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Cooking and Baking

'Big' Cake Recipes

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Hit me with your ‘big’ cake recipes, preferably something that will freeze.
    I am considering making my sons 18th cake, possibly for up to 200 people.

    At the moment I am thinking I will make several and put them together on the night…. anyone here experienced with catering for a big crowd.

    I am not after anything too fancy, just good honest baking.

    Thank you Lovelies!

    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    You know, I do have one huge chocolate cake recipe, but it’s for making a huge number of individual cakes (it’s a recipe for 75, from El Bulli). That make me wonder whether it wouldn’t be easiest to make one normal cake to decorate and put candles on, then make a huge number of cupcakes. Won’t have to fuss with handing out 200 plates and forks, won’t have to fuss with cutting 200 slices.

    Profile photo of nzsewistnzsewist @Ann-Maree

    This is my go to recipe for birthday cakes…

    Annabel Langbein’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake

    I always make the cake or cakes a few weeks in advance, wrap in cling film and then freeze until the day before. I’ve made this one in both 27cm (entire recipe) and 20cm (recipe split into thirds) tins. I’ve also staked two 27cm cakes, and you could definitely go to three or four of these stacked no problems to feed all 200 people.

    The recipe has instructions for mixing the entire batter in a food processor, but you do need a really big food processor to be able to do that. Mine isn’t quite big enough so I just put all the ingredients in my stand mixer and do it that way.

    From a catering for multiple people perspective…

    When you make the ganache or icing/frosting that you are going to use for crumb coating, sandwiching and covering the cake make even more than you think you will need. There’s nothing worse than not having quite enough and needing to make more.

    I definitely recommend delegating the portioning of the cake at the party to a team of willing helpers. One or two people cutting the cake into portions (little square pieces, not segments) and putting it onto serving platters. And then a team of servers taking the cake out to guests with serviettes/plates. If you wanted to be involved with that then make sure that you are just a server and not a cutter. Your guests will miss out on an opportunity to pass on their appreciation of how wonderful your son is and how awesome your cake is if you’re stuck behind the scenes cutting up cake for half an hour! 🙂

    Profile photo of KerrilynKerrilyn @Kerrilyn

    Some great suggestions here. Thanks for starting it Nicole. Looks like we were sporting big bellies full of boy at the same time😋

    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I knew you guys would rock! 🙂

    @sarvi , fairy cakes are a great idea, I can bake and freeze and ice on thawing.

    @ann-maree great recipe and equally great advice, thank you so much!

    @kerrilyn, yours too? 🙂

    Keep them coming Ladies!

    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    S’mores Cupcakes

    Not a giant recipe, but I would imagine it could be usefully doubled and made a few times — might be easier on your kitchen/baking tools too.

    Profile photo of EnbeeEnbee @Enbee

    I’ve made the chocolate cake recipe (although not in this size – scaled down significantly, different frosting and filling) on this post from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, and I loved it. She mentions in another post that she used this for the 12-inch layer in a wedding cake, and that she baked and froze each layer.
    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/03/layer-cake-tips-the-biggest-birthday-cake-yet/ There’s also a link in that post for scaling based on pan size.

    (I’m a fan of Smitten Kitchen in general, and have had very good luck with most of her recipes)

    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Awesome, thank you!
    My new stove is being shipped and my children are pretty happy about the testing that will take place.

    Any more? Savoury or sweet.

    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    do you have a scale? I can give you the recipe we use at work (bakeshop) — it freezes well and we make our wedding cakes for up to 300 people with it.
    Short answer, for 200 people I think it is easiest to do one “showpiece” cake and a large sheet cake, they can be cut at the same time so nobody is waiting too long for cake. Or cupcakes! 200 cupcakes is not that much work, and if you have the fridge space you can start 4-5 days ahead.

    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    @reeni, thank you!!!

    Do you mean attendance or weighing scales? I have kitchen scales and my 1960 Sunbeam mixer 🙂

    I am waiting on my new stove (happy dance) and my existing free standing oven is being moved out to the shed as a warmer/hotplate. It is gas and quite large but the door seals have gone so not so good for baking.

    I would love your recipe, thank you!

    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    I forgot to ask, chocolate or yellow cake? You have a few chocolate ones to try so i’ll give you vanilla. This quantity fits well in a 6-quart mixer; it’s originally from the Cake Bible. Bake at 340 F or 170 C… this makes 2 12″ round layers or 10″ squares, approximately enough for 40 people (maybe 30 teenagers!) Grease pan sides, line bottoms with paper, and coat with flour.

    600 g cake flour (low-protein, can use pastry flour)
    600 g sugar (caster or superfine, not powdered)
    15 g salt
    32 g baking powder
    Sift into the mixer bowl. Mix with paddle until combined.
    340 g unsalted butter, softened to spreadable texture
    140 g milk
    Add to the bowl and mix on low speed 1 minute, scrape down sides, then medium speed 2 minutes.

    227 g eggyolks — depending on the size, this will be about 12 or so.
    1 tbsp vanilla (18 g)
    340 g milk
    Whisk these together in another bowl. Add half to the mixer bowl and beat in, scrape, then mix in the other half. Beat for another minute, then go in with the spatula and give everything a good up-and-down fold, especially if your bowl has that divot in the bottom.
    Divide between the pans and bake about 40 minutes, rotating back to front and top to bottom halfway. They are done when they spring back when you press a finger in the middle. Enjoy!

    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    Btw, I love Swiss meringue frosting to finish cakes — it takes care of the egg whites left over. You can also use 6 whole eggs in the cake but the texture will be a little more open and have more crumbs… works fine for cupcakes tho! For white cake, 270 g egg whites instead. Kids (and many adults!) love the white cake with a handful of sprinkles mixed into the batter.

    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I am open to any flavour @reeni, just after a great tasting cake that will freeze.
    You have been so helpful

    Just a few questions…. cake flour, is that Self Raising flour?
    Do you have a good recipe for Swiss meringue icing? I could Google one but I love tried and true recipes.

    Thank you again!

    xx Nicole

    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    No problem, I think it’s the pastry teacher in me that can’t help but help!
    Cake flour is not necessarily self-rising, but if that is what you can get, eliminate the salt and only use 8 g baking powder. In the US, cake flour has brands like Soft a silk and Swansdown… King Arthur’s cake flour is labeled Gueneviere.
    Swiss meringue buttercream is 1 part eggwhites, 2 parts sugar and 3 parts unsalted butter (by weight or volume)… you can make just a little or a lot, depending on the size of your mixer and if you’re adding flavorings that add bulk (like chopped nuts or fruit puree).
    For a test batch, try 4 eggwhites and 227 g sugar. Mix together in the mixer bowl, then set that in a pan with an inch of simmering water. Whisk until hot to the touch and all the sugar is dissolved. Add a pinch of salt, then whip at high speed on the mixer until it is cooled and very fluffy white. Cut 340 g butter into 1-inch cubes while the meringue whips. When the bowl just feels room temp, add the butter a quarter at a time and beat in on low speed. When all the butter is added, scrape down and beat on medium speed until it is white and fluffy again, about 3-5 minutes. Add flavoring as you wish. This freezes well too, in a zip lock bag or in a plastic container.
    Amy thing else you need, ask away!

    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Thank you so much 😘

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