Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbl. milk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
Make the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 buttered
9-inch round cake pans with rounds of wax paper, butter the paper,
and dust the pans with flour, knocking out the excess. Onto a sheet
of wax paper sift twice the flour and the baking powder. In a bowl
with an electric mixer cream the butter with the sugar until the
mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time,
beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the
butter mixture in batches alternately with the milk, beginning and
ending with the flour mixture, and beat in the vanilla.
In another bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they
just hold stiff peaks, stir one third of them into the batter to
lighten it, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops, and
bake the layers in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or
until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool in the pans
on racks for 10 minutes and turn them out onto the racks. Discard
the wax paper and let the layers cool completely.
Make the icing: In a small saucepan melt the butter over moderate
heat, add the brown sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the
milk in a stream, whisking, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove
the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely. In the
bowl of an electric mixer beat together the brown sugar mixture and
the vanilla. Add the confectioners' sugar in batches, beating, and
beat the icing until it is light and fluffy. Assemble the cake: On a
cake plate arrange 1 of the cake layers, spread the layer with one
third of the icing, and top the icing with the remaining layer.
Spread the top and side of the cake with the remaining icing.