A lot of you may be nervous about making the cake. You may have questions like:
Is it cost effective?
Yes. One of the reasons I like to make my children’s birthday cakes is because of the cost difference. As I stated before, it can cost $25-30 for one store bought cake. At my last birthday, I wanted a cake for dessert. I usually don’t choose that; it sounded good. My wonderful husband picked a small one up at the store for me. Tasted great, looked great. Later on, my husband and I were talking about it and I asked how much it cost. He replied, “You don’t want to know.” It cost $16 for this small cake!!!! That cake should have cost about $3. Never again, my friends…never again.
Do I have to make it from scratch?
No. I like to use box cake mix for my homemade cakes. I know, I know, made from scratch is better. It probably is, but the convenience of using a cake mix (in my mind) outweighs the perks of making a cake from scratch. Besides, there is so much frosting on the cake anyway, who can tell? 😉
There are different brands of cake mix. They all taste great, but I prefer to use Duncan Hines when making my birthday cakes. I think it holds together the best. I use Pillsbury and Betty Crocker for many desserts and they work great. However, Duncan Hines seems to overall hold up better for birthday cakes. I very rarely buy a cake mix not on sale. My goal for all cake mixes is under a dollar. Whenever there is a sale, I buy a lot and store them away until the next party. I made a big score when several boxes were dented and they discounted them. Always check the clearance section.
How do you get it out of the pan without destroying it?
That is a trick. I have learned, thanks to Wilton, the secret to removing cake from a pan. After properly spraying or flouring the pan, bake the cake as normal. When the cake is done, let cool for 10 minutes. Run your knife along the edge to loosen it and turn the cake over on a cooling rack to cool completely. If you wait too long, the cake with become glued to the sides. If you turn too early, it will fall apart. I tried this for the first time a few months ago. What a tip! Easy as can be.
A few more random tips:
- ALWAYS follow the box mix instructions completely. If it says to mix for 2 minutes, mix for 2 minutes and not a minute more (or less).
- WATCH the time on the clock carefully. Make sure you are not over baking or under baking the cake.
- LET the cake cool completely on the cooling rack. If you try to frost too soon, it will melt the frosting and you will be sad. Trust me, I know.
Next time, we will talk about frosting and what you need to know.
Send in those cake pictures! I would love to see what you have made. Remember, they don’t have to be perfect! Just something you made for your child.