Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2 Great Butter-Free Cakes

Before you get all excited, thinking that the term "Butter-Free" in the title suggests there's something healthy on this page, just stop it. Stop it right there.

There are such cakes. They rely on an extravagance of egg whites and patience. They are low in fat, impossibly airy, and perfect sprinkled with some fresh berries on a hot summer day. In fact, given the relentless heat in our un-air conditioned apartment, that kind of cake would probably have hit the spot.

No, these cakes have plenty of fat, but in liquid form. This gives them two advantages: (1) they're just a tad easier to throw together--no creaming or streaming here*; and (2) they are perfect refrigerator cakes. Meaning, if you want a delicious pudding, mousse, whipped cream, custard or other fancy layer in your cake creation, you will have to store it in the fridge. Meaning, you want it to be texturally perfect when it is eaten cold. Meaning, you want a cake with little-to-no butter, which hardens up when chilled.

Enter Mr. Chocolate and Ms. Vanilla. Each of the following recipes will make one 8- or 9-inch cake. Chocolate made its debut as the sis's delicious 30th birthday cake. Vanilla, as this year's Fourth of July flag cake.

*P.S. if you are still using boxed cake mixes because "they're just so convenient," try these recipes. They're just as easy and chemical-free!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and line your cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit (this is important!).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, powder, and salt. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 more minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until tester inserted near center comes out clean.

Easy Vanilla Cake
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and line your cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit (this is important!).
  2. Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer until slightly thickened, about a minute. Add flour, buttermilk, oil, powder, and vanilla. Beat for one more minute, until well incorporated. Pour into the pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean.

1 comment:

  1. How many cakes can each recipe make?

    Thank you!