Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 15, 2011 09:30 PM

Got Great Advice Re: Chocolate Cake for a Crowd, Now It's Time for Vanilla

My son has requested a vanilla cake -- 3 tiers, no less -- for his birthday party. I'd love any suggestions. I found a chowhound thread on this already, but didn't understand one of the recommended recipes ( and the yield wasn't big enough. I found a King Arthur Flour recipe that is "guaranteed," but a whole bunch of the comments said it was more bread-like than cake-like, so I'm hesitant. ( Any tried-and-true recipes that will make a 9", 8" and 6"? If a recipe makes two 8" cakes, should I increase by 50% in order to get enough batter?

Also, he wants mint frosting. Can I just make my usual butter-confectioners sugar-milk frosting and add some mint extract & green food coloring? A CHer suggested putting each tier on cardboard so they can be cut separately -- so my idea is to do 2 plain and one green. A Tintin figurine will grace the top!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Put each layer on cardboard and put dowels (plastic ones can be found in kitchen stores/Michael's) through each layer to support the next one.

    1. This is helpful in figuring out how much to increase the recipe:

      My two go-to yellow cake recipes are Restaurant Eve's Just because cake (denser cake and my favorite--just noticed it's on the bottom of that thread you linked) and CI's Best Recipe (very airy). I can post either if you'd like.

      You can add mint extract to buttercream for a simple mint flavor (though I'm trying to imagine mint w/ yellow cake and can't!).

      5 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I hear ya about the mint + yellow cake combination...but it ain't my birthday! Reminds me of a friend whose daughter wanted a green bean birthday cake -- so that's what she got!!! The Restaurant Eve cake looks great -- I actually did hear back about the recipe clarification I needed, so now I have 2 good choices. Thanks! (I'm wary of airy cakes -- I've always had them collapse on me...)

        1. re: chowser

          Just a quick THANK YOU for letting me know about the Restaurant Eve cake. It was delicious! And easy to make. Made a 10", 8" and 6" -- 1 1/2 recipes.

          1. re: jessinEC

            Glad it worked out for you! I love that cake, too--it's my favorite, thus far.

            1. re: jessinEC

              How did you like the mint + yellow cake? I love both and am curious.

              1. re: danna

                Well, I am lactose-intolerant, so I didn't eat either the cake or the frosting. The under-7s liked the mint frosting (I added green food coloring too); I think the grown-ups thought it was a bit weird (but still tasty). What I did was first make frosting with just butter, confectioners' sugar and a little milk -- then divided into 2 portions. To one, I added vanilla and I did 2 layers that way. To the other, the mint extract & food coloring. So it was a white-green-white layer cake.

          2. I'd recommend The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. She has directions for scaling up every recipe in the book, for almost any size cake pan imaginable, and takes into account the varying proportion of leavener. There are even instructions for mixing a single batch of batter from which to bake varying sizes of layers, which sounds like something that might be useful in your situation. I'm assuming you have a large capacity stand mixer? Her recipes are absolutely tried and true reliable.

            I like to make the white chocolate whisper cake when people ask for vanilla, because it's vanilla-ey, but the cocoa butter gives it a wonderful texture that really bowls over vanilla lovers. My only issue with this book is that I just don't much care for her style of buttercreams, but it's a minor complaint. The cake recipes are that good, and it's an invaluable reference for capacity production.