Now that you’ve learned about cookies, it’s time you eat some cake! 🍰
Or, at least learn about how to make yourself some cake you can eat! 🍴
Cake is more time intensive than cookies. Because baking a cake is rarely as simple as just baking a cake. You have the added layers of decorating with frosting. And- if you’re making a layered cake- assembling all the different pieces together. 🏗 But don’t get me wrong. It is because of these intricacies that cakes are so cool.
The problem is, every time you add another step, your recipe gets a little more complicated to make. 🤔 So, when it comes to actually baking a cake, making a simpler cake is definitely better.
Probably the simplest you can go is by baking a single layer cake.
I’m talking pouring your cake batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan and calling it a day. No, this won’t make for the prettiest cake. 🎀 But the shape of your cake pan doesn’t affect the taste of your finished product one bit. ⚪=👍 & ⬜=👍
Now I know that you want to learn how to bake from scratch. But I actually want to talk about boxed cake mixes for a minute. 👩🏫📦
Did you know that you can use a boxed cake mix as a springboard to making really interesting cakes? Cause you totally can! It’s convenient because it reduces the time you spend in the kitchen measuring ingredients. ⏳ But it’s really easy to customize the flavor and adjust the texture to bake an original cake in half the time.
Talk about a life hack! 🔐🔑
How do you customize it?
I’d recommend using different flavored extracts. Vanilla extract is probably the most common extract out there. But they make all sorts of different flavored extracts. There is 🍋 lemon extract, 🍁 maple extract, 🥃 rum extract, 🟪lavender extract, 🍀 mint extract…
Seriously, if you can name a flavor, then there’s an extract out there that tastes like it. 👅
You can also adjust the consistency by adding extra ingredients to the mix. For example, you can add sour cream to make a denser, moister cake. 🌌💧 Sour cream is also a good way to reduce the amount of fat you add to a cake. And it can do it without compromising on the richness or moisture that fat brings to the table.
Or you could add a splash of liqueur. 🍸 Or add cocoa powder to a vanilla cake mix to make it a chocolate cake mix. 🍫 TBH, you’re only limit is your imagination. Just be sure that you’re pairing flavors that sound good you and you’re golden. 💛
Ok, now you know how to work smarter, not harder. So, naturally, next I’ll going to teach you how to work harder. 🤣💪
When it comes to baking from scratch, you want to chose a recipe that isn’t too tricky.
You want to read through the recipe and make sure that you understand all the steps the recipe is asking you to take. If anything it asks is unclear, research it. 🔎 If you still don’t understand what the recipe wants from you, move on. That cake is not a good fit for you yet. But don’t feel bad. There are lots of cakes out there that are beginner friendly. ☺
The most common type of cake you’ll be making as a novice is a butter cake. 🧈
Butter cakes- you guessed it- use butter in them. Butter cakes are your quintessential birthday cakes. They’re moist, fluffy, and soft. Also, butter cakes typically get covered in frosting before they’re served. 😋 All butter cake recipes should involve creaming the butter and sugar together at some point. “Creaming” just means beating together really well. But it’s an important step in the process because it makes the butter light and fluffy. ☁
How? By adding air into the batter!
Adding air to something is called aeration. And it happens in cakes both when you’re beating by hand and when you use an electric mixer. Although, the electric mixer does a better job than your arm can. 💪🤖 In fact, adding air into the batter is one reason why cake is so light and fluffy!
Aeration is especially important for the second type of cake- foam cakes.
Again, just like with the more complicated cookies, foam cakes are built on the back of egg whites. 🥚 Egg whites in cakes are just as tricky as they are in cookies. You have to whip them like you’re making whipped cream. And then you have to be very careful not to knock the air out of them as you mix in other ingredients. 🥊
It’s a delicate process.
And not one I’d advise for a new baker.
What types of cakes fall under this “forbidden” category? Classic foam cakes include 😇 angel food cakes, sponge cakes, and chiffon cakes. All really yummy, extremely light and fluffy cakes. And, once you have a little more experience under your belt, I’d definitely recommend you circle back around to giving these a try. But… not right now. 🚫
Last, but certainly not least- we need to talk frosting! 😍
Frosting is clearly a vital part of any cake. (Dare I say, it’s the best part of the cake?) So we obviously can’t have a comprehensive discussion about cakes without talking about frosting! 🧁
There are as many different flavors of frosting as there are flavors of cake. Meaning I don’t have the time to cover all of them with you. But there are some staples I think you need to know about.
There are lots of fancy names to differentiate between different types of frosting. 🎩 But you don’t need to know all of them- or even half of them- to make a delicious cake. So I mostly want to talk flavor with you. The most basic frosting uses confectioners’ sugar, butter, a flavor (like vanilla), and a splash of milk to change the consistency of the frosting. 🥛💦 From here, you can build on this recipe to create different variations.
One classic type of frosting is a cream cheese frosting. It uses cream cheese, which gives the entire frosting a bitter tang. This frosting is never overly sweet and it pairs really well with 🥕 carrot cake and 🎃 pumpkin based confections. Of course, you can also always add chocolate to make a chocolate frosting. Chocolate on chocolate is always tasty. 🍫 Or you could even pair it with peanut butter or orange flavored cakes for some nice contrast.
Decorating is also a huge part of making a finished cake.
Typically, decorating is done with piping bags and a variety of frosting tips.
I go into WAY more detail in my full length cake course. But the gist of it is you put your frosting in your piping bag and, as you squeeze the frosting out of the bag, it passes through the frosting tip and creates a cool shape. 😎 Each frosting tip has a differently shape end. So, you’ll want to have more than one frosting tip in order to create diverse designs on your cake.
My personal preference is to buy Wilton brand decorating supplies. Each Wilton tip has a number printed on it. And if you search that specific tip number online, you can find a huge library of how-to videos and creative, inspirational examples of how you could possibly use your frosting tip. 📚🤯
To sum it up in one sentence: You’ll need decorating tools in order to frost like the pros- but it’s worth the investment. 💲💲 Without the right piping tips, you’ll have an incredibly hard time making a jaw-dropping Instagram worthy cake. And I want you to have that experience- you deserve it! 🥰
Alrighty! Cakes are now in the rearview and it’s time to move on- to pies!
No, not the mathematical number pi! π No one wants to talk about 3.14 repeating here. We want to talk about pie pie- you know, the good type of pie. 🥧
You know- fruits and custards wrapped in a fluffy, flaky crust… Nope! 🤐 I don’t want to spill the beans here! I’m gonna need you to click on the Next Lesson Button if you wanna learn more about pies!