Sometimes the best ideas come from happy accidents. I had set out to make blueberry sauce for the boys’ pancakes, instead this purple, berry-stuffed cake materialized. I’d been testing a recipe for the perfect white cake, which I am always on the hunt for. (I think, in my humble opinion, I have the world’s best Devil’s Food Cake, but a simple white cake is still out there to be created.) Whenever I get a new baking book I make the white cake to see if the author nailed it. It has to be moist, but not dense and has to taste like warm vanilla. The cake I was testing that morning is from Vintage Cakes. I won’t stop looking for the perfect cake, but this one is pretty close. The boys never did get pancakes that morning, but they did get to eat purple cake for breakfast. They were thrilled.
White Cake from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson
1 1/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces) sifted cake flour (sift the flour into the measuring cup)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
3 whole eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 pound (about 4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted (sift after measuring)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
To bake the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch cake pans and line with buttered parchment.
Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. On low-speed slowly add the oil and vanilla until combined. Mix in the yolks and whole eggs one at a time, scrape down the bowl after each. Add the flour in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.
In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold the cream into the cake batter. Divide the batter equally into the cake pans.
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.
To make the blueberry sauce:
In a sauce pot add the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and zest. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is bubbling and the cornstarch thickens and turns translucent. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. This can be made a few days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring the sauce back to room temperature when adding to the icing.
To make the icing:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, mix on low-speed until incorporated. Turn up the speed and mix until smooth.
Add 1/2 cup of the room temperature blueberry sauce to the icing and combine.
Add 1/2 cup more blueberry sauce and combine.
To assemble the cake:
Slice each of the cakes in two layers. Spread about 1/2 cup of icing over the first layer and slightly build up the edges, which will hold in the blueberry sauce.
Spread about 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce over the icing, but not all the way to the edge. Repeat with two more layers, then finish with the fourth layer of cake.
Spread the remaining icing over the outside of the cake. It will never be perfectly smooth do to the blueberries.
The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Serve at room temperature.