I like when I score a good deal. Whether it’s finding an antique sifter at a Goodwill store or finding other uses for items bought from my nearest Dollar Tree, it gives me a real frill.
I’ve been wanting to bake with these mini cake molds I picked up from work, just needed to find the time. I
I’ve been eyeing these mini cake pans at work with the weirdest urge to bake a little baby cake. I say weird urge I can’t bake. One time I was baking a cheesecake with my mom, who is basically a professional, and I managed to fuck it up. I forgot to add the sugar and my mom was pissed – wasted cake. There were many other times I messed up simple recipes or even pre-made mixes. But since my cooking has come a long way I figured my baking skills might have improved as well. So I bought the mini cake pans and started searching for a simple yellow cake recipe. A lot of the recipes I came across required shortening and it isn’t something I don’t normally or ever have in my pantry. I wanted a recipe with both simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions. I found this Simple Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting Recipe from Martha Stewart. I always wanted to try a Martha Stewart recipe because she was someone who graced my TV all my childhood and made everything look effortless.
This was the first cake I ever baked from scratch entirely on my own and to my surprise it was incredibly easy. I learned that baking is all about explicitly following instructions. When a recipe calls for room temperature that does not mean grab a stick from the fridge and toss it in the microwave for a few seconds. It means take the butter out the night before so it can gradually come to room temperature. I cannot tell you how many times I have made this mistake and now at 26 I finally learned how to be patient and wait until that butter is good and ready to be made into a cake.
A few things I did differently… Instead of whisking the dry ingredients together I added everything in my sifter and sifted it. Sifting flour makes it lighter and helps it to combine evenly when mixed with other ingredients. I used nonstick cake pans so that cut out the use of parchment paper. I just used baking spray to ensure easy removal of the cake.
When I woke up the morning I decided to bake a cake I realized I didn’t have a cake stand. I rushed over to the closest Dollar Tree grabbed a glass plate, candle stick, and super glue. Just like that I had a cool little vintage looking cake stand for $3.
Again, I do not bake and I was really not prepared for this cake when I decided to bake it. While I was at the Dollar Tree I realized I did not have any cooling racks so I grabbed these wire organizational bins. Ingenuity baby.