Awesome Cake Realization- doh!

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IrishLass

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Disclaimer: I'm sure that what I've just realized will be ancient, common knowledge to those of you that are experienced cake bakers. I'm still at amateur level when it comes to baking cakes, so I'm sure that many of you may get a good belly laugh at my enthusiastic excitement over this, but I wanted to share what I just recently figured out- namely that I don't have to commit myself to baking a whole 8" or 9" layer cake for small birthday gatherings anymore, knowing that half of it will probably go uneaten! I can cut the recipe for any normal 9" layer cake right in half and make a perfect, more reasonably-sized 6" layer cake instead. Why, oh why is it only now that I just figured this out? Ach! All those years of wasted left-over cake! Doh!

It was my hubby's birthday the other day, and since only 3 of us would be eating any cake, I baked him a lovely 6" chocolate layer cake by splitting a 9" layer cake recipe in half (recipe below), and it was the perfect size to be able to enjoy on his birthday, with just enough left-overs to last us a day or 2 longer (instead of enough to last a week or 2 longer!).

Anyway- I just thought I'd share in case there are other cake-amateurs like me who always end up with too much left-over cake on their hands than they know what to do with. lol

For what it's worth, 6" cake pans are very easy to find locally if you have a Michael's craft store or a Hobby Lobby nearby. Both sell them.

Here is the chocolate cake recipe I made. It's my tweaked version of King Arthur Flour's 'Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake' recipe, scaled exactly in half to make a 6" layer cake:

Dry Ingredients:

-199g/1 cup sugar (I like to use caster sugar)
-120g/1 cup King Arthur-brand all-purpose flour
-26g unsweetened Dutch Processed cocoa (I used Penzy's brand)
-6g King Arthur-brand Black Cocoa powder- a super-duper dark Dutch Processed cocoa [Note:- the black cocoa addition is my tweak. It works wonderfully at bumping the chocolate flavor up a few notches. If you don't have any black cocoa, just use 32g of the unsweetened Dutch Processed instead of the stated 26g]
-8g/1 tbsp. corn starch or tapioca starch
-1 tsp. espresso powder (I use Medaglia D'Oro-brand from my grocery store in the coffee aisle)
-1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

-142g room temp water (1/2 + 1/8 cup)
-2 large eggs (the total weight of my 2 eggs-without shell- came to 104g)
-74g vegetable oil (1/3 cup + 2 tsp.)
-4g vanilla extract (1 tsp.)

Directions: (these are very easy)

Preheat oven to 425F/218C

Prepare two 6" cake pans by first spraying them with baking spray (or greasing them), then lining the bottoms with parchment, then spraying (or greasing) the parchment. Set aside.

Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl, then whisk to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Add all the liquid ingredients together (except for the water) in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour all the liquid ingredients (except for the water) into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth (I use an electric hand-blender).

Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. (batter will be quite liquid, but don't be alarmed- this is normal)

Pour batter into prepared pans as evenly divided as you can, place on middle rack of oven, turn heat down to 350F/177C, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, I made a chocolate version of Summer Stone's recipe for Simple Silky Buttercream, which I like to call the cheater's version of Swiss meringue buttercream. lol It all came out quite nice and not overly sweet.


IrishLass :)
 

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