We’re full of celebrations around here lately! The adoption of our little girl was finalized, my oldest turned 4, my husband’s birthday is coming up, and this weekend we will have a big celebration to officially welcome our daughter to our family (with an Oktoberfest campfire thrown in afterward for good measure). Phew! Lots of parties mean lots of cake. And I’ve been busy baking up a storm.
One of the changes I’ve made in my baking as I seek to feed my family less processed food, is giving up baking mixes. Really, this is one of the easier changes we’ve made. I don’t find that it takes much more time to mix up the ingredients myself than it does to mix eggs and oil into a cake mix. Same goes for brownies, pancakes, biscuits and any other baking mix you can buy. And this way I control the ingredients…fresh whole wheat flour, less sugar, healthy fats, and of course no preservatives or chemicals. (And besides, homemade just tastes so much better.)
The same goes for frosting. I always make my own frosting or icing for cakes. It’s really not difficult (and check out this tip for homemade powdered sugar using sucanat). However, in an effort to save time in all our party preparations last week, I bought my first can of frosting in several years. I was trying to do a gazillion things, and store-bought frosting promised to be quick and easy for the cupcakes for my son’s class. Then I got home and looked at the ingredients. Yikes! I was horrified and vowed to never do it again! I’ll stick to my homemade cream cheese frosting instead, thank you very much. (And looking back…why, oh why, did I not look at the ingredient list at the store?!?)
You’ll see in the photo above that there is a small round cake in addition to cupcakes. We have some friends that are gluten-free, so I did buy a gluten-free mix for that round cake. I don’t typically bake with gluten-free flours, as no one in our family has issues with gluten at this point, so I didn’t feel comfortable (nor have the ingredients on hand) to wing it on the gluten-free one. Maybe I’ll do some experimenting with that in the future.
This week I’ll make a chocolate cake for my daughter’s party–she takes after me with her chocolate love affair–and then the annual Black Forest cake for my husband’s birthday. And by next week, we should be all caked-out for the year!