This is the afternoon tea treat I baked for the kid’s friends the other day, along with the brownies…. though for some reason it was not as moist as it usually is on this occasion (note to self, stick to measuring the butter next time, can’t skimp on le buerre.)
It is one recipe that takes me back to when the older kids were young, and life was pretty intense yet so simple at the same time. It comes from the dog-eared, disintegrating Betty Crocker cookbook my Mom got for me on a trip to the States, I think. The recipe is printed on the only page in the cake section that hasn’t come loose and fallen out completely. Starlight Yellow Cake. It does have a yellowish buttery tinge; maybe the lack of butter is why this particular effort was more a creamy hue than yellow .
When we lived in a little country town in NSW, I had the kids all get involved in the local show (like a fair, if you are a North American). So they all entered the baking competition. 3 year old Kara and 6 year old Zac shared a batch of Starlight Yellow Cake batter (hmmm, was that cheating?) and made 6 cupcakes each out of it. The fact that in their category, Kara’s batch won 1st prize and Zac’s won 2nd, was due in part to the unfortunate incident on the way in to the judging when Zac’s nose and two of his cupcakes hit the dirt literally……ah, memory lane!
Again like most of what I do, this is a very simple recipe (well, it is if you have a Mix master, or electric beater)…everything gets thrown in together.
So here are our ingredients:
· 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
· 1 1/4 cups milk
· 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
· 1 tsp. salt
· 1 tsp. vanilla extract
· 3 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 180C (or 160 if fan forced or 350 F )
2. Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13 X 9 X 2 inches, 2 round pans 9 X 1 1/2 inches, or 3 round pans, 8 X 1 1/2 inches with shortening and lightly flour.* (I actually use grease proof paper as I use a 9×13 cake pan and that never usually comes out whole for me with the grease proof!)
3. (my favorite part….look how simple!) Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4. (this you will find tedious with some kind of electrical assistance) Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally; pour into pan(s).
5. Bake rectangle 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch rounds 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch rounds 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
6. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack; cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.
7. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
9. Frost as desired. ( I Myself, chucked in a half cup butter, nearly a full pack of no frills icing sugar, a capful of vanilla, and then added just enough milk droplets to make a creamy consistency while it got beat up in the Mix Master. No food coloring cause I wanted the fairy sprinkles to be the ‘hero’. lol!