Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's my birthday and I'll *gain10pounds* if I want to . . .

* Please sing along to the tune of "It's My Party." *
Have you ever made yourself a birthday cake?  After reading The Pastry Queen , I decided that this would be my year to bake my own cake.

I'm gonna tell you right now....I am NOT a cake decorator.  (That's probably obvious by now.)  It wasn't gorgeous, but it was GOOD!

The Pastry Queen is one of those cookbooks where you feel like you've gained 10 pounds just from READING it.  I LOVE reading the stories behind recipes; they actually make me a bit teary...the back story and memories behind the food.

One of the recipes that caught me eye was the White-on-White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel's Buttercream.  I changed it up just a bit, adding vanilla bean paste and almond extract to the cake and the buttercream I changed to amaretto.
BE WARNED....this buttercream is RICH.  And buttery.  REALLY buttery.  As in, I think Paula Deen would marry it.  Delicious, yes, but I might switch it up for a less buttery buttercream next go-round.


Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Amaretto Buttercream
{adapted from The Pastry Queen}

3 c. cake flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
2 and 1/3 c. sugar
3 large egg whites, room temp.
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 and 1/2 c. buttermilk, room temp.

Place oven racks on the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Preheat to 350.  Line the bottom of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter the pans and coat with flour.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs whites, vanilla bean past and almond extract.  Beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down bowl as needed.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low, until combined.  Add half the buttermilk, beat until combined.  Continue alternating ingredients, ending with the flour.  Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Spoon the batter into prepared pans.  Place 2 pans on the top rack and the third on the bottom rack.  Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (The pans may be done at different times.)

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Invert the cakes onto the cooling racks and cool completely.

Amaretto Buttercream

3 eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2 c. water
2 c. sugar
6 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 tsp. salt
3 TBSP. amaretto

Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, whip the eggs and yolks on high speed for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar.  Simmer until the mixture registers between 234-240 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.  Immediately pour the mixture into a heatproof measuring cup with a spout.  With the mixer on low, add the sugar mixture to the eggs in a slow, thin stream.  Increase the speed to medium and beat about 7 minutes, until the syrup has cooled.  (The bowl should be barely warm.)

Add the butter, a half stick at a time, and beat on medium speed about 30 seconds after each addition.  After all of the butter has been added, beat on medium speed for 3 additional minutes, until slightly thickened.  Stir in the salt and amaretto.

{It's so smooth and glossy!!!}

Frost the completely cooled cake.  Cover the cake....it will keep at room temperature for 2 days.

{I use strips of wax paper slipped underneath the cake when frosting.  Once the cake is frosted, pull out the strips and your cake plate will be clean around the edges.}

And those 10 pounds you'll gain from the buttercream?  I hear they plump up and smooth out wrinkles. ;)

Have you ever made your own birthday cake?

92 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I love super buttery buttercreams so this is right up my alley!

    Happy (belated?) birthday to you!

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  2. Break out the fat pants is right! That looks really gooood.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I LOVE white cakes with buttercream. That's why I asked my hubby to make my Dorie's Perfect Party cake for my birthday last year. Yum!

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  4. oh man, 9 sticks of butter total? sounds like an amazing cake :) mmmm

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  5. Oh my... Your cake is absolutely stunning! Happy birthday! :) Though I haven't made my own birthday cake (yet), I did throw my own birthday dinner party last year and cooked an Italian feast for 10 of my friends/family. I made the hubs go out and buy a cake, though, because I was too tired to bake! :)

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  6. This looks absolutely delicious!!

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  7. I've always wanted to try this recipe in the Pastry Queen cookbook. Your cake looks fantastic!!

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  8. Happy Birthday! I always love an excuse to bake a cake, so I do make my own birthday cakes. I love this white on white cake, it's gorgeous. And I can't BELIEVE there are 6 sticks of butter in the buttercream! Wowee!

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  9. Happy Birthday!
    I love baking cakes, not fancy cakes just delicious cakes. I made a Butter Pecan Cake that you will have to try. *omg* To Die For!
    http://marriedsingleparent.blogspot.com/2010/06/butter-pecan-cake.html

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  10. Happy Birthday. The cake looks really delicious! The "10 pounds gain" would be worthwhile :D

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  11. Happy, happy birthday! The best thing about baking your own cake is that you get exactly what you want. Oh, and you get the first slice, too!

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  12. i make birthday cakes for my whole family, i don't buy store bought ones, too sugary and they don't taste that great.

    this one looks great!! happy birthday!

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  13. i make birthday cakes for my whole family, i don't buy store bought ones, too sugary and they don't taste that great.

    this one looks great!! happy birthday!

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  14. Happy Birthday from one Libra to another! I should have made myself a cake last week, oh well...there's always next year! Hope you had a fun day! : )

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  15. Happy Birthday!!! Woo :D I have never made my own birthday cake before because I would rather have no cake than bake it myself. I love to bake for everyone else's birthday, but for my own I like to do nothing....in my pajamas :D

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  16. Happy birthday!! Those 10 pounds would look great on you. ;)

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  17. that cake looks incredibly delicious! i haven't made myself a "cake" but definitely birthday desserts!

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  18. This cake looks AWESOME! I love buttery frosting. I'm sure a big slice would taste amazing with a big glass of red wine!

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  19. Happy Happy Birthday!!! I L-O-V-E the pastry queen! I agree with you about the book, I have read it so many times I've lost count. You should check out her other book about Christmas, it's fabulous too!
    *Take a big breath...and blow out all your candles! Have a wonderful year!

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  20. This looks delish. I would have gone for the amaretto and almond flavors as well. I do make my own birthday cake! Last year it was Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Caramel Cream Frosting. My daughter was just saying the other day that they will probably buy my cake from Costco this year! (I like my cakes!) Happy Birthday! Blessings!!!

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  21. Oh. My. Word. This looks sinfull!! I love everything about it. ESPECEIALLY that its for your birthday!!!

    Are you 26 now?

    Blessings!
    Amanda

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  22. I made my own birthday cake last year and all of my friends thought I was crazy but it was soooo good.

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  23. ya last yr i baked christmas cake for my birthday,..ur cake looks so good,..:-)

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  24. people think i'm nutsy, since i make my bday cakes. i just can't the store ones. the frosting is YUCK!

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  25. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm in the club for making my own cake... but that's because everyone else does all the planning for the soirée. It looks delicious!

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  26. I love buttercream! I also love Paula Deen:) I am from the south and everything has a stick of butter in it and heavy cream. LOL!

    The cake looks and sound delicious. Happy Birthday.

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  27. Happy Birthday and awesome that you got ot make your own cake, I am still talking my hubbie into making my own next year! I hope you have the "its my party..." song stuck in your head, because now I do!

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  28. Happy birthday! The cake looks beautiful! I wish i could decorate as well as you(:

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  29. Oh.my.word. That cake looks delicious!!

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  30. I don't think I've ever made my own birthday cake....but I think it sounds like a great idea! That cake is beautiful. And it looks so good.

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  31. whoa..you weren't kidding! 6 sticks of butter! "REALLY buttery. As in, I think Paula Deen would marry it." hahah love it. :) It looks gorgeous. Hope you had a happy birthday!

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  32. Was that a rhetorical question...what mom doesn't bake her own birthday cakes? Anyway, it sounds delightful...I gained 2 pounds just reading the recipe! The year I was doing Daring Bakers, we made Dorie's Party Cake...mmmm...bet this one is just as good!

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  33. Happy Birthday Bridget! Hope you had a great celebration with your family. Your cake looks fabulous! Love the idea of amaretto in the buttercream... YUM!

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  34. Your birthday cake looks delicious, and after reading the ingredients, I'm sure it was!:) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Bridget!:)
    Yes, I've made my own bday cake, but not nearly as tasty as yours.

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  35. Your cake looks so moist and of course I love all the little flecks of vanilla bean paste peeking through.

    Hope your birthday week was as wonderful as this cake looks :)

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  36. absolutely! i always make my own birthday cakes! and i insist on making it for any other victim i can get my hands on - dad, mom, sis, you name it!

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  37. Making your own is one way to assure you get what you want! This sounds and looks decadent! I am certain that you could be the next "It" cake decorator if you decide to and this one looks pretty darn gorgeous to me :) Happy belated birthday.

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  38. Looks wonderful and amazingly rich. ;)

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  39. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!! :)
    Oh my word I am in love with that buttercream. If Paula doesn't marry it, it can my love on the side :)

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  40. I love making my own birthday cakes... it always involves strawberries somehow.

    Happy Happy Birthday to you!! Your cake looks absolutely delicious :)

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  41. Yes, yes I have made my own birthday cake. I get to experiment with all the techniques that I don't get a chance to use for the rest of my loved ones.

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  42. Happy Birthday and the cake looks delicious!

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  43. This was deliciously rich!!!
    I like the theme song!

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  44. 6 sticks! WOW. I've made this cake earlier, loved it too. Didn't use the BC though :P

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  45. that sounds yumm... Happy Birthday...

    My birthday was friday (10/8) and my 3 year old helped me bake my cake..

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  46. Happy Birthday!
    Looks like an amazingly great cake. You did a wonderful job!
    That buttercream does sound right up Paul Deen's alley.
    Haven't made my own birthday cake yet, I somehow still get someone to make me one :) hubby or mom seem to pull it off well, but if they were not to make some birthday treat, I would certainly do it.
    Hope you enjoyed you cake and you wonderful day!

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  47. Aaah! Fat can be good, too. The cake looks so decadent and yummy. You must have enjoyed your birthday!

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  48. I had been making my own birthday cakes for a while until last year when 2 people wanted to make them for me. Anything is better than those store bought ones with an inch of super sugary frosting!

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  49. It is your birthday! You are allowed to have anything you want. Happy Birthday.

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  50. Oh wow! That cake looks stunning and super delicious! Happy birthday. Enjoy that yummy cake! Have a piece for me too!

    Lisa
    www.starflydesigns.com

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  51. Looks delicious and I LOVE the idea of cooking your bday cake. I would def do it. I'm learning to make the famed Opera cake in Paris next week. Can't wait to cook one for myself when I'm done!!

    http://thetastysidetolife.blogspot.com/

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  52. Happy birthday, Bridget!

    Your cake is so amazing. I love the simplicity of it. I am intrigued by the buttercream recipe. Definitely a must try!

    Just wanted you to know I find your site so inspiring! Here's to more baking adventures to come!

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  53. Wow - Amaretto butter cream - sigh! I'm making nutella buttercream tonight...it might be my downfall.

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  54. Oh wow - SIX sticks of butter?? I've made buttercream frosting before, but it was about half shortening, half butter. Never added eggs before either - sounds heavenly!! And yes, I do believe I just gained 10 lbs. reading this post.

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  55. Oh wow! That looks and sounds BEYOND!! I HAVE to make that buttercream...you did a great job!

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  56. happy happy birthday to you!
    your cake was beautiful & from the sounds of it delish!

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  57. okay I'm thinking I might need to make this to celebrate the last 6 weeks of pregnancy... is that crazy?!! seriously it looks amazing. and yes I've made my own birthday cake before. :)

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  58. Hmmm plump me up and smooth my wrinkles, I knew there was a silver lining. That cake looks delish.

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  59. That cake looks and sounds delicious! Happy Birthday!

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  60. This looks like te cake my Grandmother used to make. Can;t wait to try it. Happy Birthday.

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  61. It looks delicious, and it's beautiful!
    Happy Birthday!

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  62. Sounds great! I love this cookbook and I love to go to her Rather Sweet restaurant and bakery in Fredericksburg, TX, too. The grandkids love the frosted pink pig cookies. I personally love the Texas Big Hair lemon tarts on the cover. Everything she makes is spectacular. I like your idea of substituting ameretto for Jack. Sounds much better. I think I would try a whipped cream frosting on this one to keep it light.

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  63. Your buttercream looks to die for. And didn't you hear? Calories don't count on your birthday! :)

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  64. I'm just going to have to tell myself that this sounds terrible or I'll make some and eat it all to myself! eek!

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  65. Lovely lovely cake! Lucky you =)
    I made myself a pumpkin cheesecake for my birthday last year.

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  66. OMGoodness Sakes!
    I must SUBSCRIBE to your blog!
    I have been so bad here lately about not checking my blog roll!
    Check my EMAIL like every two minutes!
    So I need to subscribe so I won't miss out!
    Sorry I'm so late in responding to your BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sweet~Girl I am singing that song big~time!
    I will sing it the rest of the night in YOUR honor!
    Bridget that cake is MY kind of CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE it that you made/created your very own birthday cake!
    I am so proud of you!
    I have always always wanted to do that!!!!!!!
    I love the three layers!
    The more layers...the more MAGIC!!!!!!!
    It looks like it turned out perfect!
    I know you loved every bite!
    Did you get tip~sey off of that ICING?
    Hope so! ;o)
    I'm so glad you let me know about the buttercream smoothing out the wrinkles!
    That is the best thing I think I've heard in like 20 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I sure wish I could have been there to PARTY with you on your special day!
    I know it was HAPPY HAPPY!
    Cause you are that kind of girl!
    I wish you all the love~and sweet cheer~and MAGIC you send us every day from Bake at 350!
    You are made of STARS sweet~Bridget!
    I am so thankful to have you in my life!
    xoxoxoxooxoxxox
    Love the cake!
    And LOVE you!

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  67. Bridget that cake looks as amazing as it sounded when you told me about it!!.....looks like it was worth every pound!!

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  68. That cake looks mouth watering. I have been known to make my own birthday cake {or birthday cupcakes}. I usually make it with my boys.

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  69. Hola!!!
    Feliz cumpleaños, que seas muy feliz.....el pastel se ve delicioso y espectacular!!!
    FELICIDADES!
    GarEli

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  70. Happy Birthday Bridget! I have never baked a birthday cake for myself, but it's funny that you mentioned it. My birthday is in December (55!) and I decided at the beginning of the year that this birthday I am throwing myself a party! The works- cake, decorations etc, etc.! It's about time we paid some attention to ourselves!

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  71. Oh my Yum! Though you had me at Jack Daniels...I'm a sucker for bourbon in a sweet!

    I just made the Southern Comfort Apple Pie from her book; amazing too.

    Think your cake looks fine but did chuckle a bit...decorating cookies doesn't translate to cakes huh?

    Just noticed I can do Name/URL - thanks a bunch, really!

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  72. Happy belated birthday!
    ~ingrid

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  73. Happy, Happy Birthday!!

    Your cake looks amazing!

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  74. OMG!
    Happy [Belated] Birthday!

    I also made my own birthday cake for the first time this year. I chose black forest. Everything turned out well until the whipped cream part. It was a total flop! haha It was really hot that day and so maybe the weather affected the consistency of the cream. I then switched to marshmallow frosting for a stabler frosting. It turned out well. My family and guests loved it. :))

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  75. I made this cake for my mom's 60th birthday party w/ our immediate family. It turned out spectacular. I didn't make your version of the amaretto buttercream but I made a simpler version I found and it was all delicious. The cake was perfectly moist and delicious. Another change - I substituted vanilla extract for the vanilla paste since my local grocery store didn't carry it. I'm sure the paste would've been even more awesome. This cake is staying on my list of favorites. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  76. you are killing me. that. looks. so. good. xo

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  77. Ah, I saw this cake on your site last fall and I've been waiting....oh, so patiently!! Then, I almost didn't find it again! I'll be turning 40 next week and I'm just guessing, life as usual, no one will remember. SOOOO, this year I WILL be making my own cake, using this recipe!

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  78. Ok - I've made the icing 2x and it flopped both times!?!??!

    1x - exactly as written - it was yellow and runny....

    2x - I thought maybe the 4 egg yolks was a misprint and it should be whites, everything was going along great till I started adding the butter - it just never thickened up enough and the butter flavor was overpowering! And it still wasn't very white....

    So, do you have in tips, suggestions, ideas of where I might have gone wrong?

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  79. I think my backside just got wider by looking at the pictures! Yum!!!!!!!!!

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  80. Wait..... 6 STICKS of butter??? As in 1-1/2 lbs. of butter? Oh my goodness.

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  81. I LOVE baking my own cakes. I made my own this year. However, I didn't last year as I was newly pregnant and didn't like the looks of some of the ingredients. Baking your own cakes means you get what you want!

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  82. this cake looks wonderful, but im hesistant about the super rich frosting. do you have a go-to buttercream recipe you would use in lieu of this?

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  83. Hi! Sorry this is such a late comment - I bookmarked this a long time ago, and am now just coming back to it. This cake (and of course, the frosting) looks amazingly yummy! I was wondering what you thought about turning it into cupcakes? Do you think that would work? I love your blog!
    -Tiffani

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  84. Well Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Amaretto Buttercream sees to be delicious in taste . I would also wish you for your happy .It turned out spectacular. I didn't make your version of the amaretto buttercream but I made a simpler version I found and it was all delicious.

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  85. Hi

    What would be the measurements for the less buttery buttercream version.

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  86. Hi

    How about adding a print button.

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  87. I don't think I have ever seen this much butter in a frosting. I could never do that. It looks good though.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)
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