Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans with shortening. Likewise, spray or butter and flour one 9 X 13 - inch baking pan, or prepare 24-30 cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric stand mixer or a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and scrape once more.
Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time,alternating with buttermilk until all is combined. Do not over mix batter, just enough to remove all lumps.
Pour yellow cake batter into prepared pans and rap the pans on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
Bake round cake layers at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, 9 X 13 inch pan for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20 - 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 9 X 13 - inch cake and cupcakes completely on wire racks before frosting or freezing. Cool round layers 10 minutes before loosening, then carefully turn out yellow cake layers onto a sugar dusted piece of parchment paper, and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack.
Fill and frost yellow cake layers with white buttercream frosting or chocolate icing. If using a chocolate ganache recipe which I have done please look below for that version.
Makes one 9 inch double layer cake that serves 12-14, one 9 X 13 inch yellow cake that serves 15-20, or 24-30 yellow cupcakes.
Vanilla Custard Pastry Cream Recipe
Scald milk, being careful not to boil, set aside while whipping the yolks and sugar.
In a medium size bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together with mixer until pale and thick.
Add white flour and continue whisking.
Very slowly, beat hot milk into eggs being careful not to curdle. Pour back into pan and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low.
Cook on low for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in butter and vanilla.
Turn off heat. Let cool, placing plastic wrap on top and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Makes plenty to fill a Boston Cream Pie. Or you may use a Bismark tip to fill 24 cupcakes.
How To Make Chocolate Ganache
Over low heat, heat the chocolate & butter until melted.
Remove from heat and stir in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.
Stir in the water 1 tsp. at a time until the glaze is of desired consistency.
Chill to spread or pipe. The chocolate ganache will firm up the cooler or spread onto cake and smooth over the sides.