method is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Yellow Layer Cake (March/April 2008)
2 ½ cups (10 ounces) cake flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (6 ¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) granulated sugar (split ¾ cup and ¼ cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
6 large egg yolks plus 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
You will also need:
Butter and flour for pans
Two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9x13 inch sheet cake pan
Stand Mixer with bowl and whisk attachment
4-cup liquid measuring cup
2 Extra medium sized bowls
Heat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour cake pan(s).
Melt butter in the 4-cup liquid measuring cup (either on the stove top if it is metal or in the microwave if it is glass or plastic) and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, ¾ cup of granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
To the melted & cooled butter, add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, orange extract and egg yolks. Whisk together.
In clean bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until foamy. With machine running, gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar & continue to beat until stiff peaks just form. Transfer to an extra bowl and set aside.
Add flour mixture to the same stand mixer bowl (now empty of the egg whites) with whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down whisk and bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated (10-15 seconds).
Using spatula/spoonula, stir 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain.
Pour batter in to pan(s) and lightly tap pan(s) on the counter a couple of times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
Bake at 350º F; 20-22 minutes for two 9-inch round pans or 32-35 minutes for one 9x13 sheet cake pan or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen it. Turn cake out onto a wire rack then invert to another wire rack to cool completely.
Topped with Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing:
As a Pumpkin Cake Truffle: