Cake recipes are vital for a traditional birthday treat as well as the centerpiece to many special occasions, particularly weddings. While layer cakes may be the first to come to mind, there are many other popular varieties. Cupcakes, tortes, sheet cakes, petit fours, cake pops, angel food and pound cakes are all delicious members of the family.
Best Cake Recipes
Almost everyone has a favorite cake recipe. While many people rely on mixes, there is nothing like a homemade recipe, and they really are not hard to make. Even better, making your own allows you to experiment with the best flavors.
Layer Cake Tips
What separates layer cakes from others is the fact that the cake is split into sections, with distinct fillings between each layer. A basic layer cake recipe has only two layers, while more elaborate desserts may have several. Tortes are special types of layered cakes, typically with a denser consistency, richer flavor, and many layers.
Layer cakes can be tricky for the uninitiated. The key is to follow the recipe consistently: using different types of butter or margarine, a different egg size, or different size cake pans than called for may affect the size and shape of the layers, potentially distorting the final cake. After you have become accustomed to making layer cakes, you can experiment more freely.
It is important to measure the cake batter to ensure that each layer has the same amount and will be the same size. After baking, trim each layer flat with a long knife, such as a bread knife. Using toothpicks as a guide around the edge of the cake can help keep each layer even. Place lower layers topside down for flatter inner surfaces to work with and to keep the cake from becoming lopsided.
Feel free to experiment with fillings: you don't need to use the same frosting as will be on the outside of the cake. Pudding, mousse, fruit purees, and jelly make startling fillings that add a decadent touch. Many cooks even choose different fillings between different layers.
When frosting layer cake recipes, place strips of waxed paper just beneath the edges of the cake to keep the plate clean. Brush away loose crumbs (soft cakes may be frozen before frosting), and consider using a thin layer of icing as a crumb coat before actually frosting the cake. The cake should be completely cool before frosting. Add embellishments (sprinkles, icing decorations, writing, etc.) last. If the cake is to be refrigerated, do not add sugar sprinkles until just prior to serving or the color may run.