September 25, 2013


Make from-scratch cake on your busy day with this easy make-ahead cake batter. Serve it with a rich chocolate sweetened condensed milk frosting.

Make-Ahead-Cake-Batter Cake with Fudgy Stove Top Frosting
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If you’re anything like me, there have been times when you refrained from making a made-from-scratch cake for a get together because of the multiple steps involved. The batter preparation requires a lot of supplies, measuring, and cleanup. Then there is frosting to make and the cake decorating to follow. Cake baking can be a daunting project on a tight schedule. 

I don’t like to make certain cakes in advance because I think they lose their flavor and the consistency changes, especially when refrigerated—two things I don’t want to happen when I want to impress. The problem with cake batter is it needs to be baked right after it is made. The leavening agent, the baking powder and/or baking soda, is activated immediately when liquid is added and loses its effectiveness as it sits.

A Slice Of Make-Ahead-Cake-Batter Cake with Fudgy Stove Top Frosting

I have figured a method where the batter can be made a day ahead and baked the day of, therefore cuts down on the work involved and leaves more time for other matters. How is it done? It’s actually quite simple. I make the batter without the leavening agent, refrigerate it overnight, and add the ingredient (and a little liquid) just before baking the next day. This is done simply with a hand whisk. The result, a perfectly risen fresh homemade cake with less work!

And the frosting, it couldn’t be easier. It too can be prepared the day ahead for use the following day, although I like to make it fresh. It is made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, and chocolate chips on the stove top. This frosting is thick, rich, and a perfect accompaniment for this yellow cake.

Make-Ahead-Cake-Batter Cake with Fudgy Stove Top Frosting, Cut View



2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/8 cup milk, divided

Fudgy Stove Top Frosting:

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp. butter
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips


Using an electric mixer set on high, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add egg, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after the last addition. Mixture will be pale yellow and smooth.  

Combine flour and salt.  Reduce speed to medium low, alternate the addition of the flour mixture and 3/4 cup milk. Start with on third of the flour, half of the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and end with the last third of the flour. Mix until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the inside of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.Grease and flour pans. 

Sprinkle baking powder evenly over the top of the batter. Add vanilla and 6 tablespoons milk. Beat with a wire whisk for 1 minute to thoroughly incorporate. Equally divide cake batter between the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

To make frosting, add sweetened condensed milk and butter to a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Condensed milk is now slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stirring a few seconds until bubbling stops. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth.  

If using immediately, allow to cool slightly, but frost while it is at spreadable consistency. If frosting becomes difficult to spread, put back on heat and stir for a few seconds to soften.  

If using the next day, refrigerate frosting in a microwaveable bowl. When ready to use, microwave 15 second intervals to soften. If needed, add sweetened condensed milk or regular milk, 1 tsp. at a time, to bring frosting back to spreadable consistency.

Note: To make chocolate curls, shave off pieces of a chocolate candy bar with a vegetable peeler. Make sure the cake is completely cool prior to adding chocolate curls as they will melt. The frosting recipe makes exactly enough to frost a 2 layer 8-inch cake. If you like more frosting, increase proportions 50%. 


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