Category Archives: Cakes

Blizzard Baking

For some reason, being snowed in and off of school/work for two days gave me the urge to bake. Like, seriously bake. Actually, it took about an hour of being snowed in for the desire to hit, but a day and a half to decide what to make and to act on it. As anyone who followed on Facebook knows, I faced a serious baking dilemma: no eggs. Yep, none. No egg substitute, liquid or powdered. Nada. Hmmm…how bad did I REALLY want to bake? Well, apparently bad enough. I decided to experiment and go for it…with a1956 Betty Crocker cake recipe. So, with no further ado, here it is:

Betty Crocker’s Burnt Sugar Cake (with Burnt Sugar Frosting)

Cake Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water + extra
  • 2 1/4 Cups Softasilk floud
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 shortening, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Grease and flour 2-8″ or 9″ pans (or one 9″x13″ pan). Preheat the oven to 350F.

Caramelize the 1/2 cup sugar, melting over low heat until medium brown (shaking pan to keep from burning). Remove from heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup boiling water (be careful Рwill splatter!). Return to head and stir until all lumps are dissolved. Remove from heat and measure; add enough water for a total of 1 cup of carmel-water mixture.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and 2/3 cup of the cooled carmel-water mixture. Beat 2 minutes. Add the rest of the caramel-water mixture, eggs, and optional vanilla. Beat 2 more minutes. Pour into prepared pans and place in hot oven. Cook the cakes for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your pan.

Frosting Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Softasilk flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • +/- 3 TBSP water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Caramelize the sugar (same as cake) and add 1/4 cup boiling water, stirring vigorously. Set aside. (Heat further if you need to dissolve any lumps)

Melt 1/2 cup shortening in saucepan. Add 2 1/2 TBSP Softasilk flour and 1/4 tsp salt; stir. Slowly stir carmel-water mixture into shortening mixture. Return to heat and boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Stir in (alternately) 3 cups confectioner’s sugar and about 3 TBSP water. Put in bowl of cold water and continue beating until spreadable consistency. Stir in vanilla.

    How I Changed It Up:

    • First off, I halved the cake recipe. We didn’t need that much cake for just the two of us, not really (we would have eaten it…but the fact remains that we didn’t need it!) Quite the adventure in math (1/6 Cup = how much? (2 TBSP + 2 tsp, in case you’re curious))
    • Second, as previously mentioned, NO EGGS! I did some research online and came across a lot of different options. I ended up going with a cornstarch water combo to make up for my lack of eggs. (1 TSBP cornstarch + 3 TBSP water)
    • Third, since I halved the recipe, I used two 6″ round cake pans. These are my new favorite! I pretty much never need to make full-size cakes so I finally made the investment in these. I used them earlier on the strawberry birthday cake as well.
    • Fourth, I added a LOT more water to the frosting recipe. It was WAY too difficult to spread. Actually, it was practically to thick to beat with my electric hand mixer, let alone spread with a knife.

    Overall, it tasted pretty good. I actually quite enjoyed the cake. The frosting was a bit…strong for me. It complimented the cake well, but it tasted just a tad too…burnt. I had some difficulty with the caramelization of the sugar (I burned it a bit too much). Woops. If it was just a little more mild, I probably would have thoroughly enjoyed it. The hubby enjoyed it, but also agreed that the frosting was a bit much. I am glad that I opted not to frost the sides of the cake.

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      Hubby’s Birthday Cake

      So, anyone who knows my husband is well aware that his favorite type of cake is strawberry. Yes, pink, girly strawberry cake. And I love him for it. So…for his birthday, I made it my mission to make a strawberry cake from scratch (how hard can it be?) and to hunt down a good “white wedding frosting” for it (because, again, his favorite type).

      After sifting through many, many strawberry cake recipes that involved strawberry jello, strawberry extract, and red food coloring, I finally cake across a recipe on a food blog that caught my eye. No strawberry jello. No extract. No food coloring. Just strawberries. (In case you’re wondering it is from the blog “Confections of a Foodie Bride” here) The comments on the post all sounded good so I decided to give it a shot. The batter was pretty pink color and had a definite strawberry flavor to it. Now, one thing that I did change a little was the strawberries. The strawberry puree in the original was no sugar added organic frozen. Well, we bought the sugar added HyVee brand….because it was the cheapest! *duh*

      Anyway, moving on to the frosting, I know how to make basic buttercream (thanks to my cake decorating for beginning Wilton class). However, it’s never “quite right.” So, I commenced again with searching to find a worthwhile recipe. The one I ended up settling on was from the website/blog Dine & Dish. It looked simple (read: EASY) and not THAT much different that what I normally. The only differences were milk instead of water and half butter/half shortening instead of all shortening. They taught us that this was an option in class…but then your frosting is, well, perishable.

      The frosting turned out pretty well. I was quite happy with it (and so was the boy). I took a little bit of the frosting and added a bit of powdered sugar and some of the juice drained off the strawberries and made a thinner strawberry frosting for between the layers.

      Well, the only real problem I encountered while making the cake was….the middle. I wanted to make the center section just a tad thicker, so when I made my dam with the white frosting, I doubled it up (something they taught us that we could do in class). The problem: my white wasn’t thick enough to support this. I definitely needed to make a thicker frosting and maybe double the width of the dam as well. Perhaps needless to say, the cake did a fair amount of sliding as I attempted to frost the cake.

      In the end, I couldn’t get the frosting as smooth as I like (because of the sliding)…so I covered it with sugar sprinkles and threw it in the fridge in hopes that it would get a bit more solid. It didn’t…not really. The top tried to slide off when you cut it!!

      The cake was pretty good overall. The strawberry icing in the center was FANTASTIC (too bad I have no idea how much strawberry stuff I put in). The cake didn’t have a very strong strawberry flavor to it. The flavor was there, but it wasn’t very prominent. If you are looking for a strongly flavored strawberry cake, you probably should just use the box mix! However, it was delicious–rich, dense, and moist! I’d make it again in a heartbeat, especially with the frosting.


      Let Them Eat Cake

      So back in August, I took a cake decorating class at Hobby Lobby with a friend. You know…one of those “Decorating Basics” courses. ¬†Of course, it made me want to make/decorate cakes! Problem: I’m trying to lose weight and so is my DH. So…now I’m on the hunt for fun excuses to practice my skills. (lol, just pretend with me that I do in fact have said skills) So, without further ado, here is the first cake I’ve made since class.

      I made this cake for a coworkers 4th wedding anniversary. It’s is a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I used the chocolate buttercream frosting from the Wilton method book that I have and it was delicious. It’s really too bad that I don’t have any pictures of the kitchen as I was going because it made quite the mess! Disposable decorators bags filled with frosting everywhere!

      Tomorrow I’m trying out a new recipe. Dan and I have decided to try to do this on the weekends so that we can try some new things from the plethora of cookbooks that we own. We’ll rotate weekends and I get to go first! I’m planning on making a vegetable casserole with herb dumplings. Dan is not all that excited, but I think it will be delicious. We’ll see, I suppose!