Sorry for the slight delay! Hope everyone has had a good couple of days! Just cleared out the camera, so I have two posts to make - and a third one when I finish up the project!
So I was dying to make a cake after a very long dry spell (like 3 month-long!). So for my hubby & I, I made a two-layer strawberry cake. He suggested that, rather than putting vanilla pudding in the middle like I tend to do, I should put canned strawberry pie filling in the middle...
First, I made two beautiful (if I must say so myself!) strawberry cakes... one box of batter into two 9-inch pans.
LOOK AT THEM!!! Don't they look freaking BEAUTIFUL!?! The white stuff on the side is flour. I spray the pan with cooking spray, use a paper towel to help spread it around and make sure I get in ALL the crevices and up the sides. Then, I put flour on the bottom and sides. The flour on the sides help the cakes to rise...otherwise, if I just had the spray on there, they would "slide" back down.
Next, I made the buttercream frosting. I don't have any "action-shots," but here's a pic of all the ingredients...
I use Wilton's standard buttercream frosting. I get compliments all the time. I think people like the frosting more than the cake!! But they say how it's sweet, but not TOO sweet. You can find the recipe here: Wilton Buttercream Icing ... Or, just do this (Electronic mixer would be best, but I used a handheld - not as good...hoping to get a KitchenAid before the end of the year) : Cream 1/2-cup vegetable shortening and 1/2-cup softened butter (one stick). Add 1 teaspoon CLEAR vanilla extract. Add 4-cups (apx 1-pound) of sifted powdered sugar - one cup at a time - beating on medium speed. Once the icing appears to be well-mixed but dry, add 2-tablespoons of milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
I sliced the tops off of the cake to make it a smooth surface. This was wrong point #2 (the first one was the not-so-perfect icing since I couldn't get it super fluffy because of using the hand mixer). I didn't cut it straight. I tried to eyeball it. NOT the right thing to do. I have a cake leveler, but it was a cheap one and I don't like it because it was "tearing" cakes up... So I have my eyes on another one... Wilton Large Folding Cake Leveler It looks like it has the serrated-edges and seems pretty nifty! So of course, a nifty novice needs something nifty! LOL
I put the first cake down on the cake pan, put a "dam" around the outter edge of the middle and put the pie filling in. This was wrong point #3. I did the wrong tip on the cake decorating bag. I forgot until it was too late, that I don't normally put a tip on... I just leave the coupler on and use that to make the dam. So.... the dam was too small to help protect the deep strawberry pieces from falling out of the cake.
Then, I put the frosting on. However I really wasn't "in sync" with it, so it really wasn't a good frosting job...and then with the seeping strawberry gel, it just got worse. When I was done, to just "finish" the cake, I put some of the remaining strawberries and gel that I DIDN'T cram into the cake, on top.
See? It's not smooth. You can see the cake crumbs. It's really not good. And this is the GOOD side!!!
Here's what it looks like in the inside...
So yeah... That is my strawberry cake. We'll see how long it takes before I can let go of the imperfections I see and make another cake like this.
I am learning though that boxed cake mix IS super moist - but it's not always the best for the cakes I make... I'll have to figure something out... make some sort of cake mix myself and then use a simple syrup. I heard that should help with the moisture issue.