Retirement Cake: Yellow Butter Cake with Buttercream Frosting

     Every year at work we have an end of the year luncheon.  This year it was in honor of our retiring guidance counselor.  I was asked if I would make and decorate a cake instead of buying one at the market.  I began struggling with what type of cake to make.  I initially thought of making a marble cake to make everyone happy, but after a stressful week I just went with a butter yellow cake. 
     The cake turned out great.  It was firm, moist, and buttery.  It held up well against the buttercream.  The buttercream was thick and rich.  It paired wonderfully with the butter yellow cake.  The toughest part of the cake was decorating it.  I poured over baking websites for days looking for a design.  I finally decided to make a clock and put all of the things she enjoys doing on the clock.  I sprinkled the entire cake with fat sprinkles and wrote a message on it.  I got a lot of compliments on the decorating of the cake.  I really enjoyed working on this cake and hope I get to make another one soon!

Yellow Butter Cake with Buttercream Icing (adapted from Annie’s Eats )

For the Cake:
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/4 c. applesauce
3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. lowfat milk

For the Frosting:
2 sticks butter
3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. meringue powder
1 t. vanilla

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans with parchment.  Butter and flour the edges of the pans and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sitr well and set aside.

3.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the applesauce and mix well.  Stir in the eggs one at a time.

4.  Stir in the vanilla and mix for 2 minutes.  Slowly take turns adding in the dry ingredients and the milk until everything is just incorporated.

5.  Pour the batter into the 9 x 13 pan or divide it into the 9 inch pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Put on a cooling rack and cool 20 minutes.

6.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan to help remove the cakes.  Invert the pans and peel off the parchment.  Let cool completely.

7.  Meanwhile, beat the butter with a hand mixer.  Beat in the vanilla and meringue powder.  On low, mix in the powdered sugar, gradually coming up to high speed and mixing for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture comes together as a thick frosting.

8.  Frost the entire cake and then decorate.

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