Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Extra Cake Batter?

In the  No More Skinny Cakes post I suggested you use more cake mix in your pans.  Sometimes, you only need a little more and don’t want to mix up another full cake mix for it.  You can use the Cake Mix Extender Recipe to stretch your cake mix just a little further, by adding a few items to it.

Cake Mix Extender Recipe – about 7 cups of batter
There are many variations of this recipe online.

4 eggs
1 1/3 cup water*
1/2 cup oil*
1 cup (8oz) sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the wet ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.  Scrap down sides, then mix for about 2 minutes on medium speed.

* Some recipes call for the amount of water and oil on the back of the box.

Left over cake batter?

There are times when I will fill my cake pans, and realize that I have more batter than I need.  Either I miscalculated or I just made more than I needed.  (I tend to over estimate usually.) 

There are a couple of things you can do if this happens.

1.  Are you baking another cake in the next few days?  You can 
     store the batter in the fridge for a couple of days before you
     bake it.**

2.  Bake a small layer of cake to freeze for another day, to make
     cake balls from, or cut it up serve with fruit and whipped cream
     or ice cream with.

3.  Freeze the cake batter.  It bakes up just fine when you thaw
     it.**  You can either freeze it in a bowl or even better a ziplock
     bag.  If you freeze it in a ziplock bag, thaw it, then just snip off
     an end and squeeze it into your prepared pan.

** I have done this with cake mixes, but not scratch cakes.  If you try it with scratch cake mixes let me know how it works out.

Next Posts: 
Friday, March 2 – Lesson 4 Cake Pictures from February Courses

Monday, March 5 - Bake Even Strips: A Comparison

Monday, February 27, 2012

No More Skinny Cakes

Let me share a little secret with you. 

When a cake mix box tells you to pour the batter into a 13x9, two 8in pans or two 9in pans, it lies.  Sure you can follow their directions, but I would be willing to bet that you end up with two thin layers of cake. 

Do you want thin layers that give you a short cake?  I don’t.

When I am making a cake I want pretty, full layers.  I want layers I can easily torte, fill and stack together.  I want cakes that look like you would find at a bakery.

How do you get those taller layers of cake? 

That is my next secret for you. 

Use more batter in your pans.

Print out or save the above link on your computer.  It may just become your best cake decorating pal.  I refer to it all of the time!

It has great information on it, including how many cups of batter you need to get the full 2in tall cake layers for any of the Wilton basic shaped pans.  With these amounts you will be filling your cake pans one half to two thirds full.

Another tidbit of information about cake mixes is that different brands of cake mixes make different amounts of cake batter.  Also the different flavors with in the same brand of cake mixes make different amounts of batter.  The brands and flavors vary between 4 cups and 6 cups of batter. 

If you have a favorite brand of cake mix my suggestion would be to measure it out when you use different flavors and make notes to yourself for reference.

Maybe you are a scratch baker?  You can still get two inch tall cake layers if you follow the amounts of batter listed in the link above.  As you make your different recipes, measure them out, and note the amounts of batter it makes on your recipes.

Adding more batter to your pan is just one of the suggestions I have for you to come out with pretty cake layers to build your cake with.  Be sure to watch out for more posts in the From Batter to Cake series to get more tips.

Next Post:  Wednesday, February 29 – Extra Cake Batter?

Friday, February 24, 2012

From Batter to Cake

The only time we really talk about the cake is during Decorating Basics Lessons 1 and  2.  After that our main focus of the classes are the decorations on the outside of the cakes.  I feel that sometimes we forget that the cake and icing are the backdrop to our finished cake. 

No matter how well we do the decorations we need a good backdrop to start with.

The up coming series “From Batter to Cake” are *my* steps for working on a cake, starting from the batter and moving  through the other stages of preparing our cakes for decorating.  At least once a week I will be posting different tips and suggestions that will hopefully improve your ‘backdrop’ giving you a good beginning surface for your decorations.

Come back Monday to check out the first post in of “From Batter to Cake.”

Buy 2, Get 2 & March's Schedule

Sign up during 2/12/12 - 3/10/12 for the Buy 2, Get 2 special.
"Save a bundle!  Register for 2 Wilton 4-week classes (for $90) and get 2 free - a $90 savings."

Individual Registration Price is 50% off or $22.50

Sign up for any 4-week course, including courses in the up coming months, during the above time period to take advantage of this promotion.

March 2012
Decorating Basics – Mondays
Starts March 5th

Flowers & Cake Design – Wednesdays
Starts March 7th

Advanced Gum Paste Flowers – Tuesdays
Starts March 6th

Prerequisite:  Gum Paste & Fondant – Course 3

To plan ahead visit the Current Class Schedule tab to see the 4-week course dates for April, May and June.

From now through June I will be offering Decorating Basics (Course 1) and Advanced Gum Paste Flowers (Course 4) every month.  Flowers and Cake Design (Course 2) and Gum Paste and Fondant (Course 3) will be offered every other month.