Friday, January 4, 2013

Let Her Eat Cake!

Kinley's Mommy let her eat cake last Sunday. It was a special occasion, after all. Instead of ordering cake from a bakery, Jill made all the cupcakes and the "smash" cake for Kinley's special day herself. For the uninitiated, this generation of parents hands over a small cake and lets the birthday celebrant smash the cake.

In Kinley's case, it was more a "smoosh" cake. She smooshed the frosting between her fingers and sampled a little bit. But she was much more intent about removing the pretty pink and yellow candy circular discs from the cake.
When all was said and done, I'm not sure Jill thought it was worth the effort. But it did make for a cute cake and added to the celebratory decor.
Jill also made a banner using all of Kinley's monthly photos. Brent told Jill that the 30th of the month was his favorite day to check Facebook, since Jill always posted the monthly photo there. With all the photos in a row, we got to see the miraculous changes that happen in just one year from baby to toddler.
Jill also made a garland using additional cupcake liners, which she hung on their fireplace. You can kind of see it in the background behind Kinley. All this was besides making a baked potato bar lunch, complete with multiple salads, and cleaning house.
While Kinley's reaction to the cake may not have met her Mommy's expectations, the rest of us devoured our portions. Jill made both white cake and marble cake. Neither she or I thought the marble cake was worth sharing. But the White Wedding Cake Cupcakes were good.

As Jill said, she is perfectly capable of making white cake from scratch. She has the purple ribbons from the Stafford County Fair to prove it. But this recipe has enough add-ins to make it taste like a from scratch cake. And when you have a toddler with a temperature who wants Mommy and a bunch of people coming to dinner, you take all the help you can get.

White Wedding Cake Cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup regular sour cream
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins, filling about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Note:  This recipe originally came from  As she indicated,  most food companies have downsized their cake mixes. Some of her readers made the recipe as indicated using the smaller size mix and still had great success. Others bought a second mix and added in the missing ounces to the first box. Jill just used one mix. It turned out fine.

You can also use this recipe to make cake. Pour into greased and floured cake pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Quick Vanilla Buttercream
Recipe from Food Network
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 to 2 tbsp. whipping cream

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla (or almond) and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Notes: The love of almond flavoring must be genetic. My mom loves almond flavoring in frosting. So do I. I passed that love along to my daughter. We're already starting the process to expose Kinley to the superiority of almond flavoring to enhance white cake.

Jill used a chocolate buttercream to frost the marble cake. The frosting was better than the cake.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Savory Sweet Life
1 cup butter, softened (but not melted!)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tbsp. milk or heavy cream
Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.


  1. Kim,
    Looks like Kinley and all had a fun day! Love the idea of hanging her monthly pictures for the first year.

    Polish Wedding Cake ... my Mom loves this cake recipe! I like all the sprinkles and pretty colors you used.

    1. Jill was the master mind behind all the decorations. Yes, we had a great day. I can hardly believe she's 1 already!

  2. Plan to try the white cake sometime. What a lovely birthday party for a one year old pretty little girl. Liked the colors. Shirley Mc

  3. Kim, this recipe is AMAZING!! I substituted vanilla low-fat yogurt for the sour cream because I had that and not the sour cream on hand. My husband LOVES cake, and he gave this an A+! We made the frosting you gave, too. I had never thought of using almond extract. We tried that, and again, rave reviews from my husband, and of course, Clara. :) I think we have found our go-to cake recipe! We also made some mini-cupcakes, and 10 minutes was a good baking time for them.

    The only down side is, if we can have cake this good at home, I'm not sure if Chad will look forward to weddings as much... ;)

    1. Dana - I'm so glad this was a hit at your house! My mom has always used almond extract for sugar cookies, white cakes and white frostings. It must be genetic: Jill & I also prefer it. Thanks for taking time to comment!