Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mary Ann Cake for Father's Day

My cherubs had it all planned:
  • grilled hamburgers with caramelized onions, bacon and blue cheese
  • potato salad
  • blackberry cobbler
That's what they wanted to cook for their daddy for Father's Day.

I thought it was great!  Except when they were with their Mimi and I was grocery shopping, I changed the dessert.

To this:

This is a delicious cake, made in a Mary Ann cake pan, with a fabulous cream filling, topped with berries!

It was a hit, both with the cherubs AND the Mr.!

You may ask, "What's a Mary Ann pan?"  It's a cake pan that has a shallow well, so when your cake is baked, there's a perfect place for all sorts of yummy fillings!  If you don't have a Mary Ann pan, just use regular round or square pans, making a 2 or 3 layer cake, and spread the filling between the layers.

Basic Cake

Vegetable oil spray, for misting the pans

Flour, for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist three 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray, then dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pans aside.  Or use your (new) Mary Ann cake pan!

Place the cake mix, cream cheese, water, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth, 2 minutes longer. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans, about 1¾ cups batter per pan, smoothing the tops with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven. If your oven is not large enough to hold 3 pans on one rack, place 2 pans on that rack and one in the center of the rack above.

Bake the cake layers until they are golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 20 to 25 minutes. The cake layer on the higher rack may bake faster.

Allow the cakes to cool about 15 minutes before releasing from the pan and completely cool on a cooling grid.

Basic Cream Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened

* I added about 3-4 TBSP of powdered sugar (which meant I needed a bit more cream).  I wanted just a tad sweeter taste, and the extra cream was to achieve the consistency I wanted.

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer.  Spread filling between layers or fill the indention of the Mary Ann cake.

Top with berries and refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

This is a Mary Ann Cake pan
(from the King Arthur Web site)

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