Friday, February 24, 2012

Foodie Friday #27 -Spice Cake with Gumpaste Flowers

My husband's Aunt asked me to make a cake for a party she was having for one of her friends (who is a friend of the family too).  I wanted to share it with all of you.

I used a bunch of gumpaste flowers that my mom had lying around her house.  And, yes, you heard that right -lying around her house.  She teaches cake decorating classes at Michael's so when she makes the flowers with her classes she saves them, but doesn't always use them all up.  And I think there were some flowers she had left over from making some wedding cakes too.  Anyway, my decorating job wasn't anything magnificent, but her flowers made it look way more classy than it would have otherwise.

I made a spice cake (scroll down for that recipe).  And I wanted to teach you few tricks I've learned from my wonderful mother.  If you already know these tricks, just bare with me.  The first is CAKE RELEASE.  And it is great.  We used to always grease (shortening) and flour our pans, but this is quicker and better. 

For 2 9-inch round pans I just made a little, but you can make more and store it if you want.  I just don't make cakes a LOT.  I used 2 Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp shortening, 2 Tbsp oil.  Just mix equal parts of each ingredient until smooth. 

Then brush it on with a pasty brush

Ta-da! It works wonders.

 The second trick I forgot to get pictures of.  But basically to get a cake iced smooth, you can ice it and let it sit a few minutes (just so the icing isn't sticky to the touch anymore).  Then take a piece of parchment paper and lay it on part of the cake.  Then use your hands to gently smooth it out.  Carefully remove the parchment, move it to another spot and repeat until your cake is smooth.  The warmth from you hands helps "melt" the icing just a bit and the parchment paper gets that smooth look.

Happy baking!

Spice Cake Recipe:
1 box white or golden cake mix
1 c milk
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/4 c pure maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
3 eggs
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Buttercream frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 9-inch round pans.  Beat cake mix, water or milk, oil, eggs, maple syrup, and spices in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.  Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans.  Bake 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes and then remove cakes to cooling racks until completely cool.

Place one layer of the cake top side down on a plate, put icing on that layer and top with the 2nd layer.  Then frost the whole cake.

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