1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, set them aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix to combine. Add the dry mix, stir, then the milk. Beat for a couple minutes (o n medium for 1 minute if you're using an electric mixer). Pour into a greased 8 1/2 inch round pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
That's right, it's been a year since I started doing this to kill time during a period of unemployment. I know it's a cliche, but it really doesn't seem that long ago. I've met a lot of great people because of blogging and improved my cooking skills immensely. It's been a really good time all around. But I think I'm going to move straight on to the cake before I start getting all emotional. Heh.
I bet a lot of you are thinking, "Ok, that's great and all, but what about the kind of lame recipe up top?" Well, that's "Busy Day Cake" from the 60's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and it was the first cake I ever made. And since I'm poor and can't afford to give away cool stuff you're going to get nostalgia for my one year post. Some of you have heard this story before, it's in my profile at Bakespace, but I haven't put it up here yet. So.
My mom always did a lot of cooking/baking when I was a kid. I would sit on the counter and "help" her by pouring pre-measured cups of flour or slightly eaten cups of chocolate chips into the bowl. As I got older my helping became more helpful because I could fetch stuff or stir something while she got stuff out of the fridge or chased a toddler she was taking care of around. It was fun and it really kick started my love of cooking. So one day when I was eight years old I walked up to my mom and said,
"Mom, I want cake."
She looked me over, walked over to her wall of cookbooks, pulled down the BH&G one (you know the one, the red and white check cover, it's been around forever), opened it up to this cake and handed it to me.
"You know where everything is," she said and walked off.
So I made a cake. And a mess. But it turned out just like it was supposed to. Which I guess isn't too surprising, since this cake is practically foolproof. But it was still very exciting for me to have baked a cake. Which of course I then got to eat. Here's how you make it.
First, butter. Because what kind of cake recipe would it be without it? Sugar, also key. Then you cream them together a bit. No need to go crazy, this isn't a delicate confection. Add an egg and start to mix it before you realize you forgot the vanilla. Add that. Finish mixing and add the dry ingredients. Mix that up, think that it looks more like unkneaded bread dough than cake batter, then add the milk. There we go, that looks better. Now you just pour it into a greased 8.5" round pan and bake at 350 till a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for a couple minutes then turn it onto a rack to cool the rest of the way.
Now you may have noticed I didn't frost it or anything. That's just because when I was a kid I never did. Normal frosting wouldn't really fit, since flavor-wise it's more like a coffee cake than anything else. In fact it's an awful lot like cocoa ripple ring without the chocolate (funny, that. They came from the same cookbook.). How does it stand up to my memories? Well, it sure doesn't thrill me like it did when I was eight and it was my first solo baking experience. But now that I have some kitchen skills I can think of a couple changes I would make to it that would make it better. I have plans. Oh yes, I have plans.