Monday, April 16, 2012

Mini English Tea Cakes

Today we held a bake sale at work. The theme was "Spring" although it's felt more like Summer the past few days. The sale was set up to benefit two charities and we managed to raise over $1700! There were at least twenty participating bakers, and some made up to four different treats. I was much too lazy to bake more than one. I decided to make these mini tea cakes that were a big hit at my Regency party last year. My sister gave me an awesome tea cake pan from Williams-Sonoma which came with a pretty good recipe on the package, which I kept. The recipe makes 60 cakes. For the bake sale, I thought it would be best to sell them in threes, so i wound up with 20 units.

To make the cakes:
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
(I wanted these to be lemon flavored, so I added 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract)

Sift dry ingredients, set aside. mix butter and sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 min. Add eggs slowly, plus vanilla and lemon extract. reduce speed to slow and alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk. Fill cake pan with about a tablespoon batter in each well. Bake 10 min at 350. Allow pan to cool on rack before removing the cakes. Allow cakes to cool at least 1/2 hour before adding the icing.

8 cups powdered sugar
4 egg whites (I used 1/4 cup meringue powder + 1/2 cup milk instead)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp vanilla (I used 4 tsp lemon extract instead)
Food coloring (I used gel coloring)

Whisk all ingredients together for about 1 minute. Add food color as desired. Make sure cakes are on a wire rack. Drizzle glaze over each cake, slowly for good coverage. I found it easier to dip the cake in the glaze and let the excess drip off. I think the glaze recipe can actually be cut in half, since I found there to be a lot of it leftover, and all the cakes were generously covered. It also makes a big mess.

This is all the leftover glaze. There was some in the mixing bowl as well.

The packaging for the cake pan makes it look like your cakes will have these perfect and very distinct shapes. Not so.

I wanted to make the packaging look as pretty and professional as possible. So I spent some time making these labels:

Here they are, all ready for the sale! I had this leftover ribbon to make them look pretty. I save ribbon for things like this. Plus, the colors were perfect.

Here's the table in the cafeteria at work. I was really impressed with treats everyone contributed.

And here's my display. It was nice to hear that everyone thought I'd bought these, rather than make them myself. If only they knew I'd done all this on just 4 hours of sleep.