Wednesday, January 9, 2013

52 cakes

I've probably mentioned this a few times before (a long, long time ago) that I used to make cakes. When I lived in Las Vegas I had a part-time custom cake design business for 3 years that was truly amazing. I got to build cakes for so many friends, family, coworkers and clients. Everything from one-tier birthday cakes, custom carved cakes and wedding cakes, to name a few. The best part was that I had lived there my whole life. I had the ability to create a "word of mouth" business. When we packed up and moved to the east coast that all came to an abrupt halt without contacts and I wasn't in any position to try and start a "brick and mortar" style business in a town where I knew NO ONE in a house I wasn't sure we'd be in for more than 6 months. Thus my love affair with custom cakes died. Baking for two always just seemed a little pointless.
IMG_0966_edit IMG_0973_edit IMG_0985_edit IMG_0987_edit This year I am making a commitment to rekindle my passion, baking. My passion for cake design. My passion for cake decoration. My passion for all things cake. Stocked with smaller cake pans and a renewed motivation I can't wait to make a weekly cake for just the two of us to enjoy. With my work schedule, cake baking days will be Saturday or Sunday and I'll be able to share with you each week what I made over the weekend! Plus this will help keep me accountable. This is one project I think I can force myself to finish ;)

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting
recipe adapted from Rose Alyea

Ingredients for the cake:
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes

Ingredients for the whipped frosting:
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 cups sifted (475 g) confectioners' sugar (icing, powdered)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
2 teaspoon (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Instructions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two round 8-inch pans.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla and set aside.
Using your electric mixer fitted with the paddle/mix attachment, combine the dry ingredients at low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining milk, and mix at low speed until just moistened.
Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches. Make sure to beat at medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
Divide the batter in two, evening with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale(they are truly great invest if you like baking!), weigh to ensure 2 even layers.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake! Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it's almost ready, set the timer at 2 minute intervals. Let cool on cookie/baking racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and remove onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up. To preserve moisture I always wrap my cakes in saran wrap and put in a ziplock bag with the majority of air removed while they cool on a flat surface in the fridge. Best if eaten the same day but you can eat with maximum freshness for up to 3 days once cut.

Instructions for the frosting:
In your electric mixer fitted with the paddle/mix attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix at low speed for 1 minute, then mix at medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
Best used right away.

Are you doing any 52 week or 365 day projects? If you have any favorite cake recipes or delicious ideas on your to bake list, link them in the comments! I can use all the inspiration I can get! 



  1. I love this 52 week project and I´m happy you decided to reconnect with baking cakes! :) It´s such a healthy hobbie! I adore baking cakes but I don´t have much experience in decorating them. This post just gave me the push I needed to stop being lazy and start practicing! THANK YOU!

    I love chocolate so I wanna suggest this recipe that I love:

    Have an awesome day!

  2. Yeah!! I'm happy to hear your rekindling your passion for cakes! That must have been amazing to have that business! Who knows for the future!

    Your layers are incredible...That's my problem with cakes. The layers are always messy regardless of the saws I use. That's why I stick to cupcakes! hehe.

    Your cake looks delicious!! =)

    Ergo - Blog

  3. This cake looks absolutely delicious! I might have to head to the store and buy the ingredients so I can make it for a birthday celebration with friends this weekend. Thanks for sharing! XO!

  4. oh my GOODNESS. amazing! must go find cake now :)