1 2 3 4 Lactose-Free and Kosher Buttermilk Cake

  • Serves: Makes two 9 x 2-inch layers or one 9 x 13 x 2-inch cake; about 6 cups batter
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Variations: 1 2 3 4 Yellow Buttermilk Cake; 1 2 3 4 Chocolate Buttermilk Cake; 1 2 3 4 Citrus Buttermilk Cake; 1 2 3 4 White Buttermilk Cake

Cake by Sarah Phillips; Photos by Tara Korde © Sarah Phillips 
SARAH SAYS: I filled and frosted my layer cake with Seven Minute Vanilla Bean Icing flavored with 1 teaspoon almond extract.

Culinary evidence confirms the practice of naming cakes, such as this one, for their measurements, dates (at least) to the 18th century. In the days when many people couldn't read, this simple convention made it simple to remember recipes. Pound cake and cupcakes are foods of this genre. In fact, they were composed of the same basic ingredients of this 1 2 3 4 cake.

There are several variations on the recipe for 1 2 3 4 cake but "yr basic list" goes like this: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs. This combination, it its purest form, produces a chewy dense cookie-type treat reminiscent of medieval jumbals, or sugar cookies. The Internet confirms many cooks "fudge" (pardon the pun) this classic 1234 recipe by adding other ingredients in various proportions. Most common: Baking powder, milk, fruit juice, spices and nuts. These additions affect the taste and texture of the finished product. From http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcakes.html

The recipe's basic 1 2 3 4 main ingredients have been added to and I have modified its mixing methods to use what is called the Two-Step Mixing Method, to bring you a tender and moist yellow cake! I recently discovered through research, that in fact, the Pillsbury Company invented this method in 1945, which they called the Quick-Mix Method, as a way for home baker's to bake light and airy cakes using the Two-Step Method. Crisco was used in their recipes at the time, and butter could be easily substituted, with the same result.

I use my ingredients cold from the refrigerator!

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