Monday, July 26, 2010

Cake #1: Basic Sour Cream Yellow Cake (Part 1)

This is a cake of many firsts for me. It is my first cake using a boxed cake mix (although I added more to it) and my first time freezing a cake. Now these are two things I swore to NEVER do as a baker, use cake mix and freeze. I like to keep my cakes fresh and made with only quality ingredients. However, I am slowly learning that baking is expensive and time consuming and using little tricks, especially when I am still in the learning process, is not a bad thing. This is also my first time using shortening in my frosting, but more on that later. I don't want to be a baking snob and I want to be open to trying new techniques and tips as I develop my skills.

I used a recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. I actually got to watch her do a demo at the L.A. Times Festival of Books back in April and it was love at first sight! She is so charming and friendly. Anyway, this is the Basic Sour Cream Yellow Cake, (again I'll have to type out the recipes once I am on break from school, but if you really want it let me know). It was super easy to make and fit my two 8x2 inch circular cake pans perfectly. Here is the process in pictures:

All the ingredients.

The Cookbook.

The recipe:Basic Sour Cream Yellow, just yellow box mix, eggs, oil, sugar, sour cream, water, and vanilla extract.

I went with Pillsbury this time, next time . . . Betty Crocker.

Prepping the pans with non-stick spray and flour, this helps them pop right out!

My finished batter, looking very smooth!

I weighed the pans to make sure they had the exact same amount of batter for two even cakes.

When baking two layer cakes it is always best to bake side by side on the middle rack, that way they bake evenly.

All done baking and cooling in their pans.

Ready for freezing! I read that it is best to separately wrap each layer alone in foil and then in a freezer bag. When you defrost take them out of the bag and open the foil so that the cakes do not get soggy while defrosting. You can freeze a cake up to 2 months! Tomorrow we will see how one day turns out.

*Stay tuned tomorrow to see how my first lesson in piping goes!! We are supposed to make a rainbow design. I am looking forward to it!


  1. Very cool E. I never thought of freezing either, but the elders (well, in my family anyway) swear by it, especially w/breads - banana and such.

    I like that you weighed the pans for even baking too. Something I never thought of before. :)

  2. I'd love to hear your thoughts on shortening in frosting...I'm a huge fan of unsalted margarine: I like the flavor, and it seems to hold up better than butter when the cake is left out for a while. - Juan

  3. You know I have never tried margarine, but I will in one of my test cakes, good idea!! yeah I was trying to think how can I get my cakes even and my scale was sitting on the counter and Voila! Magic in the kitchen! I'll let you know how the shortening comes out. We all need to meet up on a Weds sometime so you can test the goods!

  4. Can't wait to hear the rest of your story!