Friday, May 4, 2012

Homemade Baby Shower Cake

We decided to serve sheet cake for the baby shower.  The co-host made a delicious Texas sheet cake, and I made an orange sheet cake.  And we all ate a slice of each, because --you know-- sheet cake is pretty flat, only like half the thickness of a regular slice of cake.  So a slice of each is really only like having a whole slice of "regular" cake--right?

 I made this orange sheet cake with orange cream cheese Icing from Wilton, but made a few changes.

First, I left out the orange extract, because it's totally not necessary.  That is a typical standard American diet kind of ingredient.  There is fresh orange zest in the cake and frosting, as well as orange juice in the frosting.  That is plenty "orangey" enough.  If you add the extract I'll bet you wouldn't be able to make it through a whole slice because the flavor would become overbearing.  Subtlety is a virtue that a lot of food lacks these days.

Also, the recipe said to bake it in a 9x13 pan.  Obviously that would make a 9x13 cake, not a sheet cake.  Wilton is just trying to advertise one of their pans, but it's a completely wrong opportunity to do so.  I baked this recipe in a half sheet baking sheet.  That's the normal thick jelly roll-type pans that everyone got for wedding gifts from Cosco members. (That's not a dis, I love and use all three I got weekly, and particularly love the two with lids.)

Finally, the recipe for the delicious orange cream cheese frosting makes at least twice as much as you need for a sheet cake.  I can't imagine spreading that much frosting on the smaller 9x13 size cake they suggested baking--it would be half frosting. 

So here are the recipes, with my suggested changes:

Orange Sheet Cake Recipe:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 stick) butter, softened 
  • 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  •  1-1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease sheet pan.

In medium bowl, combine flour, orange zest, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; when combined, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla extract. Add half of flour mixture; beat on low speed until nearly combined. Add buttermilk to moisten; add in remaining flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake 25-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan completely before icing.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
  •  1/4cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice 
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest 
  •  2 to 2 1/2  cups confectioners' sugar
In large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar one cup at a time, beating until icing is light and fluffy.

It was ton's a fun to host a baby shower for my good friend.  And I loved using my time and talents to help honor her on her journey to motherhood.  She's looking great at "term" and I can't wait to get that exciting phone call sometime this next month!

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