[image: Distance view of Leo about to jump into a foam pit,
seen through black safety netting.]
We celebrated that someone's birthday according to their specific wishes for pancakes, a typically forbidden strawberry milkshake, and a trampoline-based birthday party with friends. It was a Very Good Day, going by the Very Big Smile metric.
The resident someone was also clear that they wanted a vanilla cake for when cake-and-candle time rolled around. I'm perfectly happy with cake mix confections, but didn't have time to go to the store and get the boxed stuff. I experienced a rare Joy of Cooking fail in looking for alternatives—but the Internet provided, as it often does, and served up a recipe that was relatively quick and easy, and also worked with ingredients we had on hand (with a little quick thinking). Plus everyone really liked the cake in an "I don't usually like buttercream frosting" kind of way, so I'm sharing it with you.
PERFECT-FOR-LEO VANILLA SHEET CAKE
Modifed from marshasbakingaddiction.com/perfect-vanilla-sheet-cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large room temperature eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup impromptu buttermilk (mix 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/2 cup water)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup Kerrygold butter, softened
- 2 - 3 tbsp whole cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
MAKE THE CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease a 13x9-inch pan, and set aside. (I used the Costco version of spray oil)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat the eggs on low speed just until blended. Add the sugar, and blend until combined. Add the vanilla extract and vegetable oil, and blend until combined. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the faux-buttermilk.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread out evenly. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick poked deep into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting, or else your frosting will just melt and will also be full of crumbs.
- Beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy (I used a stand mixer).
- Beat in the whole cream and vanilla extract until smooth and spreadable.
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake, decorate if you wish, then slice and serve.
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