I wanted to make a treat for some friends of mine. A slice of cake was too boring, and a cupcake was too small. After some brain storming I decided to make a mini cake. I am not the best cake maker/decorator, but this method is fool proof.
cake mix (and all the stuff to make it)
couple of cans of frosting
assorted candies, cookies or other cake toppings you like
3 - 4" circle (for template)
9 x 13" pan
Prep your cake pan with pan release. You want the cake to come out as clean as possible. Bake your cake according to the package directions. Make sure to follow the high altitude instructions if you live above 3,000 feet. When the cake is cooled turn it out onto a cutting board. Set your circle template (I used a ramekin) on the cake and cut out your circles.
I was able to cut 6 circles out of a 9x13" cake. Carefully pull apart the circles from the rest of the cake. Make these with the scraps of cake. Use your serrated knife to level off the cake circles. Next cut your circles into two equal halves (like a hamburger bun).
At this point you should have 12 cake circles. Because the cake is all cut up, it will be easier to frost if it's a little frozen. Stick your circles in the freezer and walk away for 45-minutes to an hour. This is a good time to get your toppings ready, and clean up/eat the cut up cake crumbs.☺
Once your circles are frozen it's time to layer and frost. Take the cake circles out of the freezer as you need them. That way they don't defrost while they are waiting for their turn. I stacked my mini cakes three layers high with a good amount of frosting in between each layer.
Now use your off set spatula to frost around the outside of the cake. Take it slow and ease the frosting around the cake. Put a good size dollop of frosting on the top and smooth is out. If the cake is crumbling into the frosting you have two choices. 1. Stick it back in the freezer, then try frosting after a while. or what I chose 2. Press your toppings into the sides instead of on top of the cake.
When your finished frosting the cake press your toppings onto the top of the cake. If you have a couple of cakes that don't look as good from the side, pressing your toppings into the sides.
I made a chocolate cake with 4 oz of cream cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes and spread through out the batter. My toppings were: mini chocolate chips mixed with broken up Heath bar bits, crumbled Oreo cookies, chunked up Reese's miniatures, and flaked coconut.
Am I blinded by my love for chocolate? I think these mini-cakes are so FUN!
I am not a perfectionist, and I definitely have room for improvement in my cake decorating skills. If anyone has tips on cake decorating, or knows a good website let me know. For now I will keep covering up my mistakes with more candy and chocolate!
Go make some mini cakes this weekend.....