by David Fisco
22 July 2012
Word count: 576
Expanding on my published notes on using the "fat jacket" technique to improve white cake, I've developed this recipe that produces a soft and airy cake, enriched by the addition of cream. This cake is good for the summer months when you want something that's not too heavy but still has a rich texture. Much of the fat in this cake comes from canola oil which makes it stand up well to frequent trips in and out of the refrigerator. To finish the cake, you could ice it with whipped cream, or top it with fruit. When I was testing this recipe, I iced it with an Italian buttercream, but that proved too heavy. It requires a light icing or no icing at all.

350 grams all-purpose, bleached flour
25 grams cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
.5 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup milk at room temperature
1.5 teaspoons almond extract
1.5 cups (288 g) minimally-processed sugar (I use Florida Crystals.)
.5 teaspoon cream of tartar
.5 cups (96 g) table sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Equipment needed

  • 12"x12" sheet cake pan
  • oven mitts
  • convection oven
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup
  • digital scale
  • stand or hand mixer with bowl
  • fork
  • hand whisk
  • flour sifter
  • mixing bowl
  • very large bowl for folding
  • spatula for folding
  • offset spatula
  • toothpicks
  • cooling rack
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit . Generously spray a 12x12" sheet cake pan with baking spray.

To mix the dry ingredients and aerate the flour, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt five times, finishing in a mixing bowl. Pour the canola oil on top of this dry mixture. Using a fork, slowly mix the canola oil into the dry ingredients until the dry ingredients are coated completely . Add 4 egg yolks, the milk, almond extract and minimally-processed sugar to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly with a hand whisk. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the 4 egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, then slowly pour in the table sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites are glossy and at the firm peak stage, but not dried out. Move the egg whites into a very large bowl without deflating them.

Clean your mixing equipment to remove all traces of egg. On medium-high speed whip the cream. Move the whipped cream into the very large bowl with the egg whites and fold them together no more than 5 times. We don't need to combine them completely as we will be doing more folding.

Take about a 1/4 cup of the egg whites and whipped cream and stir it into the oil-and-flour mixture. Pour the oil-and-flour mixture into the egg whites and whipped cream, a third of the batter at a time, folding after each addition to mix the batter. Be careful not to deflate the mixture.

When everything is folded together, pour the mixture into the sheet pan and even with an offset spatula. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and begin checking the cake after 25 minutes. When done, the cake should spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Mine took 33 minutes.

Allow it to sit in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a rack.