To celebrate My Food Bag turning 9 we have launched our BEST EVER cake mix into the Kitchen. Tested hundreds of times, and totally foolproof this is the cake mix you NEED in your life.
Our delicious Light & Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Plum Buttercream (available to order from the My Food Bag Kitchen) is easy enough to make at home but with the flavours of a professional bakery. No-one will suspect it came from a box! We want your cake to be an absolute success, so our Queen of Sweets and Development Kitchen Manager Jessie Juneberry, is here to tell us a bit about how this recipe was created and how you can achieve the picture-perfect cake at home.
There are many variations on a vanilla cake, from a dense and rich pound cake to beautiful and light sponge cake. As the name would suggest, our Light & Fluffy Vanilla Cake is lending itself to the latter. However, the masterpiece of this recipe is how the edges of the cake become so deliciously caramelised. During the testing of this recipe, we in the Development Kitchen were known to pick apart the edge bits of crust, devouring it like animals.
We wanted to pair this cake with an icing that had a bit of tartness to balance out the sweetness, and this plum icing did just the trick. Not to mention it looks effortlessly beautiful with it’s naturally bright pink hue. To garnish, toasted almonds provide a beautiful crunch and nuttiness, completing this gorgeous cake!
Below I’ll share some tips to give you the best chance of success on a picture-perfect cake. I hope you can all enjoy this delicious treat for any special occasion, I look forward to seeing your creations.
Lining the cake tin
A somewhat mundane but essential task if you want your cake to come out of the pan perfectly and avoid the ripped sides (especially as we want to present this cake “naked-style” where the sides are not iced). Grease your tin with butter or spray oil to help the paper stick. Cut a circle of baking paper for the bottom, then cut two strips of paper for the sides and press into the tin.
This recipe is made light and fluffy from the use of egg whites, so it’s essential to get these whipped up to provide the volume the cake needs.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, then tap it a couple of times on the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake as per label and make sure to check its done by inserting a knife into the centre, it should come out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing – otherwise your buttercream will melt all over the place! Making cakes is a test in patience.
You know when a recipe says to have the butter at room temperature, and you just ignore it? Yeah, don’t do that here. You can heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds if you forgot to soften it, just be careful not to over do it! Cream your butter for 5 minutes, I mean 5 minutes – set a timer. It really does make a difference to how fluffy and smooth your buttercream will be.
Cutting into layers
This is not an essential step but it does make for an impressive cake! Make sure the cake is completely cooled, or you will make a crumb-y mess. Use a serrated knife to score around the middle of your cake and then slice it in half. If your cake has a round dome on the top, you can trim this off too, for the perfect look, but it’s not a must.
This is where you can really make the cake your own! Look up some inspiration pictures, or just copy our model from the box! I like to use a spoon to make swirls in the icing, it looks effortless (and it is) and beautiful. You could also use a piping bag, just have fun with it! Finish with your almonds and marvel at your masterpiece!
Meet the Chef
When she’s not being referred to as Juneberry, she’s also known as our dessert Queen or resident sweet tooth. Her favourite part of her role comes as no surprise with “being in charge of dessert! I have the biggest sweet tooth so am always finding ways to get in the kitchen and whip up a sweet treat.” However, Jessie’s favourite New Zealand produce reveals her true millennial colours by choosing avocado, especially when it’s smashed on a bagel – the perfect start to the weekend!