Tag Archives: layer cake

Baked’s Caramel Apple Cake

Once again, another roommate’s birthday has come and gone and while no one is going to award me prizes for making perfectly leveled cakes, at least everyone said this one tasted good.

Caramel Apple Cake // The Pancake Princess
Caramel Apple Cake // The Pancake Princess
collage2Halfway (or so) through business school, I re-met my friend Skyler. We had been vaguely acquainted in college, but had never really interacted (save for one VERY MEANINGFUL MOMENT OF EYE CONTACT). But I ran into him at a concert in June, and then again at a shop in July, and at a friend’s pedal party, and then again while out with friends.

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How to make a perfect slice slice of layer cake

Birthday treats can be SUCH a conundrum.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

Often, an entire layer cake isn’t in the cards. Especially when you need a last-minute birthday treat. Like last Monday, when I didn’t have the time to melt chocolate onto a pretzel, let alone bake a layer cake, even though I had promised to make something.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

You know those times when you’re not baking for a crowd? You’re just making a little thing for the birthday person to enjoy and MAYBE share if they want to? Well, I. Was. Stumped. I thought about cake balls (had no cake). A mini cake baked in a tin can! (Had no organic tins.) A boxed cake! Not exciting.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

But I got to thinking, and then I got really excited (thinking does that to me, sometimes). Because wouldn’t it be cool if you could whip up just ONE slice of layer cake? Just a single perfect slice of birthday cake. The quintessential idea of a birthday treat?!

How to make a single slice of layer cake

Yes, I decided. Yes, that would be cool. So the next night, I stirred. I baked. I chilled. I sliced. I stacked. I slathered. And I had one (nearly) perfect slice of chocolate layer cake in about 40 minutes. Yup. Done.

Let’s talk about how excited I am about this. A huge, single slice of layer cake can be yours without having to make an entire cake. Eee!!! But it’s also easy–I actually think this is almost easier than baking a batch of cupcakes. To make those look pretty, I have to whip out my frosting applicator which is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to clean. This is probably the prettiest layered thing I’ve ever made.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

You only need to bake one round layer. It’s a one-bowl cake: super easy. There’s not a lot of batter and it will be pretty thin. That’s fine–wait for the stacking!

Once it’s baked, it needs to cool (important) which makes this a good time to talk frosting: you can make this three-ingredient frosting in under two minutes.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

What you need: yogurt, cocoa powder, and a sweetener.

I eat trashy yogurt sometimes. This plain nonfat business has 15 grams of sugar! Eek. Does having pectin make this real yogurt? Discuss.

I eat trashy yogurt sometimes. This plain nonfat business has 15 grams of sugar! Eek. Does having pectin make this real yogurt? Discuss.

Just regular plain yogurt. (I’ve been stocked ever since the discovery of it being a total magic ingredient.) Yes, I’ve been eating trashy lately. Judge me. Anyway, this + cocoa powder + sweetener = a really tangy, light “yogurt frosting” that I think goes really well with this cake. If I’d had Greek yogurt, I would have used that since it’s less watery and might have looked more frosting-like, and added honey instead.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

When your cake is cool, dump it on a cutting board. Make sure you greased that cake pan well so it comes out without breaking. Flip it so it’s right side up onto another cutting board. Cut into sixths. That’s once down the middle. Then make an X so that each side is divided into three triangles. Take your doctored yogurt and start frosting and stacking. I only went five layers high. I crumbled up the last layer and pressed it into the back of the cake:

How to make a single slice of layer cake

You could also make a cake ball or two with the scraps. Or press them into heart shapes. I don’t know.

How to make a single slice of layer cake

Top with sprinkles. It’s that easy. One perfect, single slice of layer cake for the birthday person in question.* Or, for those rocking the single lady lifestyle in SERIOUS style.

Plus, I learned a GREAT tip about how to bake flat cake layers—probably the best thing I’ve learned all year. Coming soon!

How to make a single slice of layer cake

You can bet your bottom dollar I licked all that frosting off the fork. CLEAN.

You can bet your bottom dollar I licked all that frosting off the fork. CLEAN.

For other “single-serving” birthday treat ideas, I also considered these:

*I would like to note that I’m not advocating eating this all in one sitting. That would be like a million calories (ahem, 800ish) and you would probably explode.

A perfect single slice of chocolate layer cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 enormous slice of cake

Serving Size: 4

Calories per serving: 204

Fat per serving: 7.9

Martha Stewart's one-bowl chocolate cake (made egg-less) yields an incredibly moist yet sturdy cake that can stand up to layering and is easy to throw together. Tangy yogurt frosting is the perfect accompaniment to this decadent single slice of chocolate layer cake.

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • For the frosting
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, or Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons granulated sugar or other sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 8 or 9” cake pan well and dust with cocoa (optional--I didn't).

Whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/4 cup warm water, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla and stir until smooth (don’t overmix).

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 minutes for a 9” pan.

Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing to cool completely. Alternatively, throw in the freezer until bottom is cold, then remove from pan.

To make frosting: stir the sugar and cocoa powder into the yogurt until smooth. This works best if you sift the cocoa powder first to avoid lumps, but is not necessary, especially if the receiving end won’t care.

To assemble, cut cooled cake layer into six wedges. Spread frosting between layers and along the back of the cake, if you wish. I only used five wedges to make five layers and crumbled the remaining piece to decorate the back of the cake. You could also use the remaining layer to make a cake ball, or stamp into cake shapes, or eat.

Notes

The original recipe calls for an egg in this cake; I forgot it and happily it worked out since this is 1/6 of the original recipe. You can make this vegan by subbing additional milk or applesauce for the yogurt in the cake. You'd need to use another frosting altogether.

I used a scant half cup of sugar in this; I think you could even go down to 1/3 cup, although keep in mind that the frosting isn't super sweet.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2013/03/14/how-to-make-the-perfect-single-slice-of-layer-cake/

P.S: This is what happens when your phone + sprinkles collide.

disaster.

 

P.P.S: This one-bowl mac ‘n cheese is amazing.

Quadruple Banana Layer Cake with Marzipan and Chocolate Glaze

Oh hey guys.

You see that cake right there? That is a quadruple (the bottom layer is hiding) layer banana cake oozing almond milk chocolate ganache/glaze and also homemade marzipan.

Yes, I learned how to make homemade marzipan for you and I’m about to tell you how INCREDIBLY easy it is to make.

And also what an amazingly delicious combo whole wheat banana cake, melty chocolate glaze, homemade marzipan and sugared toasted almonds make. Even when they are ugly-fied by 8pm indoor nighttime photography.

Like what what you’re hearing so far? Hop on over to Bailey Bakes where I’m guest posting about this cake today.

(I’M SO EXCITEDDD. SHE ONLY HAS THE MOST ADORABLE BLOG EVER!!! YOU SHOULD VISIT RIGHT.NOW.)

I’m sorry. I’m about to blow a gasket I’m so excited. Or maybe that’s my sugar high from too much cake?
P.S. I just made a brand new facebook page! I’d love it if you would come visit me :)

P.P.S. The deadline for the Tupelo Honey recipe contest is almost here! You still have three more days to submit and WIN!!!

P.P.P.S. You should make these cookies with your leftover marzipan! Joy the Baker and I are mind twins, obvs.

{momofuku} Birthday Cake

On Friday, one of my best friends–who also happens to have been the co-instructor of Baking 101 and one of my greatest partners in sugar crimes–made my weekend by driving in from Dallas. Tiffany and I have grand plans to open a bitchin’ bakery someday and came up with our concept over the weekend: cake by the pound.

Instead of selling cupcakes, we’d sell slices of cake. By the pound. Because layer cakes are totally better than cupcakes since you can even out the frosting to cake surface area ratio instead of having ALL the frosting plopped on top. Plus they’re taller and prettier and you can dig in with a fork. They’re just the best.

Our cake by the pound idea may or may not have been inspired by the 14 pounds of cake in my fridge.

Yeah…so remember when I was debating whether I should bake my own cake? Or buy one? Or not be involved in my own birthday cake? Well.

I may or may not have done both. There may or may not be the remainder of Costco’s 7-lb. All-American chocolate cake sitting in my fridge next to the debris of a triple-layer homemade funfetti cake. A triple-layer cake, I might mention, that is double the size it’s supposed to be BECAUSE I WAS WORRIED I WOULDN’T HAVE ENOUGH. (Also because I didn’t have the right size pans.)

Though S left for California, her former roommate, Laura, filled in for this project. Sadly, chances are good that I scared Laura off with my liberal usage of Crisco. Not to mention she looked at me like I needed to have my head examined (not unfair) when I told her that we were doubling everything.

This is her NAILED IT face. (It looked like a disaster pre-freezing.)

But surprisingly, the results were decidedly non-disastrous, even though we modified one (tiny) section–I was determined to stick to the recipe since I was actually feeding this to a casual crowd of about 20+ people.

Back to the cake by the pound idea. Maybe cake by the pound might sound like a little much. But not this cake.

This cake. Is out of this world.

I, a self-realized chocolate fiend, found my fork nudging aside smudges of chocolate frosting for remnants of this sprinkles-studded cake. This cake is three layers of substantial but fluffy vanilla cake that isn’t overly rich with butter but sweetly, subtly addicting. Each layer of cake sandwiches two layers of the smoothest and creamiest vanilla frosting you’ll ever find. Embedded in the center of the billowy frosting nestle psychedelic crunchies that taste like the baby of the ultimate crunchy sugar cookie and the pure essence of cake batter, conceived under a sky lit with rainbow fireworks.

Ugh. Stop me.

Of course, said 20+ people only managed to make a significant dent in each cake. In the future, I recommend this amount of cake only for weddings of minor royalty members. Oh, and then I got cupcakes the next day at work. And my roommate’s birthday is today. And my boyfriend’s birthday is next Monday.

Could you do me a favor? I may need help crawling out from under this giant mountain of cake. I’ll bring the forks.

Notes

If you, like me, like to modify recipes, note that this cake was particularly crafted to imitate the boxed funfetti cake and the canned white frosting, which is odd concept to put hours of labor into something with the hopes of making it turn out like a boxed mix until you realize that this is 203957803984 times better. Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend making essential ingredient swaps if you want the authentic taste, even for the shortening (which I found slightly terrifying).

I would simply link you to the other fantastic posts out there about this cake, but I did make some substantial changes to the size of this cake. So in case you too would like to double the size of this magnificent cake (and let’s face it–if you’re going to do it once, why not go big?), here’s what I did:

  • I didn’t have a 6″ cake ring and I was planning on serving a lot of people, so I doubled the recipe and used two 9″ cake pansplus a 9×13″ pan (you could also use 8″ pans without modifying this recipe–your layers will just be thicker and the baking time may be longer). You could also use three 9″ cake pans; I used the third, rectangular pan because I only have 2 cake pans and the original recipe calls for stamping two layers out of a sheet of cake and using the leftover scraps to make the third layer. I figured baking two round layers and crumbling cake made in a third sheet pan would be a close approximation.
  • The larger size meant that the acetate (transparency sheets) sheets weren’t big enough to span the circumference of the cake. So we layered them–don’t worry if you can’t find big enough sheets.
  • I didn’t have cake rings, so I used a cake pan as the bottom support and lined it with foil so I could lift the cake out after freezing.
  • I skipped the citric acid and squeezed a few drops of lime juice into the frosting instead.
  • I skipped the glucose and added half the amount of light corn syrup instead, a helpful tip from Cassie.

I highly recommend reading the entire recipe through multiple times before starting. This, like other Momofuku creations, is complicated. But it yields a very economical (not a scrap is wasted) creation, not to mention a dense, ultra-layered cake studded with color and crunch from the addictive cake crumbs. The crumbs are amazing. I want to make all my cakes with crumbs from now on.

Momofuku Birthday Layer Cake, bigger
Adapted from Bake Your Day and That Baker Chick. Original recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar

Yield: 1 triple-layer 9″ cake (would hypothetically feed about 20, plus midnight snacking)

You’ll need: 2 9″ cake pans, 1 9×13″ pan, foil, acetate (plastic transparencies, but you can possibly use a silpat or nothing at all–jury seems to be divided) and a pastry brush (optional)

Time: ~2 hours for baking/assembly + 12 hours for freezing + 3 hours for defrosting = 17 hours

Ingredients:

for the layer cake:
1 batch birthday cake (recipe below)
1 batch birthday cake crumbs (recipe below)
1 batch birthday cake soak (recipe below)
1 batch birthday cake frosting (recipe below)

birthday cake:
4 cups cake flour [I used 3 and 1/2 c. AP flour + 1/2 cup cornstarch]
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1 stick salted butter, room temperature [if you only have unsalted, add 1/4 tsp salt to dry ingredients]
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, tightly packed
6 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk [I used almond milk + dash of apple cider vinegar]
2/3 cup canola oil
4 tsp. clear imitation vanilla extract

birthday cake crumbs:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1.5 cup cake flour [or 1.5 cups AP flour minus 3 tbl flour + 3 tbl cornstarch]
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt [can use 1/4 cup oil here instead if you’re not feeling the healthy sub]
1.5 tbsp. clear imitation vanilla extract

birthday cake soak:
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp McCormick brand clear imitation vanilla extract [I ran out of clear vanilla here and used regular. This is probably the best place to use regular vanilla if you run out of clear vanilla]

birthday cake frosting:
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp clear imitation vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch baking powder
pinch lime juice (optional)

Directions

for the birthday cake:
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 9″ cake pans and a 9×13 pan extremely well. I used the PAM baking spray with flour on top of non-stick pans and had zero problems. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup sprinkles in a small bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside for later.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Add the eggs (all at once) and then beat again on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, canola oil, and imitation vanilla) in a steady stream. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for another 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture should double in size and turn pale. Don’t stop mixing until the mixture is completely homogeneous, with no visible streaks of oil or fat.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix for another minute or so until the ingredients are just combined.

Pour out the batter into the prepared pans, spreading it out into an even layer. Cover with the remaining sprinkles.

Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake bounces back slightly when gently pressed in the corner. The center of the cake should no longer jiggle when the pan is shook. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

for the birthday cake crumb:
Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or piece of parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. Mix on low speed until combined.

Stream in the oil and the imitation vanilla on low speed and continue beating the mixture until the ingredients clump and form small clusters. Mix in the yogurt, if using. This will make the clusters more sticky and less clumpy, but they will harden after baking!

Carefully spread the clusters in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes, breaking up occasionally. They will be slightly moist but will harden as they cool. Let them cool completely before using.

for the birthday cake soak:
Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small cup or bowl.

for the birthday cake frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and the cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Add the corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and glossy white.

Add the powdered sugar, baking powder, and lime juice, if using, on low speed until just combined. Crank the mixer to high speed and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is stark white and fluffy.

assembling the layer cake:
Trim the edges off of the two 9″ cake layers. Line one 9″ cake pan with enough foil to cover the interior and and hang off the edges so you can lift the cake out later. Grease foil. Crumble the cake from the 9×13 pan into the foil and use your hands to press down into a flat, even layer. This is the bottom layer of the cake.

Dunk the pastry brush in the birthday cake soak and give the layer of scraps a good, healthy bath of half of the soak. [I just kind of poured half of it over the cake]

Spread one fifth of the birthday cake frosting over the base layer. Then sprinkle with one-third of the birthday cake crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place. Top with another fifth of the birthday cake frosting, carefully spreading it so that it is even, but without disturbing the crumbs.

Ease a sheet of acetate in between the bottom cake layer and the side of the pan until you have a clear ring of acetate at least 9-10 inches tall, or high enough to support the height of the finished cake. Top with a full circle of cake (save the nicest one for the top layer), brush the rest of the cake soak over this layer, top with another one fifth of the frosting, one third of the cake crumbs, and another one fifth of the frosting.

[Alternatively, you could try using a silpat here in place of the acetate to support the cake during freezing. I haven’t tried it, but the cake is pretty sturdy and I think mine would have been okay.]

Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the frosting. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.

Freeze the cake for at least 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (And to make the unmolding much easier.)

Three hours before serving, remove the pan from the freezer, and lift the cake out of the pan by the foil edges. Here, it’s easiest if one person gently holds the cake with both hands around the acetate while the other peels the foil off the bottom. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. (Wrapped well in plastic, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

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