Have you ever made a layer cake from scratch? It’s not that hard! A stand mixer makes this much easier but you could mix the batter and frosting by hand. Say Happy Birthday to a loved one by making this cake from scratch. You’ll need at least 3 hours, to allow the cake to cool completely. Have fun!
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups cane sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, or milk of your choice
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 sticks butter, softened
big pinch fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch-round cake pans well with cooking spray. Make parchment paper rounds by tracing one of the pans on two pieces of parchment and cutting them out. Line the bottoms with the parchment paper rounds and spray the parchment paper.
- Scoop the flour into a 1 cup measuring cup and scrape the excess with a knife. Add to a medium bowl. Repeat for 3 cups. Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth. Don’t overbeat.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread out evenly. Bake cakes on the same rack until lightly golden on top and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the pans cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto racks to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper. Trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level.
- Place one of the cakes on a cake plate or cake stand right side up. Dollop about 1/3 of the frosting (see frosting instructions below) on the cake and spread evenly using a small offset spatula or knife. Place second cake on top and spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with decorative sprinkles if desired.
Make the frosting while the cake cools: Wash and dry the mixing bowl and paddle. Beat the butter using the paddle attachment until smooth. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl using a fine mesh sieve; add to the butter in batches along with the salt. After adding about half the sugar mixture, add in the vanilla and milk. Add remaining sugar mixture and mix until smooth.