My student is decorating a lovely cake with Italian meringue buttercream.

For the Vanilla Chiffon Cake you will need three 9 inch cake pans prepared by spraying only the bottom of the cake pans and lining them with parchment rounds.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

8 eggs separated

1 cup cold water

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

14 ounces cake flour

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

14 ounces granulated sugar (divide 9 ounces for the meringue and 5 ounces for the flour)

Place the whites in a bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment.  Start whipping the egg whites and when they reach the soft peak stage add 9 ounces of the granulated sugar in a thin stream.  Continue to whip until the whites reach the stiff peak stage is reached.  Do not over whip.

In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment, place the yolks, water, oil and vanilla and blend together well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, 5 ounces of the granulated sugar and the salt together and then add the dry ingredients all at one time to the yolk mixture and begin to blend.  Scrape down the bowl and blend until there are no lumps of flour..this should only take about a minute.  What I love about this recipe is that the Chiffon Cake is very forgiving.  You can increase the speed of the mixer to make sure it is well mixed.

Fold in the egg whites and make sure there are no bits of whites unincorporated.  The folding process works best when you cut into the whites and lift the yolks mixture up and over them.  When you make large batches of vanilla chiffon cake..double this recipe for instance, you might want to use a plastic bowl scraper to reach down into the batter because otherwise you might not get the batter well mixed.

Divide the batter between the cake pans at 1 pound 2 ounces per cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until golden. Cool in the cake pans at least 15 minutes before depanning and make sure the cakes are completely cool before chilling them in the refrigerator.

For the Fresh Strawberry Mousse:

Wash and remove the stems of 1 pound of strawberries

1 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

2 cups heavy cream whipped

Whip the heavy cream and set aside in the refrigerator.

Puree the clean strawberries in a food processor.  Pour puree into a sauce pan and add the granulated sugar.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to start to draw moisture from the puree and cook on medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil and the sugar completely dissolves.   Place the mixture in a large shallow bowl and allow to cool to a temperature of about 110 degrees F.

Dissolve the powdered gelatin in the cold water and allow to bloom.  Blooming means that all the gelatin will absorb the water.  Microwave the gelatin for about 14 seconds or until it is dissolved and is a temperature of about 110 degrees F.

Pour the gelatin into the strawberry mixture and stir well.  Refrigerate until the mixture has cooled to a tempterature of about 87 degrees F and then fold in the whipped cream.

Clean the tops of the cakes by removing that thin bake layer.  This can be done with a gloved hand or a serrated knife.

The simple syrup can be flavored with pure vanilla extract or Madagascar vanilla bean paste..but it should be a ratio of 2:1 or 2 cups of water to 1 cup of granulated sugar, boiled for 10 minutes and cooled.  Brush the simple syrup as opposed to using squeeze bottles for a more even application of the syrup.  Remember that the chiffon cakes are designed to absorb syrups so don’t be afraid to apply the syrup generously.

Build your cake in the usual manner by lining a 9″ cake pan with plastic wrap.  Add a layer of cake, brush with simple syrup, pipe a dam of Italian meringue buttercream around the cake to hold the filling in, fill with strawberry mousse and put another layer of cake on top of that..repeat!  The top layer of cake should be placed on top of the second layer of mousse upside down so that the bottom is up.  remember you want to have flat tops and straight sides ..especially if you are going to stack the cake for a wedding cake.

Ice the cake with Italian meringue buttercream.  These cakes can easily be covered with white chocolate fondant as long as you chill the buttercream well.  For stacking delicate cakes, make sure your dowels are about 1/16th inch above the surface of the cake so that the cakes on their cake boards are sitting on the dowels and not on the cakes.  It is advisable to deliver delicate cakes in separate cake boxes and not necessarily stacked and delivered.  This is just good advice especially for those of you who might have to deliver cakes up steep hills.

The best carrot cake recipe that I have found is as follows:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare three 9 inch cake pans by spraying the walls and bottom of the pans and lining them with rounds of parchment paper.

Because carrot cake is oil based, it is freezer friendly.  Bear this in mind when you are going to produce carrot cake for wedding cakes because this is a good cake for freezing filled with the cream cheese filling.  Always build the cakes in plastic wrap lined pans and wrap the cake very well for the freezer.

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer with a wire whip emulsify:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

2 cups of granulated sugar

Sift and set aside:

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt


3 cups carrots


1 cup walnuts


1 cup raisins (optional)  determine if your bride and groom would like raisins.  They can be left out of this cake with no problem

Add the dry ingredients to the oil/egg mixture and mix until just combines.  Add the carrots, walnuts and raisins and mix until blended.

Pour into cake pans evenly.  Remember to weigh your batters no matter what a recipe says.  Then divide your batters by weight.  Once you have weighed one recipe it will be the same for all future recipes.

Bake this cake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until done and cool in the pans.  Depan and chill well before filling with Cream Cheese Icing.

A note for wedding cake makers:

You want to ice the carrot cakes for your tiered wedding cake with Italian meringue buttercream and not cream cheese icing.  Cream cheese icing is too soft and will be unpleasantly messy for cutting.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese

3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

4 ounces unsalted softened butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a paddle, blend the cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar to a smooth consistency.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend well.  Do not over mix.

This lovely filling will firm up in refrigeration.  Pipe a dam of buttercream to contain the cream cheese filling in your cakes.

Red Velvet cake is another wonderful cake that should be filled with cream cheese filling.

Lovely fondant covered cake in Tiffany Blue with large bows made by my student, Evie.

Almond Chiffon Cake

June 6, 2012

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 3- 7″ cake pans

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of pure almond extract

6 ounces cake flour

3 ounces almond meal

7 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Sift together the flour, the baking powder, salt, 2 ounces of the sugar and set aside.  Add the almond meal to the flour mixture and blend well.

Separate the eggs.  Whip the whites to the soft peak stage and add in a thin stream 5 ounces of granulated sugar.  Whip to stiff peak.

Put the yolks into a bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment.  Add the water, oil, vanilla and almond extract.  Whip until well incorporated.

Add the flour mixture all at once to the yolk mixture.  Blend well and then scrape down the bowl.  Blend for about a minute more and then fold in the whites.  Make sure there are no lumps of whites visible to the eye.

Pour into prepared cake pans.   Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool in the pans 15 minutes before depanning.  Chill thoroughly before filling.

This cake is particularly wonderful when brushed with a soaking syrup of:

`1 cup of simple syrup

1/2 cup Amaretto di Sorano liquor

Make the simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of sugar with 2 cups water for 10 minutes.  Cool and add the liquor.

Build the cake with various fillings:

You can spread a thin coat of chocolate glaze on the layers of the moistened cake and then fill with vanilla Bavarian cream.

A nice layer of Creme Parisian would be nice.  ( see recipe under fillings)

A thin layer of Cherry Preserves would be nice.

Chocolate mousse is good as well.

Italian Meringue Buttercream piped flowers

I find Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves, made in France, to be the perfect cherry preserve for this cake.  It is difficult to come by tart cherries, not impossible, but not easy.  The cherry preserves shown here are the perfect in this delightful almond cake.  Swedish butter cake contains a pound of butter for 4 eggs which makes it very rich.  The average American butter cake contains about 8 ounces for 4 eggs so you can see what a treat you are in store for with this beautiful cake.

I will fill the cake layers with a generous layer of the cherry preserves and then put a layer of vanilla buttercream over them.  Try this combination.  You will love it and your brides and grooms will love it as well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare 3 – 9″ cake pans with pan release and line the cake pans with rounds of parchment paper.

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer with a paddle, cream together:

1 pound unsalted butter

3 cups granulated sugar

4 ounces pure almond paste

Add one at a time:

4 whole eggs


1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons pure almond extract

Sift together:

4 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 cups whole milk

Alternate the dry ingredients with the milk in thirds starting with the flour, then adding half the milk, more flour, the other half of the milk and ending with the flour.  Scrape down the mixer well including the paddle.

Mix the batter for a minute making sure there are no lumps of flour in the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool in the cake pan.  When the cakes are cooled, chill them in the refrigerator before depanning.  Run a knife around the cake pan to release the cake, invert the cakes onto a cake board and prepare to fill by trimming the tops of the cakes evenly with a serrated knife.

Build the cakes in a plastic wrapped lined cake pan using a layer of cake, a generous amount of cherry preserves, a thin layer of Italian meringue buttercream on top of the preserves..repeat ending with a top layer of cake with the bottom side up.

Decorate as you wish.

As I have mentioned before, Chiffon cakes are meant to soak up flavored syrups.  This cake is soaked with a coffee flavored syrup and the flavor comes from a very fine extract called Trablit.  Trablit can be purchased through so have a look at the page on this blog called Suppliers and Ingredients or go directly to  If you are fortunate enough to have a supplier near you that sells fancy imported products, they may be able to offer Trablit to you.

The ratio of sugar to water for this soaking syrup is 2:1 or 2 cups of water to 1 cup of granulated sugar boiled for 10 minutes. Flavor the syrup with a teaspoon of Trablit.

Build your cake in a form that is lined with plastic.  This cake is built in a 10″ square cake pan lined with plastic wrap.  That is so that each layer can be given a dam of buttercream around the edge and filled with the coffee flavored Bavarian Cream.  The can easily be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator until the filling is set.  The buttercream dam will keep the filling from oozing out of the cake and give the cake sturdy support because once the Italian  meringue buttercream is chilled it will stay in that shape.

Soaked layer of vanilla chiffon cake in a lined cake pan.

There are three layers of vanilla chiffon in this cake and each layer is about an inch thick.

This is a layer of Vanilla Chiffon cake. The cake is soft with a closed crumb. Your layers of cake should always be about this thick for a 4″ tall cake.

The coffee flavored Bavarian Cream is flavored with Trablit and a little Trablit goes a long way.  There was about 2 teaspoons of Trablit for the Bavarian Cream recipe used to fill this cake which is the recipe posted on this blog.

Coffee Flavored Bavarian Cream Filling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 3 10″ square cake pans by spraying the bottom of the pans and lining them with squares of parchment.  Do not spray the sides of the pans as this cake likes to climb and spray will make the cake slip.

2/3 cup vegetable oil

8 whole eggs

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

14 ounces cake flour

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Measure the granulated sugar with 9 ounces for the meringue and 5 ounces sifted with the flour mixture.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, 5 ounces granulated sugar and salt together and set aside.

Separate the eggs placing the whites in a bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment and the yolks in a bowl of a 5 quart heavy duty mixer with a whip attachment and whip until soft peaks form.  Add the 9 ounces of granulated sugar in a thin stream and continue to whip until the whites reach the stiff peak stage.

Add the water, vanilla and oil to the yolks.  Whip until combined and then add the sifted flour all at once.  Mix until well combined.  Scrape down the bowl and whip again.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture and make sure the whole mixture is well incorporated.  You don’t want any lumps of whites in the mixture.

Divide into the 10″ square pans at as weight of 1 lb 2 ounces of batter per pan and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until just golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the cake pans for about 15 minutes before removing the cakes to chill further.


Dark Chocolate Cake

May 28, 2012

One of the most sought after chocolate cake recipes is one that is moist and rich.  The following formula will give you such a chocolate cake and you will want to keep this recipe in your collection.  Trust me..!  It is exceptionally good.  Try this cake  filled with Bavarian Cream, Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry or Strawberry Mousse or Peanut Butter Mousse.

Double the recipe for 3-10″ cake pans, 3-7″ cake pans, and 3-4″ cake pans for a small tiered cake.  All of my cake recipes can be turned into tiered cake recipes by simply doubling the recipes without the need for any special manipulations of ingredients.  It is when the recipes get into large quantities that the baking powder can be reduced and there is a special formulation for that process.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare 3- 10″ cake pans by spraying pan release on the pan bottoms and walls and lining the cake pans with rounds of parchment.

You will need to sift together and set aside:

2 2/3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Whisk together:

1 1/2 cup  strong coffee

6 ounces buttermilk

6 ounces sour cream

Cream together:

6 ounces unsalted butter softened to room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

then add to the butter/sugar:

5 whole eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and make sure the bowl is well scraped down.

Alternate the dry ingredients with the coffee/sour cream/buttermilk mixture in thirds starting with the dry then ending with the dry ingredients.  Again, scrape down the bowl well.  Make sure there are no lumps of flour or butter in the batter.

Divide among the cake pans evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and cool in the pans.   Remove from the pans and chill completely before filling.

A note about Hershey Special Dark Cocoa:

I have tried many different types of cocoa.   My supplier, Peterson Cheese supplied great imported cocoa but I found them to be rather grainy.  One day, I tried Hershey Special Dark Cocoa and I haven’t looked back.  This cocoa is a soft powder that absorbs into the cake batter.  This recipe used to yield a thin liquid batter, but with the Hershey Special Dark, the batter has more heft and is oh so dark!  There is nothing more lovely that a rich dark almost black cake and that is what you will get by using Hershey Special Dark Cocoa.

Tres Leches Cake can be stacked. You treat it as if it were any other layered, filled and iced cake.  There is very little fat in this recipe. The crumb is open and meant to absorb liquid. This is the finest formula you will find for Tres Leches Cake. I flavor the soaking milk with dulce de leche which is made by blending about 1/2 cup of Dulce de Leche with evaporated milk either in a blender or with an immersion stick blender. This cake likes to be soaked with the milk about 5-10 minutes out of the oven as the warm cake will really soak up that liquid quite well.

You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 9″ cake pans by spraying the bottom of the cake pans and lining them with rounds of parchment.

Sift and set aside:
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder


12 whole eggs ( the whites will go into the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer)


4 cups granulated sugar


1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer, whip the egg whites to a soft peak.   Slowly and gradually start adding the sugar in a thin stream.  If you add the sugar too quickly, the egg whites might collapse from the weight of the sugar so it is best to add sugar very gradually.  This egg white/sugar mixture should become quite stiff and shiny and hold a peak when the whip attachment is turned upside down.  It will take at least 15 minutes to whip the whites with the added sugar so it is best to use a stand mixer.

Add the 12 egg yolks a couple at a time making sure they are well mixed into the whites.

Alternate the addition of the all purpose flour/baking powder with the milk by starting with the flour and folding it into the whites. Then adding half of the milk, followed by a third more flour and folding those in well but not completely.  Add the other half of the milk and fold that in then add the last of the flour.  Fold all thoroughly and if need be use a whisk to allow the batter to fall through eliminating the lumps of flour if any.  Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula.

Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake at least 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven when golden brown.  Cool for about 5 – 10 minutes, poke holes in the cake with a bamboo skewer or other similar instrument and then brush the soaking milk over each cake in an equal amount.  Cool and then remove from the cake pans.  Chill the cakes thoroughly before filling them.

Soaking Milk:

1 can evaporated milk

1/2 cup dulce de leche

Blend well and soak cake layers with a brush or use a squeeze bottle if you prefer.

Best filled with Dulce de Leche flavored Bavarian Cream, Bavarian Cream or French Vanilla Cream.  If you are stacking the Tres Leches Cake as for a wedding cake, the French Vanilla Cream has to be stabilized with gelatin and stabilized with gelatin especially if you are adding sliced strawberries in the filling or any fresh fruit for that matter.