Posts Tagged ‘whole cake’

“Beach-Themed” Birthday Cake (Butter Cake With Butter Frosting).

December 15, 2008

I had so much fun baking this birthday cake for my friend Samuel, who turned 25. A beach-themed cake came to mind and ¬†I thought to myself, “okay there would be a beach mat on the sand, umbrellas and some sharks in the water” ūüôā

First of all, I needed 3 layers of butter cake. Since my oven is a tiny electric one (which bakes less evenly), I baked it in 3 batches. You may freeze the cooled cake for up to 3 months and thaw it for at least 2 hours before you start to decorate the cake. 

Butter Cake (serves about 9)
Adapted from “Party Cakes for kids”, Murdoch Books Australia¬†

150g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup fresh milk (if you want it more moist, replace some of the fresh milk with some canned condensed milk)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Lightly grease a round cake tin (I used a 15cm in diameter tin) and line the base with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and creamy. Beat in eggs gradually and add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Fold in the sifted flour alternatively with the milk until smooth. Spoon mixture into tin and smooth the surface. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
4. Leave the cake in the tin for about 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Frost it or freeze it in cling-wrap until it is ready to be frosted ūüôā

And then…Viola. My butter cake layers thawing from the cold of the night.

Here’s my blue frosting for the ‘sea waves’ using this from allrecipes. For this cake size, I changed the total frosting portion to 18. I used a drop of blue colouring to mimic the waves.

For the ‘sand’ portion of the cake, I added less icing sugar to the frosting as it would be topped by brown sugar and I wanted to it look less stiff.

The ‘sand’.
 

The ‘sharks’, I made these out of cardboard paper. (Jaws piano tune in my head)
 

Layer 1 and 2 of the cake frosted with the ‘sand’ frosting. I would use whipped cream with fresh strawberries as a filling next time.¬†

The sand portion all frosted.

‘Sand’ and ‘waves’ added.

Little beach mat I made, near the sharks. *Shudders.

The entire decoration before the birthday boy was surprised at Starbucks. 

Surprise Samuel, from your friends and friendly baristas at Starbucks!

¬†Here’s how the inside of the cake looked like.

The cake disappeared really quickly, I was so pleased and I think Samuel was pleased too. Above all, I had a blast making it. Looking forward to baking for Christmas. ūüėÄ

Muffins & Cupcakes: Why they are different.

February 20, 2008

I found¬†a lot of¬†talk and misconceptions about the similarities and differences between a muffin and a cupcake¬†online. Some say a muffin becomes a cupcake when there is¬†frosting on it. Some say that cupcakes are smaller than muffins. That is incorrect, here is my take on it. Let’s conquer the cupcake first.

Cupcakes

  • A cupcake¬†is essentially¬†the same as a¬†whole cake. It is simply baked and served in a portion to serve one individual.
  • It is usually frosted (like those in the photos above) and decorated. It is common to see it at birthday parties and weddings.
  • It is sweet¬†and hence eaten mostly as a dessert or a sweet treat.
  • An un-frosted cupcakes does not¬†equate to a muffin.
  • Butter is usually used in a cupcake recipe.
  • Conclusion: A cupcake is a cake.

Muffins

Source: Wikipedia

  • A muffin is one of the easiest things to bake (although I’ve had my fair share of failures, will give you tips to succeed in baking a muffin). It is simply mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and some recipes do not even require the use of an electronic beater or whisk.
  • It can be frosted or not frosted. For fruit muffins, I like to use a crumble on top (recipe in the next post).
  • It can be sweet or savoury and is mostly eaten during breakfast or tea.
  • A frosted muffin does not equate a to cupcake.
  • Oil is usually used in a muffin recipe.
  • Conclusion: A muffin is a type of bread (quick bread).

I hope this clarifies the difference between a cupcake and a muffin better. Watch out for my next post on my experience with baking muffins.

Peanut Butter Frosting With Chunks of Nuts Recipe.

February 17, 2008

I love peanut butter, especially those with chunky peanuts in them. I am so glad I do not have Arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth). Here’s one of my favourite frosting recipes. I use it for my chocolate cupcakes, it¬†is always¬†a perfect combination.


Source: Wikipedia¬†(Sigh, I couldn’t find a photo of the frosting I made)

Peanut Butter Frosting (Serves 6)

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tbsp milk, or as needed (add this gradually till you achieve your preferred consistency)
3/4 confectioner’s sugar

Directions
1. Place butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl and beat with an electronic mixer.
2. Gradually mix in the confectioner’s sugar till it starts to get thick.
3. Add milk and mix well until all of the sugar is mixed in and frosting is thick and spreadable.
4. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get fluffier.
5. Spread onto cake.

Anyway if you’re really into baking with peanut butter, here are more recipes for you from Skippy.

Here is one weird fact I found from another blog about peanut butter. You cannot really find it in the UK except in certain specialty stores. Is this really true?

Chocolate Icing Recipe.

February 9, 2008

You can really do whatever you want to an Icing recipe to suit your preference. Here is my basic chocolate Icing recipe. It’s really easy, just 5 tiny ingredients and you’re good to go.

Chocolate Icing Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you may add more if you like)
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of confectioner’s sugar (you may increase this according to the consistency you’re looking for)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa together until well-combined.
2. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat till smooth.
3. Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar until your desired consistency is achieved.
4. Adjust with more milk, sugar, flour, if necessary.
5. Spread this beautiful icing onto your cake and serve.

Here’s how I decorated my cake in my previous post. This cake were for my cousins, during a picnic we had while watching Ballet Under The Stars. The cake was rich and Yum-O.

I topped off the icing with chocolate chips and dusted it lightly with confectioner’s sugar for a contrasting effect.

A close up view.

I welcome suggestions to make this recipe even better. ūüôā