Two Recipe Types

Let’s talk about recipes.

If you are into baking, you are probably already a better baker than I am. The actual baking is my weakest point in cake decorating. But I will share with you a few of the recipes that I use, and why I use them specifically in a northern context. Maybe you can share your own favorites, and why they work for you?

Oil-based Recipes

For a long time, I stuck to only oil-based recipes. Specifically, I like the oil-based recipes of one of my favorite YouTubers, Joshua John Russell. Here is his website where you can find all his recipes.

Why do I like his recipes so much? Three reasons. 1) They are very moist, and I find them really delicious, but they’re not so light and fluffy that they won’t hold up in stacked cakes. 2) They are very fast to make, meaning they are very time-efficient. 3) They use almost entirely shelf-stable ingredients. This means I can sealift all the ingredients, saving money, and saving the time of going to the store. You’ll hear me say it again and again: efficiency is the name of the game. Saving time and money is how you can save your customers money and still be able to pay yourself.

Specifically I use his recipes for chocolate cake, carrot cake, pumpkin cake, and red velvet cake. (If making is red velvet cake, though, make sure you use liquid food coloring. I put 1/3 of a cup of red gel food coloring in that recipe once. Don’t do that.)

Chocolate oil cake on top, vanilla butter cake on the bottom.

Butter Cake

I used to use JJR’s vanilla cake from the website above, but as I continued, I found it harder and harder to get them to bake properly. They kept collapsing and failing to bake all the way through. I tried every trick I could find on how to get them to bake better, from putting a flower nail in the middle to lowering the oven temperature to I don’t even remember everything I tried. But I gave up.

I decided to start using a butter recipe for all my plain-vanilla cakes. I tried a few different ones but went back to the recipe I learned in the Craftsy class that started this whole gong show. So far it’s been baking very reliably, so it’s worth the more expensive ingredients. I’ll share that recipe with you tomorrow.

Other recipes

For Black Forest Cake, I use this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, pretty much exactly as written (but without the cherry liquor). It’s a sour cream cake. Everyone loves this cake!

In the Craftsy class “Startup Library: Cake Decorating” there’s a recipe for doctored box mix cake which I use when a box cake flavor is requested. It’s fairly similar to this one in that the key ingredients are pudding mix and sour cream.

What cake recipes do you love? Do you have some that you find easier to scale up?

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