Tag Archives: cake

A fun twist on marble cake: make zebra stripe cake

Don’t you love little touches that add extra charm to special occasions?

That’s why I was so excited to try this zebra stripe cake technique.  It’s so cute and whimsical!  It makes a simple cake extra fun.  Plus, it solves the dilemma of chocolate or vanilla – why not both?!

Easy zebra stripe cake - AMerryMom.com

Best of all, a zebra stripe cake is really easy to make!

I’m always happy to keep baking as simple as possible – especially when I’m planning for guests and have a lot to do.  So I use boxed cake mixes to make my zebra stripe cake.  I picked Betty Crocker super moist cake mixes in chocolate fudge and vanilla flavors.  The chocolate fudge has a nice, dark color – not quite black but close enough.

How to make a layered zebra stripe cake

  1. Prepare your 8- or 9-inch circle cake pans and both the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes separately as directed on the box.
  2. Use a measuring cup (1/4 cup or 1/3 cup size) to scoop vanilla batter and pour it in a small circle in the middle of each pan.
  3. Use a separate measuring cup to scoop chocolate batter.  Slowly pour it directly in the center of the vanilla batter in each pan.  As you add the chocolate batter, both the vanilla and chocolate layers will spread in the pan.
  4. Continue adding alternate vanilla and chocolate layers to your cake pans in the target pattern.  Your layers will continue to spread on their own to cover the whole pan.Zebra stripe cake batter - AMerryMom.com
  5. Stop adding batter when your pans are about two-thirds full.  (Because you’re using two cake mixes, you will have batter left over.  I use the extra batter for cupcakes, but you could also make another cake.)
  6. Bake the cake as directed on the box.
  7. When the pans come out of the oven, the top will still have the bulls-eye pattern.  When you remove it from the pan, the bottom will look like a regular cake.
  8. Frost the cake however you want.  I use my favorite buttercream frosting recipe (doubled since I used two cake mixes).

It’s so fun to slice into the cake to serve the first piece and find the lovely zebra stripes inside!

I wanted to surprise my kids with this cake, but I had to make it while they were home.  They each wandered into the kitchen while I was adding the batter to the pans, and they thought it looked cool with the bulls-eye pattern.  Little did they know that it would turn into a zebra stripe cake when we cut into it!  They were wowed by it!

The zebra stripe cake is a huge hit with kids and adults alike.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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tres leche cake amerrymom.com

Tres Leche Cake

It was love at first bite when I tried tres leche cake last year.  Have you tried this cake?  It is so good!

It’s a sponge cake with a glaze of three types of milk (hence the name tres leche cake) then topped with a whipped cream frosting.  Yum!

Tres Leche Cake recipe AMerryMom.com

Since tres leche cake is from Latin America, it makes sense that I first tried it while I was away on a business trip in Texas.  My immediate reaction was that I wanted to learn how to bake it for my family because they would love it too.  But I had my doubts about my ability to make it.  This cake was so good that I thought it was probably super complicated.

Fortunately, when I looked for a recipe, it appeared easier to make than I had imagined.  I landed on a recipe from the Food Network’s Alton Brown and decided to give it a try.

I’m so glad I can make this cake for my family now.  It quickly became my hubby’s favorite dessert.  He asked for it as his birthday cake this year.

I adapted the recipe from Alton Brown’s version since his measures the ingredients by weight (ounces), and I’m used to measuring by volume (cups).

Here’s the recipe I use.

Cake ingredients:
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher (coarse-grained) salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup of sugar
5 whole eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Tres leche glaze ingredients:
1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of half-and-half (or use whole milk)

Whipped topping ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Use a 13×9 metal pan and light oil and flour the bottom, then set aside.  (This cake stays in the pan since it has a milk glaze, and it must be stored in the refrigerator, so a metal cake pan with a lid is ideal.)

  • Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside.
  • Use a mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer) to beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Add the sugar for the cake gradually, mixing on low speed.
  • Add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time, and then mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Mix in the flour mixture in three batches, just until combined.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan.  (It will appear to be a small amount of batter.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.  The cake should be lightly golden, and should pass the toothpick test.  (A toothpick inserted in the middle and pulled back out should not have batter on it when it’s removed.)

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then poke small holes all over the top of the cake using a toothpick or fork.

While the cake is cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half-and-half.  (I use a one-quart measuring cup so the glaze is easy to pour onto the cake.)

When the cake has cooled, but is still warm, pour the glaze over the cake and let it soak in.  (I usually pour it over in a few batches, letting the glaze absorb before adding more.  I stop adding the glaze when the cake stops absorbing it.  I generally have about ½ cup of glaze left over that I discard.  I’ve found that the cake can seem soggy when I use all of the three-milk mixture.)

Make the whipped topping by mixing the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together on low, then increasing to medium speed after it begins to form peaks.  Continue mixing until thick.  Spread the whipped topping on the cake after it has cooled completely.

Serve after the cake has had several hours for the glaze to soak in.  Store the cake in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your tres leche cake!  I like to serve it topped with strawberries!

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A Bright and Beautiful Life
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Daisy cake - AMerryMom.com

Delightful daisy-shaped cake for spring

While we were visiting Chicago recently, we did a lot of window shopping as we walked along Michigan Avenue.  My hubby was hoping I would pass everything by without a second glance.  But of course I had to buy something, right!?

As we passed the Crate and Barrel store, I knew the thing that I had to have was this daisy cake pan.  Isn’t it cute?  Daisy flower cake pan from Crate and Barrel - AMerryMom.com

I love flowers, I love cakes, and I loved the price.  Just $12.95!

I had planned to bake and decorate a test cake using my new pan early the week before Easter – so that I could create a beautiful flower cake for Easter.  Only I ran out of time for my test cake.  And I ran out of time for the Easter cake.

Oops!  Another lesson that no, I am not as talented as Martha Stewart.

I finally got it decorated so we could enjoy a day-after-Easter daisy cake.  Because we needed a sweet dessert to go along with all that Easter candy!  (Just kidding.  I actually went light on the Easter basket goodies this year, lest you think I’m plying my kids with unhealthy food.)

This cake pan is a lot like a bundt pan except it is solid in the center, so I had to bake the cake a little longer to get it done all the way through.  I made a sour cream yellow cake recipe from Food.com that I had pinned to my desserts board on Pinterest.  The extra baking time made the cake a bit dark on the outside when I turned it out of the pan – my son actually thought it was a chocolate cake.Daisy cake before frosting - AMerryMom.comIt tasted great, though!  I whipped up a double batch of buttercream frosting and used some cookie cream crunch sprinkles for the center.  Delicious!Daisy cake - AMerryMom.comI couldn’t get the buttercream frosting to show the flower petal design very well, so I may try using fondant next time.  I’m sure I’ll get lots of practice decorating since this pan makes such a cute cake!  My daughter has decided she wants a pink flower cake for her birthday.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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