Cake Disaster and Dream

As anyone who's read my blog knows, I focus on smaller desserts, mainly cupcakes.  I haven't made a cake in years, not even one from a box.  I didn't even own a cake pan until a week ago. But, I've decided to take the Wilton cake decorating classes and therefore have jumped into the world of round cakes.  So far, I love it!  I have learned so much from the classes already.  A couple weeks ago I never thought I could bake, slice, fill, and smoothly ice a cake.  But after much instruction, and some handy tools, I have accomplished just that! Read on to hear about my near disaster cake and then to hear about a cake that's simply a dream! :)

When I finish my first Wilton class, I will be submitting a blog soon that shows some of the handy Wilton tools and some interesting cake tips and techniques - so stay tuned for that!

My first cake was a challenge and definitely seemed to be heading for disaster.  It seemed like every step was having issues.  To begin, I decided to try one of the more complicated white cake recipes.  Instead of just using a cake mix for my first cake assignment, I decided to jump right in. After all, I had made cupcakes from scratch!  This cake proved to be more challenging than I expected, though.

My first blunder came from purchasing the wrong ingredient.  I mistakenly purchased egg beaters made with egg whites instead of egg whites!  After a quick trip to the store, I had the correct product.  Beating them into "stiff peaks, but not dry" proved to be my next challenge.  I just used my new mixer and beat them...for a long time and it was still just liquid.  I decided not to give up and try again, this time with a whisk attachment which worked much better!

Next, while making my icing I misread an amount and ended up having double the shortening and butter.  I caught the mistake, though, and was able to just make a double batch.  I had already needed to double it, so it quadrupled it and BARELY all fit in the bowl!

But, in the end the cake baked and I was able to fill and ice and decorate in class the next night.  Given that it was my first cake and all the almost disasters, I think it turned out pretty well. I learned a lot and found a much simpler, but still tasty white cake mix.

I still managed to work in cupcakes to the cake!  :)

I filled the cake with a Cookies in Cream mixture!

You may be wondering what the cake "dream" is...  One of my absolute favorite flavors is orange. So of course, one of my favorite treats is the Dreamsicle.  I had been wanting to take on a Dreamsicle like cake but was looking for an orange cake mix, and a good recipe. We never can find the Duncan Hines orange cake mix at any store around here, but found some when we were on a weekend trip to Cincinnati.  If you are from the Cincinnati area, or ever visit there, you have to visit Jungle Jims! It is amazing and the ultimate place for foodies! It is this huge grocery store with food from all over the world. You literally travel the world as you go from section to section representing various countries and cultures. They also have a huge soda selection with drinks from around the world.  If all that wasn't enough, they have an incredible selection of unique and handy baking tools! My husband and I went multiple times in one weekend. We never thought we could spend hours at a grocery store - and enjoy it.  We found all kinds of ingredients, sodas, and food that we can't find locally but love.

But back to the orange cake! The Dreamsicle cake was a treat before even taking one bite, it filled the kitchen with a wonderful orange fragrance!  You start with simply making the orange cake box mix.  But then the real treat begins.  As if the orange cake wasn't enough, you add more orange flavor that is drizzled into the cake.  Then an amazing light and fluffy icing is created using cream cheese, Cool Whip, and orange/vanilla flavoring.  My mouth is watering just typing this!  The recipe comes from

Dreamsicle cake ingredients

  • 1 (18 oz) box orange cake mix
  • 3 eggs (or whatever is called for by cake mix)
  • 1/3 cup oil (or whatever is called for by cake mix)
  • 1 1/3 cup water (or whatever is called for by cake mix)
  • 6 oz (large box) orange Jell-O
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup cold water
Frosting ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 oz (small box) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 oz (small box) orange Jell-O
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
Cake directions:
  1. Prepare cake per box directions - I baked in a round 8 in diameter cake pan.
  2. For a smooth cake, you can level using a cake leveler, as shown in the pics below. If you haven't used one of these, I will be blogging about this handy tool soon!
  3. After cake has baked and cooled, poke holes in the top with a fork.
  4. Mix large box of Jello with waters and just let it start to set up.  
  5. Slowly pour over the COOLED cake and allow to run into holes all over.
  6. Chill cake until Jello is set.
  7. While chilling, start icing by creaming the cheese until creamy.
  8. Add dry Jello powder, pudding mix, milk, and the vanilla extract and beat well.
  9. Fold in the Cool Whip
  10. Spread on cake and chill until serving

So pull out those cake pans and enjoy a wonderful summer treat before summer is over!

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