February is birthday month in our home. Three of the five birthdays and our anniversary were last week. Sensibly, we postponed that celebration until all the cakes have been eaten and our sanity returns. Doesn’t sound too slow or thoughtful does it?
It has taken a few years to figure out how to celebrate everyone well. My mom loves a house full of family and not having to cook. My eldest daughter is all about the lunch date and quality time. My youngest daughter just wants to hangout with her horse. I don’t try to pull off a big dinner or all day event for each of them. I find out what is most important and try to make that as meaningful and celebratory as possible.
The one constant in all our celebrations is cake. I love baking and showing the ones I love just how much I care by whipping up a little sugary goodness. In my search for the perfect cake, I’ve done a lot of experimenting. The result is the recipe you will find below. The key ingredient is buttermilk. Buy the buttermilk. Use the buttermilk. You will love the buttermilk. The beauty of this recipe is that you literally dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix!
I’ve used this recipe to make delicious cupcakes, bundt cakes, layer cakes, and sheet cakes. If you want a rich chocolate cake, throw in ¾ cup cocoa and reduce the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. If you want a strawberry cake, add ¾ cup of puree strawberries and reduce the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. The possibilities are endless. My buttercream icing recipe is here too, with the disclaimer that we like sweet.
Happy celebrating, and let them eat cake!
Buttermilk Party Cake
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vanilla
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Using a mixer, beat for three minutes. Pour batter into pans and bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes for cupcakes) or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
Buttercream Party Icing
1 cup butter
3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
Using a mixer, beat the butter until soft then add the icing sugar, vanilla and milk. Beat until all ingredients are mixed. Add milk to desired consistency. Ta-da!