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1-2-3-4 What Are We Baking For?

Today's recipe is Grandma's Buttermilk Yellow Cake, a fantastic example of the classic "1-2-3-4 Cake". A 1-2-3-4 Cake is a simple set of ingredients - one cup of shortening, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour and four eggs. Our recipe uses mace, which is an old-fashioned baking spice, and buttermilk. The best thing about this recipe, beyond it's simplicity, is you can pour the batter into muffin tins to make cupcakes. You can also bake it as a sheet cake, frost it and take it to work to share. The 3-layer cake version is the classic version. An eye-popping birthday cake!

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Grandma's Buttermilk Yellow Cake

You won't find a better from-scratch, yellow cake recipe than this. It is also known as the One-Two-Three-Four Cake. Take a look at the ingredients, and you'll see why.

  • 1 cup Crisco or other good shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans, a 10-inch tube pan, muffin tins or an 11x17-inch sheet cake pan.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mace. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • For cake pans: Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  • Makes 12 servings.

In the above photo for this cake, we also used Pineapple Filling, a delicious addition to this cake, and the always dependable, always delicious Cream Cheese Frosting.

For Tube Pan: Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check at 1 hour with wooden pick or cake tester. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to finish cooling.

For Cupcakes: Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes in greased muffin tins or paper liners in muffin tins, filling half full. Makes approximately two and a half dozen cupcakes.

For Sheet Cake: Pour into greased and floured 17x11-1/2x2-1/4-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

The serving dishes in our photograph are Fiesta dinnerware.

Kitchen tools you'll need: 8-inch or 9-inch Cake Pans or Bundt cake pan or Muffin Tins, Electric Mixer, Mixing Bowls, Rubber Spatula, Sifter, Wire Cooling Racks

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