Here are a few of the cake recipes that I use all the time. I don’t generally use cake mixes, because I find them too light and spongy/crumbly to do anything with, such as cutting into several layers, or even poking things into the cake, like poles for bunting or lollipops, that sort of thing. It can be just as quick to bake your own cake from scratch, I find (and obviously no preservatives, etc.) but I really do it because I like a dense cake that will stand up to some handling and major decorating!!
The following Pound Cake recipe is an old favorite, but it’s not quite the real old fashioned pound cake type, I just use it for regular cakes, baked in round pans. I like to split up the batter and add different colors for layer cakes…like rainbow ones! This recipe calls for a 9 inch tube pan, but I usually use two 8 inch round pans, more or less…I usually make several batches when I am creating a colorful layer cake. This recipe is nice and dense for cutting each cake into 2 or more layers when they are cooled. When the cake comes out of the oven, with a clean tea towel (or something) over your hand, you can press down on the crown (top) of the cake, which will flatten it down, and also make the cake a bit more dense! Then flip out of the pan as usual to cool. Then cut it up, or whatever you want!
Pound Cake Recipe (Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking 1972)
2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (I use all purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. grated lemon rind (optional)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional, or substitute 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan, or a couple 8 inch pans.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt…sift if you want!
Combine butter, sugar and eggs in large bowl of mixer; beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
The original recipe calls for combining milk, lemon rind and juice together…but I prefer to just use vanilla instead of the citrus.
Stir in, or mix on low, the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk mixture, beating after each addition until batter is smooth (don’t overmix!)
Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 until center of cake springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip.
A tube pan might take an hour, and smaller pans could take around 20-30 minutes, just keep checking!!
Cool 8 minutes on wire rack; loosen around edge with a knife if necessary and turn out onto wire rack; cool completely.
I use this recipe for cakes such as this Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows cake:
The cake above is filled with regular buttercream icing tinted the same shade as the yellow fondant covering it.
I usually use the Wilton buttercream icing recipe, which you can find here: http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing.
For the fondant, I make my own (I’ve never even tried the bought stuff!) and I use the directions from this site: http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm. It is marshmallow fondant and has a nice taste compared to bought fondant! This site has lots of tips, keep clicking around the site to find more ideas. I am a fondant beginner, but have found this recipe easy to work with and haven’t had any major fails with it yet!! I’ve even colored it dark colors and even black, and have still been able to work with it. I have never used gum paste for flowers, only this fondant, and have had success so far!! (haven’t tried roses or any big flowers yet, though). Fondant flowers and parrot:
Please let me know if you have a question about my recipes or anything else like that! Hopefully I’ll post a few more recipes soon…. 😉