baby shower cake…

alara-kek1This is the 2nd time that I am asked to make a cake for a planned party… I think I am an OK baker… but baking is “unforgiving”… even if I make the same cake 20 times, I still freak out not knowing the end result… Maybe that’s what attracts me to this whole baking thing. I even have secret “good luck rituals” before I put the cake in the oven…

In the end, this cake passed the “taste” test, the most important… almost everyone loved this cake… Again, a cake made with love for the newest addition to our “Memphis” group. Alara is due April 15, parents Cindy and Hakan are excited… hmmm… I think Cindy is ready for her to come out already 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you baby Alara…

We had a great time… as always we got five-star food and hospitality at “Casa de Aysun & Taner”… I should have taken pictures of the feast, but I was busy chasing toddlers and mingling with friends…

Recipe to follow soon… I just had to post the picture before it got old in my computer…

….edited 2:40 pm to add recipe

I am working to see if I can post the recipes under another link so that I don’t have 10 feet long posts and people who just like to look at pictures don’t have to be bothered… until then bare with me and my “technical” inabilities.

Seems like I have time to add this recipe… With the weather similar to London, UK here in Memphis, TN, not many people stopped by the showroom… so it’s a good time to post this long recipe… cake tips to follow in another blog entry… until then, you can go here to get some tips that I just saw today…

5-5-5 White Cake

I don’t know what to call this cake, I also don’t have enough knowledge of cakes that I can name this… It would be appropriate to call this “pandispanya” in Turkish, but can’t find a good word in English. I tried this recipe when I was 12 years old with Nilgun abla at our summer house, since than I basically make all cakes based on this recipe. It is not perfect, I will point those out later, but it satisfies crowds and it is yet to embrasse me even if I am cooking in someone elses kitchen… I call it 5-5-5 because it’s easy to remember and it is the recipe right there… for a big birthday party, this is the amount of batter you need to use… for a cake for your family I suggest using 4-4-4 version. However, this recipe uses “turkish coffee cup” as a base measure… Here’s an excuse for Turkish friends to get that coffee cup out, for the US readers less than 1/2 cup in the US.


  • 5 turkish coffee cups flour (2 cups US)
  • 5 turk coff cups sugar (2 cups US)
  • 5 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)*
  • zest of 1 lemon (use a zester, if using grater make sure white skin is not in there)
  • half turk coff cup lemon juice
  • half turk coff cup water
  • dash of salt (pinch)

-Preheat oven to 350F.

-Get all ingredients ready in separate bowls before you start. Separate eggs, sift flour

-Put egg whites in mixing bowl. Add pinch of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form when you raise the mixer. Transfer to a clean bowl. Set aside. (This is one of the most important steps when making this cake. I tried enough times, trust me on this one)

-Beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is light yellow and the sugar is 80 % melted. (about 3 minutes depending on mixer). Add the lemon juice and water… add the lemon zest

-Slowly add the flour spoon by spoon…add the baking powder, and vanilla.

-When everything is mixed… add the egg whites spoon by spoon… when combined stop mixing immediately, don’t overbeat.

-Pour batter into lightly greased & floured pan.

-Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350F until golden brown… This batter rises so much, that you need a big pan for this quantity. I use a 9×13, for anything smaller you need to lower the batter to 4-4-4 ratio. (4 coff cups flour, sugar, 4 eggs). The cake will separate from the sides when done.

-Take out of oven immediately, and put it on a cooling rack still inside the pan.

Baker’s filling cream  “pastaci kremasi”

Adapted from the book “Tatli ogretimi Ekrem Muhittin Yegen

This recipe is from an old Turkish book written in the 70s. Mom got the “entrees, soups and pasta’s” version when she got married and she gave it to me when I went to college. The book was in 100 pieces by the time I learn how to cook. Thank God years later they reprinted this and my husband got me one of the 1st copies… I didn’t even know there was a “dessert” version… His entree book is perfect. Give that book to someone who didn’t hold a spoon in life, they will create something very tasty. I am not 100 percent on his pastry recipes. I am sure it’s not his fault. A lot of ingredients changed since then, and I am sure they recipes got screwed up when conversions were made.. After all, “baking” is unforgiving… still.. this “cream filling” is perfect . My Turkish readers would know.. this is the filling inside a profiterol, or an eclair… something that we don’t find in cakes in the US. I also encourage US bakers to give this a try, all my American friends who ate this loved it.

Double recipe for 9″x13″ birthday cake, use the amount below for 9×9

  • 500 gr milk (2 cups)
  • 150 gr sugar ( 3/4 cups)
  • 80 gr flour ( 3/4 cups flour)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 50 grams butter (1/2 stick)

– Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla with a wire egg beater in a pot until the mixture is light yellow and sugar is dissolved.

-Add 1/4th of the milk to the mixture slowly. Add the flour. Blend well

-Add the remaining milk, beating the mixture faster.

-Put the pot on medium-low heat and keep stirring with the egg beater. In 3-5 minutes the beater will get heavy, keep stirring faster. It will become a custard very fast. Remove from heat.

-Let it cool down for 30 minutes. Add the butter and mix well.

Frosting, icing etc.

I am not an expert when it comes to icing a cake. Actually this might be one of my greatest weaknesses when it comes to baking. I am “untalented” and “uncreative”. Even my kids take the crayons away from my when I try to draw a flower… If you go slow and not hold your breath until you faint. It will get done.

On this particular cake, I couldn’t decide on what type of frosting to use. For a party, you want a cake with enough sugar and butter content to satisfy the tastebuds… but 80% of the cakes I eat usually have something very wrong with them, mostly with the frosting being too heavy… it should be banned. So when unsure, go for the lighter choice… BUT, don’t make it too light either (tricky eh??)… For a variety of choices -more than you need in your baking life unless you are a professional- invest in this book.

I was tempted to use a buttercream, but then decided against it since my cake had rasberries in it and my filling already had some butter in it. I kind of used her “perfect whipped cream recipe”… I just used more cream and made a thinner frosting, since my frosting abilities are limited and it’s not the 1st time I am making whipped cream from heavy cream. I just like mine that way…

  • 3 cups heavy cream (ultrapasteurized) -Rose’s recipe has 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (use superfine if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla* (optional)
  • Dash of food coloring** (optional)

-Put everything in a (preferable metal, if not glass) mixing bowl. Put the bowl and the wire mixers in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. If using glass you might need to chill the bowl beforehand.

-Take out the mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form when raising the beaters…Don’t overbeat… (don’t worry, I overbeat this time, and then added some more cream. It will be allright. It’s not like overbeating eggs)

Assembling the cake

– Cut the cake in half sideways to make 2 layers. Level the cake, use the bottom portion on top to make it look more even.

-Puree seasonal, fresh fruit in food processor. (Puree until you get small chunks, not until it’s rasberry juice) -yes, done that too 🙂 . Don’t use more than 1 cup, your cake might get too soggy. I used rasberries in this one. (I would use blueberries for boys for example).

-Pour orange juice in a cup. Or if you like liquor in your cakes, mix half water half liquor in a cup. Wet the insides of both layers of the cake with a brush using this syrup. Or syrup of your choice.

-Put some whipped cream on the cake board, or plate. Put the cake bottom part on frosting. Spread the cream filling.

-Spread fruit on this layer, or on the second layer. (I usually do it on the second layer. I just don’t like mixing cream with fruit, although they get mixed in the end anyway.

-Put second layer on top of first.

You can actually do this a day ahead of time. For the past 2 times this is what I have been doing. I guess you can do the “crumb coating” here. I just learned that today from here. Read item #7. Just spread a thin layer of your filling over the cake to seal in those evil crumbs… (they gave me a headache last week)

-Spread whipped cream frosting or frosting of choice.

Piped borders

OK… put me in baker’s jail… I used store bought butter cream for decorations… but I have an excuse… I never made buttercream… I also didn’t want to spend the time since I didn’t use it for frosting.. I needed 2 tablespoons…

-pipe decorations… and you have a cake…

Sorry if I omitted something. Feel free to ask questions… I also need to check grammar mistakes tomorrow. I am tired even with writing the directions.  

and ohhh… the ” * ” bookmark signs.

* I don’t like vanilla. Don’t throw stones at me… So the only vanilla in this cake was used in the cream filling.

**I don’t like reading “food coloring” in labels or ingredients… But.. this cake was for a “baby girl” shower.. it was only appropriate to make a pink cake. the amount of food coloring used was “3 toothpick dips”… seriously, one dip in the color with a toothpick gives you instant color… Please let me know if there is an organic option…

For chocolate versions : you can add cocoa to the cake batter, but don’t forget to reduce the flour in equal amounts. I suggest melting real chocolate for the filling. And no fruit please in a chocolate cake… we prefer it with nuts of your choice…


One response to “baby shower cake…

  1. It was a great cake – only one slice was left, which we took care of on Sunday..:)) Thanks again.

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