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Baking it Easy - "The Opposite of a Hot Mess"

Cook Time


  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • Buttercream
  • Food coloring of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 8-inch cake pans, and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. With a mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla extract and almond extract.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in a bit of the flour, alternating with the buttermilk and finishing the batter with an addition of flour. Mix until just combined.
  6. Divide batter between the 3 prepared pans, and bake for about 40 minutes.
  7. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes, then remove from tins and cool completely on wire racks.
  8. Allow to cool completely before crumb coating and finishing with final icing coats.
  9. Level the cake layers to the same height, cut each layer in half, pipe icing in between each layer; stack the layers and crumb coat the cake.
  10. Refrigerate the crumb coated cake to seal in all cake flecks before final decoration.
  11. Once the crumb coat has chilled, ice the cake and decorate as desired.
  12. Tip #1: Do not over mix your batter or you will not retain a light crumb!
  13. Tip #2: Use the toothpick measurement method to ensure your cakes are leveled properly for a perfect stack. Measure the height all of the way around the cake and insert toothpicks at that height. Run your knife across the toothpicks and remove the rounded part of the cake.
  14. Tip #3: Use a cake dowel or straw to reinforce the cake layers if you build higher than 5 layers. This will help stabilize the cake as you decorate.