Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and
flour a 10-inch tube pan or other 12-cup decorative tube pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper.
Using an electric mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, mix the butter
at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
Maintaining the same speed, add the
sugar in a steady stream. When all the sugar has been added, stop the machine and
scrape the mixture clinging to the sides of the bowl into the center of the bowl.
Continue to mix at the same speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is very
light in color and fluffy.
With the mixer still on medium speed, pour in the eggs, cautiously at first,
tablespoon by tablespoon. If at any time the mixture appears watery or shiny, stop
the flow of eggs and increase the speed until a smooth, silken appearance returns.
Then decrease the speed to medium and resume adding eggs.
Continue to mix, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
When the mixture looks fluffy, white and increased in volume (adding the eggs
and incorporating them into the mixture takes 3 to 4 minutes), reduce the mixer
speed to low.
Add the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the milk in
3 additions. Scrape the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth after each
Stir in the vanilla extract at the end.
Spoon the batter into the pan
and spread it level.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Invert the cake onto a rack
and cool completely before slicing thinly with a serrated knife.