Nicky’s Vanilla Cake

by Hilary Gauntt on August 13, 2011

Ruth Reichl, celebrated cookbook author and editor of Gourmet Magazine, was living in New York when the horror of 9/11 rocked the country. Later, in the introduction to the comfort food edition of the magazine, she singled out a recipe that she made every day for a week following the nightmare of that day. This simple cake filled the house with the soothing scents of  butter, sugar and vanilla and the process of baking was a calming sort of therapy in a chaotic world.

This is a wonderful, melt in your mouth cake that would be lovely alone or served with the Summer Berries recipe in the previous post. (Brittany thinks it cries out for a creamy vanilla frosting, but Ruth and I like it plain.) I taught Baby Wyatt to say the word “cake” after just two bites of this.

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

2 Tbl. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour an angel food cake or a bundt cake pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together unitl light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, and add this to the butter mixture, mixing well.  Add the sour cream and mix well; then mix in the vanilla.  (The batter will be thick.)

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden.  Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Then turn the cake out of the pan, and leave it on the rack until cool.  Makes about 10 servings.

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