Every female needs a little black dress. And every baker needs a vanilla cake recipe.
Dear reader, I have found my vanilla cake recipe.
It took three tries and three different sources, but I hit on a recipe that I do believe will be my go-to vanilla cake recipe.
I discovered the recipe in my new favorite book, Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. I love this book. I love the cover. I love the pictures. And, most of all, I love the recipes! Each one I've tried so far has been a success. And now I do believe it has even given me a staple of my culinary aresinal - the perfect vanilla cake batter.
I broke out a new addition to my kitchen to create these little vanilla cupcake creations. The stand mixer has now taken a prominent place on my kitchen counter. I'm enjoying just looking at it (and baking with it, of course). I feel so truly culinary now that I own and use a stand mixer. Before I was just a wanna-be, now I'm one step closer to a legitimate baker. I am baking and I have the equipment to prove it!
Well, not just the equipment - I have cupcakes, too. Little, perfectly white, perfectly rounded cupcakes to show that I have learned something about baking in these past forty-some recipes. I've learned not to overbeat cake batter. I've learned that butter, when softened, shouldn't be at all melted but should be tender to the touch. I've learned that for most all cakey creations eggs need to be at room temperature. I've learend that measuring flour is a science that requires precision and attention to detail. Too much flour or too little flour can throw off an entire recipe. I've learned that convection for baking doesn't always produce the greatest of results. Best to stick with classic bake.
And I've learned that the more you bake, the more you learn about baking. I used to think baking was as easy as following a list of steps in the right order. Oh how wrong I was! There is so much more than good following of directions when it comes to successful baking. Just like anything truly exceptional, baking takes practice, patience and a lot of time in the kitchen.
To try out the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe check out The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. In it you'll find a staple for your pastry repertoire.
Now as for that little black dress you're on your own. I suggest a shopping trip to TJ Maxx or Marshalls. But that's just me. After all, I'm just a wanna-be baker, not a wanna-be personal shopper!
PS... I topped my cupcakes with Nutella butter cream frosting from Sally's Baking Addiction.