanilla cake with Pistachio Buttercream. I used the word try because I really messed this one up guys. The cake was really dry, like dry AF and I know why... I wanted to try Gordon Ramsey's vanilla cake recipe and he actually substitutes the whole eggs in the recipe with egg whites. Well that's that I did and although it was delicious it was really really dry, like a piece of toast (that was a My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference, FYI) . The issue that I am currently having is that I am on the KETO diet and to be honest I can't taste what I am actually baking so this is a major problem. If I had tasted these cakes after they had baked and cooled I would have crumbled them up and made cake pops and started again with my Signature Vanilla Cake recipe. But instead I continued to crumb coat and chill my cake and the rest is history.
For the purpose of you all not making the same mistake I did, I have actually put my Signature Vanilla Cake recipe (with the whole eggs and not the egg whites) in the instructions below.
Electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (a handheld on works great too!)
Cake pans (for this recipe I used 3 9x13 round cake pans
Wilton 1M tip
Signature Vanilla Cake
2 1/2 cups of All Purpose flour
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of table salt
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup of whole milk
1 cups (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 sticks or 2 cups (434 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 cups (907 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp (3 grams) salt
2 Tbsp (30 grams) heavy cream
3 tsp (12 grams) vanilla
1 Packet instant Pistachio pudding mix
2 cups roasted and unsalted Pistachios (without the shells)
1-2 drops of green food coloring (to mimic the pistachio color * I did not use this at all*)
To make the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (duh right) & line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk together. Set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar & vanilla on medium speed until the mixture looks fluffy (about 8 mins but use your judgment)
Add the eggs two at a time beating until each addition is well mixed. You can use your spatula now to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
Next of course is my favorite part and the only way to ensure great fluffy textured cakes, adding the dry and wet ingredients (Credit for this of course goes to Yolanda Gampp).
Add the flour mixture in 4 parts, alternating with the milk in 3 parts, beating just until each addition is mixed well before adding the next, try not to over mix it.
Once everything is well combined, weigh and fill your pans. If you do not have a kitchen scale, that is okay you can eyeball the amount but using a kitchen scale has really helped me with making all my cakes the same height and thus saving me time and frustration trying to level them. A good trick I recently learned was to take a regular butter knife and use that as a guide to not overfill your pans.
Bake for 40 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.
*half way through the baking time rotate the pans in the oven so they bake evenly*
Once fully baked, transfer to a wire rack or set them aside to cool completely. I always store my cakes in the fridge because I was in a rush.
To make the American Buttercream with Pistachio flavoring:
Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time).
Finally, add the entire packet of the pistachio pudding mix and beat until well combined.
*The Pistachio flavoring that I used was the Jell-o Brand. I had never used an ingredient like this and it made my buttercream which is usually creamy very grainy! I will not use this again which is why I suggest using Pistachio Flavoring instead.
On turnstyle or cake stand place one layer of your cake and then spread about 1 cup of your frosting in the center and spread to about 1/2" from sides.
Top with second layer of cake and third layer, then spread frosting around the top and sides of your cake until covered.
Try to reserve about 1 cup of your frosting for decorating.
To make a textured cake using a offset spatula place gently on the bottom of your cake and press into frosting and spin cake around, repeat in rows until you reach the top of your cake.
Pipe remaining frosting into large roses on top, I used a Wilton 1M piping tip.
I then sprinkled then added some pistachios around the bottom rim and son top of my cake for decorations.
I also went a little EXTRA this time and made a fondant bow with luster dust gold on it. I also recently purchased these awesome molds online for the letter that I did. If you want to know more about this leave a comment or leave me a message in the Contact portion for a detailed post and more information on this.
Hope you enjoyed this post and please use the whole eggs! :)