Welcome back to Soggy Bottoms: Freestyle Edition, where I completely ignore Bake Off rules in favor of experimenting with cake. Let’s continue with my espousal of Snacking Cakes, the latest cookbook in my collection and my recent obsession.
You can catch my first Snacking Cakes recipe here, where I made a walnut cake with maple coffee glaze. It was delicious and a divvied up the pieces to give to my bookstore coworkers.
This time, I attempted something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making: a Swiss roll. Is this a recipe in the book? Certainly not, but that’s why I love this cookbook so much. It gives you the tools to get a little creative.
Lucky for me, the back of this book has a whole host of different icings and glazes, providing a great mix and match quality to the recipes. There I found a super easy recipe for brown sugar whipped cream and yes, I did eat several spoonfuls before filling the cake.
Another plus is how forgiving this cookbook is. I could not get cardamom or clove for the spice cake, so I substituted with a bit of five spice and pumpkin spice and that worked out just fine. Each recipe also features baking times for different pan sizes, included a sheet cake (which I was doing instead of their standard loaf pan for this one).
Everything I know about making a Swiss roll is from The Great British Bake Off. Roll it still warm, preferably with a tea towel. Under bake the cake just slightly. Let it cool in the roll shape. I was nervous, but the roll held its shape! There was a slight crack, which was easily covered by the whipped cream. However, I’m so unbelievably proud of this bake, especially after cutting into it and seeing the swirl in action. You can peep some progress photos here!
I made this cake to bring to Christmas festivities at my boyfriend’s parents’ place (they’re part of my “pod” of isolated people). When I first met them, I brought over a Key Lime Pie, made from a family recipe as a nod to my Florida roots. Since then, I’ve (hopefully) wowed them with my bakes. Last Thanksgiving, I made a chocolate bourbon pecan pie and a cranberry curd tart. Last Christmas, I made five different cookies. And I will be the first to admit I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things right, especially when it comes to food.
The finished product looked complicated technically, but it was probably the easiest baked thing I’ve made in years. I also liked how Snacking Cakes gives me the basics and tools for delicious cakes, but lets me decide how to combine flavors and styles of cake.
If you want a reading recommendation to go with this spiced, swirly cake, I wholeheartedly suggest In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren ( A | BN | K | AB ). It’s a holiday romance with a bit of a twist and a more experimental element than what I’ve come to expect from the duo, a great pairing for getting a little adventurous in the kitchen.
Have I convinced you to check out Snacking Cakes yet? What did you bake this holiday season?