In these days of ready to use a cake mix, buttercream, fondant, sugar lace mix and so on. Making a cake for many homemakers can be quite expensive. If you bake and decorate a cake from scratch, you are sure to save a few dollars or more depending on the occasion.
This issue came to fore with a friend of mine whose birthday is a day before her husband’s. Then their wedding anniversary, a day after that. And finally, their two kids one week apart the following week.
That family have all their important celebrations back to back within two months. That can get real pricey if you want to order all the cakes from a cake shop. But the good news is that you can bake and decorate your cakes from scratch and save some money.
You don’t have to be a veteran cake decorator to whip up something from the heart for your family celebrations. Trust me they’ll appreciate the love that went into the baking and decorating.
So I’ll share my tested and proven recipes for a simple cake, buttercream and fondant. I’ll also share how to decorate the cake.
Bake and Decorate a Cake From Scratch
Simple Cake Recipe
- 1 and ½ Cup, 12 oz or 3Sticks Butter
- 2 Cups, 16oz or 454g Sugar
- 5 Eggs (separated)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- ¾ Teaspoon Almond (optional)
- 3 Cups, 360g or 12.6 oz Flour
- ¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup, 235ml or 8 fl oz Milk
Instructions For Preparation and Baking
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease three 8 inches round cake pans with butter and dust lightly with flour. Set them aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and also set aside
- Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until well incorporated. Mix for about two more minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time beating after each addition.
- Measure out the milk in a measuring cup and add the vanilla and almond (if using).
- Add a third of the flour mix into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Then add half of the milk. Repeat this process, until you end with the flour mix.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy. Then add it to the batter. Fold in gently so that you don’t over mix the batter. If you over-mix, your batter would be doughy and chewy. Folding in keeps it fluffy and light.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Bake and Decorate A Cake From Scratch – Recipes
- 1 Cup Butter
- 4 Cup Icing Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 -3 Tablespoon Milk
Instructions For Preparation
- Place the butter in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy
- Add the icing sugar and starting at low-speed mix until well incorporated.
- Add the milk(2 tablespoons first) and vanilla and mix very well until creamy
- If you have gotten a spreadable consistency, then leave out the 3rdtablespoon of milk but if not, then add the 3rd spoon of milk and mix very well.
- 1 Tablespoon and 2 Teaspoons Gelatin
- ¼ Cup Cold Water
- ½ Cup Liquid Glucose
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Shortening (I use Crisco)
- 1 Tablespoon Glycerin
- 8 Cups Icing Sugar (2 packets of 500 g packs)
- 1 Tablespoon CMC
- Two Drops Almond or Lemon Extract
Instructions For Preparation
- Place the cold water in a small heat resistant mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Always remember to sprinkle gelatin over water and not pour water over gelatin. Let the gelatin sit for 5 minutes to bloom (set).
- Sift your 6 cups of the icing sugar and CMC properly into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- I use a double boiler for this next process. Place the bowl with the gelatin over a saucepan of simmering water over low heat. Stir the gelatin until it’s clear and there are no lumps.
- Add the glucose, vegetable shortening and glycerin. Keep stirring the mixture until the vegetable shortening dissolves completely.
- Remove this mixture from the heat and add the almond or lemon extract. Mix very well.
- Make a well in the icing sugar and pour in this mixture. Some people use a wooden spatula to stir at this point because the mixture is hot. But somehow I brave it and use my hands.
- Keep mixing until you can form a ball. At this point, the dough would be very soft and sticky. Sprinkle about one cup of icing sugar on your working surface and dump the dough on the working surface. Keep kneading the dough until it absorbs all the icing sugar.
- You might need to add the remaining icing sugar to get a smooth non-sticky dough. Just keep adding icing sugar until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Wrap in a plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
Humidity is one major factor that affects fondant. So if you live in a region with high humidity, you would need to omit the glycerin in the recipe and increase the CMC by ½ teaspoon.
Also depending on the brand of icing sugar you use, you might need more or less than the 8 cups. The objective is to achieve a non-sticky, smooth and pliable dough.
The flavour extracts help to give the fondant a more pleasant taste.
This recipe is best prepared 24 hours before use. You can colour your cake before storing but bear in mind that the colour would deepen.
Bake and Decorate a Cake From Scratch – Decorate!
After you have covered your cake with fondant, cut fun shapes out of fondant and use to decorate your cake. You can either use fondant cutters or your everyday cookie cutters.
There are also happy birthday cutters that you can use to write a birthday message on the cake.
The great thing about the cake decoration products that you would use is that you would get to use them over and over again.
So buying a few cake decoration products would help you save money in the long run because you get to make all your celebration cakes! Go ahead and experiment with these recipes and I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.
Check Out more DIYs and Recipes listing we share at Mojosavings!