BIrthday bakingBirthday Baking Basics

Box Mix Basics

Cake mixes in a box are a perfect place to begin.  Choose a favorite flavor that has pudding in the mix for an extra-moist taste.  Follow instructions on the box, but then add your own touch of magic.  A chocolate-lover for a birthday girl?  Stir in 6 ounces of dark or milk chocolate chips.  Peanut butter chips are yummy in chocolate, too.  For more sophisticated tastes, use raspberry or mint chips, or stir in 1/2 cup of jam, caramel sauce or chocolate syrup.  For yellow or white cakes, always add real vanilla, and you can always replace water with any flavor melted ice cream or orange juice for a citrus taste.

Cupcakes

If the birthday party is for kids under six, a birthday cupcake in a cone is the only way to go.  Face it – the kids just want the frosting, and this way, they can eat the cupcake without making (as much of) a mess.  Pour prepared cupcake batter to 2/3 full of a flat-bottomed ice cream cone.  The tricky part is baking them.  Place the filled cones in a muffin pan and surround the cone with crumpled aluminum foil to keep them upright. To store them after frosting, cut “X” shapes in a flat cereal box and place cones through the hole.

Frosting

While your cake can start with a box, homemade frosting is always best.  The gold standard in frosting is “Buttercream Frosting.”  It’s quick, easy, requires no cooking and it is fail-proof!

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c. Crisco shortening 1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring 1/4 tsp. salt 4 tbsp. water 1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted Mix first three ingredients together.  With electric mixer on medium,  add powdered sugar and water.  Mix to whipped cream consistency, about five minutes.  Keep in fridge and add more water ( a tablespoon at a time) as needed.

Coordinate your birthday party theme with everything you’ll need to throw your next party, including your cake!