Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cake 5: Lemon Cake, sweet and refreshing

When I told my sister today that I’d made a lemon cake, she announced that she was proud of me for branching out. That’s what this year is all about! I may not learn a foreign language, perfect the foxtrot or get my first pedicure, but I will live it up in the kitchen. When I read a novel (usually some wonderful British one) and the tea tray is brought in, I am usually desperate to know what is on that tea tray. Scones? Crackers? Little sandwiches? Cakes? What kind of cakes? I’m curious like that.

I had a wonderful piece of my lemon cake (no tea–a terrible oversight on my part) this afternoon. Very light and refreshing, but also satisfied my sweet tooth and got me all the way to dinner without further raids on the pantry. Lemon cake is a winner at my house, too, having gained the approval of my husband and one son (the other one wrinkled his nose and made a sound vulgar enough to ruin any tea party).

I put a little buttercream icing (leftover from another cake) between the layers and piped some flowerish stars on top just for fun. Maybe I’ll have just a sliver before bed tonight. Perhaps it will give me dreams of a warm climate where lemon cake grows on tropical trees. I could use that.

Cake 4: Better than ? chocolate cake

Because it was a busy week, my sister loaned me her Cake Doctor book by Anne Byrn. It’s a wonderful book I highly recommend. All the cakes begin with a box mix and add from there. The result is delicious! This week’s cake is called “Chocolate better than ?” cake. I guess you get to fill in the question mark. It’s a perfect combination of rich, moist, light, tasty, fulfilling. My son has already requested it for his upcoming 11th birthday. That’s a pretty strong note of approval.

What is it better than? Just about everything! (except perhaps Disney World, nothing beats Main Street USA and the Pirates of the Caribbean).

Cake 3: Spice with cream cheese frosting

Because they are big fans of gingerbread cookies, I thought my sons might like spice cake. See this picture with a quarter of the cake gone already? I believe my hypothesis is correct. Spice cake, at least in our family, is one of those “forgotten” cakes. Once in a while, we think of it, but it usually takes second-cousin status to the chocolate and white varieties. I usually think of my brother-in-law when I make a spice cake–it’s his favorite–but I believe I’ve created some new fans at my house.

This cake has cream cheese frosting. So easy (just cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla in a mixer), but so good. The icing is a little soft, so I didn’t fancy up the presentation. It’s all about the taste this week!

Cake 2: Chocolate Fudge “Bundt” Cake

When I was young, my mother always referred to such a cake by the name of the company that popularized the “tube pan”: Bundt Cake. It had to be a bonafide special occasion for my mother to make one of these, so I grew up thinking these cakes were beyond the ordinary and oozing with complexity. Although I created many dishes to wash, I’m happy to confess the creation didn’t involve a culinary science degree. At all. This cake is chocolate with a ring of fudge inside and fudge topping. It’s about to be the afternoon treat on a long lazy Sunday!