The addition of whole wheat flour imbues this tender carrot snack cake with a little less guilt. The orange zest and juice adds a lovely, fresh flavor sure to please everyone in your crowd.
We halved the recipe below to make an 8 x 8 cake, which we think is plenty if you're calling it a "snack cake!" You can bake it as a full cake in a 9 x 13 pan. The larger size is perfect for a spring brunch, school banquet or a neighborhood potluck.
Recipe is from BHG. Hands-on time for this recipe is about 25 minutes. Total time to make is around 2 hours, including cooling time for the cake. Nutrition information: 316 cal, 21g fat, 54mg chol, 252mg sodium, 28g carb, 2g fiber, 4g pro.
When we try a new recipe, we often make a smaller version of the original recipe. For cookies, that's as simple as cutting the ingredients in half and making a smaller quantity. But for cakes, it gets quite a bit more complicated. And - horrors - requires some math!
In this post, we explain how to adjust your recipes for the pans you have on hand or when you want to make a smaller cake or cheesecake because you're not feeding a large group. Thanks to Alice Medrich from Food 52 for these calculations!
common pan sizes
(with the numbers rounded up to the nearest inch):
AREA OF RECTANGULAR PANS
AREA OF ROUND PANS
HOW TO USE THESE NUMBERS:
Once you know the area of any pan, you can compare it to the area of another pan to see how much bigger or smaller it is. You can divide the area of a large pan by the area of a small pan to figure out how many times to multiply a recipe to fill the larger pan with the same depth of batter. In our case, we usually are dividing a larger recipe. So, for example, if we want to divide a recipe designed for a 9-inch round pan (64) and make it in a 6-inch round pan (29), we multiple each of the ingredients by .45 or 45% (29/64). In this case, we'd round up to 50 percent for ease of conversion - as long as the pan can accommodate the small increase in total ingredients. For such as small increase, it's not likely that the baking time would need to be increased for most recipes.
how to do your own calculations
For squares and rectangles: The area of a square or rectangular pan is calculated by multiplying one side times the other side. The area of an 8-inch square is 64 square inches because 8 x 8 = 64; the area of a 9 x 13-inch pan is 117 square inches because 9 x 13 = 117. Easy.
For rounds: The area of a circle equals π times the radius squared. In case you don’t remember, π = 3.14; the radius of a circle is half of its diameter; and squaring means multiplying a number by itself. Ready? To calculate the area of an 8-inch round pan, multiply 3.14 (π) by 4 (because it’s half of 8) times 4. Thus, the area of an 8-inch circle is 3.14 x 4 x 4, approximately 50 square inches. Not so hard!
These thick, soft and chewy sugar cookie bars are perfect as a pan cookie, cut into squares. These bar cookies are bursting cheerful with sprinkles, then topped with a generous layer of buttercream. Perfect for those who have your own sweet tooth - or know some little sugarbugs who need a treat.
This is the first of our "Follower Friday" posts. We could think of no baker better than our longest and most constant cheerleader, Tasia of Two Sugarbugs. Check out her blog and Instagram accounts for some great recipes and beautiful photography.
We made a half recipe in a 8-inch round pan, then cut into small circles and topped with piped buttercream frosting. Next time we'll make the full batch.
Recipe makes about 20 servings and can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days - if they last that long!
To make the bars:
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a little extra overhang on the sides.
3. In a medium size bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (add a SideSwipe for best results), cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until nice and creamy. Add the granulated and powdered sugars and mix until pale and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and blend until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula, if using. Be sure to use the “jimmies” for your sprinkles as the nonpareil type can bleed and turn your batter an unappetizing color.
6. Press dough into prepared pan using a spatula or lightly moistened fingers. The dough will be thick and somewhat sticky.
7. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until edges are barely browned and they will look a little underdone. You do not want to over bake these bars or they will be more like a cake and less like a soft sugar cookie.
8. Allow to cool completely in the pan placed on a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (SideSwipe!) beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl (not needed with SideSwipe) and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and heavy cream (or half and half). Mix on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. (We did this) You can also add food coloring, if desired. (We did not).
2. Once cool, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper or aluminum foil "handles" and frost, adding additional sprinkles, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut to your desired size. If you want nice, clean cuts, wipe your knife with a towel between cuts. (We used a 1-1/2inch round cookie cutter for two-bite servings)
Do you wonder how and when you should sift your ingredients? Is sifting really necessary?
For most recipes where you use a stand mixer - like cakes, cookies, cheesecakes - it's fine to combine your dry ingredients with a whisk. Whisking breaks up most lumps, including when you're incorporating cocoa powder (which can be clumpy).
When should you sift? When the recipe calls for it! Sifting is called for when you are folding dry ingredients gently into delicate, wet batter like angel food cake or our recent madeleines.
Do you need a sifter? We don't use one. We use a fine-mesh sieve over a piece of parchment paper or a bowl. A sieve can be used in many other ways and justifies its place in our kitchen.
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Recipes and mixing tips
Simple recipes for home cooks using SideSwipe + your mixer. Tips for using + caring for your mixer. Our goal = Helping you get a perfect mix + great taste.