Exposé on Exposed Cakes

April 25, 2016 in Category: Entertaining

By cakes (from the Old Norse word, kaka), we refer to classic baked, bread-like confections, the sharing of which is a time-honored tradition to mark an occasion or celebrate an individual. May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Graduation Day, (Un)Birthday(s)—a lot of potentially cake-centric days are upcoming.

By exposed, we primarily mean—with less frosting, especially around the sides. It’s a thing. And it is spring—time to shed some of that heavy coating. By the same token, it’s the perfect season to layer up on whimsy and levity.

And now for the exposé! The notion of crafting exposed cakes bears the potential to lay bare one’s real baking capabilities. If that is in your bad dream realm; or, rather, you just covet convenience and the achievement of intriguing complexity, we are uncovering an incredible advantage: Trader Joe’s baking mixes.

Our baking mixes are regarded for their quality and approachability. Each box contains all of the dry, defining ingredients, precisely measured and carefully combined.  You add each mix to a standard combination of wet ingredients (like eggs, butter, oil, and/or milk) and bake per package directions—nearly impossible to goof— to turn out brag-about-it cakes. All that remains is to layer on your personal brand of fantastical fun.

Delicious cake mixes - Vanilla, Blondie Bar, Brownie, Banana Bread and Cornbread

Vanilla Cake & Baking Mix: $2.99 (16 oz)
Blondie Bar Baking Mix: $2.99 (15.5 oz)
Brownie Truffle Baking Mix: $2.99 (16 oz)
Cornbread Mix: $2.99 (15 oz)
Banana Bread Mix: $2.69 (15 oz)


Rather than just talk about how boss our baking mixes are, we wanted to show you. So, using the above five mixes, we navigated the creation of the following Exposed Cakes.  We even relied on novice bakers to achieve a few of these spirited feats (some sweet, some savory, some that look like fantastic hats). Since this is an exposé, we also unveil what you aren’t able to see with the naked eye—the secret ingredient, if you will, that gives each of these Mad-Hatter-Tea-Party-worthy cakes a surprising edge.

Enough talk.

Take a peep, grab your favorite Trader Joe’s baking mixes, and let’s see what inventiveness this cakexercise exposes!

we got the beat!

In The Garden of…Cake

strawberry preserves made with fresh strawberriesTHE SECRET INGREDIENT:

TJ's Strawberry Preserves

We call these our "fresh pack" preserves—they're made with freshly picked Grade A strawberries from Southern California, within days of harvest. The ingredient list is short and sweet—berries, sugar, lemon juice, pectin—pretty much what you'd use if you made preserves at home. Spooned into pools of buttercream frosting, it adds richness to the flavor and moistness to the cake.

Each 17.5 ounce jar is $2.99.

Decadence on Display Cake

fleur de sel caramel sauceTHE SECRET INGREDIENT:

TJ's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

For goodness cake! Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce is cleverly concealed between each cake layer, augmenting the deepness of decadence. Smooth and creamy, it melts on your tongue and rewards with rich flavors of sugar, cream, butter, and vanilla. The traditional French Fleur de Sel is hand-harvested sea salt, and it inserts a salty, make-your-mouth-water element that transcends. Eating is believing.

Each 10 ounce jar is $3.49.

Peeled Banana & Cookie Butter Cake

speculoos cookie butterTHE SECRET INGREDIENT:

TJ's Speculoos Cookie Butter

The less than obscure and more than playful ways Cookie Butter is being used in this cake is kind of bananas. The creamy, caramelized, almost-but-not-quite gingerbread spread made of speculoos cookies is whipped with Cookie Butter Cream Cheese into frosting, as well as being mixed with milk and lightly pooled between layers to keep the cake moist. Plus, Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies.

Each 11 ounce jar is $3.69.

Bared Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Cake

bacon cheddar cheeseTHE SECRET INGREDIENT:

TJ's Bacon Cheddar Cheese

This cheese begins with a high quality, hand-crafted, mildly sharp, creamy Cheddar from Buffalo, New York.  In lieu of mere bacon flavor, we opted to go whole hog blended the cheese with our Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon. Shredded into the batter, it infuses each bite with warm, savory, beloved flavor.  Delicious Cheddar combined with the best bacon we could find…and eat your cake, too!

Each (8 oz. on avg.) piece is $5.99 per pound.

Cajun Shrimp on Show Cake

fire roasted onions & peppersTHE SECRET INGREDIENT:

TJ's Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions

Having been Fire Roasted, these evenly sliced Bell Peppers—red, green, and yellow—and Onions boast intensely rich, sweet flavor. Chopped and furtively folded into the batter (which already comes with whole corn kernels), the vibrant vegetable blend brings complex body and bite to the moist crumb of the cornbread cake. So, pile on those sassy, Cajun-spiced shrimp!

Each 14 ounce bag is $2.99.

Tags: Entertaining, Sweet tooth, Mother's Day, Cookies, Sweet, Savory, Cake, Cornbread, Bacon