21 February 2011

Devil's Food Bat Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It may seem like it's all pie, all the time in my kitchen, but that's not the case. Sometimes there's cake!

My birthday was earlier this month, and this clearly called for cake. I wanted to use my Christmas gift, the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book. Yes, you read that right: whole grain cake. This book has an entire chapter devoted to whole grain cakes (and other chapters for cookies, and pies, and oh my!), and I was dying to find out how delicious they could be. Don't worry, this cake is not health food!

What you need:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp backing soda
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain low-fat or whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup water

What you do:
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour your pans (2 9-inch rounds, 3 8-inch rounds, or one 9x13).

Cream together the butter, sugars and salt in a large mixing bowl till fluffy and light, at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa and baking soda. Make sure there are no lumps.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well (at least a full minute) after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and mix until evenly combined. Add the yogurt and water, and mix again. Add the remaining flour, mix, and stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once more, to make sure the batter is evenly moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes if making a layer cake, or 35-40 minutes if making sheet cake. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Place on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting!
I used the frosting from the carrot cake recipe in the same cook book. To make it, let 1 8-oz package of cream cheese and 6 tbs of butter get to room temperature, then cream them together with 1 tsp of vanilla until light and fluffy. Then add (gradually!) 4 cups of confectioner's sugar. To get the intense blue color seen in the picture, add an entire bottle of blue food coloring. Noel (my partner in cake crime!) was not the biggest fan of this frosting, but I thought it was great. More cakes with different frosting are in the future!

The usual response when I mentioned that this cake is whole wheat: "Sweet, I can have another piece!" I can not recommend the KAF cookbooks enough for baking; they are reliable, and prioritize making delicious baked goods above all other considerations. I can't wait to try more whole wheat cakes!

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