An Epic Tale of Vanilla Cake {and my 1st Blogiversary}

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

Update (June 2012)! You can find a video tutorial for this frosting technique here.

It’s true–it’s been one year since I started this blog. When I think back about how it all came to be, I recall waking up one day last summer and realizing that my poor husband was never going to survive a lifetime of listening to my frequent baking tales, no matter how hard he tried–it was that simple, at first. I wish I was kidding, but, truly, this poor man has put in some serious time listening to my occasionally wordy-yet-passionate descriptions and raves about baked goods! I also felt that something was missing from my creative life, so, I figured I better share all of my baking love in some other way. When the idea of a baking blog entered my mind, I knew it would be a perfect outlet to express myself, but honestly, I had no idea if anyone would actually read it, and I didn’t realize what an amazing outlet and lifeline it would become for me. This blog is so much a part of me now, that I don’t know what I would become without it, so thank you all so much for your visits, sincere comments, and enthusiasm–it astounds me daily, and it means more to me than you could ever know. You can read my first post (kind of embarrassing) here. Yikes–okay, okay, go easy on me!

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

As I looked back on the recipes I’ve shared over the past year, I came to realize that I may have a slight thing for vanilla cake. And, well, seeing as I counted a total of 30 cakes in my recipe index so far, well, I may need to accept that my cake addiction may be an actual condition for which I may want to seek medical attention. Call me a hopeless romantic, if you will (or maybe just a girl who really loves cake), but I figure if you’re going to love something, you better love it with every fiber of your being. That being said, I realize it must be a bit overwhelming to visit my recipe index and find so many vanilla cake options, so I’ve given a little description of each below to help those who were curious about what differentiates them. So many of them are similar, but the recipes are varied slightly, by ingredients and method. I’m forever epicurious and can’t help but attempt any yummy-looking vanilla cake recipe in search of the the perfect vanilla cake.

For my taste, perfect is a light, moist, and borderline cake mixish (gasp) vanilla butter cake that I use for both buttercream covered and fondant covered cakes. I recently came across a recipe that was as close to this as I’d ever seen (that being said, I still love the others!). This was an amazing discovery for me, because since I’ve been baking scratch cakes, I tend to prefer serving chocolate cake–mostly because of its fabulous ability to stay moist and fresh for days. But, in my heart I’m a vanilla cake with pastel vanilla frosting and sprinkles girl. I just am.

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

So, I’ve been making the fabulous Fluffy Vanilla Cake recipe now for weeks, and I make it every chance I get. I love it. It changed my life! I loved seeing your enthusiasm for this cake, and I’ve received more emails about making that cake than anything else I’ve made–so many of you are enjoying vanilla cake success and bliss, but I noticed that some of you are having some issues with the batter “curdling,” once you add the liquid, which then likely caused your cakes to sink in the middle and be more dense. I know how frustrating cake fails can be, so I really wanted to try to make that better so you too could enjoy this incredible cake.

The points of difference in this recipe versus a typical vanilla butter cake, from what I can see, would be the large number of egg whites and the reverse creaming method, created and encouraged by famed baker Rose Levy Beranbaum and her book (one of my all-time favourites) The Cake Bible. The thing is, with so many egg whites and a cup of milk, if there’s even a tad too much liquid, the batter becomes unstable. There is a version of this cake in Rose’s book called White Velvet Butter Cake, which is almost exactly the same, but calls for more cake flour, less egg white, and less sugar. Both of these recipes using the reverse creaming method, although the directions are slightly different. I found that the White Velvet Butter Cake is perfectly stable, easy to make, and delicious. I would say that it may be just a bit less light and fluffy, but incredible.

So, long story short, I’ve modified the Fluffy White Cake recipe we’ve been using, to have just a bit less egg milk and egg white, in hopes that it will be more reliable to make, and the results tasted and looked great to me. Depending on how you measure your ingredients, it’s easy to have too much liquid, so I definitely recommend weighing your egg whites, to be sure. Well, for me it’s so important to weigh all of the ingredients to ensure a successful cake–I find too much or too little flour, in particular, can throw an entire cake’s texture off, which is too bad because it’s easy to have that happen if you don’t weigh it, but then think it’s the recipe’s fault, so to speak. Lastly, when I make this cake, I use Rose’s exact reverse creaming method from her book, although the method was a bit different (very slight) on the original Baking Bites recipe. You can try both methods and see what works for you, if you’re really determined. Confused yet?

That being said, here are the images of me making the fluffy vanilla cake recipe in hope that it answers some of the questions you’ve been asking about making the batter:

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

So, the first step is mixing the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds…

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

Then you add the butter and the remaining milk (1/4 cup is added to the egg whites and vanilla to be added next), and mix on low speed just until the ingredients are moistened. Then mix on medium speed (I use #4 on my Kitchen Aid) for exactly 90 seconds–this is really important, so that you don’t overmix the batter. Rose (the creator of this reverse creaming method) explains this is “to aerate and develop the cake’s structure.”

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

This is how my batter looks after the 90 seconds of mixing on medium speed.

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

Next I add gradually add the milk mixture (1/4 cup milk that’s been gently mixed with the vanilla and egg whites) starting with 1/3, and mix on medium for 20 seconds–no more, no less.

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

Here it is after 2 of the 3 additions of the egg white mixture have been added and each mixed for 20 seconds. It shouldn’t look curdled, but nice and smooth.

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

Finally, here it is after the final third of the liquid mixture has been added. Again, it should be smooth, but not curdled. If it’s curdled, in my experience that means there’s too much liquid, and the cake will sink in the middle when you bake it.

Vanilla Cake via Sweetapolita

And, finally here are the cakes baked and cooling, and this method really works for me, so I really hope it helps you along in some way! I should also mention that using the two 9-inch pans or two 8-inch pans tends to yield the best result for this recipe, and, typically, I find it’s best to stick to the cake pan size that any recipe recommends. It’s not to say you can’t play around with cake pan sizes/shapes, but, especially when you make a certain cake recipe for the first time, it’s likely the best way to get an accurate result.

As I mentioned, my vanilla cake recipe list is growing, and it must be a bit confusing to know which one is what you’re looking for, so I’ve done my best to include a quick description of each one:

Classic Vanilla Butter Cake: One of the first vanilla cakes I made for the blog. It’s a traditional vanilla cake using whole eggs and whipped egg whites and cake flour to lighten batter: moist, delicious, slightly dense. Straight-forward method and tastes great.

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting (the one we just made): The lightest, fluffiest vanilla cake, and one of my favourites. Uses only egg whites (not yolks) and cake flour for light crumb and reverse creaming method. Can be unstable if too much liquid is added.

Love, Cake & Sprinkles: A delicious vanilla bean cake made with buttermilk, egg whites, and all-purpose flour using the traditional butter cake method of creaming, adding eggs, and alternating dry & wet ingredients. It has gorgeous flavour, is very moist, but not as light and fluffy as above. I love this cake.

My Baker’s Crush: BAKED (and The Whiteout Cake): A delicious butter cake from the famous BAKED bakery in NYC. Some ingredients are butter and shortening, cake flour and all-purpose flour, ice cold water, and egg whites. It’s made by creaming fats, alternating wet & dry, and folding in whipped egg whties. It’s heavier than the Fluffy Vanilla Cake, but delicious and unique.

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake: This vanilla cake recipe was originally from Whisk Kid, and I find it perfect for the rainbow cake. It’s also very close to Rose’s White Velvet Butter Cake in that it has egg whites, cake flour, butter, but it is made with the tradtional creaming method. It’s light and stable.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze: A very vanilla traditional bundt cake that bakes up beautifully, but has a heavier texture than vanilla layer cake.

Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake: This is another version of an egg-white vanilla butter cake, that I really love. It uses the creaming method and some key ingredients are buttermilk, egg whites, and all-purpose flour. It’s not the lightest, but tastes incredible and is very stable.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting This recipe comes from the book Sky High, and it’s a gorgeous vanilla butter cake made with buttermilk and whole eggs. It’s also a very straight-forward cake to bake and it tastes great. It has a golden finish due to the whole eggs.

I hope this helps! Here’s the modified cake recipe that I find to be a little more consistent in results:

*Notes: If you have made the Fluffy Vanilla Cake prior to my modifying it, and had success, you can keep the recipe the same as it was, which was 1 cup of milk and 6 egg whites (the recipe I use).

Fluffy Vanilla Cake {modified}          {click to print}

Yield: One 2-layer, 8-inch round cake or 9-inch round cake

*Very fluffy and light, but can be a bit more challenging if even a fraction too much liquid is added.

Ingredients

5 large egg whites (5 ounces/150 grams) at room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk (180 mL/6 liquid ounces), at room temperature

2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (12.5 mL) — I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (10 ounces/285 grams–weighed after sifting)

1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces/350 grams)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams)

3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces/170 grams), at room temperature and cut into cubes

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.

2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.

4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 90 seconds.

5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.

6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers.

7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.

*Slightly adapted from Classic White Cake recipe on Baking Bites

Frost with the Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting for the ultimate vanilla cake experience.

You may enjoy my 50 Tips for Baking Better Cakes post.

Good luck & enjoy!

Love, Rosie xo

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Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark

Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark via Sweetapolita

I think I’ve found my sugar & sprinkles soul sister recently. I really do. The funny thing is, I had popped by Jessica’s blog from time to time when I would spot her yummy treats linked by friends on twitter, but I didn’t really get a chance to sit down and really take a good long look through her recipes until this past week. That’s when I came across the sprinkled masterpiece of epic proportion: her cake batter chocolate bark. Much like Jessica, I wasn’t what I’d really consider a “bark person” until this recipe came along, but what’s so fabulous about it, aside from the obvious delightfulness, is that it took me 5 minutes active time to make this (and about 5 to eat it–whoops). That’s the incredible thing about this, and about bark recipes in general: you take existing chocolate (of any kind, but the better the chocolate, the better it will be, since it’s really the only ingredient), melt it down, spread it out, add some bits & bites of yumminess, set it, break it and . . . ta-da!

Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark via Sweetapolita

The possibilities are endless, which is why making your first batch of bark can be a wee bit dangerous. You may find yourself rummaging frantically through cupboards, pantries, and old handbags, looking for random candy bits, nuts, dried fruit, or pretty much anything tasty to create your next batch. It’s so fun, simple, quick, and rewarding, which is why I fear I’m hooked. If you don’t believe me, you can see what else Jessica has discovered, or what Naomi, Michelle, or Maria have to say about their experiences with bark. Go on, you’ll see.

Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark via Sweetapolita

My kind of party.

Sprinkle Bark via Sweetapolita

Oh crumbs — it’s almost gone? How did that . . . who took my . . . where did the . . .

Who me?

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. There’s something seriously therapeutic about tossing handfuls of sprinkles onto shiny, gorgeous, silky melted quality chocolate. There may be something even more therapeutic about snapping off a rainbow-coloured piece of that same chocolate and tasting rich chocolate and crunchy bits of sprinkles all at once. I’m not sure life gets any better than that.

Why not make a batch of this, wrap it in a fun crystal clear cello bag and tie it with some fun polka dot ribbon for birthday party favours?

I’m off to whip up a collection of birthday cakes for a special friend this weekend, but I’ll be back very soon with that vanilla cake post I mentioned on Wednesday and then next week I’ll be celebrating my very 1st blogiversary!

If you haven’t had the joy of browsing Jessica’s heartfelt, humorous, and incredibly delicious blog how sweet it is before, I definitely recommend it. You will likely come across several other cake batter recipes–this girl can concoct some seriously decadent creations. Come to think of it, she and I could create some serious mischief together. We should get on that.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (180 grams) high quality dark or extra dark chocolate, chopped
  • 12 ounces (360 grams) high quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) white cake mix
  • sprinkles of choice (jimmies, non-pareils, Wilton gold edible star sprinkles, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Chop chocolate. Melt dark chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. If using microwave, place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe container (I use a Pyrex glass measuring cup), and heat for 20 second intervals, stirring each time with a silicone spatula. Be careful not to burn the chocolate--when there are just a few small bits left un-melted, you can simply continue to stir until it is completely smooth.
  3. Pour melted dark chocolate onto your parchment/mat and spread (with a small offset spatula for ease) until desired thickness is achieved. Freeze for 20 minutes to set.
  4. Melt your white chocolate. Whisk in cake mix slowly, stirring well until smooth. Let it sit for approximately 3 minutes (or at least until it slightly thickens).
  5. Remove pan with set chocolate from the freezer and pour white chocolate on top, repeating the same spreading technique as you did with the dark chocolate. Toss sprinkles on right away. Freeze for 20 more minutes.
  6. Once set, break or cut into pieces. Store in the refrigerator.
  7. Try not to beat yourself up when you repeatedly sneak and snack on pieces every time you open the refrigerator for something else.
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http://sweetapolita.com/2011/09/cake-batter-sprinkle-bark/

*slightly adapted from how sweet it is “cake batter chocolate bark”

Good luck & enjoy!

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A Little Wee Birthday Cake for a Little Wee Cakelet

Wee Birthday Cakes via Sweetapolita

Happy Wednesday! Well, our littlest cakelet, Neve (aka Lovie) turned 2 last week, and it seems like there’s been cake for days (or months, I suppose). Sure, two years really isn’t that long ago, but I do remember every minute of that day so vividly, as I do with the day our little 4-year-old, Reese, was born. I will say that the day Neve was born, September 7th, 2009, was a breeze compared to my first experience giving birth. But, I’ll most definitely spare you those details! When I realized her second birthday was soon coming, I really wasn’t sure how to approach the cake, or, well, cakes.

See, last year, before I had a blog or made wedding cakes for a living, I spent weeks planning my first dessert table for the big party we threw for her at our house (that was one of my very first blog posts!). Yes, it looks a bit more like a fancy-ish dessert table than a little 1-year-old birthday party, but it just sort of happened that way! I suppose I had a lot of time and boundless creative energy to expend, and it was lovely and worth it, but this year, after a year filled with layer cakes and pink icing, I simply wasn’t sure what to do for her. It turns out when you make cakes every week for a year, it kind of changes your perspective a bit. I knew I wanted to keep it a little more simple and not crazy fancy and fondant-full, so, rather than going grand, I went teeny tiny. Yep, teeny tiny, simple, and sweet. Little wee, in fact.

Sweetapolita

But, before making the Little Wee Birthday Cake here at home, we ended up traveling around on the weekends surrounding her birthday, rather than hosting a big party at our house. We spent Labour Day weekend at the cottage (remember the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream?), so I brought some layer cakes for our group (Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Strawberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache, kind of like this one, as well as a larger Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Pink Whipped Vanilla Frosting), and then brought a smaller version for the 3 kids (our two, plus cousin Lucas). It was a very relaxed and perfectly cottage-lovely time.

Sweetapolita

Then last weekend we spent Sunday having a cozy lunch on the farm (as we did for Reese’s last birthday where we did the Rainbow Doodle Cake) in Prince Edward County, as it was Neve and her Grandpa’s birthday, so I made her a classic chocolate layer cake with pink frosting and sprinkles as well as a Gingersnap Cheesecake for Grandpa (recipe to follow — oh yum!). I have to say I really loved being the traveling birthday party this year; what a refreshing change. I do kind of miss the party planning aspect of it all, so next year I think we’ll go for it again.

And, finally, she had the little wee pink vanilla cake at home. 4-inch, 2 layer Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Pink Whipped Vanilla Frosting. I also made a 5-inch round cake-for-two and dyed it turquoise. I’m loving the small scale cakes, and I think it would be really fun to make the Little Wee Cakes for each kid at a birthday party and then maybe pop an even more wee second tier onto the birthday girl’s cake, for a Two-Tier Little Wee Cake.

Because I’m a mom, because I’ve been reflecting on the past two years with Neve, and because I love photos, excuse me while I indulge in some serious mommy-bragging. I just really wanted to share a (large) handful of some of my favourite photos of our little birthday girl over the past two years:

Sweetapolita

Ruffles & Roses Tea Party via Sweetapolita

Sweetapolita

Sweetapolita

Happy Birthday to our little Lovie!

I’ll be back very soon with a Fluffy Vanilla Cake Part II post, for those of you who have had questions about making that cake. I will go into more detail and hopefully even include a few process shots to help troubleshoot any issues you may have encountered. It’s really the lightest, fluffiest, and most delicious vanilla cake I’ve ever made or eaten, and I make it often. Oh, I love it so!

If you’d like to make your own Litte Wee Birthday Cakes, here’s what I did to achieve the classic design I’ve used:

Litte Wee Swag Birthday Cakes

Fluffy Vanilla Cake recipe x 1. For me the yield was two 4-inch round layers and three 5-inch layers, but you can play around with any small cake pans you may have (I have altered this recipe slightly to avoid the chance of too much liquid being added to the batter.). I’ll be blogging more about this after this post, but in the meanwhile, you can see those changes on the original Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting post.

I used the same frosting, but omitted the vanilla bean and added an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract, along with some AmeriColor Deep Pink for the litttle cake and Turquoise for the 5″ cake.

*Tip: For an even icing swag, trace a circle onto parchment paper, using the cake pan you used for the cake. Cut out the circle, and fold in half, then again, and then once more. You should have a 8 even pie-shaped wedges in your circle. Place the parchment circle gently on  top of your frosted cake. Use a toothpick or pin to create a small holes in your cake where the edge of the folds are. These holes will mark where your swags will meet.

Using a piping bag fitted with a plain round piping tip (I used #3) and filled with buttercream, pipe your icing swags using your guides.

Pipe a few dots below each join, if desired.

Using an open star tip (I used Wilton #22), finish each join with a small rosette, by piping in one full circular motion, starting in the middle, working outward.

If you’d like to see what cake-baking tools I use on a daily basis, I’ve recently created a list of my favourite baking supplies that I love. You can check that out here.

Good luck & enjoy!



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Glazed Root Beer Funnel Cakes with Fresh Blueberries

Rootbeer Funnel Cakes via Sweetapolita

I think, no I’m certain, my first experience with Funnel Cake was at Canada’s Wonderland–a huge amusement park near Toronto that dominates pretty much all of my amusement park memories. I’ve been there more times than I can count as a younger girl, and it was likely the single most exciting expedition my friends and I would plan. But, most exciting to me was that we knew once we arrived, the funnel cakes were ours. Hot, sugary, old-fashioned-donut-tasting funnel cakes smothered in strawberries ‘n sauce and whipped cream (no ice cream alongside cake for this girl, but some love it this way too, of course). I haven’t been there in years, but I recall they seemed, at the time, to be the biggest funnel cakes in history, almost too big to even fit on the large paper plate they served them on.

As you may suspect, I got through most of mine, and much more than my friends ever did, that’s for certain (I was known as a bit of a phenomenon on how much food I could consume), but it was even too much for me to finish. I actually recall standing beside the garbage can a-la-Miranda-on-Sex-and-the-City-and-the-chocolate-cake, and trying to throw the last few bites away, but just couldn’t — I would sneak just a few more. Was it because it was the most delicious carnival treat that has ever existed? Possibly. But, mostly, I knew that it would be likely a long, painful, empty year before I was going to taste another one. Tragic indeed.

Rootbeer Funnel Cakes via Sweetapolita

It wasn’t until many years later, in 2007, after my cousin Julie emailed me asking if I wanted to come over and make funnel cakes with her (um, okay!), that I realized you could easily make these at home. At the time I made these with Julie, I was really just along for the ride — she had it all figured out, and I just watched, really. I was amazed at how authentic they really tasted and looked, and how it easy it all was. Strangely, I have never attempted to make funnel cakes on my own, and I haven’t eaten one since that day . . . until earlier this week.

When I first searched for the recipe online, I found many very traditional versions including one that cloned my beloved Canada Wonderland’s funnel cake, but then I came across this fabulous twist on the traditional on Fine Cooking, by Judith Fertig. I’m so glad I found it, because it’s how it’s how I discovered Judith’s gorgeous book, Heartland: The Cookbook, from which this recipe is taken. Her book “melds contemporary cooking with an authentic and appreciative approach to the land, presenting 150 recipes for farm-bounty fare with a modern twist,” and, oh, this speaks to me. This type of baking just calls to me. For some reason, although I wasn’t raised in the country, but rather a mid-size city surrounded by gorgeous countryside and farms, I have always been so drawn to the history, the food, and the sense of family that surrounds country life. I’ve ordered this book, and I simply cannot wait to dig in.

Rootbeer Funnel Cakes via Sweetapolita

For this recipe, we use actual Root Beer in the batter and add a glaze made with Root Beer extract to really embrace the the flavour, but otherwise the result still holds onto tradition in its sweet and crispy, old-fashioned, carnival-worthy qualities. I have to admit that, typically, I tend to avoid making deep-fried treats for a few reasons, including the fact that, even though I will share baked goods with my cakelets, the thought of giving them deep-fried goodies makes me a bit uneasy. That being said, Funnel Cakes are in a realm of their own, and they are most definitely a delicious treat to bring out once a year, or so. I so enjoyed this Root Beer version, and I love tradition-with-a-twist. Simply put, these are incredibly simple to make, absolutely delicious and unique, and bring me right back to childhood. I topped them with the glaze, a handful of plump blueberries, and a generous sprinkling of icing sugar.

With the recent crispness in the air, it’s a perfect time for this warm, sweet, and hearty dessert. I can imagine wandering a small country fair in autumn, cozy in a knit sweater, and soaking up the sun and cool breeze on my cheeks. Wishing you and your family a wonderful autumn-is-in-the-air weekend!

Root Beer Funnel Cakes with Fresh Blueberries         {click to print}

*Root Beer Funnel Cake recipe by Judith Fertig from the book Heartland: The Cookbook

*I have added the weight measurements and a few tips at the bottom of the recipe.

For the Funnel Cakes

Vegetable oil, for frying

1-1/2 cups (188 grams/6.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) cream of tartar

2 tablespoons (30 grams/1 ounce) granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 cup (236 mL) root beer

For the Root Beer Glaze

1/2 cup (63 grams) confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) root beer extract (such as root beer flavor extract – 8 fl oz)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) half-and-half or whole milk

Fresh berries of your choice, for garnish

Make the funnel cakes:

In a large, deep skillet, pour in enough vegetable oil to reach 1 inch. Heat to 375°F over medium-high heat.Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg and root beer together in a cup, then whisk this mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth.When the oil has reached the correct temperature, hold your finger over the bottom of a large kitchen funnel with a 1/2-inch diameter spout and pour ¾ cup batter into the funnel. Hold the funnel over the center of the skillet, remove your finger, and with a circular motion starting from a center point, let the batter create either a tight or freeform spiral in the hot oil. Fry until the funnel cake is light brown on one side, then carefully flip with a pancake turner and fry on the other side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Let the oil come back to the correct temperature and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Glaze the funnel cakes:

Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, root beer extract, and half-and-half together in a small bowl. Drizzle over each funnel cake, then dust with more confectioners’ sugar and garnish with fresh berries.

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

1. I didn’t have a large kitchen funnel, so I used a large pastry bag and a 1/2″ piping tip. The batter is very runny, like pancake batter, so you have to act quickly. I placed the piping bag into tall glass very close to my pan, and folded the cuff of the bag over the rim of the glass. I measured 3/4 cup of batter, then poured it into the piping back, then quickly poured into the oil, in the same circular motion as described in recipe.

2. Since you are making one cake at a time, it’s definitely not ideal to make for more than just a few people.

3. I used a candy thermometer to ensure the temperature of 375°F.

Good luck & enjoy!



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