As just one person, it's not often reasonable to bake a cake UNLESS it's a small batch recipe!
This Cake Stand is from etúHome - the one I have is out of stock but they have some others with wooden tops that I love as well!
This recipe is perfect for a small 6 inch cake pan with a 2 inch wall.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, don't worry if you don't have it on hand)
3/4 cup cake flour
1 pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon
1/4 cup crushed pecans
For the vanilla buttercream recipe:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
extra crushed pecans for decorating (not icing)
Preheat the oven to 350, and spray a 6" round cake pan with 2" sides with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
In a medium-size bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Beat well, about 1-2 minutes.
Mix the milk and lemon in a small bowl (its a small buttermilk substitute)
Add the egg almond extract and vanilla, and beat until well-combined, about 15 seconds.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add half of the this to the batter and beat for just a few seconds before stirring in half of the milk and lemon. Continue beating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat, and then stir in the remaining milk and pecans.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake on a small sheet pan for 36-39 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let the cake cool to room temp them carefully remove it from the pan, pulling away the parchment paper once it has cooled.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream, and beat until light and fluffy. If the mixture seems too stiff, add a splash more heavy cream. Add the cinnamon and mix again.
I don't have strong instructions for frosting the cake - I use a baking spatula and just gently slap it on there - frosting cakes is not my strong suit. Feel free to add a lay & then pipe some fun flowers or swirls on top. I sprinkled some extra crushed pecans on top.