The Engineer had a birthday recently, and he asked me for a marzipan cake. I didn’t have any recipes handy, so I searched online and made this cake with this frosting. It was good, but I was a bit disappointed because I found the cake very oily (and the pans should have been floured), while the consistency of the frosting was a bit uneven. So instead, I’m going to share another cake recipe, one that I know works to my satisfaction. It’s a simple one-bowl vanilla cake that you can make in either a 9”x13” pan or two 9”-round pans. I made it as a sheet cake with about 200 grams of white whole wheat flour and 160 grams of all-purpose white flour (because I didn’t have much left in either bag); for a special occasion like a birthday, I’d make it with cake flour and frost it, obviously, but this way it was almost like a busy-day cake. Note that you could also use melted and cooled butter or margarine instead of the vegetable oil.
3 cups cake or all-purpose or white whole wheat flour (see above)
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil (or ½ cup applesauce + ¼ cup oil)
1 cup lactose-free milk or milk alternative
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 °F. Line the bottoms of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper rounds. (Alternatively, you can use one 9x13-inch baking pan; no need to line with parchment.) Coat with cooking spray; set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract and mix with an electric hand mixer (I used a stand mixer) on medium speed until mostly smooth, about 1 minute. If mixing by hand, beat for about 3 minutes until smooth (some lumps are okay).
Divide the batter between the 2 round pans or pour all of it into the 9x13-inch pan. Bake until lightly browned and the top of the cake springs back when tapped gingerly, 25 to 30 minutes for the 2 round cakes, or 40 to 50 minutes for the 9x13-inch pan.
Remove from the round cake pans. (No need to remove the 9x13-inch cake from the pan.) Cool completely before frosting, if desired.