People want to know cake and frosting recipes! I've even gotten emails about those recipes, and who am I to deny those who take the time to email? I cannot.
I really like a four-egg cake, also known as a 1-2-3-4 cake, for yellow cake. Joy of Cooking's recipe is excellent. However, it involves beating egg whites separately and adding wet and dry ingredients alternately, and it takes a while. When I can't be bothered, I make the other yellow cake I grew up with, which is simple and fast.
Starlight Yellow Cake (from Betty Crocker)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ¼ cups milk
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of rectangular pan (13-inch x 9-inch), or 2 round pans (9-inch diameter), or 3 round pans (8-inch diameter).
2. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
3. Bake rectangle 35-40 mins, 9-inch rounds 25-30 minutes, 8-inch rounds 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack; cool rounds 10 minutes, then remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Frost as desired.
I can't really think of a frosting I've tried and didn't enjoy, but the frosting I grew up with is buttercream. It is tooth-achingly sweet but delicious. It is what frosting from a can aspires to be.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (from Betty Crocker)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1. Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
2. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
(For Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and the milk to 3-4 tablespoons. Follow directions above, adding 3 ounces melted and cooled unsweetened baking chocolate with the vanilla.)
Enjoy! And remember to brush your teeth extra-well after eating. Also, it's probably a good idea not to tell your dentist you ate this.