Monday, April 04, 2016

Birthday Book Mini-Cakes

I received a late birthday gift in March from a favorite sister. She gave me Jocelyn Delk Adams's Grandbaby Cakes books, described as "modern recipes, vintage charm, soulful memories". I had gotten the book out of the library and decided that it was likely to provide lots of good recipes for future cake baking.

One of the recipes that caught my eye were the Neopolitan Mini-Cakelettes. Combining the wonderful flavors and colors of neapolitan ice cream, there is a chocolate batter, a vanilla batter, and the author's favorite, the strawberry batter. I have a Bundt cake pan that has larger cakes, so I think of mine as mini-cakes instead of cakelettes. I changed the recipe a little so that there was only yogurt for dairy and I only had a tiny part of one of them just to see how the flavors and textures worked. Sweetie is not a big fan of cake, but he liked this one because it is nicely moist and not too sweet.

The majority of the mini-cakes are being mailed to the dear sister who gave me the book, as a thank you and treat all in one. I can just see her and her wonderful husband enjoying a cake each with coffee in the late afternoon or into the evening, their favorite time.

Don't be put off the having to divide the batter into three parts and flavoring two of those with additional ingredients. If you have a small whisk or small spatula, it will be easy and fun. Imagine serving these cute cakes to family and they will be impressed and will enjoy these delicious little cakes.

Neopolitan Mini-Cakes
from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams

3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used non-dairy butter substitute)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (NOT all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature (I used plain yogurt)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons strawberry jam, melted 20-30 seconds in the microwave
2-3 drops red food coloring
Confectioners' sugar to decorate (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare mini-Bundt pans with 5-cup to 6-cup capacity or one 6-cup small Bundt cake pan. (I used a six mini-Bundt cake pan and three of six small (fairy) cake cups, but part of a 6- cup muffin pan would do.) Use your choice of non-stick preparation. (I used a baking spray with flour.)

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Scrape bowl and beaters. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue to cream them together for an additional 5 minutes, stopping every couple of minutes to scrape the bowl and beaters. The idea is to add air to the butter sugar mixture. It will be pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping bowl and beaters after each has been incorporated.

Turn mixer to lowest speed and slowly add the flour in two batches. Add the salt and baking soda. Mix on low speed only until just combined. Scrape bowl and beaters. Add the sour cream, oil and vanilla extract, mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape bowl and beaters and mix just a few seconds to make sure batter is homogeneous.

Evenly separate the batter into 3 medium bowls (or two bowls and leave the third in the mixing bowl as I did).

Whisk the cocoa powder into one of the bowls and set aside.

Add the strawberry jam, strawberry extract, food color to another bowl and mix. The strawberry batter will be thinner than the other two. That is fine.

Place alternating tablespoons of all 3 batters into each cavity of your prepared pans, until each cavity is 2/3 full. For example, start with the vanilla, adding a tablespoon to each cavity, then add the chocolate, then the strawberry. Start again with the batters until each cavity is 2/3 full. You can always use greased muffin cups for any batter that doesn't fit in the 2/3 full Bundt cavities.

Bake for 24 - 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a mini-cake comes out mostly clean but still moist.

Let the mini-cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the mini-cakes with foil or plastic wrap so they don't dry out.

To serve sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve.


  1. It IS hard to think of the extra effort of dividing batter, but this looks like it's well worth the effort. Adorable wee cakes.

  2. Good golly those look delightful! Total treat.