The most anticipated of all the foods on the party table will be, of course, the birthday cake. This basic cake recipe can be frosted and decorated in a variety of ways that are sure to please all of your party guests. It is a lovely, light cake, yet sturdy enough to hold the decor of your choice.
Best Birthday Cake Ever
1 cup butter (do not substitute margarine)
2 cups sugar
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk or half-and half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is heating, prepare three nine-inch cake pans by greasing and flouring them. Cream the butter, and then add the sugar. Using an electric mixer, continue to cream for eight to ten minutes, or until the mixture is very fluffy. Add the 4 eggs one by one, beating after each one is added. Add the flour alternately with the milk or half-and-half until it has all been mixed in well. Add the vanilla last of all, and stir in until it is well mixed with the cake batter.
Divide the batter into the cake pans that you have prepared. Make sure that the batter in the pan is level, or you will end up with crooked cake layers! A quick way to do this is to take the pan in both hands, lift it a couple of inches off of the kitchen counter, and drop it. This takes out air bubbles as well as level the batter.
Bake for around 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake layers rest for 10 minutes, and then turn them out onto cooling racks to finish cooling completely. If you attempt to frost a cake that is too warm, your frosting will run and droop, ruining the looks of the finished cake.