So April’s cake is a little late to the party. I promise I made it April. It’s just that I got a little distracted with prepping for vacation, enjoying lots of wine and then telling you all about it. Suddenly it’s May. But I think you’ll forgive me, because I’ve come bearing Snickerdoodle Cake.
Before you get too excited, I have to say that this cake is good but not great. (Maybe there’s a theme to this week…) The icing, however, is ridiculous. When I tasted it I immediately told Hubster that I could smear it on just about anything and eat it. The real disappointment for me was the cake. It was nearly flavorless. I’m going to blame that on a lack of vanilla extract. When you review the recipe you’ll notice that vanilla extract is prescribed in the ingredients for the cake. Sadly, the original recipe I was following didn’t ever call for it in the instructions.
Cut to me dividing the batter into the cake pans and realizing that there was still a bottle of vanilla sitting out. I briefly contemplated stirring the vanilla into the batter, but realized it was too far gone to attempt. I’ve amended the instructions, which leaves you with two choices. You can make the cake described below and come back and tell me if it was more than a tasteless vessel for the spicy icing, or you can add some cinnamon to the near perfect cake recipe laid out for the Cookie Dough Layer Cake. The choice is yours.
As for me, I’m moving on to May’s cake and thinking it needs to be jammed full of strawberries…
Modified from A Bit of Bees Knees Snickerdoodle Cake
2 sticks butter
1 ¼ cups milk
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cups fine or superfine sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 ½ sticks butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8-9 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of half and half, plus more if needed
Optional: Whole cinnamon sticks for garnish
Set 6 ½ sticks of butter, 1 ¼ cups milk and 4 large eggs on the counter and let them come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each egg and scraping down the bowl between each addition. Stir the vanilla into the milk. Then add about 1/3 of the milk mixture to the sugar mixture, beating to incorporate. Add 1/3 of the flour, again beating to incorporate. Repeat this process, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until all of the milk and flour are added and mixed in evenly. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake tests done. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before turning out onto the racks to finish cooling.
For the icing, beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy. Add 6 cups of the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the half and half. Beat to incorporate again. Add another 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. Check the consistency of the buttercream. If it needs to be thicker, add the remaining confectioner’s sugar. If it is too thick, add more half and half a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like.
Level the cooled cakes and cut each into two even layers. Place one layer on a cake plate then add a layer of buttercream, spreading to the edges and evening out as you go. Repeat with the remaining layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. If desired, garnish the top of the cake with whole cinnamon sticks. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing. Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator.