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DEVILS FOOD CAKE/ I'm Confessin'



I have a confession to make … cookies are not my favorite dessert. Gasp! There, I said it. For my sweet tooth there is nothing like a homemade layer cake. The combination of cake and frosting make it a standout. My love for cake whether vanilla or chocolate is equal; the same goes for frosting. My eldest grand niece is a vanilla girl and my eldest grand nephew is a true purest and loves cake in its simplest form … just the cake, no frosting. It amazes me because isn't frosting the best part? Tell me your favorite cake and frosting flavors in a comment section below?

Even with my love of cake, I rarely bake one. I recently purchased three 7-inch cake pans which makes the perfect size cake for just the two of us. This was the first time using my new cake pans. I tried to achieve a smooth finish on the frosting and it turned out pretty good but not the perfect smoothness I was going for. This cake was frosted with my Favorite Buttercream and tastes great but leaves a textured finish. In a future post I tweak this buttercream recipe in search of a creamy finish. Stay tuned to see the result.


Devils Food Layer Cake
2/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1½ cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2½ oz Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
2¼ cups Softasilk Cake Flour (or 2-1/8 cups Flour), sifted
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1¼ cups Buttermilk
Buttermilk Substitute: Add a little over 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1¼ cups milk

Grease and flour three 7-inch cake pans.
In a separate bowl mix Flour, Baking Soda and Salt. Set aside.
Cream Shortening and Sugar until fluffy Add Eggs. Add melted Chocolate.
Stir in flour mixture alternately with Buttermilk. Pour into cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
[This is the Popular Devils Food Cake recipe from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]

Favorite Buttercream Frosting
1 cup Butter (2 sticks), softened
5 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla
4-5 tbsp Milk

Beat butter for 8-10 minutes until pale and double in volume.
Gradually add the sugar ½ cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla and milk. Beat well until icing is smooth and fluffy.


Butter after whipping for 10 minutes

Separate frosting into two bowls.
Keep half the frosting white. No need to add white food coloring.
Color half of the frosting pink with AmeriColor Deep Pink. 

Assemble the cake and frost each layer with white icing.
Optional: Crumb coat the top and sides of cake with white frosting. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Frost the outside of the cake starting with white frosting along the bottom half of the cake.
Frost the remaining side and top of cake with pink frosting.
Pipe flowers with Wilton 1M tip in pink frosting.


 

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WHITE CUPCAKES/ Cupcakes & Cream



In an effort to improve the look of my cupcakes and find an awesome-tasting buttercream frosting, I whipped up a batch of cupcakes from a Betty Crocker White Cake mix. A mix does not taste as good as a cake made from scratch but it saved me time and the frosting is where it’s at anyway. 

Cupcake recipes say to fill the cups 2/3 full yet my cupcakes spill over looking more like muffins than cupcakes. So this time I filled the tins only half full. It was hard not to add more batter because it looks so skimpy, but restraint paid off and the cupcakes came out pretty good. Now on to the frosting. 




There are oodles and oodles of buttercream frosting recipes out there. Some are made with shortening such as White Buttercream Frosting, which makes a very white frosting but the taste is so-so and a bit oily. Frosting made with butter is tastier and creamy although it retains a tinge of butter yellow and is not white-white. Viewing online videos for tips to the perfect buttercream, one baker’s tip for white frosting is to beat the butter for 8-10 minutes to lighten the color. The extended mixing time lightens the butter significantly (see untouched photograph below), and increases the amount of frosting. Another recommends adding Confectioner’s Sugar only one-half cup at a time and incorporating well after each addition. Who knew there was so much science involved in frosting!

Butter after whipping for 10 minutes


For these cupcakes, I made a slight variation to the American Buttercream Frosting. It is very tasty, fluffy, easy to pipe and good for tinting. It was all I could do to not eat the frosting in spoonfuls out of the bowl. It’s that scrumptious! 


This buttercream has a nice cream tint. To achieve a white hue I often use clear vanilla and/or add white gel food coloring. This frosting has the basic texture of most buttercreams and is more than adequate for cakes and cupcakes. I always use the wire whip beater which adds air and creates a fluffy texture. 


White Cupcakes
Pillsbury White Pudding Cake Mix
Add eggs whites, water and corn oil
Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes.
{I substituted melted butter for the oil, and used milk instead of water}


Favorite Buttercream Frosting
1 cup Butter (2 sticks), softened
5 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla
4-5 tbsp Milk

Beat butter for 8-10 minutes until pale and double in volume.
Gradually add the sugar ½ cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla and milk. Beat well until icing is smooth and fluffy.





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MINNIE MOUSE BOW COOKIES/ Minerva



The Mickey Mouse Club was a popular television show among the youngsters of the 1950’s. Boys and girls called Mouseketeers sang and danced while wearing Mickey Mouse ears and turtlenecks with their names emblazoned. Those mouse ears have made a resurgence and Mickey’s girlfriend, Minnie Mouse is as popular as ever.

 [Source: OriginalMMC.com]

Did you know Minnie’s real name is Minerva? 
Minnie is distinctive with her polka dot dress, matching bow and bright yellow shoes.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Minnie was the party theme for a special girl turning two. The toddler of honor, my grand niece wore her pink tutu and mouse ears while carrying a stuffed Minnie in each arm, one pink and the other red. Her mini pals wore their tutus and mouse ears too. These hipsters were just too cute for words. At the special time she blew out her candles and you guessed it … a Minnie cake!  It was surely a polka-dotted affair for this darling toddler. 


These Bow Cookies were part of the fun. The use of the butterfly cutter as Minnie’s bow is the creative idea of Callye at Sweet Sugarbelle, seen in these Minnie Bow Cookies.


Minnie Mouse Bow Cookies
Butterfly Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Red with AmeriColor Super Red
Royal Icing for flooding tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Black with AmeriColor Super Black
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating Tip #1.5

Outline and flood center of cookie with #2 tip in red icing.

Pipe dots with white icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Outline and flood rest of cookie with #2 tip in red icing.
Pipe dots with white icing. Let sit 45 minutes

Pipe outline and detail with #1.5 tip in black icing. Let dry overnight.

 

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GALAXY COOKIES/ Space Race



I was in elementary school during the 1960’s when the United States was in the thick of the space race with the Russians. In our classrooms for every launch, we strained to watch every minute from pre-flight to takeoff on a clunky television with rabbit ears displaying grainy images. During the astronauts return to earth, we held our breath waiting for the space capsule to appear after its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere and splashdown in the ocean. I always found it reassuring that the frogmen were there to open the hatch to freedom while the capsule bobbed in the expansive ocean. As little children we did not realize the risk involved or that the astronauts were among the most courageous and daring of 1950’s test pilots. We knew their names and they were American heroes. As you all know, we ultimately landed on the moon in July 1969 beating the Russians. It was a very patriotic and exciting time in America amid the race riots, war protests and political assassinations.


There seems to be a renewed interest in space these days as is evident in edible treats. Galaxy or space cookies are the rage today. The first time I saw a galaxy cookie was in a video tutorial by Amber of Sweetambs. It looked like a fun cookie to decorate and has been on my radar ever since. Besides cookies there are galaxy cakes  and cupcakes. I used the shooting star cutter for these cookies and found inspiration from this photograph of the universe. 

  Source: earthspacecircle.blogspot.com

Shooting Star Galaxy Cookies
Shooting Star Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Black with AmeriColor Navy Blue and AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Purple with AmeriColor Regal Purple
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Hot Pink with AmeriColor Electric Pink
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Bright Blue with AmeriColor Sky Blue
Royal Icing for flooding tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2, #1
Butter knife
Toothpicks
VIEW VIDEO TUTORIAL




Outline cookie with #2 tip in black icing. Flood the outside edge of the cookie in black icing.


Pipe rows of icing in purple, blue, pink and white.


Using a butter knife and toothpick swirl icing to create design.

Pipe small dots with #1 tip in white icing. 

Let dry overnight.

 
 

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TYE DIE STAR COOKIES

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