Homemade Layer Cake | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Layer Cake – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Layer Cake

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You can make this at home, topped with Callebaut Crispearls. Photo courtesy Sweet Street Desserts.
  Nothing says love like a homemade cake: for birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s Day, graduation or or other special occasion. Whether you use a cake mix or measure from scratch, it’s fun to bake a cake.

And it’s very much appreciated by the honoree. Our friend Beth’s children, ages 7 and 10, know enough to appreciate mom’s homemade birthday cakes to store-bought options.

Over the years, many people have asked our opinion on cake mixes. Here it is:

Essentially, a cake mix saves you the time and mess of measuring the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, etc. It also includes the flavorings—vanilla, orange, whatever. People who don’t like measuring should reach for the box.

What we personally don’t like is using oil instead of butter. Others may not notice; but if it doesn’t taste buttery, we don’t want to spend our cake and cookie calories.

 
And of course, a from-scratch recipe that’s enhanced with buttermilk, cream cheese, sour cream, fresh citrus juice or zest, and so on will be better tasting.

CAKE MIX YES, CANNED FROSTNG NO!

We totally avoid the canned frostings most people buy to go along with a cake mix. To borrow a line from Snapple, most canned frosting is not made from “the best stuff on Earth.” Here are the ingredients to Betty Crocker’s Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting:

Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Water, Wheat Starch, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Contain 1% or Less of Salt, Distilled Monoglycerides, Colored with Artificial Color, Yellows 5 & 6, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Nonfat Milk, Freshness Preserved by Potassium Sorbate

Why eat cottonseed oil and corn syrup, when in 10 minutes you can make real buttercream, which tastes great?

All you need is a stick of butter, a cup of confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup whole milk and the flavoring of your choice: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4 ounces chocolate or 1 teaspoon instant coffee. Just blend them together and ice away. The toughest part is waiting for the butter to soften!

Here’s the full recipe.

 

IT’S EASY TO DECORATE

A special occasion deserves a festive garnish. You can turn a homemade or store-bought layer cake into something special with a simple sprinkle of edible cake decorations.

In addition to chocolate chips (or other flavors), homemade chocolate curls (scrape a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler), coconut and candies, there are:

  • Bright-colored or pastel confetti
  • Callebaut Crispearls, chocolate-covered cereal balls in dark, milk and white chocolate
  • Dragées in single colors, multicolor “Harlequin,” gold and silver
  • Gold glitter stars
  • Sugar pearls, in white, pastels, multicolor and metallics
  • White pearl shimmers
  •  
    If you live near a baking supplies store, go browsing. Otherwise, browse online until you find your ideal decorations.

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    Sprinkle festive decorations atop your cake. Photo courtesy Wilton.
     

    Here’s an article about the different types of cake decorations.

      




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