Saturday, July 24, 2010

Serious Cakes

I've been watching some videos of a very clever lady, known as SeriousCakes in the US about decorating with Buttercream Icing. She does some amazing things, albeit a little over the top - garish colours and enough buttercream to drown a cat.
Her videos are very entertaining with little snippets to read and beautiful music to listen to while you watch.

I thought I'd try one of her cake recipes, she calls it yellow cake. I converted the recipe using an online conversion tool and thought it sounded a little out of whack:

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (250g plain flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (220g)
2 cups sugar (385g)
4 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups milk (385g)

The closest thing I could find to vegetable shortening (they use the brand name Crisco), was Copha, which is coconut shortening. I used one third butter and two thirds copha. I couldn't bring myself to use 2 cups sugar, so I reduced to 1.5 cups, or 190g. As I was adding the milk, I knew it was way too much as the mixture was curdling, so I reduced it to the 300g. The mixture was still curdled, so I added another cup of flour, around 150g.

So, that made it a whole new recipe!  The mixure still looked a little like it was curdled and the taste wasn't flash because I hadn't added any salt. 

The warm cake tasted delicious, light and fluffy, though slightly 'eggy'. However, once cold, the cakes were firm and quite fatty tasting. I played around and made SeriousCakes Buttercream with Copha and butter and decorated them with little stars. I'm taking them up to Footy for afternoon tea. They looked really amatuerish, but the little girls will love them!         


  1. lol-at least try it once as it's listed! Baking is a science, if you start playing around with the amounts of the ingredients the recipe won't work the way it's supposed to.
    This batter does look curdled when you start adding the milk but it's not truly curdled, it's the fat of the shortening not blending with milk, it works out though in the oven :D

  2. I guess I was too chicken! I've tried so many cake recipes over the years that haven't worked out, so I tend to be dubious with new recipes.
    Will give it a go, but I just can't bring myself to use that much sugar!

    I do understand that baking is a science, I have Michael Ruhlman's book called 'Ratio' which I swear by and that's why I was unsure that this recipe would work. Obviously it does as you make it all the time!

  3. Yep, I've been using this recipe for about 5 years now and it hasn't failed once, only when my oven went berserk and started baking things 100 degrees hotter than it was supposed to :D
    I wouldn't say this is a really sweet cake, it's more like a pound cake. There's a difference though in tastes from country to country, both the frosting and the cake are typical of American cakes. lol-we like to have our cake and lots of frosting too! The only people I've had say the combination was too sweet are people from other countries, which is fine, it's our differences that make the world go around right? :D
    -Serious Cakes

  4. OK, I'll take the challenge, sugar and all!

    I do admire your skill and talent and adore watching your videos. Keep up the fantastic work and thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.

  5. Thank you :D Let me know how it turns out!