Long and Skinny Cakes!
I’ve always loved to bake, and I’m good at it! Now that I am retired, I’m baking more and doing my best to adjust recipes to keep my Diabetes in check. I’m afraid the two cake recipes I’m sharing today didn’t get high scores on that account!
I have been looking at the thin layer cake pans for some time and finally decided to invest in some, so I didn’t have to mess with splitting layers of cakes. In my book, Wilton products are always good, so I bought the set of 4 x 10 inch pans. I don’t get paid for my recommendations, but I do recommend these! The clean-up is easy and the thin layers bake in about 10 minutes. One cake mix fills all 4 pans, so one normal cake recipe fills all 4.
For years, I baked peanut butter cake totally from scratch until I tried it starting with a cake mix. I hate to admit it, but my scratch recipe was never as moist as the recipe I use now. I used to think everything had to be made from scratch … but I’ve changed my ways! However, I don’t think any frosting is ever as good as homemade. I’ve cheated on my second recipe today, but that isn’t very common in my kitchen! My homemade sweet potato cake is topped with coconut pecan frosting right out of the little plastic container!
Peanut Butter Cake
1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 ¼ cups water
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Just follow the directions on the cake mix, adding the peanut butter with all the other ingredients. Bake the layers at 350 degrees, but for just about 10 minutes. These layers are thin, so it doesn’t take as long.
Let the cake layers cool about ten minutes, then remove them from the pans. You can use a parchment paper sling in each pan, but I found that non-stick spray was all that was needed. Let the cake layers cool before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 ounces of butter, soft
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
Cream together the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter. Add the almond extract and blend it in. Cup at a time, add the powdered sugar. Add the milk a little at a time. You might need more or less milk … just whip the frosting until it is the consistency you want.
This amount of frosting is enough to frost just the tops of the 4 layers. If you were baking a round 2 layer cake, it would do the top and sides … but if you want to also frost the sides of the long 4 layer cake, you’ll need to make additional frosting.
The peanut butter frosting will soak into the layers of cake after standing overnight. I really think the cake is better the second day, but it seldom lasts that long with my family!
Sweet Potato Cake
I bake large portions of sweet potatoes, peel them and put the potatoes in freezer bags and freeze them. I use them in a variety of ways, and they were perfect for this recipe. You can use canned sweet potatoes, but make sure you drain off all the liquid. Of course, you can use a couple fresh potatoes that you baked and skinned. The potatoes, however, need to be cold or at least room temperature for this recipe.
Sweet Potato Cake
2 sticks butter, soft
2 cups white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts
Whip together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. When creamy, add the mashed sweet potatoes and blend together really well.
Sift together all the dry ingredients, then add them to the butter mixture … alternately with the milk … about a third at a time. Fold in the nuts. You can substitute the cinnamon, or part of the cinnamon, with pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice. Nutmeg and ginger would be nice additions.
Whip the batter until well blended. Pour the batter in the prepared layer pans. Don’t over-fill the pans. You might have a little extra batter for a couple cupcakes!
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. Remember, the layers are thin, so it doesn’t take as long as it would for regular layers. If a pick comes out clean, your layers are done. Let the layers cool for 30 minutes before inverting them to completely cool.
This cake would be wonderful with butter cream frosting, cream cheese frosting or even chocolate frosting. I used pecan coconut frosting and the combination was scrumptious. This cake was so heavy and dense, that I only used 3 of the 4 layers. The 4th layer went in the freezer!
Knowing that, in the future I will only bake 3 layers and use the remaining batter for a 6-inch Bundt cake.