This was my Mother-in-law's recipe and I just jazzed it up a bit. If you follow the directions and don't overbeat it, it will come out perfect every time. This is a good cake to serve on a napkin. It holds it shape and doesn't fall apart. My favorite fluffy chocolate frosting for this cake is in the McCall's Red Cookbook pg 157 from 1963. I've listed it in this group in a separate recipe as Baba's Fluffy Chocolate Frosting.
You can just grease and flour your pan or do what I do to make it so easy to release from the pan. I cut a piece of either waxed paper or pastry paper and put in on the bottom of the pan. To get it to fit, just turn the pan upside down and lay your paper over it and tear it to fit the width of the pan. While holding the paper in place over the bottom of the pan, take a sharp pointed knife and slice the hole, then use your kitchen shears to cut the outer edge around the pan.
Grease and flour the inside of the pan with the paper in place.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
I like to have my ingredients in bowls or whatever you prefer ready to pour one after the other, so that being said...mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in one bowl but don't mix in the sugar.
You can either heat the milk with the butter in it on your stove top in a small saucepan or in the microwave in a glass 2 cup measuring cup. Never heat anything in the microwave in plastic...toxins releases into your food. I use my microwave for about 2 minutes and 10 seconds...only until milk is hot enough to melt the butter. Do not scald the milk or again, you'll have a dry, straw textured cake.
With electric mixer, beat the 4 eggs until a bit bubbly..about a minute. Don't overbeat or the cake will be dry and straw like in texture instead of firm and could drop after removing from oven. The reason for the room temp eggs is that they make the cake rise better if they're not cold. Remember that tip for all your baking.
Add the sugar, mix until blended on medium speed.
Add the vanilla or vanillas and mix well on medium speed. The butter nut is the jazz I talked about. You could just as easily use lemon or orange flavorings instead of vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and beat well on medium speed until it makes a nice looking batter. Don't overbeat. Adding too much air during beating will make it fall later.
Pour into your tube pan and place in center of oven. Bake 45-48 minutes. The top will be golden and your toothpick will come out clean when inserted.
Take a long thin knife and run it around the outer edge of the pan and the inner edge by the tube. Let cake rest for about 5 minutes before inverting and removing from pan. I like the way the top looks with either powdered sugar or a chocolate glaze or frosting, so I use my oven mits so I don't get burned to removed the cake from the pan. I just invert the pan on one hand as I quickly pull the pan off the cake. While holding it in my hand, I quickly remove the paper from the bottom of the cake and put my plate on the bottom and turn the cake right side up on the plate. Then be sure to put that plate with the hot cake on a cooling rack so the bottom doesn't get gummy.