Moist Yellow Cake

For approximate batter amounts and baking times for this traditional yellow cake, shown second from the top, see below; you will need to make enough batter to fill each cake pan three-quarters full. The batter can be made in separate batches for the larger cake layers.

  • Yield: Makes 11 cups batter

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings Special Issues, 2007

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted, plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter the cake pans (see below for pan sizes), and line each with a parchment-paper circle cut to size. Butter and flour the parchment; set the pans aside. Sift together the flour and baking powder 3 times; set aside.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated after each. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour.

  3. In a clean mixer bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff but not dry. Mix a quarter of the whites into the batter, and then fold in the remaining whites.

  4. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the outsides of the cakes. Turn out the cakes onto wire racks, remove the papers, and reinvert the cakes to cool, top side up. Wrap the cooled cakes in plastic; refrigerate at least overnight before using.

Cook's Notes

Approximate batter amounts and baking times for 3-inch-deep round pans: 6-inch: 3 1/2 cups, 1 hour; 8-inch: 6 1/2 cups, 1 hour 10 minutes; 10-inch: 9 1/2 cups, 1 hour 15 minutes; 12-inch: 15 cups, 1 hour 35 minutes.

The cakes will keep, refrigerated, for 2 days and frozen for 3 months.

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