October 28, 2021

Pumpkin Smash Cake


My friends' daughter Charlie is turning 1 on October 31 and they asked me to make a smash cake for her birthday party.  (Smash cakes, a smaller cake just for the birthday child, are quite popular in the US.) The only request from the parents when it came to the cake was for one without eggs due to Charlie's food allergy.  "No problem," I said.  A quick search on the internet and I found this recipe for Chocolate Depression Cake, which came about during the Great Depression when staples such as eggs and butter were scarce.

Since Charlie is a Halloween baby I wanted to make a Pumpkin Smash Cake for her.  The cake recipe makes one small bundt cake (6-cup capacity) so I made it twice to get the shape I was after.  I had my doubts about the cake's taste, but I shouldn't have been concerned.  The chocolate cake was moist and tender and you could not tell it was missing eggs.  I will definitely use this recipe in the future.
When it came to decorating the smash cake I used an American style buttercream that was made with butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, salt and powdered sugar.  Swiss meringue buttercream, my favorite frosting, wasn't an option since it's made with egg whites.  
Assembling the cake couldn't be simpler and requires no advanced skills.  You just sandwich the two bundt cakes together with some of the frosting and then coat the outside with orange colored buttercream.   To make the stem I mixed cake scraps with buttercream, similar to how you would make cake pops, and shaped the mixture into the stem.  

I hope Charlie enjoys her smash cake on her first birthday.  Happy Birthday Cha Cha!

October 3, 2021

Applesauce Bundt Cake


Autumn is finally here and after making half a dozen cream tarts last month I was ready for some fall  baking.  First on the docket is this super easy to make and super delicious Applesauce Bundt Cake.  I did a google search for "applesauce" cake and it came back with this recipe.  No equipment required and everything is mixed together in one bowl.  As Ina Garten would say, "How easy is that?"

Since I'd never made this cake before I wanted to test it out using just 1/2 the recipe and baked it in a 6-cup bundt pan.  The only other adjustments I made to the recipe were to 1) add chopped honeycrisp apples to the cake batter and 2) finish the cooled cake with a thick glaze made with apple cider and powdered sugar.  If you read the recipe reviews you'll find that several people commented to reduce the oil amount by 1/2 cup and replace it with an equal amount of applesauce, to give the cake more apple flavor.  Next time I think I'll do that.

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