Silver Cake is classically elegant. This version of Silver Cake boarders on the texture of angel food cake. Light, airy, and oh-so fluffy, this delicate cake has a decorative finish of metallic silver coating.
For the past month it’s been a quest of mine to find THE Silver Cake. It is hard to find that one-and-only cake I’ll use til death-do-us-part, but I tried.
With the internet, Pinterest, and tons and cookbooks, I keep forgetting about the 3 thumb drives I have filled with PDFs and scans of cookbooks and recipes. In one of these forgotten thumb drives, I came upon this lovely Silver Cake recipe. Resourced from Duncan Hines’ Dessert Cookbook, I wanted to find a standard cake recipe.
Mr. Hines’ cookbook delivered with this wonderful cake called Supreme White Cake. In this case I opted to tinker with the recipe and create a silver themed Silver Cake.
Duncan Hines is not some fictional character like Aunt Jemima or Betty Crocker. He was a real person and was not associated with the cake mixes we know today. During the 20th century, Duncan Hines was a renowned food critic, writing a series of books and guides discussing where to eat good food. He also published several cookbooks, collections of recipes he got from restaurateurs. Using his name to sell cake mixes was a game of association. Duncan Hines stood for classic food that was timelessly delicious, no matter what decade it was.
This Silver Cake is a perfect representation of Duncan Hines’ standards of good food. Simple classic flavors of vanilla are just right. It’s the texture that’s the star of the show.
The Silver Cake is extremely light. Despite the Silver Cake being a ‘standard’ cake with beaten egg whites folded in, when baked, this cake takes on the structure of angel food cake. Traditionally, a 7-minute frosting coats a classic fluffy cake like this Silver Cake. If I used such a frosting, I wouldn’t get a good layer cake appearance nor would a 7-minute frosting give me the structure I needed for stacking. I went into a default mode and used a standard cream cheese frosting. Tangy and not overly sweet the cream cheese frosting could hold up both the layers and stand up to the silver spray.
I love the way some of these photos came out. Using a sheet of Plexiglas gives a get reflective surface. Putting different colored papers underneath the Plexiglas results in a coordinated themed setting.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I enjoyed making it!
- 8 egg whites
- 3 ½ cups cake flour, sifted then measured
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Silver Spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until very stiff and dry. Place into a separate bowl.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt 2 to 3 times, set aside.
- Clean the bowl of the stand mixer and cream the butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the speed to the lowest setting and add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat in the vanilla bean paste, give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula, making sure nothing is suck to the bottom of the bowl.
- Fold the stiff egg whites into the batter. Divide among the 3 cake pans, tapping the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes, rotating halfway. When a toothpick is inserted, a few moist crumbs cling to the tooth pick. Bang the cake pans on the counter to prevent the cakes from shrinking. Let them cool completely.
- Put the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on a medium-high speed until pale in color and lump free. Add the vanilla and then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer's speed on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat again on a medium-high speed for a final 1 to 2 minutes.
- If the cakes are domes, use a serrated knife to level off the tops. Frosting each layer with a generous portion of frosting. Do an initial crumb coat, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Do a final coat, use a bench scraper to get a smooth and even finish. Spray the cake with color mist.