Golden Vanilla Cake

This rich and decadent cake is not for the faint of heart. Filled with pastry cream and covered in a rich buttercream, it is a bite of deliciousness. The cake is moist and crumbly and the vanilla flavor shines through in every bite.

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2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Golden Crisco
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup milk

Ingredients – Pastry Cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup 35% cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients – Frosting
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray two round 8” pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to blend. Cream the shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add one quarter of the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, brush down the sides. Add one quarter of the milk and blend in. Continue to alternate between the dry ingredients and milk until all are combined. Spread the batter evenly into the two pans and bake for 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

While the cake is baking, prepare the pastry cream. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk together the milk and egg yolks in a measuring cup. Add the egg mixture along with the butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil. While whisking, add the sugar and the cornstarch and stir continuously until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and ready to assemble (note: the pastry cream can be made ahead of time and stored for up to 2 days).

Prepare the frosting by beating the softened butter and vanilla. Add the confectioners sugar, beating at low speed to avoid the sugar going everywhere. Once incorporated, change the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until doubled in size. Add the condensed milk and beat until fully blended in.

To assemble the cake, place the one cake bottom side up onto a serving plate. Cover the top with the pastry cream. Place the second cake (bottom side up) on top of the pastry cream. Using a tablespoon, drop icing on the cake all around the top edges. Use a pastry knife to spread the icing and crumb coat the cake. Add additional icing if needed. Once the entire cake is covered, place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour to allow the coating to set. Remove from the refrigerator and frost a second layer onto the cake. Reserve some of the icing in a piping bag for decoration on top and at the bottom. Finish with the toasted almonds on the top center.

Makes one 8” layer cake.

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