Not fancy, but straight up simple – buttery, with a tight crumb, this cake can be dressed up for a wedding or enjoyed plain with a cup of tea. Adapted from The Perfect Cake by Susan Purdy.
- 2 cups (8.5 ounces; 240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10.5 ounces; 300 g)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- Prepare cake pan (2 9″ layers, or a 9″ tube pan, or an 8″x8″x2″ square pan). Rub with butter, dust with flour, shake to distribute and tap out excess. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt (omit salt if using salted butter).
- In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and softened butter until light and creamy. Using an electric mixer will result in a somewhat lighter texture than mixing by hand.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in almond or vanilla extract.
- Alternately add dry ingredients and milk, starting and ending with flour. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and level the top. Bake in preheated oven until top is golden and a toothpick tested in the center of the cake comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes for layers or 50-60 minutes for a tube cake).
- Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife. Top with a plate, flip over pan and plate, and carefully lift the pan off the cake. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar or frost.
- Orange variation: add zest from 1 1/2 oranges and replace milk with orange juice.
- Chocolate variation: replace 1/3 cup flour with unsweetened cocoa and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
- Fresh strawberry puree: in a blender or food processor, blend one pint fresh strawberries with 2-4 tablespoons sugar and bit of lemon juice (optional). Add a splash of orange juice or water if you need liquid to get it going. Serve with cake.
Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.