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Quick and Easy Snack Cakes

Quick and Easy Snack Cakes

These cakes take little effort but offer big rewards!

By FamilyTime

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Snack cakes are just the ticket with you don’t have time or energy to bake a layer cake. They’re also on the money for casual occasions and everyday desserts.

A snack cake is a single layer cake topped with frosting. It’s served by cutting it into squares or rectangles, generally right from the pan in which it’s baked.

This means snack cakes are ideal for simple meals, club meetings, and potluck suppers. What better to take to a picnic or community get-together?

The Pans
Snack and sheet cakes are baked in rectangular or square pans. For sheet cakes these are usually what are called jelly roll pans and measure, approximately 10 by 15 inches. They are shallow pans with rims that may be no more than ½ inch high.

Similar to jelly roll pans are half sheet pans, so called because they are half the size of a commercial baker’s sheet pan. These measure 12 by 17 inches and have rims.(Before you invest in one, make sure your oven is large enough!)

Home bakers also bake snack cakes in eight- or nine-inch square pans, sometimes called brownie pans, and glass baking dishes that commonly are 9 by 13 inches with 2 inch sides.

Preparing the Pans
For most sheet cakes baked in jelly roll or half sheet pans, the pan is rubbed with butter or another shortening and then sprinkled lightly with flour. Because the cake is served directly from the pan, you want to make it easy to remove the pieces.

If the cake will be lifted whole from the pan and served on a platter or tray, it’s advisable to butter or otherwise grease the pan and then line it with waxed paper. Leave two-inch overhangs on each end of the pan. These will serve as handles to lift the cake. Butter or grease the waxed paper and sprinkle it lightly with flour.

The Batter
Just about any cake batter you mix for a layer cake can be used for a snack or sheet cake. This goes for from-scratch recipes and box mixes. (Don’t try to make sheet cakes with angel food batter.)

To determine if the cake batter will fill the pan you want to use for the snack cake, measure the volume of the round layer cake pans against the volume of the sheet pan. Do this with water and a large measuring cup.

If it looks like the batter you plan to make will make too much for the jelly roll or sheet pan, don’t be afraid to discard a little batter. This is a far better solution than trying to adjust the ingredient amounts.

If there is not enough batter for the sheet pan, look for a different pan for baking. If the amount of batter is just a little shy of enough, you will have a thinner cake, which is not much of a problem.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it with a rubber spatula. It should not fill the pan to the rim but instead come about two-thirds of the way up the sides.

Baking, Cooling, and Frosting
When the cake bakes, it will rise in the oven and then fall so that it’s close to level when it cools. Test for doneness the usual ways: by time (as a guide only); when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean; when the center of the cake feels springy; and when the sides just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

If you are working with a recipe for a layer cake, the sheet cake will require less baking time. Some recipes give you guidelines; others do not. The average is about five minutes less.

Begin checking the cake for doneness 10 minutes before it’s supposed to be done. Some ovens bake “hotter” than others. If yours does not bake evenly, turn the pan halfway through baking.

When the cake is done, remove the pan from the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool. Even though it’s cooling in its baking pan, the wire rack permits air to flow around the cake so that it cools evenly.

Don’t frost the cake until it’s completely cool. The exception to this rule is if you use store-bought Pour & Frost Pourable Frosting, which is made to pour over warm cakes.

We have some delicious snack cakes on our site. Try these four -- and then search for more!

Cherry-Mallow Cake; Lemonade Party Cake; Chocolate Chip Surprise Cake; and Cherry Coffee Cake.

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Tagged With: cakes, home baking, easy, snacks, treats, dessert

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