Vanilla Cake with Sweet Cream Syrup & Butterscotch Frosting

This is a vanilla cake.  But it’s not just any old regular vanilla cake.  It’s a vanilla cake brushed with a sweet cream syrup, slathered with butterscotch frosting, and covered with nonpareils.  The recipe for this little beauty comes from Cake Magic: Mix & Match Your Way to 100 Amazing Combinations, a cookbook that provide so many combinations of cake flavors, syrups, and frostings that you could bake a cake every day for several months and never make the same thing.

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Vanilla Cake with Sweet Cream Syrup & Butterscotch Frosting

Makes one nine-inch, 2-layer cake
(from Cake Magic: Mix & Match Your Way to 100 Amazing Combinations)
My notes are in [  ] below.

Ingredients

Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or 1 cup vegetable oil [I prefer butter because it’s provides a richer flavor.]
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Sweet Cream Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butterscotch Frosting

[I only made half of this frosting recipe.  It was enough frosting for a thin layer between the two layers, and fully frosting the top of the cake. For me it kept the cake from being too sweet.] 
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup malted milk powder [I used dry milk powder, without the malt]
Pinch of salt
4 cups (about 16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butterscotch flavor or to taste [I used Frontier Butterscotch Flavor.  You can use 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract if you want to make vanilla frosting]

Directions

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter the bottom and the side of two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans [or a 10-inch Bundt cake pan, a 13×9 inch sheet cake pan, ).  Dust with flour to coat, then invert and tap out any excess.   24 cupcakes- use liners, no need for greasing and coating the tins.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. Stir in the yogurt, butter, water, vanilla, and eggs until moistened and no lumps remain (be careful not to overmix).
  4. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake until the layers are domed and golden brown, and a few moist crumbs cling to a skewer interested in the center of the cake, 30-40 minutes (40-50 minutes for a Bundt, 25-30 minutes for a 13×9-inch cake, and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes).

Sweet Cream Syrup

  1. While the cake is baking, make the sweet cream syrup.
  2. Combine the sugar, cream, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Use the syrup warm or let it stand covered, until it reaches room temperature.  Note: Sweet cream syrup will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.  Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat before using.
  5. After removing the hot cake layers from the oven, pierce them, while still in their pans, at one-inch intervals with a skewer or a paring knife to create channels for the syrup to seep into the cakes.
  6. Pour or generously brush the syrup over the surface of the hot layers, dividing it between them as evenly as possible.
  7. Transfer the soaked layers (still in their pans) to a wire rack to cool completely (1 to 2 hours).  When they are cooled and no longer wet to touch, carefully turn them out of their pants and frost.

Butterscotch Frosting

  1. Make the frosting while the cake cools.
  2. Combine the butter, milk powder, salt, and two cups of the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, and beat on medium speed until the frosting is pale and no longer grainy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the butterscotch flavor (or vanilla extract), and beat until frosting is very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Note: the frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.  Before using, bring it back to room temperature and stir vigorously or beat it again for best results.
  5. Frost the cooled cake layers.

Apple Cake with Boiled Cider Glaze

If gingerbread and apple pie merged to form a more perfect union, they would have created this Apple Cake. This moist cake is bursting with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and full of chunky, tender apples.  The Boiled Cider Glaze adds even more depth to the rich apple flavor.  The cake and glaze are easy to throw together and are a great way to make use of those bushels of apples from you recent apple picking adventure (and it doesn’t matter if it occurred in the grocery store or at an orchard).

Apple Cake- KAF2

Apple Cake with Boiled Cider Glaze

(from King Arthur Flour – cake and glaze)
Makes one 9x13inch pan of cake and 1 cup of boiled cider glaze
My notes are in [   ].

Ingredients

Cake

2 1/3 cups (9 3/4 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer (optional)
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups (11 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups (15 ounces) peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
1 cup (4 ounces) diced toasted walnuts or pecans (optional) [I omitted the nuts]

Boiled Cider Glaze

2 1/2 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) boiled cider
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons (1 to 1 1/4 ounces) heavy cream
2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar or glazing sugar
generous pinch of salt

Directions

[I rewrote the directions for making the cake as the original recipe did not provide a lot of detail.]

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cake enhancer (if using).  Set the bowl aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until lightened in color and well combined.
  4. Add the eggs, one at at time, to the butter-sugar mixture, making sure to incorporate each one before adding the next one.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and beat until well combined; the mixture may seem very stiff, and may even be crumbly.
  6. Add the apples and nuts (if using), and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency.
  7. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don’t remove the cake from the pan.

Boiled Cider Glaze

  1. Stir all of the ingredients together, using the lesser amount of cream.
  2. Add additional sugar or cream if needed to make the glaze the consistency of molasses.
  3. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and spread.