1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease and lightly flour three 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Divide batter among the cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove pans and cool completely on wire rack.
If you're making cupcakes, line 2 12-cup muffins tins with cupcake papers. Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters full. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20-22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on a rack before icing.
When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake. Makes 1 three-layer 9-inch cake or 24 cupcakes.
Traditional Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may very well not need all of the sugar). If desired, add a few drops of food colouring and mix thoroughly. Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled. Can store in and airtight container up to 3 days. This yields icing for 1 two- or three-layer 9-inch cake or 24 cupcakes.
Source: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook