Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"If I Knew You Were Coming Id've Baked a Cake"

And I did!

Right before Halloween, my brother and his girlfriend came home to visit for a few days. Since the family was getting together for dinner, I figured I'd exercise my baking skills by making a double-layer cake. Now mind you I had never attempted to do this before, but I had been looking for a good excuse for a while.

I cheated a bit by using a boxed double chocolate cake mix, but the way I see it there is no shame in using the box. Two tubs of store bought vanilla frosting were used to cover the sides, top, and the center layer. And Halloween sprinkles and a ghost face were added to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

A few notes:
  • There is no need to fill two 10-inch cake pans to the brim for a double-layer cake! (Not unless you are feeding an army or a mob of sugar stoked kids/adults.) The cake was practically 9 inches tall when assembled. Next time, I'll be filling the pans half way. Sure there will be left over batter, but that just means there will be cupcakes to give away!
  • I definitely need to work on my frosting skills and buy some tools. I've gone years without a proper frosting spatula. All this time I've been using either a butter knife or spatula, and either way I end up pulling bits of cake into the frosting.
  • Sprinkles! My gosh the sprinkles! First of all, how do bakeries entirely coat the sides of cakes with sprinkles? I resorted to throwing and gently pushing them around the side of the cake. There were lots of renegade sprinkles that made ended up being collected from the counted.
  • If you use store-bought buttercream frosting and attempt to put sprinkles on it, they will melt and you will have a discolored mess. There has to be some way around this.
  • Using cocoa powder to dust pans for chocolate does indeed work. This will allow the cake to pop out of the pan with ease when it's cooled, and you won't have the obvious white flour left on the bottom.

And in case you were wondering, the title for this post is actually a song title. "If I Knew You were Coming Id've Baked a Cake" was published in 1950. My grandma used to sing it when I was a kid. The Sesame Street version is too good not to share!

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