Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross
16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

You'll find potato starch on the baking aisle at most of your local supermarkets and health-food stores. Also known as potato flour, it helps ensure that this yellow butter cake will have a fine crumb and moist texture. This recipe can easily be adapted for cupcakes. Use two tablespoons vanilla meringue frosting to top each one.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, line bottoms of 2 (9-inch) cake pans with parchment paper; coat pans lightly with cooking spray. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Weigh or lightly spoon potato starch into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, potato starch, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.

Step 3

Place 1 3/4 cups sugar and 10 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine milk and half-and-half. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Fold in bourbon and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 25 minutes on wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Step 4

To prepare frosting, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, without stirring, or until candy thermometer registers 250°. Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and dash of salt in a large bowl. Using clean, dry beaters, beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg white mixture, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; continue beating until egg white mixture cools (about 12 minutes). Beat 1/4 cup butter until light and fluffy; stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in 1 cup egg white mixture. Fold butter mixture into remaining egg white mixture, stirring until smooth.

Step 5

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

Step 6

Buttery Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Meringue Frosting: Lightly coat 24 muffin cups with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffins cups; bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Step 7

Cut frosting recipe in half, using 3 egg whites and omitting butter and vanilla. Fold 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa into cooled meringue mixture, and top each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons frosting. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa evenly over cupcakes, if desired. Yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake).

Step 8

CALORIES 177 (31% from fat); FAT 1g (sat 6g, mono 7g, poly 3g); PROTEIN 6g; CARB 8g; FIBER 5g; CHOL 41mg; IRON 7mg; SODIUM 148mg; CALC 40mg

Ratings & Reviews

TerriW's Review

April 20, 2014

Kvavava's Review

December 19, 2013

portland's Review

November 03, 2011
this cake was excellent. the taste is wonderful and the texture fine and moist.

wcgirl's Review

July 24, 2010
This icing is an italian meringue buttercream. Warren Brown demos how to make it on youtube I think? I can't remember where I saw it, but you can google it and find it. The reason you may have been unsuccessful is because he doesn't use the method listed to mix it. And a stand mixer is much MUCH better to use. I would say essential actually. So is the candy thermometer. This buttercream is fabulous once mastered. Don't give up!

polanca's Review

June 20, 2010
THIS CAKE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!Not easy to do,but worth it.CAUTION:Before baking read the directions first.Its tricky.Perfect for holidays.

Drosera's Review

March 20, 2010
This was outstanding. Some cooking tips to help yours turn out. 1) Don't substitute ingredients...these light cake recipes are not very forgiving. I did use a different filling with fine results. 2) If you're using a hand mixer, double your mixing times. 3) Make sure you whip the butter all the way to light (should look ivory). With a stand mixer this took me about 6 minutes or so. 4) When you're pouring the hot syrup over the egg whites, you have to keep beating them.

kidi0001's Review

March 09, 2009
We havent eaten the cake yet, though it appears to have turned out - but I am totally irritated with the results of the frosting. While pouring a thin stream of the sugar mixture in the egg whites, half of it hardened onto the pot and even after warming again, it wasnt enough to keep the frosting stiff. After adding the butter/egg mix to the frosting, I pretty much had egg white soup.

ecugirll's Review

March 03, 2009
I have made this recipe twice - once as cupcakes and the second as a cake. I have not made the icing yet. The cake is excellent - very tasty. It is a bit on the flat side, but it's tastes so yummy, I didn't really care. I have yet to find the potato starch, so I've just used regular flour. The second time I made it I had all kinds of substitutions - I used only milk (no half and half) and I ran out of sugar, so I used half brown sugar. Still was a great cake and my husband and friends enjoy it!

newyawk2000's Review

January 25, 2009
I did not make the cake but I made the frosting. It absolutely did not come out. I heated the sugar to 250 degrees with a candy thermometer but when I added it to the egg white mixture most of it solidified at the bottom of the bowl. The frosting never was thick enough to spread. I tried to save it by thickening it with two sticks of butter but that didn't do it enough. I also added powdered sugar which didn't thicken it enough either. A total loss.

anncfd's Review

November 18, 2008
This recipe was very time consuming. As with the other review, my cakes were kind of flat and I did not wait for the cakes to cool enough when applying the icing, so it slid off the sides! However, it was really good. I made it for my husband's birthday party and people liked it. A bit sweet. I would like to try it again, maybe lay off some of the sugar and be a bit more patient before icing!