Friday, January 04, 2008

Adventures in cake-making

In the last two weeks, I've made 3 cakes. It's truly a record for me. I'm not much of a cake maker, especially from scratch. I've made the girls their birthday cakes from mixes and pre-packaged icing for the past 3 years now. Though I get frustrated at not being a great decorator, I just like the fresher taste of home-baked birthday cakes, even though it's from a box.

These first two are Megan's 6th birthday cakes, with a Barbie, Island Princess theme. I used Duncan Hines white and dark chocolate fudge cake mixes, Pillsbury vanilla whipped icing (2 cans), and Betty Crocker decorator icing (the green in a can and the purple, pink, and white in tubes). The decorator icing comes with their own decorating tips too. I also used Betty Crocker Decor Selects colored sugars for the rainbow. Nothin but convenience here folks. The Barbie edible image and gazebo thing I found at two different places online (can't remember where right now).

Today, I finally got to try out my new Wilton Bundt pan my in-laws got me for Christmas. I made an Orange Pound Cake--a recipe that came with the pan. I wanted an orange cake recipe to use up some of the oranges I bought from my oldest niece for a fundraiser. I got to use my new microplane for some orange zest. Last week, when I took Meg shopping, I used a little Christmas money I had to buy me a new juicer (only about $10 at Wal-Mart) so I had fresh orange juice for the cake and icing. Though the cake looked and smelled wonderful, it was a bit lacking in taste. And for the life of me, whenever I make a cake from scratch, the texture ends up denser than I'd like. It WAS a pound cake, which is a dense cake anyway, but I had a ring of extra dense cake around the top (which was on the bottom of the pan). I may have underbaked it, but I couldn't get my toothpick all the way to the bottom and it looked clean when I pulled it out, AND I baked it the maximum amount of time. I followed the recipe to a T, and it ended up being a moist cake with yummy icing, but the cake itself is a bit bland. There is no salt in the recipe, which I found odd, and that may explain the blandness. I don't know if pound cakes usually call for salt or not.
Well, those are my adventures in cake making. I will probably try a recipe from online for a different and more flavorful orange cake.


Kimberly said...

Well - the orange cake looks wonderful. Makes me hungry!!!

Kimberly said...

Still to look at the orange cake makes me hungry!!! It looked wonderful

Stacey said...

I honestly like to start with a cake mix and then spruce it up a bit. I have a great orange juice cake recipe that always turns out really yummy.

I made homemade cupcakes and frosting with Haley this weekend and the frosting was yummy but the cake batter just didn't taste quite as sweet or something as a boxed mix.

You just can't beat the box mixes. :(