Question From The Whimsical Bakehouse Book

Baking By diana Updated 29 Jun 2006 , 7:09pm by ckkerber

diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:16pm
post #1 of 42

Hello, everybody!! I just got this book from and it has some great recipes, but I don't know were to begin? Please need advice icon_confused.gif

~Diana~ birthday.gif

41 replies
daltonam Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:18pm
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I HAVE THIS BOOK ALSO--WHAT'S UP?? icon_confused.gif

cindy6250 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:22pm
post #3 of 42

Try the white butter cake!!


diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:32pm
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Ok, another question. When it calls for Cake Flour is it "All Purpose Flour? or regular flour such as "Presto".

~Diana~ birthday.gif

cakelady52 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:38pm
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you can use all purpose flour if you use presto
don't add the baking power or baking soda and no salt.

cindy6250 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:38pm
post #6 of 42

In the supermarket here, you can buy Cake Flour. It is slightly different than all purpose flour. It is sold in a box here with the other flour. Two brands that I am familiar with are Wondra and SoftasSilk.
Do you have Walmart there? They should carry it.


cindy6250 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:39pm
post #7 of 42

In the supermarket here, you can buy Cake Flour. It is slightly different than all purpose flour. It is sold in a box here with the other flour. Two brands that I am familiar with are Wondra and SoftasSilk.
Do you have Walmart there? They should carry it.


daltonam Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:45pm
post #8 of 42

presto already has baking powder in it--i use swan downs name brand, cake flour is different from all-purpose flour (it's finer) and cake flour doesn't have any leavening agents or (presto does it's self rising cake flour--it's possible to use it just omit the baking powder & salt from the recipe-if you can't find the name brand i use or what cindy listed-----if you do try this i would do a practice cake before making one to sell)

cindy what do you think????????????

edited to say presto has baking powder & salt already in it--from what i read on their web site--read the box to make sure

diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:51pm
post #9 of 42

Thank You everybody!! I will go to Walmart and check if they have those brands.

~Diana~ birthday.gif

cindy6250 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 7:54pm
post #10 of 42

Presto sounds like self rising flour, so yes you would leave out the leavening agents, like soda and baking powder. If you can get the cake flour, that would really be better because it is a lighter flour and using the others will most likely affect the outcome of your cake.


diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:06pm
post #11 of 42

Thank You Cindy!! thumbs_up.gif I will look for the box that says Cake Flour, I had this question because my scratch cakes call for Presto. But I will go to Walmart today so I can start baking with my new book, I'm very exited! icon_biggrin.gif

~Diana~ birthday.gif

Rodneyck Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:11pm
post #12 of 42

Exactly, it does produce a lighter cake which is what you want for white cakes. Also, you can easily make your own, which is what I do. It is cheaper than the small box you get at the grocery store. Here you go, just remember to get "bleached" all-purpose flour;

Cake flour has a 6-8% protein content and is made from soft wheat flour. It is chlorinated to further break down the strength of the gluten and is smooth and velvety in texture. Good for making cakes (especially white cakes and biscuits) and cookies where a tender and delicate texture is desired.
Substitute for all-purpose flour:
one cup all-purpose flour can be substitued for...
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

Make your own cake flour:
one cup sifted cake flour can be substituted for...
3/4 cup (84 grams) sifted bleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch.

diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:23pm
post #13 of 42

Thank You for the information Rodneyck, you are a life saver thumbs_up.gif

~Diana~ birthday.gif

lehall2006 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:32pm
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What a great tip! I've been spending $3.50 per little box of Softasilk -- Rodneyck, your tip will save me tons of $$$!

Oh, and Diana, I ADORE the Whimsical Bakehouse book. The White Butter Cake is my favorite, especially when paired with the House Buttercream. Oh, and the Cookies & Cream filling was a big hit with my friends. I've baked my way through most of that book, so please feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.


diana Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:43pm
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Thank You Lauren, I will PM if I have any question.

icon_smile.gif ~Diana~ birthday.gif

cindy6250 Posted 19 Jun 2006 , 8:49pm
post #16 of 42

Thanks Rodneyck,

I knew there was a substitute for the cake flour but not the exact amounts of flour to cornstarch. I am going to try that too. I use quite a bit of cake flour and it is expensive. Do you sift then measure the flour?


Rodneyck Posted 20 Jun 2006 , 12:04am
post #17 of 42

No problem.

Cindy, I follow what the recipe says, because if it is a good recipe, some will tell you to sift first, then measure or vice versa, but many leave this important instruction out.

If they do forget to add it, I take a whisk and briefly whisk inside my flour container just to break the flour up, then measure, then sift my dry ingredients together.

Take care!!!

ckkerber Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 12:42am
post #18 of 42

I love The Whimsical Bakehouse . . .it's my current obsession. i tried the Freckled Mocha Cake recipe and coupled it with the Bailey's Irish Cream Mousse. So good!

Rodneyck Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 3:20am
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I just got my copy of the WBH today. I am going to spend some time going through it tonight. The recipes do sound wonderful.

ladyonzlake Posted 22 Jun 2006 , 4:21pm
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I LOVE this book. I have made only one cake and made it twice now. It's the chocolate chip cake and I filled it with whipped chocolate ganache and frosted it with Kaye's buttercream. WONDERFUL! I'm making a cake for this weekend and I'm going to try the house buttercream and this will be my first experience with the hi ratio shortening so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Unfortunatly I'll be using a cake mix since I have them and want to use it up.

kae133 Posted 22 Jun 2006 , 8:09pm
post #21 of 42

[quote="ckkerber"]I love The Whimsical Bakehouse . . .it's my current obsession.

This is my current obsession too! I just haven't had any time to actually make anything from it yet. I did go and buy a bunch of chocolate wafers though because I LOVE the chocolate transfers she does.

My question to anyone who uses the House Buttercream: What is the consistency like? Is it the thinner consistency to ice the cake with? Do you have to add more powdered sugar to thicken it to decorate with? This is the one thing I think is missing from her instructions....she doesn't specify if she does anything to the BC so she can make her decorations.


ladyonzlake Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 12:49am
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I'll let you know tommorrow. I'm making it for the first time tommorrow.

kae133 Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 2:01am
post #23 of 42


ckkerber Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 5:20am
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I really like the flavor of the House Buttercream. It is a softer buttercream so it does not "crust" or harden at all . . . I haven't piped anything as intricate as roses but I have done leaves, shell borders, and simple flowers and they came out fine . . . they end up looking softer than when you use a buttercream that crusts. To pipe flowers, you may need to put your bag in the refrigerator off and on as the buttercream warms and gets too soft . . . or have two decorating bags so as you pipe with one, the other is chilling and then if one gets warm, you swap it for the cooler one so you aren't waiting for your buttercream to firm back up.

I know they talk about making flowers in the Whimsical Bakehouse so if you look at their pictures, that's probably what you can expect (though my flowers have never looked that good no matter WHAT I use!)

Rodneyck Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 6:12am
post #25 of 42

Piping work takes lots of practice and LOTS of patients, lol

The WBH's piping looks so billowy and thick. I have to be honest and say that as a whole, I think their cakes are the ugliest cakes I have ever seen, lol. I could however understand how others might like them. They just go against my preferred style, which is basically, less is more. I like simple designs, colors matched that don't look like something a circus clown would wear, lol.

What I do like so far about this book is some of the individual techniques that I could use in other ways, more subtle ways, to create some fantastic things, like the piped candy melts mentioned above. I also bought some tonight for a cake I am doing tomorrow. This should be fun.

One of my favorite techniques from the book which I am dying to try is the way they blend multi colors on the sides and tops of the cakes, outstanding. I thought the only way to achieve this kind of look was with airbrushing.

The flaws, besides the few mentioned above, I found are the fact they don't give you any piping tip numbers and their instructions in their piping work are sort of vague. This is ok, I suppose, because there are many books on the subject, but it would have been nice if they had been a bit clearer.

The!! I can't wait to start testing some of these. I also like Kaye's Buttercream recipe, which is an Italian Meringue that includes simple instructions. She gives you times, for example, she states, after the sugar and water start to boil, set a timer for 7 minutes..., etc, no thermometer needed.

Like I said, this book is packed with lots of great ideas, if you do them YOUR way, not theirs, lol. I am so bad.

ckkerber Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 1:17pm
post #26 of 42

I do like the cakes in the book . . . while most are outlandish, I find that like you said, doing it your way and toning it down a bit can make for a great cake. I love simple and elegant cakes but sometimes something fun fits the bill, too. I have found that I like to work with softer colors because the bold, vivid colors just seem to make everyone's teeth and lips turn colors . . . my son's third birthday cake left everyone with blue teeth and lips in half of our pictures. But this book has been a tremendous inspiration.

I LOVE working with piped chocolate. I have had so much fun with it already. I think it tastes better than color flow with royal icing and I love how you can "feather" and layer the colors with paintbrushes.

Regarding the recipes, I have only tried a few . . . and a few posts I have read have said that some of them do not turn out well (crumbly cakes, etc . . . ) but I do really like the House Buttercream and the few cakes / fillings I have tried.

I love the word "billowy" to describe the piping work . . . it's exactly right.

ladyonzlake Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 7:50pm
post #27 of 42

Okay, I just got done making and frosting (haven't decorated yet) my cakes with the House Buttercream (not to be confused with Kaye's Buttercream). DELICIOUS!! I did use Hi ratio shortening and I added 1 tsp of real vanilla extract and also 1 tsp of creme bouquet. I waited until my water/sugar mixture cooled a bit before adding the flavorings so the alcohol and flavor of the vanilla wouldn't evaporate. While I was putting my cake together I put the frosting in the frig. and it is easy to work with once it's cooled a bit (not too much though or it gets too hard). Yes, it is soft and similiar to IMB but without the "butter" taste. I think it smoothes easily and I think if you keep it "cool" it will be very easy to decorate with. The flavor is light but sweeter than IMB, but not too sweet. I love the creme bouquet in it...makes it taste like the store frosting. This is my new favorite frosting. I had issues with the IMB at a baby shower I had. Using raw egg whites in the IMB was questionable for saftey issues for the mom to be. I learned a lesson on that one. I'll be decorating later and will let you know how it goes.

lcdmarie Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 9:00pm
post #28 of 42

I just got that book too.
I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.
I love her sunflower cake and the butterfies.
keep me posted on how all of your cake turn out

ckkerber Posted 23 Jun 2006 , 10:22pm
post #29 of 42

I just wanted to mention that I heard a few tips for piping with chocolate that i didn't know before. I went to a Sugar Arts Guild meeting (a group that meets in St. Louis) and someone did a demonstration from this book. This may be common knowledge to everyone but since it was new to me I figured I'd share.

First of all, if you use parchment triangles for the melted chocolate, you can cut the triangles in half or quarters (if you're only piping a little of one color) because you really don't need a lot of chocolate and there's no reason for big, full size parchment triangles.

Secondly, I have an old electric skillet that I plug in and put a kitchen towel on to keep my chocolate warm while I'm working. I put it at the lowest setting (I don't think you want to go over 100 degrees when working with chocolate) and the towel acts as a buffer so the chocolate isn't directly on the heat. But this way, I can take my time and all of my colors are always ready to go. Also, you can reheat the chocolate once it gets to room temperature and hardens up . . . you can pop the parchment triangles back in the microwave or I've just set them on my skillet again on the low setting and gotten it soft again. So for projects that you start and can't finish in one sitting. you can set the chocolate bags aside and work with them again and not worry about remixing your colors. BIG time saver.

Third, and this is my favorite tip, if you pipe on cellophane instead of on waxed paper, your chocolate will be shiny like the cellophane. It gives it a much glossier, polished look that I think makes a big difference. If you try to pipe something on waxed paper and then pipe something on cellophane, hold them side by side to see the difference. (I didn't have cellophane at home so I did what I saw someone else do . . . I used a report cover that I had in a binder and it worked perfectly. I would imagine there are all sorts of surfaces you can use . . . for some reason with chocolate, the chocolate tends to pick up the finish of whatever surface it's on).

I'm having so much fun with all of this chocolate. I am with my whole family in K.C. this weekend at my parents house (all of my siblings, all of the grandkids . . . first time we're all together) and I'm making a cake with a chocolate piped image of each of the grandkids to put on a cake that we're having tomorrow. They turned out so well . . . I can't wait to put the cake together and see this image that I have in my head come to fruition!

ladyonzlake Posted 25 Jun 2006 , 7:55pm
post #30 of 42

Okay, my cake is finally done. It's being transported to a party so I didn't stack it so instead I photoshoped it so this is they way it will look once it is stacked. I love the House buttercream and as long as I kept is chilled it piped great!


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