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Yellow and white cakes

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#61 JustKay

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 06:47 AM

Thank you Sinclair. I am enjoying the site much.

I do find the recipes from the US too sweet if I use the sugar as stated in the recipes, hence I usually reduce it some. I'm not sure but perhaps because we use cane sugar here as opposed to corn sugar in the US? (I've read somewhere that even our Coke here tastes better due to the different sugar :smile: ).

And with 300gm sugar total, like I said, it's sweet enough. I would rate it too sweet if I had added total 400gm.

Yeah, I should've stuck to the plain recipe but I couldn't resist adding the Oreos when I saw the suggestion at the end of the recipe. Anyways, the one which had chopped Oreos were big Oreo pieces and I don't think it messed the batter any - I kinda dropped them into the batter once poured into the pan.

The cake was still white with Oreo spots. Mine came out just like kthull's.

I guess I'm not a good 'tester' what with the difference in flour quality, sugar differences, humidity, substituting unavailable ingredients or whatever else. :cool:

Edited by kew, 07 May 2004 - 06:49 AM.


#62 bleudauvergne

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 06:52 AM

Here are the two side by side exteriors (kthull pudding recipe left, mkfradin recipe right):

Posted Image

GREAT idea to make the cupcakes in addition to the round cake - solves my pan problem.

I bake tomorrow. I have taken on a translation job so I can be at home the day and make money at the same time... :smile:

-Lucy

#63 kthull

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 09:40 AM

Lucy, if it helps, the mkfradin cupcakes finished in 27 minutes and the 9x2 round in 43. I had the cupcakes on the upper rack and the round on the bottom until I took the cupcakes out. For my recipe, the cupcakes finished in 23 and the round in 43.

I needed cupcakes for my daughter's birthday party tonight. Perfect excuse to make two different recipes! :wacko:

#64 bleudauvergne

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 10:22 AM

Well, the big French baking experiment is done.

The results of this experiment will unfortunately not be able to be taken into account for this recipe comparison, because my results for both of the cakes that I made were so bad.

I am pretty sure I am doing something wrong. I thought gram weight would solve the problem of my baking experiments all going awry, but I think it may be more complicated than that.

I used Francine supreme farine de ble premiere extraction, which promises that my creations will be toujours reussies. Which means always successful. NOT!

Don't get me wrong. They taste pretty good. But both cakes did not come out white inside, they were yellow, even though the only yellow ingredient I used was butter.

1. Samaki's cake: I bought unsalted butter and used it for this recipe. The cake sunk in the middle and remains rather puddingish in the center (edit: my husband says that it is not puddingish in the center, and that , it has a nice consistency) even though it had begun to shrink from the sides and took a rather roundish edge. The cupcakes did not rise much and fell back down soon after cooking thus are perfectly flat across the top. The cake developed a sort of crust, which had some tooth to it. The consistency of the cake was much like that of a chewy cornbread.

Posted Image

2. MKFradin's cake: I used buerre demi sel, which is the saltiest mainstream butter you can get here. Enchanted with the simplicity of the recipe, it went in, rose like a charm, cupcakes too. The batter looked a little like it was curdling, I think due to the fact that after using the softened butter, the room temp egg whites, etc. I added frigo cold milk - doh! The major problem with this cake was that it was really fragile coming out of the pan. Like it puffed up so far that it was like a sponge, but not strong enough to hold togetherreally well. I practically mangled it taking it out of the pan, and I know that it would fall apart if I tried to ice it.

Posted Image

There is a problem I have to solve with the flour.

We have to go now but I will put some thought into it and try and come up with some reasons why these two cakes came out so badly.

Edit: after coming home from a night out, we hit the cupcakes.

5 hours rest gave these cakes a new lease on life. Still ugly, but MKFradin's cake has really nice texture and taste! If I had just waited until it was fully cool to take it out it might have survived the removal from the pan. The texture is moist, just the right crumb, I'm even saying this is some damn good cake! I would give this recipe a 4.5 (because it scared me at the beginning).

Samakis recipe has taken on more of a resilient texture and now that it's cool, there is a predominant salty taste in the flavor. It's clear that this cake would hold up quite well to some serious decorating, and possibly be a very nice cake for a trifle, being so spongy and durable. I would rate this cake a 3.8 on the white cake scale, because it resembles more the French genoise we know and is missing some moistness and smoothness of crumb that the other cake has.

Both of these recipes need some tweaking to get the french flour proportions right. I'll post a photo of the wedges tomorrow. Note both seemed whiter after cooling. (on the inside, the crusts are both still brown.)

Edited by bleudauvergne, 08 May 2004 - 03:12 PM.


#65 mkfradin

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 07:05 PM

I can't take credit for the cake--the formula is Dede Wilson's from the Wedding Cake book, and I just changed her mixing method from creaming to high ratio.

Ironically, I haven't had the best luck with this cake for the past week or so; it's been denser and heavier than usual, tho it did pair well with strawberry butter cream for Mother's Day. My pastry chef's been doing the baking, so maybe later this week, I'll try and see whether it's the recipe or the baker. Having all the ingredients at room temp. helps tremendously.

I'm not sure about the color of the top of the cakes--it could be a function of the oven temp. or time/length of baking. I don't remember what happens with mine. We slice the tops off anyway!

marjorie

#66 lorea

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:03 PM

Don't laugh...here's my mkfradin's cake, warts and all.

Posted Image


TP(M'sia)'s mkfradin's cake was cute! :wub:

Has anybody that tried these posted cakes also tried the white cake from The Best Recipe (Cook's Illustrated)? How does it compare? The reason why I'm asking is that that is my favorite white cake recipe (after trying a bunch for a while), but if one of these are better, I definitely want to try it! Heck, when I get some more time, I'm going to try these anyways, since I absolutely love white cake when it's done right.

#67 Tepee

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:17 PM

Bet you pros can't achieve that "cute" feature, huh? Cut it up for my flip-flop cake.

About the color...I don't know, but the few times I've tried making a white cake, it always turned out this white. I use an unsalted butter from Australia.

Edited by TP(M'sia), 11 May 2004 - 08:18 PM.

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#68 lorea

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:20 PM

Yes, I was wondering about that extreme whiteness. It's perfect for a white cake when the white looks matter. Perhaps it's the flour that's available in Malaysia?

#69 kthull

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:25 PM

Lorea, the recipe I posted at the start of the thread is a tweaked version of the Cooks Illustrated recipe. While it's not exactly it, it's pretty close (minus the vanilla pudding mix). I do remember making it while testing last year and it wasn't as good as the version I posted.

HTH

#70 lorea

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for responding, Kevin. I think Cook's Illustrated has many versions, and have tweaked it over the years. The one that I really liked was from the Best Recipe book they published (1999?).

It's good to see they're continuing to test new recipes!

I was comparing the recipe you posted, and the one in the Best Recipe and The Best Recipe version has much less cake flour and no pudding, among other differences.

#71 Tepee

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:43 PM

Yes, I was wondering about that extreme whiteness.  It's perfect for a white cake when the white looks matter.  Perhaps it's the flour that's available in Malaysia?

Glad you appreciate the whiteness. The cake flour I used was bleached.

Edited by TP(M'sia), 11 May 2004 - 08:44 PM.

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#72 JustKay

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 06:32 AM

The cake flour I used was bleached.

For the benefit of other Malaysians here, exactly what brand and type TP? :smile:

I use Blue Key mostly. Make my own cake flour and self-raising from it too. For breads I use Anchor hi-protein.

And the butter? Your butter must be quite white too, eh? I use either Fern (fr NZ) or Golden Churn (fr Aus) and KerryGold (fr Ireland) if making shortbreads or buttercakes (if I can find it - only certain places have this brand).

Thanks TP.

Edited by kew, 12 May 2004 - 06:33 AM.


#73 Tepee

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 08:14 AM

(TP(M'sia) @ May 11 2004, 08:43 PM)
The cake flour I used was bleached. 

For the benefit of other Malaysians here, exactly what brand and type TP?


I use the re-packed cake flour from Bake with Yen whenever a recipe calls for cake flour. So far, I'm quite satisfied with the results. If plain flour or SRF is required, I use Tesco's organic unbleached flour; very fine and makes great cakes. Considering it's organic, it's not pricey. But you don't find it on the shelves all the time, so I buy in bulk and freeze them.


And the butter? Your butter must be quite white too, eh?


I almost exclusively use New Zealand's (pardon me, I said I used an Aussie butter in a previous post) Anchor unsalted/salted butter, bought at Bake with Yen for RM2.50 each. HTH.
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#74 JustKay

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 05:30 PM

I almost exclusively use New Zealand's (pardon me, I said I used an Aussie butter in a previous post) Anchor unsalted/salted butter, bought at Bake with Yen for RM2.50 each. HTH.

Thanks for the info. I'll have to check out Tesco's organic flour. Their regular flour looks 'off color'.

And 2.50 is cheap for unsalted Anchor. I too buy Anchor for unsalted butter - 2.80 at Wilton's. Fern and Anchor are made by the same company. But come to think of it, Anchor butter does seem whiter, especially the unsalted.

#75 bleudauvergne

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 02:55 AM

Hi I'd like to post a question to the professionals who have worked in France about white cake. What is the French equivalent to this kind of cake? I want to try some French recipes and test them, but I can't find anything in my recipe searches that resembles white cake. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks - Lucy

#76 mkfradin

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 06:38 PM

I'm barely a professional and have not worked in France, but it's my understanding that this type of cake--a butter cake as opposed to a foam or sponge cake (like a genoise)--is unique to America. I think most Europeans find our yellow cakes and pound cakes and chocolate layer cakes too sweet, dense and dry. They are used to genoise and sponges that are soaked in liqueurs and syrups and filled with (relatively) thick layers of filling. Admittedly, I haven't taken that many classes, but none of my European instructors ever had any comments to make on the standard American butter cake. I think they consider it an ugly stepsister!

That being said, I think Rose Beranbaum has a white genoise in her Cake Bible, which I've never made, but which might give you some guidance as to a Europeanized version of the white cake.

Marjorie

#77 bleudauvergne

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 01:22 AM

What a revelation. It's true, no where do we find really good nice tasting, white cake with heft and crumb, and beauty, which is not just a sponge to sop up liquers or a brick to support a filling, but a real honest to goodness cake. I am going to take this for the opportunity that it is. I am going to introduce the white cake to FRANCE! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

My kitchen will be the recipe test lab. :biggrin:

I don't remember where I read it, I think in Julia Child's MA where she recounts that for a certain cake containing fruit, it was necessary to advise the reader NOT to use cake flour because if you do, everything will sink to the bottom, due to the batter not being able to hold it. I am considering that as part of the reason why my tests did not turn out so well, considering the properties of the local flour here, and also doing some research. Thank you.

#78 Amuse Bouche

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 07:57 AM

mkfradin -- what's the difference in your white cake recipe that results from the change in technique? I ask because I'm a fan of Dede Wilson and I actually made her white cake last night as a test run for a wedding cake I'm baking.

#79 Samaki

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 08:57 AM

OK, I finally managed to do some white cake testing. I made mkfradin's, as so many others seemed to find it superior, and the recipe I posted. there is no contest. mkfradin's cake is most definitely the best. I give it a 4.5 - great texture, great flavor. It was too sweet for me, but pretty much all cakes are too sweet for me without drastic sugar reduction, and I wanted to do the recipe as written.

#80 mkfradin

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 04:11 PM

mkfradin -- what's the difference in your white cake recipe that results from the change in technique?  I ask because I'm a fan of Dede Wilson and I actually made her white cake last night as a test run for a wedding cake I'm baking.

Since I've never made Dede Wilson's white cake according to her recipe, I don't know what the difference is! Initially, I used RLB's high ratio mixing method, since it is easier than the creaming method (fewer dirty bowls), and now I've moved on to the method in my recipe, since it eliminates a further step by mixing all the wet ingredients together instead of mixing 1/4 of the liquid into the eggs and vanilla. I've always been so pleased with the results that there didn't seem to be a reason to try Wilson's recipe as it was written.

I am also a big fan of hers--her flavors and textures are great, and she's not afraid to depart from convention if it creates a superior product.

Marjorie

#81 mktye

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 07:12 AM

Hi all, I've been knee deep in banana cakes and now I'm trying to catch up with white cake testing developments.

What I've gleaned from re-reading this thread:

Samaki and KThull both like the mkFradin's version of Dede Wilson's cake better than their recipes. Is this correct?

What about TrishCT's cake? Has anyone tested it against the mkFradin cake?

Right now I am planning on making the mkFradin cake, TrishCT's cake and my own recipe. Are there any others in the running?

Thanks!

#82 Tepee

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 07:40 AM

Hi all, I've been knee deep in banana cakes and now I'm trying to catch up with white cake testing developments.

Saw your banana cake review...it's fantastic! I'm looking forward to your white cake review.

I can just imagine how full your freezer will be at the end of all these testings! Would like to know how long well-wrapped cakes can last in the freezer? I've only kept them for 3 weeks max before finding an occasion to use them.
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#83 TrishCT

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 07:10 PM

After all the testing I've done on the banana cakes, I'm wondering if the recipe I submitted for Snow White Cake would be better with cake flour substituted for AP.... I haven't gotten to testing the white cakes myself, still working on banana... Just some food for thought. :biggrin:

#84 bkinsey

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 09:58 AM

:angry: I used to love the recipes in the Houston Chronicle food section. Not too long ago the food editor, Anne Criswell, retired and the food section has really gone downhill. I tried a recipe using a white cake mix (brand unspecified) with the addition of boysenberry yoghurt (fruit on the bottom recommended) to make cupcakes. The result was so awful that I threw the whole lot in the trash, an action which those of you who know me will recognize as very uncharacteristic.
What a waste of 3 perfectly good egg whites, not to mention the carton of yoghurt!!

The recipes here look wonderful, thanks!

#85 lorea

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 02:04 AM

I made the mkfradin white cake and it was really really good - I think it had a very similar texture to the recipe in the Best Recipe that I mentioned earlier on this thread, but slightly oily tasting and oily feeling compared to it, but also slightly more tender. It was milkier tasting though, which I did like. A friend of mine said it "tasted like condensed milk, but in cake form."

There was something missing though - I think it needs a touch of almond extract for the classic white cake flavor. I would give it a 4 - I still think the one in the Best Recipe is better in texture. However, now I think the Best Recipe one needs to change a little, to add a little more of that milky flavor that I really liked. I think I'm going to experiment more with the Best Recipe recipe and see if I can make it with the best of both worlds before I post my version. (unless somebody wants it as it is now)

#86 bleudauvergne

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 02:16 AM

I've incorporated MKFradin's recipe in my list of favs. I'm doing it again today, with a mixture of type 55 and type 45 to see if I can improve the stability.

:biggrin:

#87 mktye

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 05:48 AM

There was something missing though -

I made the mkFradin cake and agree with lorea's comments. It tasted very nice, but a bit flat to me. Possibly the lack of salt? I almost threw in a 1/2 teaspoon, but decided to make the recipe first as written.

Also, the cake came out a littler more dense than I expected. Very fine crumb and tender, but not as light as most of the banana cake recipes (for comparison) from the other thread. Hmm, maybe my baking powder is kaput. :hmmm:

Edited by mktye, 21 May 2004 - 05:49 AM.


#88 mktye

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 04:53 AM

Tortured my family and friends with white cakes this weekend. Now they are sorry they complained about the banana cakes! Detecting the differences between the white cakes was much more difficult (and tedious).

Cakes tasted:

1. mkFradin’s cake from Dede Wilson’s “Wedding Cake” (as written)
2. mkFradin’s cake from Dede Wilson’s “Wedding Cake” (with addition of ½ tsp. salt)
3. Delicious White Cake from “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”, First Edition, Fifth Printing, 1950 (recipe uses whipped egg whites)
4. TrishCT’s Snow White Cake (substituted 1 cup and 2 Tbsp cake flour for each cup of AP flour, omitted the almond extract and used an equal amount of additional vanilla)
5. Rich White Cake adapted from recipe in “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”, First Edition, Fifth Printing, 1950 (recipe at end of post)

Tasting Notes:

Blind tasting.
Five tasters.
All the cakes were unfrosted.
Did not include almond extract in any of the recipes because, IMO, it seemed like comparing apples and oranges.
Points based on :
1st place vote = 5 points
2nd place vote = 4 points
3rd place vote = 3 points
4th place vote = 2 points
5th place vote = 1 point

Posted Image
(The differences in cake heights are due to different pan sizes)

Results:

1. mkFradin’s cake (as written, without salt)
Posted Image

6 Points – One 4th place vote and four 5th place votes. While definitely a good cake, tasters felt it tasted a little flat and one even said that it was not sweet enough(!).


2. mkFradin’s cake (with addition of ½ tsp. salt)
Posted Image
(This picture is of a slice taken from the layer that was a bit underdone – note the dark streak near the top. However, the fully cooked layer was the one tasted.)

15 Points -- Two 2nd place votes, one 3rd place vote and two 4th place votes. This recipe was liked much better with the addition of salt. However, both of the cakes using this recipe (with and without salt) came out a bit more dense than I expected and closer in texture to pound cake. Some tasters really liked the texture, while others did not.


3. Delicious White Cake from “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book"
Posted Image

16 Points – One 2nd place vote, and four 3rd place votes. This cake was very similar in both taste and texture to TrishCT’s cake and most of the tasters had a difficult time telling the difference between them. This makes sense since the recipes are almost identical (except this recipe called for less butter).


4. TrishCT’s Snow White Cake (made with cake flour and no almond ext.)
Posted Image

14 Points -- One 1st place vote, one 2nd place vote, two 4th place votes and one 5th place vote. Also a good cake. Like the above cake, it came down more to if the tasters liked a lighter cake or a more dense cake.


5. Rich White Cake adapted from a recipe in “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”
Posted Image

24 Points – Four 1st place votes and one 2nd place vote. This cake had a texture somewhat between the whipped egg white cakes and mkFradin’s cake. What really set it apart was its flavor. Not quite sure why it tasted better… the biggest difference is that this recipe uses ½ milk and ½ water for the liquid. It also has the most salt (1 tsp.) of any of the recipes.

As the person making the cakes, I liked the ease of the cakes that do not require whipping the egg whites. Less bowls to wash.

Overall, all of the cakes were excellent. Fine crumb, moist and tender without rubberiness. My initial impression on tasting the cakes was that they were all surprisingly similar. With the addition of frosting and/or filling, I’m not sure one could easily tell them apart. I also prefer a touch of almond flavor in my cakes, but I feel that preference is quite subjective (in fact, my one taster hates the flavor of almonds).

There are two more recipes for white cake in my old Betty Crocker cookbook that I have yet to try out, but I’ve been threatened with dire consequences :shock: if I make another cake for at least a month!


Rich White Cake Recipe:

250 g (2½ cups) sifted cake flour
(340 g) 1½ cups sugar
¾ tsp. salt
3½ tsp. baking powder
175 g (¾ cup) unsalted butter
130 g (½ cup, 4 fl. oz.) milk
115 g (½ cup, 4 fl. oz.) water
1½ tsp. vanilla
128 g (½ cup or 4 large) egg whites

Mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in butter. Pour in water, milk and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two 8” round pans or one 9” square pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until done. ( If anyone is interested, I also have the amounts for two 9” rounds, but only the volume measurements.)

#89 Tepee

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 05:57 AM

mktye! You are thorough! Thank you!

Methinks you may have to reach outside your family for further cake tastings. Please convey our gratitude to the willing/unwilling guinea pigs. :wub: BTW, I would love to have the recipe for 2 9"rounds, please. TIA!
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#90 mktye

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Posted 24 May 2004 - 06:16 AM

You are thorough!

Just a frustrated chemist. :smile:

I would love to have the recipe for 2 9"rounds, please. TIA!

3-1/3 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter
1-1/3 cups water+milk (50/50 ratio)
2 tsp. vanilla
6 egg whites (3/4 cup), unbeaten

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in butter. Pour in water, milk and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two 8” round pans or one 9” square pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until done.

My husband managed to survive the cake tasting ordeal, but he wants to know when we're going to start testing pies and/or puddings! :laugh:





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