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FAULT LINE CAKE RECIPE

yield: 1 three-layer, 8-inch cake
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Ingredients

For the Yellow Cake

  • 3 cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces or 496 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (3.75 ounces or 106 grams) light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) canola oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Nutella Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups (10.5 ounces or 298 grams) granulated sugar
  • cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) egg whites, from about 5 to 6 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups (16 ounces or 454 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup (2.5 ounces or 71 grams) Nutella

Instructions

For the Yellow Cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment, too.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time, adding the next egg only after the previous one has been fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the oil, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla, and beat until the mixture is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans; if using a digital scale to measure out layers, note that this recipe makes around 66.5 ounces of batter—pour 22.15 ounces of batter into each cake pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Nutella Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar in the top pan of a double boiler (or, make a homemade version by placing a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan filled with 2 to 3 inches of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium-high heat, whisking intermittently, until the mixture registers 160°F on a candy thermometer.
  • Once the mixture reaches 160°F, immediately pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has turned into a meringue that holds medium-stiff peaks. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should be at room temperature and no residual heat should be escaping the meringue out of the top of the bowl. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the whisk and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few cubes at a time. Once incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the paddle and bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on medium-low, add the Nutella. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on medium-high until the frosting is creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.