This easy, tasty and delicious traditional yellow cake is better than any you can buy in a box.  All you need are the basics in your pantry and you’ve got good cake.  This one is filled with layers of lemon curd and has an easy sweet buttercream icing – but you can do any thing with this cake.  You can layer it with whipped cream, chocolate cream or icing, orange custard, jams and of course you can just eat it plain with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.  (That’s how Greg likes it.)  You can cube it and dip it in chocolate fondue – the ideas are endless.  Sylvie and I made this cake for her first book group.  We read 11 Birthdays and decided that a cake was necessary.  No more than a half hour later, the 1-2-3-4 cake was in the oven.  It got rave reviews and the moms were eager to split it up to bring home for their families 🙂  I will continue to make it again and again.  Hope you do too.  Enjoy-

You can also make these as cupcakes.  It should make about 32 standard muffin cups.  More directions below.

1-2-3-4 cake (you can find this recipe in many many cookbooks – I have it hand written in my little personal book – not sure where mine originated from):

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray 2 round 8 or 9 inch cake pans.  Line with parchment and spray and butter again.  Lightly dust with flour.

Remember to pull butter before you bake – and cut into small pieces.

Sift the cake flour, then measure it and place in a small bowl with the baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Separate the eggs.  Measure the milk and add the vanilla to it.

Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat until light yellow and very fluffy.  5-7 minutes or so.  Scrape and beat to mix again.

Add the egg yolks and beat them in one at a time.

Add the flour and milk in parts.  Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture on lowest speed, then half the milk, and repeat adding the flour in 1/3’s – ending with the flour.  Do not over mix.

Next, beat the egg whites until they hold a soft peak shape.  Place them in mixer – and beat on medium then medium high speed until you see them thicken and get white and fluffy.

Now take about one third of the whites and gently spoon into the butter batter.  This will lighten the batter and make it easier to fold in the remaining whites.

Fold in remaining whites – gently with a rubber spatula being careful not to overmix.  (Folding is more delicate than stirring.  Use the spatula to lift up some of the batter from the bottom of the bowl and fold it over the egg whites.  Turn the bowl a little and fold again.  Do that just until the egg whites are mixed in.)  This will generate a more delicate texture.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 23-25 minutes.  They are done when a tooth pick comes out clean and the cakes are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

If making cupcakes, line muffin cups with paper – and fill each cup half full with batter.  350 degree for about 22-25 minutes – or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yum!  Enjoy.  I will later post the icing and the lemon curd – but do anything with this cake!

Recommended Posts