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Making Little Cakes

Posted By Suzanne McMinn On May 10, 2011 @ 1:05 am In Cakes,The Farmhouse Table | 16 Comments

We aren’t big cake people. Well, that’s misleading. We love cake, but we can’t seem to eat a full-size cake fast enough. Everybody loves a cake the first day.

Weston’s birthday cake, one week later:

See? It’s not that the cake isn’t delicious, but after a few days, it loses its glamor. And freshness. And I’ve probably made some cookies or something by then and everyone gravitates to what’s fresh. I bake a lot, and I like fresh. I don’t keep a loaf of bread past three days if it’s not all gone. I give it to the chickens. I’m spoiled to fresh bread.

Back to cake– A new and rising issue at my house, too, is that I’m baking for fewer people. With Ross in the Navy, one big teenage boy is already gone and another will be leaving soon. That’s a big bite out of my baking audience. What’s going to happen when Weston goes to college? Do I have to give up cake? I know, I know, I could bake half-size cakes in 8-inch square pans and that would be fine. Only I like layer cakes. I like the presentation, and I like the icing in the middle. Don’t take away my icing in the middle.

Enter 6-inch round cake pans.

I contemplated what size cake pans to suit a half-size cake recipe and experimented with the 6-inch pans and they work perfectly.

Pair it up with a half-recipe of icing and you’ve got a layer cake that won’t outlast its welcome. It’s not always easy to find the off sizes in round cake pans. I found these at Michael’s (the craft store). You can also order them online. (Just do a search on Amazon etc.)

Here’s a tip to keep a clean cake plate when you’re frosting, by the way. Cut strips of parchment paper or wax paper and set the first layer down on top of them so that all the edges are lined with it.

You don’t have to worry about making a mess.

After frosting the cake, pull away the strips and it’s all clean!

The cake pictured here is a carrot cake. The kids don’t like carrot cake, which makes it perfect for the smaller pans. Instead of making a full-size carrot cake that wouldn’t get completely eaten, I made a half-size recipe.

I added 1/2 cup cooked grits to the cake, by the way! I’ve been trying grits in quite a few things recently. (I also used 1/2 cup cooked grits in a pesto the other night.)

If you’re interested in trying grits in different things, just experiment. I add anywhere from 1/2 cup to a full cup, depending on the size of the recipe. It adds a chewy texture to cakes and breads and cookies, and add substance to sauces etc. And, of course, it adds fiber and nutrition. And nobody knows it’s there but you!

Get my Spicy Carrot Cake recipe here.

Don’t forget the cream cheese frosting!

See All My Recipes

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