Birthday Cake – Part Uno: Baking & Storing

4 Jun

I didn’t realize that making a layer cake is pretty stressful. I’ve never made one before so I didn’t realize that there are a lot of details that going into making a layer cake.  I feel like all everything had to be thought out in advance, like remembering to level the cakes and layering them when they’re cold, and cooling/storing them without losing moisture. I used the left over batter from yesterdays test-run since I only made a few cupcake with it. The recipes I used are below:

Chiffon Cake

This recipe made enough to fill two 8 inch pans, one 9 inch pan, and a few cupcakes.
2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/4 cups sugar for dry mix +1/4 cups for meringue

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large egg yolks at room temperature

8 large egg whites at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.

2. Sift/mix the flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, water, oil, zest and vanilla on high-speed until smooth (it’ll be a little bubbly).  Stir in the flour mixture until smooth.

4. In another large bowl, beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat on high until the stiff peaks.  Don’t beat them until they’re dry, just stiff.

5. Use a rubber spatula and fold a quarter of the egg whites into the dough.  Fold in the remaining egg whites gently until they are nicely blended together. Don’t overmix though, and be sure you’re folding or else the egg whites will deflate and your cake won’t be spongy.

6. Divide the batter into the two cake pans and spread evenly. Bake them until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. With my oven, it took 20 minutes.

6. Let cakes cool for at least an hour When completely cool, loosen the edges and flip the cake out on a plate, then onto another plate so the top of the cake is up.

Lemon Cake

Follow the directions on a Duncan Hines lemon cake mix. : P

I didn’t make the lemon cake from scratch.  I couldn’t find a good recipe I really liked for the lemon cake.  This worked out because cake mix tends to be a bit on the too-sweet side and the chiffon cake is light and airy and not very sweet at all.  They balanced each other out well.

Lemon Custard

Follow the directions on a Jello Lemon pudding mix. : P

Again, I didn’t make it from scratch, although if I do ever make this layer cake combo again, I’ll probably attempt to make a lemon custard from scratch next time.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz Cream cheese

powdered sugar

1 stick of butter

2 tbs milk

I didn’t measure out the powdered sugar.  I think it’s best if people gauge how sweet they would like their frosting to be.  Generally, I don’t like to add too much sugar but I feel like I may have put in at least a cups worth because the sweetness didn’t come through initially with the cream cheese being a dominant flavor.  I also added some whole milk because the frosting was too thick and I needed to be able to spread it onto the cake.

We ended up baking the cakes Friday night and decided to construct the cake Saturday morning before my family dinner.  To store the cakes without losing moisture, we wrapped each cake with wax paper, then wrapped it in plastic wrap.  We were contemplating freezing it, but I thought since we were going to be working within 12 hours, maybe freezing wouldn’t be necessary.

What do you think?  IS freezing, in fact, the best way to store cakes?

wrapped chiffon cakes

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product plus an explanation of the whole construction project.

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