I am definitely more of a cake decorator than a baker. As I mentioned before, I typically will use a boxed cake mix for kids parties or for large parties that require a lot of cake (I prefer Duncan Hine’s Classic Yellow Mix Cake and Betty Crocker’s Supermoist Chocolate Cake Mix with Hershey’s). Not too many people can tell the difference and it is a lot easier than baking from scratch. If I have more time or it is for a small group/cake,then I will bake a cake from scratch. Here are some of my favorite recipes. You will see a common theme that they are all pretty easy!
Frankyola’s Yellow Butter Cake
I got this recipe from a friend that I think she found on CakeCentral.com. I use Lorann’s Professional Kitchen Bakery Emulsion for the lemon and almond extract.
3 cups cake flour
1 cup butter
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups fine sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup of buttermilk or milk (I prefer buttermilk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ lemon extract
½ almond extract
Preheat over 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 (8”) round cake pans.
Sift flour, add baking powder and salt. Set aside.
On medium speed, cream butter and sugar, until light fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time. After 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons flour. Add flour mix alternating with the buttermilk or milk, ending with flour. Add extracts. Place cake pan in middle of oven, leave space between pans (at least 2”). Bake 35 or 45 minutes (depends on oven).
Hershey’s Chocolate Collector’s Cocoa Cake
I believe this is the old recipe that they used to put on the Hershey’s Cocoa container. It has a nice flavor and consistency. I like that it is not too dry.
¾ cup butter or margarine
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 1/3 cups water
Cream butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat one minute at medium speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with water to creamed mixture. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes for 8” pans; 30 to 35 minutes for 9” pans (cupcakes keep checking after 20 minutes). Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely and frost.
Okay, so the secret ingredient in this recipe is BUTTER. There is a LOT of it, which is why I think it is so good. I also think the marshmallow cream actually makes it a little less sweet compared to other buttercream recipes. I add a few tablespoons of cocoa (to taste) to make a Chocolate Marshmallow Buttercream.
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 jars or tubs (7 or 7 ½ oz each) or 1 large tub (16 oz) marshmallow cream (Kraft jet-puffed)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla (or other flavor for 1 of the tsp)
*I add a little salt at the end OR I use half salted and half unsalted butter
Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in marshmallow cream. When well blended, beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy.
I also cheat here. While home-made fondant tastes better, store bought is easier to work with. I usually use Wilton’s or Duff’s fondant or if it is for a fancy cake or event, I will splurge and buy Satin Ice.
16 oz bag of marshmallows
2 tbsp water
1/3 cup Crisco plus more for kneading
2 boxes of powdered sugar
- Melt the marshmallows and water in the microwave.
- After they melt, remove and quickly scrape into your stand mixer.
- Add 1/3 cup Crisco and begin mixer on low speed.
- Add 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
- Mixture will be very thick. You will only be able to mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Turn out the mixture onto a surface that has been generously greased with Crisco. Have 2 cups of powdered sugar in a pile on same surface (I usually end up using almost all of the 2 boxes of powdered sugar).
- Begin kneading the mixture, continuing to add more sugar until the fondant is quite stiff.
- If it starts to crack or appear crusty, dip your fingers into more Crisco and add another tablespoon or so (usually do this about 4-5 times).
- Knead about 7-8 minutes.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest overnight.
My secret filling recipe that everyone loves is a tub of Cool Whip + jar of Simply Fruit Jam (strawberry) + a little dry vanilla instant pudding mix. So simple!