Brown-sugar buttercream covers a three-tiered cake of buttery brown-sugar pound cakes.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-3-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment paper; set aside.

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  • In a bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and light-brown sugar. Beat on medium high until fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, alternating with milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in vanilla extract.

  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Smooth the tops; bake until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Rotate pans after 45 minutes to promote even baking. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely while making brown-sugar-meringue buttercream.

  • Assemble cake: using a serrated knife, trim cakes so each is level, even, and about 2 inches high. Cut one cake into a 6-inch square; set aside. Reserve excess cake for another use. Cut second cake into two smaller squares, one 3 3/4 inches and the other 2 1/4 inches. Brush top and sides of each cake with a pastry brush to remove crumbs; set aside.

  • From a sturdy piece of cardboard, or 3/16-inch foam board, cut out one cake board for each layer. Place trimmed layers onto their corresponding boards. Using an offset spatula, coat each cake with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in the crumbs. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer 3/4 cup buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a number 5 plain round tip; set aside. With remaining buttercream, cover each layer with a final coat of buttercream, using an offset spatula to smooth the icing. Place cakes in refrigerator to set, about 20 minutes.

  • Loosen the middle-size cake from its base; carefully center it on the larger cake. Repeat with smallest cake. Pipe dot design on cake; chill if not serving immediately. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours before serving.

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