A nice recipe for those of us who are white cake fans and need to have a basic recipe for a sheet cake, which, after icing, is served directly from the pan.  Good cake to take to a potluck, etc.

1-2-3-4 CAKE

(adapted from an article in "The Washington Post,” March 9, 1994)

3 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon salt
pound sweet (unsalted) butter, softened         
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk 

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
Lightly butter and flour a 13x9x2-inch cake pan.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt;  resift twice.
Cream the butter in a large bowl for 5 minutes with an electric mixer at moderate speed.  Gradually add the granulated sugar in 5 or 6 additions, beating about a minute or so after each portion is added. The  mixture should look pale and finely granular.  Add  the vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  As you mix the batter, be sure to scrape  down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
On low speed, alternately add the sifted ingredients in 3 additions with the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Again, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to maintain an even texture.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cake in the pre-heated 375 F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake barely begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.  The top will be golden-colored.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.Ice the cake and let stand at least an hour to firm up the frosting.
Serve the cake cut directly from the pan.


*Alternatively, let the cake cook about fifteen minutes on a rack, then place a serving platter or board over the top, flip over and remove the cake from the pan.  Ice when cool.

This recipe has been kitchen tested.

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