Yesterday when Luke asked (using the power of his magical dimples) if we could make a cake together, how could I say no? It was a sweet afternoon; we walked to the store in the sunshine for eggs and buttermilk and then got to making a mess in the kitchen, just the two of us.
We had such a good time. Sometimes I struggle to let go and let my kids REALLY help me with baking or cooking projects. The mess and energy and just overall chaos of little kids with spatulas and measuring cups (yelling ‘I can do it!!!!’ at the top of their lungs) can be overwhelming not to mention I might be a tad bit over-controlling when it comes to how I want things done.
But yesterday we got it right. Lu was helpful and listened and followed instructions and I was calm and patient and took a deep breath and LET him do it on his own.
And the best part? We made a cake. And it was delicious. One layer of buttermilk vanilla cake with a lemon cream cheese frosting and strawberries. It tasted like spring.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a ten inch round cake pan with cooking spray or butter and lightly flour it. You could also use a 9×9 square cake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a mixer cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in three parts alternating with the buttermilk. Mix together until well-combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn it upside down on a cooling rack and pop it out of the pan to finish cooling.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- splash of milk
- the zest of one lemon
- pinch of salt
In a mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese until they are well-combined. Add the vanilla, salt and lemon zest and continue to mix. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add a splash of milk to get to desired texture.
When the cake is cool, liberally frost the top of the cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries.