I wouldn’t say I’m a good cake decorator. Here are examples of my personal best cakes, made for The Tall One’s first birthday. I don’t think anyone thought they came from a professional bakery.
For our anniversary last week, I was ready to show off my amateur cake decorating skills again. I have been looking forward to using a number stencil idea I found on Pinterest. Her photo looks way better than mine, but while I think sprinkles look fun, I don’t actually like eating them. I used unsweetened flaked coconut on chocolate cake instead.
To make the number design, I drew the numbers on waxed paper and cut them out. (For more perfect numbers, you could print them from your computer, then trace them onto the waxed paper.) I placed the numbers on top of my frosted cake, sprinkled with coconut, then carefully peeled off the paper. Here is the cute result!
I had two assistants ready and willing to help when it was time to bake this cake. One big weakness of mine as a mom is that I don’t do well with help in the kitchen. Messes stress me out, and I like doing things
the right way my way. Since this was going to be a group project, I wanted to get it done as quickly and easily as possible. I found a one bowl chocolate cake recipe in my trusty Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook that seemed like a perfect option.
I modified it a tad to reduce the fat and sugar, and I substituted butter for the shortening. I also couldn’t help but mix the butter just a little before throwing everything else in because I couldn’t imagine it getting incorporated evenly otherwise. It felt very wrong to put all the ingredients in together, but I must say the end result was terrific. Instead of light and fluffy, this chocolate cake was dense, moist, and satisfying. I used a basic chocolate buttercream frosting, but I’m not going to recommend it because it wasn’t my favorite.
Do you have a favorite chocolate frosting? I would love to find one that tastes like chocolate mousse.
- ½ c. butter, softened
- 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 c. sugar
- ⅔ c. baking cocoa
- 1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ c. applesauce (or substitute ¼ c. vegetable oil)
- 1-1/2 c. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two round cake pans, a 13x9" dish, or a bundt pan.
- Mix butter on medium-low speed until smooth, then add remaining ingredients. Mix on lowest speed until combined, and then on medium-high speed for three minutes.
- Pour batter into pans. Bake round cakes for 25-30 minutes, rectangular cake for 35-40 minutes, or bundt cake for approximately 45 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan for 10- 15 minutes, then cool completely on wire rack before decorating.