03 December 2007

I Baked My Mom a Cake

The following took place about 3 weeks ago for my mom's birthday.

My mom has a favorite cake and that is a spice cake. There is nothing "spectacular" about a spice cake -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but this wasn't to be an ordinary cake. Oh no, this was a birthday cake and I knew I had to turn it into a tricked out spice cake. Pimp my cake? Something to that effect.

I'm not going to tell you how I did that until a bit later.

And those are the pictures of the cake-making progress. I beat the Smart Balance shortening with sugar, then added the egg yolks and vanilla. The batter was a bit dense but airy. Then I whipped the egg whites until stiff and glossy peaks formed and took the picture while holding the bowl up in the air a bit, after which I folded them into the batter, drastically lightening it up. I divided between two prepped cake pans, baked, cooled slightly, then took the cake disks out of the pans to cool.

And this is where I tell you how exactly I pimped the cake out:

I decided to top the cake with caramelized mini-pears. Was that not the BEST idea ever? (You better say that it was... or else...)

Knowing this cake ends up a tad on the dry side, I wanted a very fluffy frosting. I chose a 7-minute frosting because it would be thick and marshmallow-y without being marshmallow-y. That makes sense to me.

So you see here the frosted and decorated whole cake and an individual slice. Overall, the cake was tasty and the smoothness of the pears melded wonderfully with the cake, added another dimension. The downsides were that the once smooth frosting ended up getting grainy (the website says not to let the top pan touch the boiling water or else grainy frosting would ensue. Mine didn't but it ended up being grainy anyway.) and the cake was really dry (perhaps because it was shortening-based and had no butter?) and I didn't put enough frosting in the middle to offset that. I'm going to look for another spice cake next time that is more moist than this was.

But everyone enjoyed the pretty cake and it did taste great. Happy Birthday again, Mom!


  1. At the risk of being too forward, I have a few tips for when you're faced with a cake that you know will be dry: You can add a packet of dry (sugar free, if you're worried about such things, although in a cake it seems a little pointless) pudding mix; make your frosting early and add two or three dollops to your cake batter; make a simple syrup to brush on your cake layers before icing. My most often used trick is adding an extra egg AND using pudding mix, but I don't ever make a spice cake. I have a dynamite orange cake that's super moist, too, which I think comes from the can of mandarin oranges dumped into the batter. :)

    For now, I'm craving a spice cake - I might have to try this pimped out pears version. Sounds (and looks) most luscious.

  2. Hi there, Christina!

    My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.


    Shannon Eliot
    Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com

    P.S. Your pictures--especially of the fruit--are beautiful! And what a nice gift to your mom!

    And on a somewhat unrelated note, I'm sorry to hear about your cat. Mine has been with my family since I was 5 and she is seventeen-and-a-half years old, and I know that time is ticking and I have to cherish the time I have with her. It sounds like yours was well-loved. :)

  3. Hi you! RW poster right back at ya - thanks for reading my blog! I always enjoy yours...food. Yup. Take care!

  4. Happy birthday Christina's mom!

    You cake looks fabulous. At first I thought you were doing an upside-down pear spice cake!
    I've never made a 7-minute icing, but now I feel like I should try it.

  5. Crazy Mama - Thanks for the tips! I need to remember about the sugar syrup. No, you weren't too forward - or not to me, anyway.

    Does adding another egg or the pudding mix doesn't negatively alter the texture or how it bakes? I've always wondered about things like that.

    Shannon - Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for the for the comment about Cat.

    Miss Pickle - Thanks for reading mine, as well! Can't wait to read more of yours.

    Emeline - An upside-down pear spice cake is a great idea, actually!

    Do try the 7-minute frosting, it really tastes differently than the typical buttercream and it frosts wonderfully (I still did a crumb coat, though).


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^


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