Each evening, our B&B guests enjoy a snack or dessert set out on our inn's porch. Today I decided to bake a cake using a Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcake Recipe with Light Cream Cheese Icing Recipe from Martha Stewart which yields 24 light, moist cupcakes. By doubling the recipe, I had enough batter to make a two-layer 6" round cake. The icing recipe, without doubling it, makes enough to frost between the two layers as well as the cake's outside.
A clipping titled "little helper" from an April 2003 issue of Country Home Magazine came in handy. It is a chart showing mold (cake pan) volume, batter amount needed to fill the cake pan, and baking time. To find the volume of my pan, I filled it with water and determined that the pan held 3 1/2 cups. Of course, you wouldn't put 3 1/2 cups batter in the pan because there needs to be room for rising. Referring to the chart, a 3 1/2 cup baking pan requires 1 3/4 cups batter. However, the chocolate buttermilk cupcake recipe (before doubling) makes 2 cups batter. I had a really tough decision to make. Do I eat the extra 1/4 cup of batter or pour it in the pan and hope it didn't overflow? The batter is seriously so good that I was tempted to sit down and gorge myself, but I didn't. I poured it into the pan after first lining the bottom of each pan with a circle cut from natural unbleached parchment paper. (Spreading a little oil in the bottom of the pan before laying the paper down helps it stay in place. I also spread a little oil onto the top of the paper, too, to ensure that it can be easily removed from the baked cake.) At the conclusion of the baking time, it had risen level with the top of the pan. Perfect... (I did need to add an additional 5 minutes to the baking time because of the added depth.) The chart is so useful, so I've included it in this post for you to print off and place in your cake recipe file for that moment in time when you'll be glad you had it too.