This cake gets its name from the ingredient quantities: 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs. Make this cake a few times and you won't need to look at the recipe!
The cake can be baked in layers or in a Bundt cake pan or tube cake pan.
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- Glaze (Optional, for Bundt Cake or Tube Cake):
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
Prepare the Cake
- Butter and flour a Bundt cake or (10-inch) tube cake pan or two 9-inch round cake pans (or three 8-inch round cake pans).
- Heat the oven to 350° F for Bundt or tube pan, or 375° F for layers.
- Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder; set aside.
- Cream the 1 cup of butter until light. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar; continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the sifted flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until the batter is smooth; do not overbeat.
- Turn into the prepared pan(s).
- Bake a tube or Bundt cake at 350° F for about 55 minutes to 1 hour, ot until the cake bounces back when touched lightly with a finger. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then carefully remove to cool on a rack.
- Bake layers at 375° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched lightly with a finger.
Make the Glaze
- For a Bundt or tube cake glaze, combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, 2 tablespoons of milk or cream, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth; add more milk, as needed, for drizzling over the cake.
- If you made a layer cake, use your favorite frosting.
- Orange Cake - Use orange juice in place of the milk and add 3 tablespoons of grated orange zest along with the vanilla. Glaze or frost as desired. This orange frosting would work well.
- Bourbon Cake - Make the Orange Cake variation in a Bundt or tube cake pan. In a saucepan combine 4 tablespoons of butter with 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of bourbon. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Gradually brush over the cake as soon as it is removed to the cooling rack.
- Lemon Cake - Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest with vanilla or lemon extract. In a saucepan combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest. Brush over the hot cake a little at a time until it is all used.