Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Tale of Two Cakes - Part 1

As I was deliberating what to make for Aiden's first birthday cake, I decided that white cake and white frosting would fit the bill. I had run across this cake recipe and this frosting recipe and was waiting for an excuse to give them a whirl - what better excuse than a birthday?

The cake recipe has "perfect" in the title, and while it was good, I think it would have been better if I had used cake flour (as the recipe calls for) instead of all-purpose which was all I had on hand; it was a little denser than I typically like. I like a dense chocolate cake, but I like my yellow and white cakes nice and light. Soon, I think I'm going to experiment on my own with white and yellow cakes . . . I've been left a little underwhelmed with every scratch recipe I've tried so far. Anyway, the cake was good, and the frosting was really fun and yummy, too. You use some Funfetti cake mix in the frosting recipe, and it adds a really yummy flavor! I'll warn you though, with dry cake mix added, the texture of the frosting isn't as smooth as it normally would be - it didn't bother me at all, but I thought I should give you fair warning in case you're a stickler for smooth-ness. :)

*Don't mind the absolutely horrid letters on the cake - I despise doing letters because I can never get them to turn out nicely. And in this instance, my stubbornness is to blame. I used a round tip for the letters, but with sprinkles in the frosting the tip ended up being too small so it kept getting plugged . . . and in my stubbornness I refused to go to the effort of filling a different bag, etc., etc., and the result was not good. Oh well, lucky for me I care more about taste than looks . . . except I'm still annoyed so I guess I'll have to try to perfect that particular decorating technique.

Perfect Vanilla Cake 
2 1/2 c. flour (I do recommend cake flour)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and sugar for 1 minute, then add vanilla and oil and beat again.
4. With mixer running, add half the flour mixture, then half the milk, the rest of the flour mixture, then the last of the milk. Mix until just combined.
5. Scrape down the bowl, and divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 25-29 minutes, or until lightly browned and the top springs back when pressed lightly.
6. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cake Batter Buttercream
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. Funfetti cake mix
4 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk
1. Beat butter and shortening until thoroughly combined.
2. Stir in cake mix, powdered sugar, and milk until combined. Scrape down bowl, then beat on med-high for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.

On a Side Note: A friend of the family (a young woman named Ruth who went to grade school with my younger sister), was 28 weeks pregnant with her first baby when they discovered she has stomach cancer. She was induced and delivered a 2 lb. little boy yesterday so she can receive cancer treatment as soon as possible. Baby John is in the NICU at Mayo, and is doing well so far. Please keep Ruth, her husband, and their new little baby in your prayers. If you would like to donate to help them with expenses, you can do so at this website: I'm sure they'll need all the prayers and support they can get!

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