I’m always amazed at little ones! How in the world did my then 4yo daughter decide she wanted to learn to play the violin? While being exposed to lots of music I certainly hadn’t suggested she learn to play an instrument let alone a classical one. No worries we got her started and away she went with gusto… Well this post isn’t about music but recently I was asked by my friends to make their 3yo daughter a birthday cake. Apparently she had requested “a raspberry on the inside” birthday cake. I’d never made one before but love a challenge so this is how I did it.
WARNING – Heavy text as some dummy (me) forgot to take progress photos… but it turned out great so bear with me folks.
First off I thought I’d start with a white cake recipe and add my raspberry goodness to it.
White cake mix or this from scratch recipe…
Then To make it Raspberry Flavoured…
Ok.. great but it had to be raspberry flavoured… I could not for the life of me find fresh raspberries that day that weren’t growing fur, so my next best option was a heaping tablespoon of raspberry jam (jelly) with the seeds for authenticity AND I added a 1/3 of a sachet of Raspberry Jello Crystals dissolved into a half cup of water.
I figured it wouldn’t throw off the balance of the cake since it thickens as it sets up. My theory proved right and the cake was relatively dense (with a fine crumb texture like a Madeira or pound cake) but still light and very flavourful.
For this little lady’s cake I made two 6 inch and two 8 inch round cakes to stack.
In between each matching pair I spread a fine layer of raspberry jam (jelly) and then added raspberry cream cheese frosting (my original recipe with some raspberry jello crystals and a small amount of jam added to it).
I placed wooden dowels inside of McDonalds straws into the 8 inch stacked cakes and then placed the 6 inch stacked pair on top.
All of the cakes were covered in my crusting cream cheese frosting prior to stacking as they wanted it smoothed to look like fondant. I then cut out about one hundred or so purple and one hundred or so pink fondant flowers for decoration. This cake was to compliment a Tinkerbell cake topper.
The glitter is edible sparkle glitter. The cake was a lot of work but my friends loved it. Hubby enjoyed the crumbs I had cut off the top so much I made him his very own raspberry cake the next day. It was pretty much gone in an instant. Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions. Happy Baking!
Here’s a thought that crossed my spoiled mind this evening. What if, say, like my family in Australia, I can’t just run to the store and grab a box of red velvet cake mix off the shelf. I’ve obviously forgotten that it wasn’t that many years ago that I didn’t even know what a red velvet cake was! Imagine that.
This week I received an email from a fellow cake maker who asked me to share my favourite red velvet cake recipe since she wasn’t able to buy a box mix. Fellow bakers give me mixed reactions when I openly admit to using (insert scary music here)…. red velvet cake out of a box!! Well, I do and I’m not afraid to say it. Why not? It’s bad enough getting covered in red cake mix, which I usually do, without having to mess with red food colouring when measuring it out for a “from scratch” recipe.
Actually, there is a little history to my dread of red… I used to own a small bakery in Australia and had left some decorating items out on the dining table in my brand new dining room, in my brand new home. To cut a long story short, my youngest daughter was a climber and the result was red food colouring all over her and the brand new carpet! We bleached it out and then had to dye the carpet back lovingly with teabags. So you might now understand my dislike of red food colouring, even if red is my favourite color!
Ok, back to the cake at hand. I tend to look at box cake mixes as a starting point, and usually tweak them by changing out the oil with apple sauce for instance, and adding my own flavourings, add-ins etc. I’m sure the good people at Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury didn’t just whip them together in five minutes. It is my understanding that they have spent years perfecting their mixes for our convenience. And very often that is the time I have no compunction in reaching for one.
Sure there is nothing quite like a delicately created sponge or genoise but there are times when I just need to get out two dozen cupcakes in a hurry and trust me, 5 year olds very rarely call me out on using a box cake mix over a scratch baked cake. Their beaming little faces covered in frosting are all the proof I need that sometimes, it’s ok.
So let’s get this red velvet cake made!
Preheat oven to 325°. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk together cocoa powder, food coloring, and hot water. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture. Sift cake flour and salt together into another bowl. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture (in 3 parts) and the cocoa mixture (in 2 parts) to the egg mixture. Beat until incorporated. Combine vinegar and baking soda and stir until baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to batter and stir until just combined.
Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely.
|So, of course I ended up with red food coloring up one arm and on the kitchen rug. Still not sure how that happened! These cakes are very light and fluffy due to the sifted cake flour. I topped and filled mine with my favourite crusting cream cheese buttercream and some decorator sugar and toppings I had on hand. I love the color with this recipe. I have made them in the past where they weren’t red enough but it helps to use the dutch processed cocoa powder because it’s darker than regular cocoa.|
|Don’t forget to try this recipe out making the Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cake Balls, they’re delicious! Ok, so now I’m off to make a cuppa and maybe sneak one of these! ~ Colleen