Posts tagged "cake"

How can I use up/reuse/recycle cakes that haven’t risen?

We’ve had an email from Janet:

I love your site – it really inspires me to go to lengths to reuse and recycle things I never thought I could, and since I’m a student, that’s wisely frugal too!

I have a bit of a blind spot with cake baking, and they always come out unrisen and heavy, and doughy in the middle. Any ideas how I can reuse this (and other) lemon flavoured brick-cake?

You did cakes before, but focussed mainly on dry and stale cakes (breadcrumbs, biscotti etc)…obviously this is not going to work for me :D

Since the 3Rs always starts with reducing, we should think about reducing the occurrences of these sad brick-cakes ;)

I don’t make sponges that often so can’t be specific with my advice but one thing I will say that’s good general baking advice is check the temperature of your oven with a separate thermometer. Borrow one if you can but they’re only a couple of ££/$$ on eBay if you have to buy one – and they’re well worth it — everyone I know who has used one found that their oven thermostat was rather wrong: ours was off by about 30°C! That sort of temperature difference can make a heck of a difference when baking. Any more cake-specific advice on why Janet might be hitting the not-rising/doughy middle problem a lot?

As for reuses, could they be served as a heavy tart like pudding with cream? Or warm with custard as a pudding? A few sites also suggest bodging it by slicing the cake in half then stacking one piece on top of the other and adding a layer of cream & jam or buttercream in the middle to fake a bit of height. It still would be rather dense though.

Any other suggestions for using it up?

How can I reuse or recycle muffin/cupcake cases?

(Oooh, alliteration!)

We’ve had a Compost This email from Charlie:

Can I compost those paper fairy cake cases?

I’m presuming the question is about used ones rather than a box of new ones (you’re not going to use them? Freecycle!) and the answer is a big, definite ‘maybe’.

The tiny cases I’ve got in my cupboard seem to be just paper so I’d probably risk those but other ones – particularly muffin cases and ones on bought-in cakes – tend to feel waxier. It might be that they’ve just been treated (supercalendered to make glassine) and are still just paper, but it also might be that they’ve been treated with a plasticizing agent, which may or may not be natural, and so may or may not be something you want in your compost heap. If you’re not sure of the composition of the material, it’s probably best leaving them out.

(If you’re baking at home and your cakes are always going to be eaten in the home, it might be worth getting some reusable cake cases – although they tend to be made from silicone so have a higher initial impact than paper ones.)


How can I reuse or recycle old cake?

CakeWe’ve had an email from Suzanne, asking:

What do you do with dry cake that you can’t stand to throw out? Trifle? Or rebake by slicing in pan and covering with a lemon something or other?

My first thought was “old cake? there is no such thing! there is cake and eaten cake!” but as much of a cake-fiend as I am, there are times when I’m in the same situation as Suzanne – banana bread when it’s past its best or the remains of a giant panettone that will not disappear (I swear those things regrow in the tin).

So suggestions?

In the past, I’ve microwaved old but not very dry cake (or muffin) and covered it in a healthy portion of custard for a speedy pudding. But I also like a biscuit-y idea – re-baking it in slices, maybe with a sprinkling of icing sugar on the top when it’s done – but am not sure it would work for (originally) really moist cakes. Anyone out there a cake expert?

(Photo by marsy)

How can I reuse or recycle … cake packaging?

Cake packagingAs previous posts may have indicated, I have rather a sweet tooth and from time to time, treat myself with cake or biscuit related products.

When we buy them, we don’t fool around and usually get full sized cakes or at least loaf-shaped ones but sometimes we get fiddly, little individual ones like this pack of Viennese Swirls. Mmm, swirly.

The Swirls came in a cardboard box then inside that, nestled in a formed plastic nest. The plastic is really thin and flimsy but still… Any suggestions?