9.09.2011

bake a birthday cake

Every month there is a birthday or two among my friends or my family. I love to whip out my bakeware and put a little love into a cake for that special someone in my life. Who doesn't love to make a wish, blow out candles, and chow down on some fluffy goodness? With everyone getting older, it's hard to find new recipes to try. I browsed Cooking Light to find some inspiration. 

Lets forget about calories on this one and just indulge, why don't we?


Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • to 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • Topping:
  • 2/3 cup fat-free caramel apple dip (such as T. Marzetti's)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To prepare cake, coat bottoms of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
  • Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Cool completely.
  • Place granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon 1 2/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 2/3 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • To prepare frosting, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Combine butter mixture and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency.
  • Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread top with half of frosting. Place caramel dip in a small zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle half of caramel dip over frosting. Top with other cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top of cake; drizzle with remaining caramel dip. Sprinkle with pecans.


Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • large eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Icing:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon rind strips (optional)

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2. To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Dust pans with 2 tablespoons flour, and set aside.
  • 3. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  • 4. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • 5. Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack; remove wax paper from cake layers.
  • 6. To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients (except lemon rind strips) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of icing on top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining half of icing over top of cake. Garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cake flour
  • 11 ounces cake flour (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large egg whites
  • Frosting:
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup bottled lemon curd

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2. To prepare cake, lightly coat 2 (8-inch) round metal cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust each pan with 1 teaspoon flour.
  • 3. Weigh or lightly spoon 11 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 11 ounces flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and low-fat milk. Combine 1 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add canola oil and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until combined.
  • 4. Place 3 egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy, using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into batter. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks. Loosen edges with a knife, and invert cakes onto racks. Cool completely; discard wax paper.
  • 5. To prepare frosting, combine 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and dash of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240° (about 4 minutes). Combine cream of tartar and 3 egg whites in large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating at high speed until medium peaks form. Gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg white mixture, beating first at medium speed and then at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • 6. To prepare filling, place lemon curd in a medium bowl. Gently fold 1/3 cup meringue into the curd. Fold an additional 2/3 cup meringue into curd mixture.
  • 7. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread filling over top of cake, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over sides and top of cake.

What are your go-to birthday cake recipes?

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