03 June 2009

Birthday Cake and Cupcakes!

I hadn't really planned on sharing the actual recipe for my dad's birthday cake for two reasons: it has a super secret ingredient in it that he would beat me for putting in the cake (three guesses what it is, makes the cake super moist). Since he reads my blog, I didn't want to piss him off unnecessarily by revealing something so heinous. The second reason is that I didn't take any pictures of my work. I had only planned on posting pictures of the finished cake and cupcakes.
I decided to make my Nana's cheesecake last night. I had been looking at cheesecake recipes and remembered that I still had hers hidden away in my recipe box untouched. Knowing I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand, I ran to the grocery store and got what I needed. When I got home, I saw that Nana doesn't make a crust for hers. That's OK. I'll make one anyway (I did not just spend money on a box of grahams to not use them). I pulled out Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook and made a crust according to her directions. I made the filling, adding one ingredient at a time to my mixer. As I poured the filling into my precooked crust, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake: too much filling, not enough pan.
I just could not post another fail so close to the last one (I'll still post it though along with the recipe). It was my own lack of foresight that made the cheesecake go wrong from the get go. There's even more story to the whole debacle so hopefully you'll still be around to read it in a day or so.
Anyway, here is the recipe for the cake I made for my dad as well as the cupcake recipe. The cake also had a secret filling that very few people knew about because I wanted it to be a surprise for my dad: PEANUT BUTTER! I personally don't care for peanut butter, but my dad loves chocolate and peanut butter together. What better way to surprise my dad than to give him his favorite flavors?

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Layers
Recipe from The Cake Book
Makes 2 9-in cakes
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup safflower oil or corn oil
1 1/4 cups ice-cold water
  1. Position oven rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 350°; grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans; line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper and grease the paper; dust the paper and sides of the pans with flour.
  2. Into a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine then set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs until blended; whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract until blended; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the melted butter and oil together on low speed.
  5. Add in the cold water and mix to blend.
  6. Add in the dry ingredients all at once and mix on med-low for 1 minute.
  7. Add in the egg mixture and mix for another minute, until well blended, scraping down the sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly.
  9. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, until a pick comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, peel off the paper, and cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting (I used two different frosting recipes from Tish's book).

Rainbow Cupcakes
Recipe inspired by Omnomicon

1 box of white cake mix
1 package gel food colors
Cupcake liners (mine made 18 because I didn’t pay close enough attention to what I was doing)

  1. Prepare cake according to package.
  2. Divide batter into six bowls, using most for red and least for purple (I did one cup for each color but should have used more for red and worked my way down to purple; probably would have made 24 cupcakes that way).
  3. Color each bowl of batter until desired color is reached (you want it bright so don’t be stingy).
  4. Using a tablespoon, fill each cupcake liner with about 2Tbl of red batter and 1Tbl of orange. Use a teaspoon for all the other colors (yellow gets a heaping tsp, green gets 1tsp, blue gets slightly less than 1tsp, and purple gets about 1/2tsp).
  5. Layer each color as close to the center of the previous color until all six colors have been used and filled each cupcake liner about ¾ of the way.
  6. Bake according the directions on the package. Allow to cool before frosting (I made a strawberry whipped cream which was just heavy whipping cream and strawberry extract; you may use whatever you would like though).

This is a picture of my cousin's 2 1/2 year old son enjoying one of the cupcakes. Isn't he cute?


Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

as we say in France : "entre les deux mon coeur balance" meaning ... I would have hard time choosing ..; and woud have taste both as they look DELICIOUS.
never heard about The Cake Book before, got to check that ...

Kimmyhat said...

So, you posted the recipe for the cake anyway? Now Dad is REALLY going to disown you... I guess that's okay for me, though, because now I'll inherit everything. Thanks. :)

megs said...

haha - my guess for the mystery ingredient was.... lard! Perhaps I was secretly hoping for a good excuse to use up the aging lard in my fridge.

Beautiful cake (with PB, yummy!) it's making me hungry.

The Giveaway Diva said...

hi sunshine please email me regarding your entry to the boojiboo contest! i just need proof before i can give you the ten extra entries!!! thanks!!!!

Sunshine said...

Sabine - Thanks again for the great comment! Everyone seemed to really enjoy the cake, and the cupcakes were pretty great too.

Kimmyhat - I needed to post something!

Megs - It was sour cream! You could always make a pie though for the lard...

Giveaway Diva - Email is on its way!

GUGAW said...

those multicoloured cakes are AMAZING!