This month's Barefoot Bloggers brings us LOADS OF CAKE. Both recipes this month are cake recipes, which I quite like, but it may be a bit of overdose for me, lol. The first recipe of the month is brought to us by Susy from Everyday Gourmet -- BIRTHDAY SHEET CAKE. (By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSY!!) Or in my case, birthday cupcakes! I LOVE cupcakes, could eat them til they come out of my ears, and love the cupcake mania that has taken over DC. So converted this recipe into a cupcake recipe.
I halved the recipe, which came out to approximately 12 large cupcakes. To me, the recipe was...ok. I think I would omit the lemon zest next time, or try something different -- perhaps orange zest. I didn't love the combination of lemon with the chocolate icing... although I did try a cupcake with (store bought) vanilla frosting, and liked that combo a bit better.
My cupcakes came out a bit dry. I think I may have baked them a tad bit too long, would have shaved a minute or two off of the 25 minutes I baked them. I also used reduced fat sour cream, so thinking that might have affected the moistness of the cupcakes.
I liked the basic recipe of the cake and think I would try to use different ingredients to spice it up next time. I did really like the touch of vanilla extract though!
RECIPE: BIRTHDAY SHEET CAKE
For the cake:
- 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting:
- 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pan to room temperature.
For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.
Spread the frosting evenly on the cake. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.