A very special lady in our church turned 81 this past Monday, so I just had to do something for her. Ann Aaberg has been such a blessing to me and Q these past few months. She housed us for a couple days at a time while we were working on our home. She lives just three blocks down from us so we're practically neighbors.
I made a double layer yellow cake decorated with butter cream frosting for her. I put frosting and raspberry jam between the two layers. It was so rich and sweet! I set the cake on a small dish covered with aluminum foil.
I've enjoyed using my four-inch cake pans for other things in the past, including a fun teen girls activity. A few years ago, my 9th and 10th grade ladies and I decorated mini cakes and gave them to Senior ladies in our church. Each cake was wrapped with cellophane, tied with ribbon and included a note from the girl who made the cake. It was such a blessing to those who received these mini cakes. This might be something you can do in your church to minister to others. Lately, I've been thinking and praying about a way I could use my love of baking to minister to the ladies in my new church. This may be just one of the ways I could do that.
We surprised her with it after our Evangelistic service on Monday night. We knocked on her door and sang, "Happy Birthday." She invited us in to enjoy a slice with her. Today, we received a thank you note. This really meant a lot to her.
Here's the picture of Ann's mini birthday cake:
I had fun decorating this cake, and you will, too. Here are the recipes I used to put it all together. Please note that the batter will be enough to make three to four (four-inch) mini cakes plus one 9-inch cake.
Starlight Yellow Cake (from the Betty Crocker Cookbook)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups milk
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of one 13x9-inch pan, two 9-inch round pans or three 8-inch round pans with shortening; lightly flour.
2. In large bowl, beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
3. Bake 13x9-inch pan 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch pans 25-30 minutes, 8-inch pans 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. (You'll have to check the 4-inch pans every few minutes; I think mine took between 25-30 minutes.) Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Frost 13x9 pan cake or fill and frost round layers with buttercream frosting.
Buttercream Frosting (from Wilton Enterprises, Inc.)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened but not melted
1 pound confectioners sugar (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons milk or water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream shortening and butter. Add sugar, water and vanilla. Blend on medium speed until all ingredients are mixed well. Blend a minute or two more until creamy in texture. If using a hand mixer and icing is not creamy, use high speed or add more milk a drop at a time. This icing can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. Yield: 3 cups stiff icing. To thin icing, add 2 teaspoons milk per cup of stiff icing.