Scratch Non-Chocolate Espresso Cake with Box Qualities

  • Serves: Makes two 9- x 2-inch layers
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 9338
  • Comments: 2

Variations:  Scratch Chocolate Cake with Box Qualities; Scratch White Cake with Box Qualities; Scratch Yellow Cake with Box Qualities

Cupcakes and photo by kake, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips 

SARAH SAYS: Premium Member lynne956, asked for a non-chocolate espresso cake, so I created one for her. I think it's a great idea!

I use what is called the Two-Step Mixing Method, to bring you a tender and moist 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. Crisco was used in their recipes at the time, and butter could be easily substituted, with the same result.

The Two-Step or Quick-Mix Method works this way: Mixing the butter first directly with the flour and dry ingredients, coats the gluten-forming proteins in the wheat flour with fat, so when the wet ingredients, such as milk or buttermilk are added next, and the ingredients are mixed, very little gluten is formed. Plus, cake flour is low in gluten forming proteins, and it being bleached, toughens the protein molecules, enabling it to carry more than its weight in sugar and fat; cakes with bleached cake flour tend to be higher in sugar and fat, both tenderizers, than those without - that's why these cakes literally melt in your mouth!

kake, Premium Member, Says: "YUMMMMMM. Espresso cupcakes with Italian Meringue or Mousseline Buttercream or IMBC, caramel version. I add mini chocolate chips and those are yummy! My kids likes too. cupcake by itself is very moist and I can smell mocha~~~. IMBC is creamy and nice caramel flavor in it....The cupcake taste very good,though... Very nice coffee flavor. Thanks."

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold

1/2 cup whole milk, can be cold
4 large eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon almond extract or lemon or orange extract)

1 3/4 cups bleached cake flour (not self-rising); spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup chopped chocolate covered espresso beans or cocoa nibs

1. Position oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If using dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F).

Grease and flour two, 9 x 2-inch cake pans. Set aside.

Remove the butter sticks from the refrigerator, and cut into approximately 10 - 12 evenly-sliced pieces each stick (24 pieces total). Set aside, and let soften slightly, but must remain cool.

In a one or two-cup measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout, beat together the milk, eggs, espresso powder and vanilla, and beat together with a fork. Set aside.

SARAH SAYS: I measure the milk in a one-cup liquid measuring cup and to it, I add the eggs and vanilla extract.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar. Fit a paddle attachment to the mixer, and mix on low, about 10 to 15 seconds to combine the ingredients. Make sure you get all of the ingredients mixed in from the bottom of the bowl.

3. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter 1 tablespoon or piece at a time at a time into the flour mixture. Keep adding each butter-piece about 10 seconds apart, until all has been incorporated. The flour mixture should begin to clump together and look moistened slightly. You should not see any butter pieces in the mixture.

After 1 stick or 8 tablespoons of butter have been added to the flour/dry ingredients. The butter is evenly distributed throughout and the dry ingredients begins to look like cornmeal. The dry mixture starts to clump together a little. Photo by Sarah Phillips

4. With the mixer speed on low, add 1/2 of the egg/milk mixture slowly at the side of the bowl. Mix until incorporated, taking about 5-10 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute.

With the mixer on low speed, add the remaining egg mixture in a slow steady stream at the side of the bowl. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
Beat at medium speed until thoroughly mixed and light and fluffy, about 1 minute. The batter will look fluffy and slightly curdled, it's ok.

5. Unclamp the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, fold in tbe chopped chocolate covered espresso beans or cocoa nibs depositing it into the pan.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and gently smooth the tops. The batter will fill the baking pans about half-full.

7. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached but not batter. The sides will shrink slightly from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake. The cake rises nicely and the cake bakes flat.

Remove cakes to cool on wire racks for 10 to 15 minutes and then unmold onto wire cake racks, right-side-up, to cool thoroughly. Be careful, the cakes are delicate when warm.

The cake layers store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days. The cake layers freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped. 

Scratch Chocolate Cake with Box Qualities
Scratch White Cake with Box Qualities
Scratch Yellow Cake with Box Qualities

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