I have been using this recipe for years and it's really one of the best ever. I bake and decorate cakes and the basic recipe (without the lime juice or zest) is my standard vanilla cake. It's perfect for all types of pans, carves easily and stacks well. It's versatile and can be altered to all sorts of flavors. That said, there are a few key points that I'd like to make. One is that when you cream the shortening, butter and sugar together it takes at least 5 minutes. Light and fluffy doesn't happen quickly. The beating incorporates air into the mix and that's what gives you a moist and tender cake. Turn the mixer on medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid) and walk away, clean up, mix your dry ingredients, whatever. Two is mixing according to the recipe, dry ingredients and then liquid, beginning and ending with dry. Beat at medium-low speed (3 on a KA) for about 40 seconds in between, and be sure to scrape down the bowl at least once. Third, you don't have to stir the juices and zests in at the end, you can just mix them into your milk after you measure the milk. The juices added to the milk will make the milk curdle and get thick (like buttermilk) and this is fine. Lastly, bake your cake at 325F with the oven rack in the center position and 65 minutes is the maximum. If your cake isn't done then you need to get an oven thermometer and test your oven. Hope this helps.
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I have been using this recipe for years and it's really one of the best ever. I bake and...