I Am No Cake Decorator

See, not that pretty...but oh so yummy.
See, not that pretty…but oh so yummy.

I repeat, I am NOT a cake decorator.  Or a food photographer, as you can see.  Nope, not winning any decorating or food photography contests.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the majority of my cakes would end up on that cake wrecks website if I attempted anything other than a basic 9-inch round.  (okay, this is a small lie as I did a pirate ship once and it was awesome – but never again.)

However, despite being ugly not cake-shop worthy, my cakes do taste really good!  Many, who make more traditional, sugar-laden cakes, might call the cakes I make “healthy”.  But let’s face it, if it has sugar in it, you can’t really call it healthy.   I do, however, use the best tasting cake recipe with the least amount of sugar that I have been able to find.  I recently found this recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie and have been using it exclusively.  It is really good!  My boys, big and small, think it’s awesome!  It could also easily be vegan with the right ingredients or substitutions.

Today we finally made a birthday cake for hubby.  His birthday was actually over a month ago, but our oldest was sick with the stomach flu at the time, so we postponed it (I mean, how mean would that have been!?).  Then, we were out of town for a week, then did a fruit/veggie fast, so no cake those weeks either.

Anyway…it was time.  Basically, because I was craving cake.  I followed this recipe (below) pretty much exactly, although I only put 1/2 cup of sugar in it.

Chocoholic Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 whole-wheat. You can use white or spelt.)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice 
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt of choice (such as SoDelicious if going non-dairy)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (gives a nice, light coconut flavor)
  • optional: add a few handfuls chocolate chips to the batter!
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F (175C) degrees. Mix dry ingredients, then add wet. Don’t over mix. Pour into cupcake tins or a 9-ince round, and bake for 15-20 minutes.  

And before you think it’s getting too “healthy”, note that I make up for the small amount of sugar in the cake, with the icing.  You see, I only do cream cheese icing.  This is pretty much the reason why my cakes don’t decorate well.  Cream cheese icing does not set well.  It basically melts.  You have to pretty much store it in the fridge to make it firmer if you don’t want it sliding off again.  But, oh yum….it sure does taste good.

For one 9 inch round cake, I use this icing recipe:

  • 1/2 stick of butter (softened)
  • 4 oz of cream cheese (full fat – don’t use low fat)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of vanilla (to taste)
  • add up to 1/2 lb of powdered/icing sugar (I actually don’t add this much, I just add until it’s sweet enough, but not too sweet)

Mix the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add the vanilla.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until it’s the desired sweetness.  Mix until smooth.

The kids like to add food coloring to livin’ it up a bit…which I’m sure is not good for you, but it’s not very often, so I oblige.  Next time I think I will try adding raspberries or blueberries for color instead.  I bet that would be super yummy.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and eat some cake….