This recipe makes a versatile cake base, which is perfect for birthdays or any other occasion. Try topping it with sweetened whipped cream, cream cheese icing or chocolate ganache.
This cake is great, but there are a couple things that should be changed in the order of the directions. Don't mix the baking soda and buttermilk to start with. Cream the shortening, sugar, ect. first. Then you hold a small bowl with the buttermilk and baking soda over the bowl with the creamed mixture in it and beat as it will foam and may foam over the bowl. Pour that mixture immediately into the creamed mixture. Then continue with the directions as stated. This will make the cake a little more moist for those who think that it is a little bit dry. This recipe, no doubt, started out with the buttermilk as sourmilk. You use the same amount of sourmilk as you do buttermilk. To make sourmilk, use the 1/2 cup regular milk and add 1 tablespoon vinegar and mix well. Allow to set while creaming your ingredients, then follow the steps above and you will have a more flavorful, moist cake. These little bits I have given you have been left out as it has been passed around through generations of bakers. I hope these extra tips help you out. Thanks. The recipe was great! - 16 Jun 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I made this cake after reading all of the comments , good and bad . This is the nicest cake I've tasted in a very long time. I sell cakes from my home and needed a recipe for a "real" homeade cake and that's how I found this one. I couldn't wait for it to cool so I could frost and cut it for a taste. I don't know what's been happening to those of you that were disappointed when you tried this recipe, but it turned out excellent for me. I did make a couple changes though, I put in 3 whole eggs and one egg white, and two teaspoons of vanilla . ( my experience has been that cakes made from scratch need more whites than yolks and double flavoring for some odd reason when the recipe calls for water instead of milk. I don't know if these two changes made the differece for me, but it is truly a lovely , light texture cake. Please try at least once and perhaps if you didn't have good results the first time, I'd give it another try . - 13 Jun 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Love this recipe! Of course, I made modifications as I almost usually do. I cut the sugar back by half a cup and added a package of french vanilla pudding mix to the dry ingredients. This makes the cake incredibly moist. This may also help take away from the 'cornbread-like' texture that some people are experiencing with their cakes. I also add about 2 T. of canola oil which also adds to the moisture of the cake. I just use two whole eggs to simplify things and not waste any egg. The cake is more yellow then white, but I think the flavor is richer and better. To the wet ingredients I also add a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest. Gives the cake a great boost of flavor without being overly 'lemony.' I frost the cake, which I bake in 3 8" pans to make a triple layer sensation, with vanilla Rich's BetterCream, which you could also add a little lemon extract to as well. I then drizzle with melted chocoate and everyone gobbles it up! - 02 Oct 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)