White layers are gorgeous — and very “spring-like” — especially when accompanied by a light-colored frosting and filling (I’m thinking especially of a citrus curd of some kind). Making them is no more difficult that making any other one-bowl-type cake layer. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and assembling your ingredients. Sift the cake flour into your mixer bowl:
Then add all the rest of the dry ingredients.
Stir them for about 30 seconds to blend, then add the very soft butter.
Stir that for 1-3 minutes on low until it’s totally incorporated. Those flour granules look greasy? Then we’re in business.
Now combine everything that’s wet in a medium bowl.
Give it a swizzle.
Then add half of it to the dry ingredients. Beat that all together on medium-high for a good 90 seconds.
See here? We’re incorporating air and developing gluten, which in this case is very necessary.
Scrape the whole mess, not forgetting the very bottom. Who knows? All your leavening might be down there. Crazier things have happened.
Add half of what remains and beat again for about 20 seconds.
Add the last of the liquid and beat another 20 seconds.
And guess what — scrape! Just one last time to make sure nothing’s left dry. If so, beat another 10 seconds or so. If not you’re good to go!
Why do I scrape by hand instead of using one of those rubber blade things? Because I don’t believe there’s any substitute for hand scraping. Yeah it’s a little messy, but it gets you well acquainted with batter colors and textures. Plus I just don’t trust those gizmos…made of cheap plastic and who knows how long until that nice flexible rubber turns brittle and starts to fall off? No thanks. I had a company rep after me for weeks to do an endorsement one time. I told him I planned to be buried with a rubber scraper in my hand. He quit with the emails.
Scrape the batter into your prepared pans. Yes, I weigh mine, it’s how I learned. You want just over 20 ounces per pan.
Even the batter a bit. Don’t go nuts.
Bake those for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let them cool 10-20 minutes in the pans, then turn them out and peel away the parchment.
Put another rack on top and gently flip everything over. Take away the top rack.
Why do this? Because the top crusts will be a little sticky and you don’t want them face-down on a rack. You can lose some large hunks of cake that way. Let them cool the rest of the way and use as you see fit!