Yellow Wedding Cake

From America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

3/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. cake flour
2 1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour one 6-inch, one 9-inch, and one 12-inch round cake pan, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and grease the parchment. Whisk the milk, eggs, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in all but 3/4 of the milk mixture, increase the mixer speed to medium, and beat the batter until it is smooth and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup milk mixture until thoroughly combined (the batter will look slightly curdled), about 30 seconds.

3. Give the batter a final stir using a rubber spatula to make sure it thoroughly combined. Measure a generous 1 cup of the batter into the prepared 6-inch pan, measure 2 1/2 cups more batter into the 9-inch pan, and scrape the remaining batter into the 12-inch pan. Smooth the tops and gently tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter.

4. Place the 6- and 9-inch cakes on the upper-middle rack and the 12-inch cake on the lower-middle rack. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 22 minutes for the 6-inch cake, 26 minutes for the 9-inch cake, and 35 minutes for the 12-inch cake, rotating the pans (but keeping them on the same racks) after 15 minutes of baking.

5. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of each cake, then flip it onto a greased, parchment-lined cardboard round. Peel off the parchment paper on the bottom of the cakes, then flip them right side up onto wire racks. Let the cakes cool completely, about 1 hour.


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