Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Everyday Cake with Butter Glaze

A single layer cake is the perfect canvas for a delicious butter glaze.  I call this Everyday Cake because it's suitable for all seasons each & every day.  One can make it for an impromptu dinner party with close friends or for a more formal occasion.  When it comes down to it, it's all in the presentation and how you embellish the cake. 

Single layered cakes make it simple to serve a good amount of people, because one doesn't necessarily have to make a delicate buttercream or icing.  Most double layered cakes need to be cloaked in some type of icing and these cakes typically serve anywhere from 8-12 people, depending on the size of the layers themselves.  Another factor when making layered cakes is what to fill them with or whether to split the layers to create more tiers.  With single layer cakes there is no need to worry about any of this.  What's more, if you bake two layers and serve each cake separately, you ultimately double the number of servings for your party. 

One can bake the layers a day ahead and keep them at room temperature or one can freeze them for up to a month in advance (all butter cakes freeze extremely well).  Having an unfrosted cake in the freezer that is well-wrapped is one of those little 'good things' every host should keep in mind, if one wants to entertain with ease.  All one needs to do is thaw the layer(s) the day before.  A few hours before guests arrive a quick butter glaze is mixed & poured over the cake and some nonpareils, jimmies, glitter sugar or even holiday appropriate candy decorations are sprinkled over the top. 

If you entertain frequently or even a few times a year, this Everyday Cake can prove to be a great thing.  Reducing the amount of fuss one has to make over what to serve for dessert leaves the host or hostess with more time to think about the other little things.  Make this four season cake your very own creation. 


Everyday Cake with Butter Glaze



To create:
Note: the cake layers have to be completely cooled before applying the glaze or it will melt.


Butter Glaze: enough for one 8" or 9" single layer
  • 3/4 cup {80 grams} confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons {28.25 grams} unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon {15ml + 5ml} milk, divided
The recipe can be doubled.

To make the glaze, place the unsalted butter & 1 tablespoon {15ml} milk in a small saucepan and melt over low heat.  Place the confectioner's sugar in a large measuring cup or bowl.  As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture has heated, add it to the confectioner's sugar. 

With a small whisk, smooth out the glaze.  Add the last teaspoon of milk and whisk to combine.  You want a thick glaze that's pourable.  It should have the consistency of craft glue or sweetened condensed milk.  If it's too thick, add a bit more milk, drop by drop until you get a good glaze.  If you've made it too thin, add confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.   
Center the cake layer on a cake stand or cake plate & pour the glaze directly onto the middle.  The glaze should begin to run all over the top of the cake.  Using a small offset spatula, coax the glaze down the sides in great big drips.  This always looks inviting.  Let the icing set for a few minutes.  Right before serving, sprinkle the top with nonpareils, sprinkes (jimmies) or other small candies of your choice.  It can also be left plain.

A generous wedge on a porcelain plate.


An Everyday Cake with Butter Glaze is meant for any season!


What I love about this type of cake is that it can be made whenever one feels the need for some sweetness.  If you feel like enhancing each serving try a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.  This could also be served with a berry coulis for a lovely flavor and a bit of color.  The butter glaze is good on chocolate cake layers, carrot cake, pound cake, pumpkin cake, orange cake, red velvet or even a spice cake; it can also be drizzled over cupcakes. 

Depending on the time of year or the occasion, a tiny drop or two of food coloring will make it even more festive & more eye catching.  Can't you imagine this cake with an orange butter glaze sprinkled with tiny bat candies for Halloween?  For Christmas, why not use red & green sanding sugar sprinkled haphazardly over the white glaze.  No matter how your imagination makes this Everyday Cake into something more special, you're going to love how easy & stress free it is to create.  You're also going to love the flavor.  Make one soon!  

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