Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” February 22nd, 2014
I have never been a fan of weddings…but I’ve always been a fan of wedding CAKE! There is just something about a wedding cake that (when done right) is moist, delicious and has that “something something” that you can not quite figure out. Well…I think I have figured it out, and it could not be anymore simple!
I interviewed a wedding cake professional to uncover the “secrets” to wedding cakes. She told me that there are basically three secrets to a delicious wedding cake. Those secrets are…
1. ALMOND EXTRACT Almond extract, when added to the cake batter (any flavor of cake – but especially vanilla) brings out that “wedding flavor” that a lot of wedding cakes have. She says that the “almond extract” trend dates back to the 1970’s when bakeries first started adding it to wedding cakes – for unknown reasons.
2. UNDERBAKE Underbaking the cakes let them have a delicate and yet moist crumb when completely cool. Most people do not know…but cakes continue baking in their pans until completely cool. She recommends underbaking only about 2 minutes. Any longer and the center will be runny – do not eat a runny cake! (Unless it is a “molten lava cake” which is an entirely different story…)
3. MILK NOT WATER Adding MILK instead of water, will give the cake a little more “taste” than if it was made with water. Check for milk allergies first though of course, before doing this step.
If you follow these steps – you will be baking like the professionals!
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes
I made cupcakes today that followed these steps – and a few of my own. I made just a typical “white” cake mix but added the egg WHITES only. I also added about a tablespoon of almond extract, followed by some “candy batter bites” that I found at Hobby Lobby that I just HAD to try.
I under baked the cupcakes by about 2 minutes and let them cool completely in their pans.
For the frosting, I used just the typical “chocolate buttercream” frosting, but whipped it for awhile by hand with a whisk. I’m sure you could use an electric mixer…but I prefer working by hand for this.
I frosted the cupcakes after they were completely cool and then decorated them with edible glitter and edible pearls. I included a “tasting fork” on top of each cupcake – but that part is optional.
Using a cake mix is not ALWAYS a bad thing… That was an “extra tip” from the wedding cake baker I talked to. She said almost 80% of the time…they use what everyone else uses to make their wedding cakes. A boxed mix.
I admit that I am not the biggest fan of boxed mixes and store bought frostings…but once in awhile, it is fun to experiment and see how you can “improve” the original!