Rage Baking With My Two Mothers




For the Cake

  • Cooking spray (optional)
  • 2½ cups (300 grams) cake flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, but on the firm side
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup light cream
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Gel food coloring (optional)

For the Fruit Frosting

  • 1 ounce freeze-dried fruit, such as raspberries
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Decorating gel, for writing


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a couple of inches of parchment over-hanging the sides. Lightly butter the parchment and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess, or mist it with cooking spray.

Make the cake: In a large food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse 4 or 5 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 5 to 7 times, until the flour turns sandy with some pieces of butter still visible. (Alternatively, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed until combined. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until powdery.)

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. With the food processor running (or with the stand mixer on medium speed), pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and process until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use the overhanging parchment to lift the cake from the pan and set it on the rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the vanilla frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar and light cream, then add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat until light and fluffy. Tint part or all of the frosting with a few drops of food coloring, if desired.

And/or make the fruit frosting: Pulse the freeze-dried fruit to a powder in the food processor. Add the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar and process until combined and thickened, about 1 minute.

Trim the edges of the cake, if uneven. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over the top. Decorate as desired. Use gel frosting to write a Rage Baking message that speaks to you!


Katherine Alford ran a New York Times 4-star kitchen, has been a Greenmarket Manager and instructor and director of Peter Kump’s Cooking School and spent the last twenty years at the Food Network—ultimately, as the Senior Vice President of Culinary, where she led the culinary team for TV, digital and print. She ran the test kitchen that created multiple cookbooks that were IACP finalists, Food & Wine Best of the Best and New York Times bestsellers and had a column in Food Network Magazine. She is the co-author with Kathy Gunst of "Rage Baking."