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New Cookbook by Local Author Encourages You to Let Them Eat ‘Everyday Cake’

Take your cake baking to the next level with these delicious recipes for every occasion

Author Kari Hanson

Published on: August 22, 2022

New Cookbook by Local Author Encourages You to Let Them Eat ‘Everyday Cake’

Yellow birthday cake with tall yellow candles and chocolate frosting
Credit: “Everyday Cake”/Charity Burggraaf

Recipe: Yellow Birthday Cake With Whipped Malt Chocolate Buttercream

When I was kid, I was always asked “Chocolate or vanilla?” when it came to dessert. I believe that the two are best not kept apart but matched together. This classic yellow cake is filled and decorated with a whipped chocolate ganache frosting. It’s rich yet light, silky, and good enough to be eaten by the spoonful. But to really make the components sing, I’ve turned to another ingredient of my childhood: malted milk powder. The powdered grain extract brings a toasted, butterscotch-y depth of flavor that amplifies both the vanilla in the cake and the chocolate in the frosting. Find it either in the baking aisle next to the sweetened condensed milk or with the powdered hot cocoa.

— Polina Chesnaskova, “Everyday Cake”


  • 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (235 ml) whole milk, at room temperature

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup (65 g) malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 6 1/2 ounces (185 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (210 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, oil, and vanilla to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl often. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the egg mixture a bit at a time, letting it fully incorporate before adding more and scraping down the bowl and beater as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the milk, mixing until just combined and scraping down the bowl as needed. Use a silicone spatula to fold the batter a few more times to make sure it’s smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. Bake, rotating and switching their positions halfway through, until the cakes spring back when pressed and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool completely. (The frosting is best used as soon as it’s made, so the cakes should be fully cooled and leveled if needed before proceeding.)

To make the frosting, in a small bowl, whisk together the malted milk powder and brown sugar so there aren’t any lumps; top with the chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until the edges begin to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Whisk until the mixture comes together and is smooth and shiny. Allow it to cool to room temperature — if you’re strapped for time, chill it in the freezer, stirring every few minutes, until it is cool to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Sift in the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla and salt. Mix on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooled ganache and mix on low speed to fully incorporate, pausing to scrape down the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light, fluffy, and silky, 45 to 60 seconds. Season with more salt to taste. For the best consistency, use immediately. Otherwise refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks — allow it to come to room temperature and re-whip before using.

To assemble the cake, place one of the layers (top side up) on a cake stand or plate. Tuck strips of parchment paper under the edge of the cake to keep the plate clean. Top the layer with about 1 cup of the frosting and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Center the second cake layer (top side down) over the frosted layer and nestle it on top. Using as little frosting as possible, spread a very thin crumb coat over the top and sides of the cake and fill any gaps. If possible, refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to set it.

Spread the remaining frosting evenly all over the top and sides of the cake, making swoops and swirls with the spatula or a spoon. Serve the cake the same day or refrigerate for 2 to 3 days — allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

© 2022 by Polina Chesnaskova. Excerpted from "Everyday Cake" by permission of Sasquatch Books.

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