The Perfect Party Cake on page 250-252.
- Make sure the butter is VERY soft, the consistency of mayonnaise, before mixing.
- Have the egg white and buttermilk at room temperature too.
- If there is grated lemon zest in the batter, makes sure it is very finely grated as with a microplane, not a box grater – large pieces of zest can weigh down the batter and prevent full leavening from taking place.
- Use buttermilk instead of milk (the acidity promotes faster setting during baking and also weakens the gluten in the batter).
- Buy a fresh can of baking powder.
- Use bleached, not unbleached, all-purpose flour (If you’re using cake flour, make sure it is NOT self-rising).
- Test the layers for doneness with the point of a knife or a toothpick rather than relying on a timer to determine doneness – if the layers are over baked and a little dry, the texture could seem rubbery.
- Wrap and chill or freeze the layers as soon as they cool – leaving them uncovered at room temperature for a long time could also dry them out.