I made one cake from scratch (which I'll share in my next post) and another from a box. I decided to dress it up a bit instead of making the typical 13X9 chocolate cake with white frosting. Here's what I did:
Step 1: Make a layer cake. If you're looking for a way to change up your cake routine just a bit, this is a great way! Layering adds a touch of elegance, plus you get an extra layer of frosting - who wouldn't want that?? :) Here are some tips:
- You can use one box of cake mix to make two layers. I used two square pans, but round pans are very common for layer cakes as well. 9 inch rounds work well, but you could use 8 inch too.
- You will need to remove the cakes from the pans after they bake and cool, so I always put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan to make the job easier. Just trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of parchment paper, fold the parchment paper over itself, then cut to get two identical sizes. Lay the paper on the bottom of the pans, and then spray the entire pan with baking spray.
- Split the batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake as directed. Allow cake to completely cool in pans before removing. To remove, go around the outsides of the cake with a spatula to make sure it is completely unstuck from the pan. Then invert onto a plate or board. Remove the parchment paper.
- Because cakes usually dome at the top when baked, you may need to slice part of the top off to make it flat so that the top layer sits on securely. Alternately, you could just flip the bottom layer so the dome is on the bottom and the flat bottom is now on top. It's up to you whether or not you want to trim the top layer. If you're planning on doing some fancy-schmancy decorating on top, it's better to have a flat top, but since I wasn't going fancy this time, I left it as is.
- Don't forget to snack on the portion that you trimmed off as you're decorating the cake. :)
- Because you're removing the cake from the pans, you will need something to put it on that is safe to cut on. Of course you can use a cake stand or purchase a pretty cake board. Or just use a cutting board or upside-down cookie sheet.
- I usually make my own cake board by tracing the bottom of the pan onto cardboard and then cutting it out. I place a piece of parchment paper on top of the cardboard (I reused the same piece that I used in the pan). And then the cake goes on top. If it is not sticking, you can just dab a spoonful of frosting between the cardboard and paper or between the paper and cake to make it stick. I then put the cake board on another surface, such as a cake stand. That way it prevents the stand from scratching, and I've found that it's also easier to remove the cake slices because they don't stick to the parchment at all.
Step 3: Put it together! This is the FUN part!
- Frost the bottom layer. Then crush your favorite candy bar and sprinkle it over top. I used snickers. To crush, I placed them in a plastic bag and pounded with a meat mallet. Before I did this, I put the candy in the freezer for about an hour just so that it wouldn't melt and get too sticky when I crushed it. Press candy pieces down with a spatula so they stick into the cake.
- I then put another thin layer of frosting over top of the candy pieces so that the top layer of cake would stick nicely.
- Using a large spatula, gently place the top layer on. Frost the top and sides of cake, then sprinkle on more candy pieces. I sliced my remaining snickers to make a 33 and a border.
Step 4: Refrigerate or keep in a cool place. Take it out a half hour or so before serving. That way it will stay fresh, and the candy won't melt if it's a warm day.
For this cake, I used one box of Betty Crocker's Chocolate Fudge cake mix, 1 1/2 cans of vanilla frosting and 1 bag of snickers miniatures. I served it up with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and cool whip. The combo was FANTASTIC. We had some friends come over to help us eat it last night, and everyone LOVED it! Some even had 2 or 3 helpings, which always makes me feel good. :)
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