Can't Miss Cakes
Master two or three recipes and never go cakeless again.
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strong hot coffee (instant is fine)
Mix dry ingredients with whisk or electric mixer. Whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla. Beat slowly into dry ingredients until combined. Mix in coffee. Pour into two nonstick 9-inch layer cake pans coated with shortening and flour, baking spray or greased wax paper. Bake 28-30 minutes or until layers test done. Cool in pans 5 minutes, turn out onto racks to cool completely. Frost with simple vanilla frosting; top cake with chocolate sprinkles or a dusting of cocoa.
Simple Vanilla Frosting
Soften 4 oz. reduced fat or regular cream cheese and 4 oz. (1/2 stick) butter. Beat with electric mixer until fluffy. Sift (about) 4 cups confectioners' sugar. Add sugar to cream cheese mixture alternately with milk, a few tablespoons at a time, until spreading consistency. Beat in a few drops each of vanilla and almond extracts. Spread over layers.
Awesome Carrot Layer Cake
This cake is not complicated if done in steps. Most cooks own a food processor with shredding blade almost a necessity for carrot cake.
6 (yes, six) cups carrots grated fine or medium-fine
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
teaspoon, each, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice (or cloves)
cup finely chopped pecans
Night before, or early in the day: grate carrots, mix with brown sugar, cover and set aside (in refrigerator if over night). Cover raisins with water, microwave until boiling, set aside.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices and set aside.
Grease two nonstick 9-inch layer cake pans. Cut waxed paper circles to fit bottoms, grease waxed paper. Put paper muffin cups in about eight muffin tins.
When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in middle of oven. Drain pineapple and raisins. With electric mixer on high speed beat white sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until thick, about 3 minutes. With beater on low, mix in drained pineapple, then dry ingredients, then carrot-brown sugar mixture, then nuts and drained raisins. Mix just until combined.
Pour batter into layer cake pans, three-quarters full. Pour remaining batter into muffin tins, for cupcakes. Bake layers 45-50 minutes; cupcakes about 25 minutes.
Cool layers in pans 10 minutes, then turn out on racks, peel off waxed paper and cool completely.
Frost with simple vanilla cream cheese frosting; substitute freshly squeezed orange juice for milk.
Cake Mix-Plus Yellow Layers
This method tones down the chemical taste and artificial color noticeable in many yellow cake mixes.
Follow directions on a box of white (not yellow) cake mix. Substitute two whole eggs for three whites. Substitute freshly squeezed orange juice for half of water. Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, teaspoon pure almond extract. Bake as directed. Frost with fabulous (but easy) sour cream chocolate frosting:
Put cup (1 stick) butter and four squares unsweetened baking chocolate in bowl of electric mixer. Set bowl over barely simmering water until butter and chocolate have melted. Sift 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar. With electric mixer, beat melted butter and chocolate to combine. Beat in sugar, about cup at a time, alternately with 3/4 cup sour cream (at room temperature), 2 tablespoons at a time, until spreading consistency. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and a dash of salt. Frost tops and sides of layers.
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