How To: Tin Can Mini Cakes

My 7 year old niece has the same sweet tooth I do. I knew that she wouldn’t turn down the chance to try out a cake recipe with me, especially if it involved cute little tin cans and sprinkles. Here’s the recipe that I found on Pinterest.

In case you can’t read it, you’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg plus one yolk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted twice

pinch of salt

5 to 6 small cans (labels peeled, cans washed and thoroughly dried)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and wrap foil around the bottoms of cans. Spray each with baking spray and set aside on baking sheet. Melt butter in its own container. Mix sugar, egg and egg yolk until thick. Fold in vanilla. Fold in sifted flour and salt. Whisk 3 tbspn. of batter into melted butter. Once mixed, fold butter into batter. Fill each can halfway and bake for 15 minutes until cake is springy. Let cool and pop out of cans.

You can cut the tops off to make them flat little cakes before frosting or frost and sprinkle as is. You could even take it one extra step and cut different layers, with frosting or jam in between.

I have to say, I don’t know where we went wrong but we followed the directions and our cakes turned out to be incredibly dense, almost like thick, hard pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, we still slathered them with frosting and sprinkles. Next time I’ll probably use a cake mix because the mini cakes were so darn cute. My niece was so excited when we popped them out of the can, she dug in before I remembered to take a photo. So I guess even a cake with the consistency of a brick can’t bring us down!! Enjoy!

Here’s an alternative “recipe” from the box – much easier and probably less dense.

Prepare one box cake mix batter. Butter and flour three clean 4-inch diameter cans (we used 28-ounce tomato cans). Divide batter among cans, place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. until cake springs back when touched in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely. Remove cakes from cans by running a knife around the edge and tapping gently. (You can cover them with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 5 hours or up to 3 days for easier cutting.)

Cut cakes into layers about 1/2 inch thick, discarding the domed top. Spread each layer with jam, lemon curd, or Meringue Buttercream (recipe link below). Stack to make cakes of different heights. Smooth a thin layer (a “crumb” coating) of buttercream all over each cake and chill for 30 minutes. Frost again with desired color of buttercream, smoothing sides and top. Decorate with piped designs. Makes 3 cakes.

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