Thursday, March 26, 2015

Best white cake recipe ... white almond sour cream cake!

White Almond Sour Cream cupcake with raspberry filling, vanilla buttercream, and toasted almonds

Here's another recipe that starts with a cake mix, but has lots of other ingredients added to it, so I consider it "almost scratch." I never liked white cake much until I started using this recipe. It has quickly become one of my most requested wedding cake flavors. The taste and texture are amazing, with a hint of vanilla and almond, but not overwhelming, and it is sooo moist! Any kind of filling and icing can be added. You couldn't ask for an easier cake to cut - a caterer's dream! The only drawback to this cake is that it takes a bit longer to bake - but oh, so worth the wait!

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

1 Duncan Hines white cake mix (16.5 oz.)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
7/8 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 335 degrees. Grease and flour (2) 8 inch cake pans, and line bottom with parchment. Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl at low speed, then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Fill pans a little over half full (more than a normal cake batter). When making cupcakes, fill cups fuller than normal. Tap cake pans on counter to release air bubbles. Bake until done, or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remember, this cake will take longer to bake than your normal cake.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe... from a mix!

Not all cake recipes need to be made totally from "scratch." As a matter of fact, some of my most popular cake flavors start with a mix. The cakes turn out moist, flavorful, and with a good texture to cut. Here is my "go to" recipe for the best chocolate cake. I always use Duncan Hines cake mixes. Even though they have changed the formula and size of the mixes over the 38 years that I have been decorating, I still believe it's the best cake mix you can purchase. This recipe makes just enough batter for (2) 8 inch by 2 inch round cake pans. 

The Best Darn Chocolate Cake

1 Duncan Hines cake mix (Devil's Food or Dark Chocolate Fudge)
1 small box chocolate instant pudding
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sour cream (do not use light or fat free)
4  large eggs

High Altitude: Add an extra 1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 335 degrees. (340 degrees for high altitude.) Grease and flour (2) 8 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. 

Combine all ingredients on low speed, then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be quite thick. Spread into prepared pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. (I always test with a tootpick to see if it comes out clean.) At our altitude, this cake will still sometimes sink slightly in the center, but it is easy to just level it off. When you bake your cakes at a lower temperature, they will turn out more moist. You may need to bake them for a bit longer, but be careful to not overbake. Cool thoroughly on cooling rack before icing and decorating. 

One of the sister missionaries, Sister Botts, serving in our area had a birthday last week, so I made her a chocolate cake with this recipe. I added raspberry and fudge fillings, and chocolate buttercream... a great combination, but too tempting for this Weight Watcher. I had to have a small piece. Happy Birthday to Sister Botts... isn't she cute?