Thursday, July 8, 2010

#12 on my 30 Before 30: Bake a cake from scratch

Number 12 on my 30 Before 30 list is to bake a cake from scratch. Well, I shocked even myself by not only baking a cake from scratch, but by creating the recipe myself! Also, it was delicious!

I know. I just passed out, too.

This Lemon Cream Cake is super easy and is the result of many hours of research learning what ingredients are necessary to make a cake, well, a cake.

If you make this, please let me know what you think.


For Lemon Cream Cake
  • 6 oz cream cheese (funny story: that's all I had left of an 8 oz block, so 6 ounces it was!)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, a.k.a. 1 1/2 sticks (you don't want to know how much I had to research to find out that unsalted butter is what is typically used in recipes. I am a baking idiot.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (though I may have "accidentally" tipped a little more in)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (this means you sift the flour into your measuring cups - I know, I didn't know there was a difference between "sifted flour" and "flour, sifted" either)
  • Zest from two large lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • Butter flavored cooking spray + a little all-purpose flour

  • Optional blueberry topping (delicious, but unnecessary)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar (yep, it's a lot!)
  • splash of vanilla
  • lemon zest to taste (I did about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 T water

  • Instructions
    Preheat oven to 375º F. Start the blueberry topping (if you want to use the topping). In a small bowl, coat the blueberries with the vanilla, lemon zest, cornstarch, and sugar. Put this aside so the berries can soak up the flavors.

    Sample one or two while you are making the cake mix. For quality control purposes, of course.

    Create the cake mix: in a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar using a hand mixer, unless you are super strong and want to do it by hand (the mixture should be very smooth). Then beat in the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth - make sure there are no random ingredients hanging onto the inside of the bowl by continually scraping down the sides of the bowl.

    Then using a spatula, gently mix in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt until it is just combined, but not too lumpy. (I wish I had a photo!) Spray a 9" round metallic cake pan lightly with butter flavored cooking spray. Throw some flour on top of the cooking spray, but flip the pan over (do this over a trash can or sink!) and tap the bottom firmly to remove the excess flour. This spray+flour combo will stop the cake from sticking (I'm sure you already knew this).

    Apparently cake mix is delicate, and it needs to be placed in the oven as soon as you finish mixing it. So, place the cake pan on the middle rack (important for even baking) of your oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Mine took exactly 33 minutes.

    While the cake is baking, place the blueberry mixture + 2 Tablespoons of water in a small saucepan on super low heat to make the mixture syrupy without breaking down the blueberries too much. Just keep an eye on it.

    Once the cake is done, place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes and turn off the blueberry syrup mixture. Then carefully remove the cake from the pan and continue to cool it on the wire rack.

    Cut yourself a generous piece and spoon the blueberry topping on the cake (or not!) and enjoy.

    I LOVED this cake. It was like a mix between a crumble cake and a cream cake with a super buttery exterior. Not sure what that really makes it, but I will be baking this again!


    (This post can also be found on my cooking blog: A Cooking Bird.

    1 comment:

    Stephanie said...

    Sounds good! And congrats on figuring it out yourself. I'm impressed. So, uh, can you please explain the difference between sifted flour and flour, sifted?