DIY, Recipes

I Mirror-Glazed a Cake!

Hello friends! I thought I’d share something a little bit different today. We’ll call this a little something from the “baking diaries,” and I’ll make a confession here that I watch a lot of baking videos on YouTube. I’ll even give you a list of some of my favorite channels: The Scran Line, Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, Rosie’s Dessert Spot, and Cupcake Jemma.  I’ll stop there, because the list is quite long! And I’m realizing as I’ve just listed out some favorites that I might have a slight affinity for Australian and British accents…At any rate, I can’t really explain the obsession with baking channels, except that I do love to bake when I find the time (I think I get that from my grandmother), and I just really like to eat sweets. :)

Mirror glaze cake

Anyway. Mirror Glazes seem to be pretty trendy lately. You can mirror glaze cakes in all kinds of colors with all kinds of different, beautiful results, and it’s pretty simple and super shiny. I’ll include a recipe for the glaze I used, below.

As some of you may know, I’m a librarian by day, and I work in a research library that focuses on the collection of materials (books, newspapers, ephemera, etc.) printed in American before 1876. There’s a lot of marbled paper in our library stacks. Every month, we have a birthday party to celebrate staff who have birthdays that fall within that particular month, and I signed up to bake one of the celebratory cakes for the March party. I’d been wanting to try a mirror glaze (I practiced it once before and it went…ok), and it seemed like this was just the occasion to try the technique. And if I could get the glaze to resemble marbled paper, even better!

Mirror glaze cake

I baked a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream frosting and froze it overnight. I used this recipe. The recipe calls for coffee in the mix, which I think makes this particular cake especially delicious!

The next morning, when the cake was good and frozen, I got to work on the glaze. Of the two recipes I’ve tried, I like this one best. It requires the use of real white chocolate chips (instead of white chocolate melts that one may be tempted to use) which make a world of difference. Ask me how I know.

I separated my glaze into three different bowls and colored one white, one a deep burgundy and one a lighter shade of red. I only used a small amount of the glaze for the lighter colors, and colored the bulk of my glaze the darker red, because I knew I wanted it to be the dominant color. I waited for my glaze(s) to reach the correct temperature (also vital…) and then poured them on . First the darkest color, and then drizzles of the lighter colors here and there. The pouring was rather haphazard, intentionally. I ended up with this great, random marbled effect. And it was so shiny! The gelatin in the recipe means that the glaze firms up a bit once it cools completely, so your design stays put.

Mirror glaze cake

Another word to the wise: transport can be tricky! Make sure you handle with care (aka don’t let the side of the cake hit the side of the cake carrier. You’ll be sorry…Ask me how I know).

So, if you really want to wow your friends at a party, I’d recommend a mirror glaze. Mine’s not perfect – there are some air bubbles here and there, and then we had that little mishap during transportation…But it was still a hit! And it’s not hard at all if you’ve got a good recipe!



Kentucky Butter Cake

I got this recipe from a coworker who makes a pretty awesome version of this cake. She had made it for our monthly staff birthday party at work, and the recipe is one she provided for our staff cookbook. It was a really nice treat because it’s very different from your traditional birthday cake. I have to admit that hers came out better than mine (even though mine came out really great if I do say so), but she’s given me a few tips for making it even better – like taking lots of extra time and care creaming the butter and sugar.

The cake has lots of butter (hence the name), which means it’s pretty rich and it’s something I won’t make too often if I want to stick to any kind of diet. But, it comes out very moist, and somehow very light while also sort of creamy and buttery (duh). I feel like it would be nice to fill up on when its warm right out of the oven on a winter day, but it would also be great in the summer topped with some fresh fruit and whipped cream!

Here is the recipe from the cookbook:

Kentucky Butter Cake

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or rum extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar; add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; mix in dry ingredients
Bake in greased tube pan for 70 minutes at 350 degrees
Remove cake from oven.
Melt 1/3  cup butter with ¾  cup sugar and 3 Tbs. Water; add 1-2 tsp. of vanilla or rum extract when removed from heat.
Poke the top of the cake with a long tined fork and pour the melted butter & sugar over the cake; let cool for 30 minutes and then remove from pan.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.