2 cups sugar
3 cups self-rising flour*, sifted
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
*An easy substitute for self-rising flour is to add 1-1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of flour. That's what I did.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Here's how! On parchment paper, trace around the bottom of each pan and trim just inside the line. Spray pan with cooking spray, then line with trimmed parchment. Spray again, making sure to coat entire pan. You can smooth it out with a pastry brush if you want. Then sprinkle with flour, tapping the edge of the pan with the heel of one hand as you rotate the pan with the other. This ensures that the flour is evenly distributed over the entire surface. Don't skip this step. You'll be sorry - trust me!
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. This will take a few minutes. Scrape the bowl and continue mixing.
- Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's all getting mixed in and fluffy.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape.
- Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
- Add vanilla and butter flavoring and continue to beat until just mixed.
- Split the batter between the two pans, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run knife along edge of pan and invert cakes onto cooling racks lined with plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour prior to decorating, overnight would be good, too. Frozen cakes are MUCH easier to cut and decorate.