Fluffy Yellow Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting
I don't need much of a reason to bake a cake, but the month of August is chalk full of reasons for me! Three birthdays in one month, including my own, makes it one big month! And by big, that includes my waistline! But more on that in another post! I love cake. I actually love cake more than frosting, it's the carb-a-holic in me. So my cakes will always have a higher cake to frosting ratio. Sorry frosting lovers! It's still going to be there because it makes a cake just so gosh darn pretty, but I go for all the good stuff in the middle. And I gotta say this Vanilla Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting is GOOD STUFF! So for the first birthday of the month, my dear brother in law (who is a big supporter of this blog and all my recipe testing) gets first dibs.
Vanilla cake has always been a head scratcher for me. Chocolate cake, I got down pat. Soft, tender with a decadently chocolatey flavor. But homemade vanilla cakes always come out dense and dry. And since my dad seems to compare every cake to the one he loves best, boxed yellow cake, nothing I've made ever comes close...until now! When I found this recipe from The Cookery Wife, I had to try it!
The recipe was easy enough, though finding the patience to allow all the ingredients to come to room temperature really takes a toll on you, when you've got your mind set on eating cake. But it's a must if you don't want cooked eggs in your cake! But I admit, I tweaked the recipe a bit by reducing the butter and sugar and I added more egg whites. But the cake came out lovely. Soft and fluffy with a great buttery flavor! I could have stopped them with a dollop of whipped cream and some strawberries. This cake is good. But, I had to finish this cake the right way and chocolate frosting was cailing me. I had just bought a HUGE jar of Nutella....and it was just sitting in my pantry...so... Nutella frosting it was!
My dad hates frosting. I mean hates it. He is known to eat all the cake and leave sad chalk outlines of frosting on his plate. But this time...he actually ate it all. We were seriously aghast at this revelation. A frosting that my dad likes? How could this be? Uh, because this frosting... oh...this Nutella frosting is honestly amazing. I mean it starts with 2 1/2 cups of butter. So this isn't for the faint of heart, but we're making frosting people so hold on!
Softened butter goes in the stand mixer and 1 cup of powdered sugar gets whipped in. One cup honestly isn't so bad in the world of frosting! Then comes 3/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1 cup of Nutella and a pinch of kosher salt. Mix until smooth. The cocoa powder cuts all the sweetness but also brings out the chocolate flavor of the Nutella. Slather this on the cooled cake and oh man...try not to slice into it immediately. I do highly recommend topping this cake with chopped hazelnuts, that bit of crunch takes this cake to a whole new yummy level! Just like those chocolate candies in the gold wrapper we get during Christmas... oh you know the ones.
Try this cake and let me know how it turns out! #thesweetandsourbaker on instagram! I can't wait to see what pops out!
Fluffy Yellow Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting
*adapted from The Cookery Wife
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks, at room temp
- 5 large egg whites, at room temp
- 1/4 cup sugar, for whipping the egg whites
- A pinch of cream of tartar
For the Frosting:
- 2 1/2 sticks of butter
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 3/4 c cocoa powder
- 1 c nutella
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, optional
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment and flour pans. Set aside.
- Melt 8 tablespoons butter and cool to room temperature (don't skip this!)
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder,baking soda, salt, and 1 1/4 cups of sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside
- In a medium bow, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg yolks. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
- Increase speed to medium-high and whip egg whites until soft and billowy, about 1 minute.
- Once egg whites are foamy, gradually add (don't dump it in all at once) remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add flour mixture to the now empty mixing bowl.
- With mixer on low, gradually pour in the butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated, about 15 seconds.
- Scrape down bowl, then beat on medium-low speed until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Take the bowl out of the mixer and gently fold in 1/3 of egg whites into batter until incorporated, then fold in the remaining egg whites
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and gently tap pans on counter to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out mostly clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and discard parchment paper. Let cool on wire racks.
For the Frosting
- In a stand mixer, beat the softened butter with powdered sugar until fluffy
- Slowly mix in the cocoa powder, Nutella and pinch of salt
- Beat until smooth
- Slather over cooled cake and top with chopped hazelnuts.