Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

August 23, 2011

yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

This past Friday was my last day at work at a pharmaceutical packaging & manufacturing company. I feel like many people would expect me to be jubilated at this & at the prospect of returning to school in about a week. However, I am anything but ecstatic.

I truly enjoyed work. The people, the proximity to my house, the sense of a schedule, and the feeling of being busy - I really liked it. 

I would get up at 6:15 am everyday and make myself completely presentable, and half an hour later, I would (hopefully) be on my way to work. I would arrive at 7, don my lab coat and "hair net cap" (which I just looked up because I never knew the name), and make my rounds around the entire company. I would greet the other QAs and continue offering my help to any area that needed it. When I left on Friday, I felt like a true member of the company. My tasks and the results of my findings were actually helping the company. The stuff I was doing was important. And the fact that I got along excellently with everyone and that everyone could be hilarious at times was also a plus. 

But now work is over. A coworker who jokingly makes fun of my (lack of) Gujarati accent brought me Pista Peda - yes! We had an awesome lunch out at a Mexican restaurant with really good food. And now school is about to begin - aka organic chemistry is about to begin its slow, year-long torture upon my poor self. 

But there is hope, yet. 

Before I become a slave to compounds I cannot name & try to determine reaction rates to reactions I cannot predict, I get to enjoy a week of pure summer, sans work or responsibilities. 

And before I left work, I had had to make one last item with which to indulge my coworkers. Since this time, I was making cake for everyone, not just the office people, I had to make enough to feed about 50 people. 

Simplicity was necessary, so I decided upon yellow cake with chocolate frosting. 

I decided upon Paula Deen's 1-2-3-4 cake recipe. What do the numbers mean? 
 1 cup butter 
 2 cups sugar 
 3 cups flour 
 4 eggs 

Yep. Not so bad, huh? Now multiple all the numbers, add some variables, and take a few derivatives before going the other way and taking some integrals .. organic chemistry also involves some calculus. Just preparing myself, is all. 

The cake has a sort of loose crumb. Probably cause of the really long creaming time. I made two batches, and baked both batches in two 13x9" sheet pans. After taking them out of the oven and letting them cool somewhat, I tried inverting the cake out onto a wire rack. No amount of cajoling worked. And all that fell out were a ton of crumbs. So I recommend using another cake recipe if you want to easily layer these after baking them in 3 round pans, like Paula Deen instructs. Or use parchment paper. Greasing generously won't be enough. 

I actually ended up not liking the cake so much, but then again, I only see cake in general as a vehicle for the star of the show - the frosting. People at my work complimented it & were surprised it was homemade. People took seconds, as well. And the frosting pairs well with the cake. So I'm sure this would be a hit for a party. And it's so easy! 

Bring this to your next potluck! I dare you. And if people around you don't have potlucks anymore, well then, hold your own potluck. MAN UP. 

Yellow Cake 
recipe is for Paula Deen's 1-2-3-4 cake 
  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 3 cups self-raising flour (scooped & leveled with a spoon) 
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk 
  • 1 tspn pure vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, as well. You can use one 13x9" sheet pan, as well. Do the same preparation process. 
  2. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar, and cream for 6-8 minutes, until super fluffy and basically white in color. 
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Add vanilla and mix in well. 
  5. Alternate adding flour and milk, starting and ending with flour. 
  6. Divide batter into the three pans. Gently tap the pans on the counter, or drop them from a height of about 2-3 inches. This gets rid of air bubbles and makes for a more level cake. This is a good technique to use when making any cake. 
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes. If using the sheet pan, bake for about an hour. Toothpick should come out clean from center. Also, if center is lightly poked, the cake should spring back. 
  8. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Invert and remove parchment paper. Frost and serve! 
I used this chocolate frosting, as I always do. Use the full batch for a generous amount of frosting. 


  1. you don't need baking powder or anything?! i think i may try this one. also, my parents are out of the country this week so i have free reign/HAVE to cook every meal. sooo come cook with me! are you at school already? also i appreciate your efforts in Spanish! i think you mean to say 'gente' instead of 'henta' though. :] too bad i wasn't working at your work. i would've gotten along with them!

  2. I wish you were at my work - translator! They especially enjoyed saying things around me, about me, that they knew I would not be able to understand. All in good fun, though (:
    ps - MOST DEFINITELY coming to cook with you.


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