It was very overcast, drizzly and humid when I made this ~ plus I didn't add as much powdered sugar to the frosting as I probably should have, so it didn't hold it's shape very well. But we like a softer frosting (even if it isn't as "pretty").
Very VANILLA LAYER CAKE
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar…………………………………....6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TB pure vanilla extract…………………..3-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder…………………...1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sour cream OR 1-1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt (NOT low/non-fat)
Spray two 9” ~or~ 3 8" cake pans with baking spray. Line bottoms of the pans with 2 (or 3) cut-out circles of parchment paper, and spray them (non-stick spray with flour).
Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating continually. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add vanilla extract and combine well.
Sift (or whisk together) flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 parts, alternating with sour cream (flour mixture first and last, so 3 additions of flour mixture to 2 additions of sour cream).
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees until cake tops are pale golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Do not overbake.
Cool cakes for 5-10 minutes; then loosen sides gently with a spatula, remove from pans and invert on cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.
Very VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
8 TB (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
About 4 cups powdered sugar…………………Pinch salt
1 TB pure vanilla extract ………………………. 4-5 TB milk (I used unsweetened VANILLA almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla powder (optional) ~ can be found by coffee supplies or at a coffee store
NOTE: If you're making 3 8" layers, you may want to make 1-1/2x the frosting recipe (12 TB butter ~ 6 cups sugar ~ 1-1/2 TB vanilla ~ 6-8 TB milk)
Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Add about 1 cup powdered sugar plus salt and beat well. Mix in vanilla and another cup of sugar. The frosting will be thick, so beat in 1-2 tablespoons of milk to make it creamy. Add remaining sugar along with vanilla powder, if you have it, and another 2 TB milk, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The frosting should be creamy, but slightly stiff. (Add a little more milk if necessary). Beat at high speed until fluffy.
Frost the cake immediately or keep frosting covered until ready to use. You can refrigerate this frosting for a couple of weeks but it won’t be as fluffy; allow it to sit at a cool room temperature before using.
(1) I always put a dab of frosting on the platter, so the cake doesn't slide around.
(2) My grandmother taught me to put strips of waxed paper under the bottom layer before frosting, to keep the platter clean. Then, when the frosting hardens, gently slide the waxed paper strips out.