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The Vegetarian's Wife

 The Vegetarian's Wife


1-2-3-4 Cake

1-2-3-4 cake tastes so great that I don't care if the Vegetarian won't eat it due to the eggs. Between my friends and I, the cake disappears within a few days. My 1-2-3-4 cakes aren't always pretty but they always taste great. When making a 1-2-3-4 cake for others, I buy enough ingredients to make two. The first one always looks terrible and the next one always looks great. Go figure.


1-2-3-4 Cake


I grew up eating 1-2-3-4 cake on birthdays and Sunday mornings. We ate it a lot in April when strawberry season was in full swing. In September, frozen strawberries would be pulled ceremoniously from the freezer to lay atop my birthday cake. It's also delicious dunked in milk or coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. I prefer to eat my cake a day after it has been made. Day 2 and 3 it keeps getting better as it becomes more firm and dry. Perfect for dunking.  If you can't eat the cake within a few days, I hear you can freeze it. The cake stores best on the kitchen counter wrapped in plastic wrap or in a cake carrier.


 Here's how it all started...


Sift the flour over wax paper so it's easy to dump the flour into the sifter and then into the mixing bowl. If you need to purchase a sifter, purchase an inexpensive sifter. Do not routinely wash the sifter. They easily rust. Bang it clean over the garbage can and store it in a sealed gallon ziploc.


I always use Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour. I used Crisco on this day but softened butter is great too. You soften butter by removing it from the refrigerator one hour before you begin mixing the ingredients together.


 Everything mixed together looks like this. Use medium speed if you are using a hand mixer. Stand mixers need to be used on their lowest speed.



 Grease the pan! I never grease it enough. Don't grease too much or you'll have chunks of fat on the outside of the cake. Grose! Use butter, shortening, or olive oil to grease the heck out of the pan. I read that dusting the pan with flour will also help. I think this technique helped a little since I only lost a wee bit of my cake top.


 Pour the batter into the greased pan and cross your fingers for a presentable treat.



 After baking, let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then flip it over onto a cooling rack. This is where I need help. I normally use a butter knife to gently pull the cake away from the sides of the pan. Then I flip it over and gently shake it from the pan. Tips on bundt cake removal would be much appreciated.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening or softened butter (1 hour at room temperature to soften)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour  -  Sift --> Measure (& remove 2 Tbsp per cup) --> Sift (& add 3 tsp baking powder)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tsp baking powder (sifted into flour)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Steps:

1 - Preheat oven. See below for temperature options

2 - Beat fat & sugar together no more than 1 minute at medium speed with a hand mixer. Add flour & milk. Beat at medium speed no more than 2 minutes. (You can mix these four ingredients at once as well. It's just messier.)

3 - Add eggs & vanilla one at a time. Beat at medium speed no more than 2 minutes

4 - Pour into greased pan

5 - Bake Bundt cake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 45 minutes OR layer cake at 375 for 25 to 35 minutes

6 - Remove from oven once cake tester comes out clean. Cool for five minutes. Remove from pan to cool on cookie sheet for 30 minutes.


Don't store your cake in the refrigerator. Serve with sliced summer strawberries, coffee, or milk as breakfast or dessert.


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