Babycakes: A term of endearment. This can lead to other cute nicknames such as babyface, sweetcheeks, and noodlenose.
Baby Cakes: Miniature Layer Cakes that fit in the palm of your hand.
I know I said that Small Batch Saturday would be every other week, but I thought I’d throw some baby cakes your way around Valentine’s Day (the cake kind, not the noodlenose kind). Leave it to me to be off schedule the 2nd week into a blog series.
These mini layer cakes are baked in 15 ounce tin cans. Seriously, BPA free cans make great little cake pans. Make sure you have a can opener that doesn’t leave rough edges, and of course, clean them thoroughly before you bake in them.
Full disclosure: While the cake and the frosting recipes are quick and easy, I’m not going to pretend like it was a breeze to get the frosting on the outside of these little cakes smooth. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad for a professional, but for my oboe playing self, it was a lot more cumbersome than frosting a regular sized cake. These cakes would look equally cute naked, like these mini cakes I made last year, or with just a crumb coat. If you want to frost the outside of these cakes, I would recommend using 3 1/2 inch cake boards, a small offset spatula, and a bench scraper to smooth them out. I ended up doing the crumb coat while holding the cake in my other hand and using a turntable to finish it off.
So what are you waiting for? Go make some baby cakes for your babycakes!
- 1/4 cup water
- Yolk of one large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- For the Strawberry Frosting:
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 strawberries for topping
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
- Grease the inside of the tin cans with butter. Line the bottoms of the cans with parchment paper and dust the sides of the cans with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Place the cans on a cookie sheet for easier handling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the melted butter gradually, whisking the entire time.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the pans on wire racks for about 15 minutes.
- Run a knife around the sides of the cakes and turn them out onto the wire racks. Cool completely.
- Place the strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Transfer the puree into a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by about half.
- Set aside and let cool completely.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and beat on low until just combined.
- Add 1/2 of the strawberry puree and beat on medium for about one minute.
- Add the remainder of the sugar and beat on low to combine.
- Add the rest of the strawberry puree, vanilla extract and salt.
- Turn the mixer up to medium and beat for an additional minute.
- Beat in the milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency.
- Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Stir until smooth.
- Slice the layer cakes in half horizontally and place them on a 3 1/2 inch cake board.
- Spread a layer of frosting in between each layer.
- Place a dollop of frosting on the top of the cake, and spread evenly across the top of the cake. Work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish. Put the cake back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Once the frosting has set, pour the ganache over each cake a little bit at a time until it starts to run over the edge and use an offset spatula to smooth out the top. If the ganache has gotten thick, microwave it on medium powder in 10 second intervals until it reaches the right amount of drippiness.
- Let the excess frosting drip over the sides.
- Dip the strawberries in the remainder of the ganache and place on top of each cake.
- Let the ganache set, and serve at room temperature.
Cake recipe adapted from Small-Batch Baking
Frosting recipe adapted from allrecipes