Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Everyday Cake; Does that Mean We Get to Eat it Everyday?

Sometimes you just want to bake a cake.  Lately, it seems I haven't had a reason to make anything.  We'd been to some parties with plenty of desserts, and we seemed to have a few weeks where we were keeping Ben and Jerry's on hand (that's a slippery slope.).  It finally got to me two days ago.  I wanted to bake something, but didn't want to make a run to the grocery store.  I had only one stick of butter and one stick of butter does not go far (how could I only have one stick of butter!).  I looked over my cookbooks for the most simple recipes I could find, but was not having any luck.  Finally, I remembered something I had seen on Orangette called the Everyday Cake.  With a name like that, how could it fail me?

I love this cake.  It's not very sweet; almost a snacking cake instead of a dessert cake. It's perfect for elevenses, if you're into that sort of thing (which I am). This is the cake I imagine Anne Shirley making in the kitchen at Green Gables.  The kind of cake people made when it was common practice to always have a cake on hand, just in case someone would be dropping by.  A practice that for better or worse, I am close to keeping with.  Probably for worse, considering the small number of drop-ins I get.

Everyday Cake adapted from Orangette (I am adapting Molly Wizenberg's recipe, which was inspired by a recipe from Edna Lewis )

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
A pinch of nutmeg, or more to taste
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9" springform pan.

Put flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.  Mix with a wire whisk to combine.

Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Add about 1/4 of the flour mixture, stirring just enough to incorporate.   Pour in 1/3 of the buttermilk and mix well.  Add the rest of the flour and buttermilk in turns, alternating between the two.  Stir until well blended, but be careful not to overmix. 

Pour batter into your prepared pan, evening out the top.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.  

Store cake for up to three days, covered at room temperature.

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