Saturday, 22 December 2007

Colour My World

This is a slice of a birthday cake I made for my younger son.

As compared to his elder brother, somehow, it seems to take a longer time for this boy to grow! Due to his small built, plus, his behaviour, he seems to be a baby forever! Since his birthday falls at the end of the year, he has waited almost a year for this day. He keeps telling me how he envy his friends whose birthdays are in the earlier part of the year...they don't have to wait very long for their birthdays to arrive ;)


I would really like to make a 'traditional' birthday cake for him...you know, those that comes with lots of fresh cream, beautiful piping and kiddy cartoon characters. Since I am not good with any of these, I have opted to do a simple cake, and decorate them with some fool-proof candies! Hopefully, with more practice, I can make a real birthday cake for them next year!


Instead of the usual sponge layer cake, I made the cake base by adapting a Low-Fat Chocolate Marble Cake recipe from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts. Feeling very adventurous, I added in some nutella and turned this into a Nutella Butter Cake.

Tip 1: The instructions from the recipe calls for using an electric mixer, but I used a wooden spoon and spatula instead. I learned that as long as you cut the butter into small cubes and leave it at room temperature until it is very soft, it is really easy to mix it with a wooden spoon. The batter was very simple to prepare...not very much different from making a muffin or a quickbread. Except for a slight crack on the top, the cake was baked beautifully.

Tip 2: I liked the way the sides was evenly browned...something that I have learned from the numerous baking session...ie, to just line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper, as for the sides, grease and flour it instead of lining it with parchment paper. This way, the sides will get to brown very nicely without the insulation from the parchment paper. When ready to unmold the cake, simply slide a thin-bladed knife all around the side to release the cake.


While the cake was cooling on the rack, I made the usual chocolate ganache I am familiar with, melt 100g of chocolate with 1 small tin of nestle's pouring cream. Since I didn't layer the cake, I only used up half of the chocolate frosting.

The birthday boy willingly helped me sprinkled on the mini M&Ms, 'hundreds and thousands' and Hershey's kissables.

I coated the sides with crusted oreo biscuits as I know every well that I won't be able to achieve a nice even frosting. The end results reminded me of a Oreo cheesecake I have seen in some cafe :)

When the cake was all ready, I realised that whatever that went into or on the cake were all my boy's favourite goodies!


I was lucky that the cake turned out rather soft and light...not very different from a sponge cake...in fact it tasted much better. I believe the cake would taste very moist if I had not kept in the fridge, uncovered. I will certainly make this cake again, without all the candies and frosting of course!



Nutella Butter Cake

Ingredients:

225g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt
85g butter, soften at room temperature
3 tablespoons Nutella spread
150g sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt


Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degC. Line bottom of a 20cm (8") round pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides of the pan, set aside.
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix together yoghurt and vanilla essence.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat butter and nutella for 1 min. Gradually add in sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 mins. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl periodically.
  5. Dribble in the eggs slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beat constantly for about 2 mins.
  6. On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. On high speed, beat in the remaining yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in the rest of the flour mixture.
  7. Pour batter into into prepared pan, smooth the top evenly with a spatula.
  8. Bake for about 45 ~ 50mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 mins before unmold. Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

    Note: To mix by hand, cream butter with nutella and sugar with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns creamy and fluffy. Add in the eggs gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, stir until the eggs are fully incorporated into the batter. With a spatula, fold in the flour mixture alternating with the yoghurt mixture in 3 separate additions.

78 comments:

  1. This looks so colourful and cheery!
    I bet it tasted very good as well :D

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  2. Happy B'day to yr boy!!! This cake is as real as it gets to a b'day cake ok!!!! It is really a cute, colourful cake for a kid and I am sure the kids loved it!!!! Great job!!!

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  3. Your birthday cake is so beautiful! I borrowed that book before and really like the recipes inside. I just baked a plain yogurt cupcake using that recipe! it tasted as good as those butter cupcakes, less greasy and very fluffy!

    By the way, my nephew just celebrated his birthday too! His birthday also falls in December. So, as compared to kids of his age, he is actually much 'younger'. lol. I had wanted to bake him a cake but was too busy with my x'mas cookie baking for friends..:P

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  4. the cake has all my favorite ingredients too! I would love to try it one day. Nice touch using Nutella and oreo to coat the sides! I must remember this trick. :D

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  5. What a lovely cake! It is so colorful and cheerful your son must have loved it.

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  6. What a colourful cake! Perfect for a little boy's birthday. I can make for my nephew next time. :)

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  7. Hi,
    Happy birthday to your boy. :)

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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  8. The cake looks great, i love the colours very much :)

    Merry Xmas to you!

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  9. Sweet-tooth, thanks!

    vb, I am getting quite good at using candies to cover up the mess I made on the frosting ;)

    Aimei, yes, the recipe is supposed to be low-fat...but I have added all the other sinful ingredients :') Yes, my boy is the smallest in class!!

    Mandy, the crust oreo is really great for covering up! and if you are a fan of oreo, you can coat it real thick!

    Hi Lynn, thanks so much for you ever encouraging words :)

    Small small baker, do try it, I am sure you can come up with something much better!

    Florence, thanks! and Merry Xmas to you too!

    Zhengning, thanks! Merry Xmas to you too!

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  10. I really adore your cakes. You are so good at it.

    Wishing you merry christmas and happy new year.

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  11. Nice cake you got there for your little one. I am sure he is very happy since he get to decorate his own cake the way he wanted.

    Simple ingredients, low fat .. just what I needed. I am gog to make it when i get my yogurt and nutella. Hands itchy but very busy at the moment. haha

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  12. Hi,
    This cake is delicious! I tried baking it last weekend, and my family loved it, esp my little boy. He kept asking me for more. I will definitely bake this cake again. Thank you for sharing this wonderful receipe!

    Warm Regards,
    SW

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  13. Hi SW, I am so pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed this cake :)

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  14. Hi,

    I was wondering if the tin of Nestle cream you used is the one that sells in supermarkets unrefrigerated and just says Nestle cream and has a photo of a chocolate mousse on the wrapping. Also, do you know what's the difference between the Nestle cream and the Bulla/other different brands of cream that sells in the refrigerated dairy section of a supermarket?

    By the way, I love your blog. I have a chiffon cake baking in the oven now - courtesy of your recipes :)

    Thanks!

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  15. Hi Shopinc, yes that's the one I Nestle cream I used. The Bulla cream is a dairy whipping cream (contain more than 35% fat), while the Nestle cream (25% milk fat) is a pouring cream. You can whip the Bulla cream but not the Nestle cream. There are also non-dairy whipping cream available in supermarkets, eg the brand "Pour & Whip" is available at cold storage.
    It all depends on what you are making. For me, I usually use Bulla cream for cooking, eg for baked rice or cream sauce pasta, or for making chilled cheesecakes cakes. Whereas for the non-dairy whipping cream (I use Phoon Huat's house brand, Redman non-dairy whipping cream), I'll use it for frosting a cake (as I find the taste of Bulla dairy cream too strong). Whereas for Nestle cream, I prefer to use it for making chocolate ganache...cheaper and not as fattening as Bulla cream. Hope this helps :)

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  16. Hi,

    Cake looks yuuummmmy!

    Can i just check, Oreo crumbs are just crushed Oreo cookies with the centre filling removed, right?

    I always wonder if anyone sold plain Oreo cookies without the filling.

    Audrey

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  17. Hi Audrey, yes, I removed the fillings before crushing it. My kids wiped out the fillings in no time!

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  18. Thanks for your reply.

    Audrey

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  19. Hi,
    Can you please tell me how much is 1 cup of yohurt in grams? Thanks!

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  20. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry I do not know the weight of 1 cup of yoghurt as I have never weighed it. However, I usually used slightly more than 2 small tubs (150g size) to make up 1 cup (250ml). Sorry, I am of not much help here.

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  21. Hi,

    thanks for sharing this recipe. I tried this recipe today and it taste great. However, i am a beginner at baking, i am not sure if i got the texture right. Is it slightly dense and like a fudge cake?

    Loves your blog!

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  22. Hi Esra, thanks for your comments :)
    This cake is not as dense as a fudge cake, it should have texture that is something like a butter cake or pound cake.

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  23. Wow! My birthday is on 30th December. :D And may i ask you, where do you buy the colorful kisses on the cake? And i remember making a comment about using oreo wholes or without the white filling. could you tell me again? Because i forgotten where i commented. :P

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  24. Hi Dion, you can get the colourful kisses from most supermarkets...look under the sweets and candies section.
    I use oreos without the fillings. Hope this helps.

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  25. Hi HHB, thanks for sharing this recipe. I tried this bake last week. As it was my first attempt making the chocolate ganache,and i failed terribly. Can ask you what chocolate do you use? I bought from supermarts those unsweetened coca (i thought the pouring cream is sweet),and it was so bitter! Do you mind advice me on the steps of making the chocolate ganache. Thanks in advance!

    Shermin

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  26. Hi Shermin, sorry to hear about your unsuccessful attempt. I use unsweetened dark chocolates with at least 60-70% cocoa content. I usuall get the chocolates from Carrefour (house brand). Maybe the chocolates you bought has got 100% cocoa content? The dark chocolates I used are not bitter, it just doesn't taste sweet.

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  27. Hi HHB, thank you for replying. I checked and realised it 100% cocoa. When i was preparing the chocolate ganache last week,it was kind of thick, not like yours smooth and shiny. I would love to try again. Do you think i can add honey/sugar to it as i still have some left over? Or advisable to use chocolate dark couverture which i intend for brownies? Oh btw, the method is juz to keep stiring and once it melts, juz spread over the cake? I kept the nestle cream in the fridge, is it a wrong move? Thanks in advance again.

    Shermin

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  28. Hi Shermin, I'm sorry I am really not sure about adding honey and sugar in it...as it may affect the consistency of the chocolate ganache. You can use couverture chocolates, may I ask which brand will you be using? You can taste the chocolate before using to see whether you like the taste.

    To make chocolate ganache, place cream and chocolate (chopped into small pieces) into a bowl, and set it over a pot of simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Stir occasionally and once the chocolates melted, remove and leave it aside to cool off a little before using. You do not need to keep the nestle cream (unopened) in the fridge. Hope this helps.

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  29. Hi HHB, thank you for your patience in replying me. I think i will check out hershey's website to see how i can use the remaining cocoa.
    I got the couverture chocolates from PH,where the staff recommended to make brownies. I remembered your colourful rainbow brownies, that's why i bought it. Will there be a difference if it's different brand to make ganache?

    Oh, i need to tell you that most of my bakes are courtesy from your recipes. I really love reading your blog. Your bakes seems to have a story behind it (like 大长今). Now, whenever i make bread, my 9 months girl can have a taste of it. Feel free to view my blog: http://twenty03clst.multiply.com. Just some photos on my bakes.

    Regards,
    Shermin

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  30. Hi Shermin, sorry I am a little confused, did you use cocoa powder? or chocolates for making the ganache. For the ganache, you will need to use chocolates. The reason I asked which brand is because, some brands are not so good for making ganache. To know how to choose the type of chocolates to use, you can read about it here (http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChoosingStoringChocolate.html). To find out how to go about making chocolate ganache see here (http://joyofbaking.com/ganache.html). Hope you'll find the info useful. I saw your photos, they look great for a beginner :)

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  31. Hi HHB, sorry to have confused you. I used hershey baking bar to make the chocolate ganache.
    Thanks for sharing the site, I had visited and put into my favorites=)
    I will try again and keep you updates whether is it successful.
    Have a great weekend!

    Thanks & regards,
    Shermin

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  32. hello, may i know how to coat the sides with the crushed oreo? thanks

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  33. Hi pohling, you can place the crushed oreo cookies on a baking tray or a big plate. Then hold the cake (placed on a cake board) on one hand, and pick up some crushed oreo cookies with the other hand and press them on the side of the cake. Allow the crushed cookies to drop onto the baking tray so that it won't be so messy.

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  34. thanks...
    did u cover the sides with chocolate ganache? may i know how many gramme or ml is one small tin of nestle's pouring cream?

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  35. hi pohling, yes I covered the sides with the chocolate ganache. One tin of cream is around 4 oz or 120-125ml.

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  36. can i use heavy cream or thickened cream instead of pouring cream? i cant find any pouring cream around.
    sory to have asked so many questions >.<

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  37. Hi pohling, no worries :) You can use thick cream or double cream. You can refer to this site for a chocolate ganache recipe: (http://www.joyofbaking.com/ganache.html). Hope this helps :)

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  38. thank you very much.
    u r very helpful! i will bake this cake for my sis when she comes back this thursday :D

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  39. hi happy home baker,
    issit every cake have to be baked in the middle of the oven unless otherwise specify?also have to use fan-forced? or the heat from the top and bottom or only the heat from the top? because my cake always crack on top when it is still in the oven. i wonder if the temperature is too high.
    thank you :)

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  40. Hi B, it depends on the type of oven you are using. Some ovens do not come with a fan (like mine). Some ovens only have one set of heating elements (like mine, only one set at the top of the oven). My oven is only 20 Litres, for baking a tall cake (like a chiffon) I have to bake it at the lowest rack otherwise it will not fit in the pan. As all oven works differently, you will need to experiement and get a feel of how you oven works. If yours crack on top, u may want to experiement by (1) bake at a lower temperature; or (2) bake at the recommended temperature but place it a lower rack position. I heard that most fan-forced oven tend to give a higher temperature, so you may want to bake at a lower temperature. Hope this helps.

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  41. oh. now then i know. thank you very much happy home bake. thank you for your prompt reply!

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  42. hi,

    I tried making the chocolate ganache but failed lei. Is the texture shd be thick creamy or not? And i can use those normal milk chocolate to melt? But the cake itself is nice. Tks Joeie

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  43. Hi Joeie, you will need to use baking chocolate, normal milk chocolate cannot be used for making ganache. The texture when just melted should be thick and creamy. It will harden upon cooling.

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  44. Dear HHB,

    I tried this recipe yesterday, i did half the portion though.
    Can i ask you,
    1)my cake turned out very very light coloured. Is this correct? I didn't have the courage to do the ganache..but am wondering with the ganache,wouldnt the cake look very 'pale' looking?
    2)Do you think I can add more nutella for the taste?
    3)For the Nestle cream,is the can in blue and white color? You mentioned that its abt 120-125ml..but the one i saw was 170ml..
    Thanks HHB for sharing such wonderful recipe!Apart from being 'pale' colored, the cake is so soft and yummy : )

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  45. Hi Carol,
    1. I am sorry, I'm not sure why your cake was pale? Mine was light brown. There is no cocoa powder used, so the cake will not be dark brown.
    2. I am not sure whether you can add more nutella, as I have only tried with this portion as stated in the above recipe. You may want to give it a try.
    3. The Nestle cream I am using is 170g not 170ml. I measured the amount it comes up to around 125ml. I am not sure whether it is the same one you saw?

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  46. Thanks : ) I think it (the cream) should be the same then.
    Sorry but another question. After you did the ganache,is the cake supposed to in the fridge? Will the texture makes a difference?
    Thank you very much for your advice.

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  47. Hi Carol, yes I kept the cake in the fridge (covered). I am not sure what your question was, but keeping it in the fridge didn't really affect the texture of the cake. Hope this helps :)

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  48. Thank you : )
    I simply love the texture of this cake. Am really looking forward to try it with the ganache soon! Tks again!

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  49. Hi HHB,
    I have tried the cake on Sunday...Guess I have over mixed..there are kueh texture in my cake... :( how to prevent over mixed? Very sad..I have also tried your the other receipe- Oreo Butter cake..this seem to be ok..notice that these two receipes are the same..my cake don't really raise as much..is this correct? I used a hand mixer and used manual whisk to add in the flour and yohurt and lastly used the spatula to fold in the last portion of the flour...but for the Nutella cake I am too greedy I add in about 11/4 cup of yohgurt..could this be one of the cause for the kueh mixture. Sorry for so many questions....
    Regards,
    Emily

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  50. Hi Emily, I am not sure what went wrong, as many factors can affect the outcome. It could also be due to the additional yoghurt, or the baking powder you used, or the oven temperature. I'm sorry with my limited knowledge, I am not of much help.

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  51. Hey Happy Home Baker,
    i'm a new baker, happy that i found this site, because its frustrating when you go to an american web, and see all the ingredients that are alien to us.

    so anyway, i'd like to know, what does it mean when the recipe says to scrape down the sides of the bowl?

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  52. Hi, it means that you need to use a spatula to scrape down the mixture that sticks to the sides of the bowl, this is to ensure even mixing. Hope you get what I mean.

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  53. hi there! i'm glad to find our blog..its great! thanks 4 sharing yr recipes. i havent had time to go thru all your recipes...dont mind if i ask u to tell me which are the easiest cake, cookie, bun/bread recipe that i can try out? i am not a season baker, pretty new to baking! am also looking for marble cake and nonbake recipe, let me know if u have....thanks again!!

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  54. Hi luvablekis, thanks for visiting :)
    Most of the recipes I have tried are very simple since I do not have the skills to do anything complicated...I have not attended any baking courses or workshops. Other than chiffon cakes and a couple of the layered cakes, you can try any of the recipes...most of them were my first attempts. Maybe for a start to get you may want to try with muffins? I have not attempted any marble cakes, except for the "chocolate swirl cheesecake", as for no-bakes, you can take a look at those no-bake cheesecakes classified under "desserts". Hope this helps :)

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  55. hi, for the choc ganache, can use milk instead of cream?

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  56. hi, I think it is better to use cream so that the ganache will set better.

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  57. hi mrs homebaker...

    You don't know this, but you're an inspiration to me.. Half a year back, I had not even baked my first cookie. Since, I've attempted a couple of your recipes... and your food blog is fantastic, I'm sure you already know this. Btw, I baked this cake last saturday... It was terrible! I do not know why when I need my cakes to rise to the occasion, they don't. And it's not just the height of the cake, it's also the taste. When you say 1 cup of non fat yoghrt, you're referring to those unsweetened plain yoghurt and 1 cup is US cup size right.? not the cup that the yoghurt is sold in? hope u know what I mean.. the other thing is this - i use bake king baking powder.. it says 1 tsp for every cup of flour. If I use 2 cups of flour for a cake, does it mean I put 2 tsp? Isn't that too much for a cake? hope you can enlighten me..

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  58. Hi Pam, thanks for reading my blog and I am glad that some of the recipes I posted here works well for you :)
    Yes, 1 cup of non fat yoghurt is US cup, ie 240ml. I use Bake King baking powder too, I don't follow what is stated on the packing, I simply follow the amount calls for in a recipe. It really depends on the type of cake, for a quick bread or muffins, more baking powder is required, whereas a sponge cake or chiffon cake doesnt even requires baking powder.
    Do you know of any other factors that could cause the cake not to rise? Do you have problems with other similar cake recipes?

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  59. Hi, i love ur blog and ur recipes! thanks for sharing them with everyone! i juz wanted to ask can i substitute milo for e nutella in this recipe? i'm craving for a milo cake.. or do u have any milo cake recipes?? thanks a lot!!

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  60. Hi Anonymous, I am sorry I do not know whether it is possible to replace it with milo...the cake may turn up dry. No, I have not tried making milo cakes.

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  61. Hi, i'm amazed at ya luv for baking...is there any way i can print ur recipes instead of copying down...? ash

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  62. Hi Homebaker,

    I'll be having a big party for my son's 1st birthday soon & i would like to bake this. Would it be fine i double the recipe and bake in a 10inch pan? I'm a beginner in baking too. Please assist.


    Belle.

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  63. Hi Belle, I think you can double the portion, but you will have to adjust the baking time...it may take longer to bake.

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  64. Hi HHB, am going to try to make this for my hubby birthday, pray that the cake will turn out well! I am a new baker so hope you can answer my ques.

    Need to ask you if non fat yougurt is neccessary? And what is the diff between baking soda & baking powder? Is there a diff if we omit one or the other? Thanks!

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  65. Help!! I can't find baking soda & baking chocolates at my nearby NTUC!! Anything that can be substituted?

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  66. Hi Dina, sorry for the late reply as I was away and didn't have access to blogger. Hope your cake did turn out well. It is best to follow recipes closely, so I would suggest you use non fat yoghurt. Baking soda and baking powder are two different types of leavening agents. Do not replace or substitute one for the other.

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  67. Hi HBB!! Just tried your Nutella Cake and it came out fantastic <3 Thank u for sharing this wonderful recipe. It makes amateur bakers like me feel more confident to try other recipes :)

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  68. Hi HHB,
    Love your receipes...
    I have tried your Nutella Butter Cake but turn out the texture on the dry side. I'm wondering where did I go wrong?

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  69. Hi, sorry to hear that the cake was on the dry side. Could it be that you over baked the cake? Or, it could be the ingredient amount...the size of the eggs you used? I use large eggs for baking, and 1 cup of yoghurt is 250ml.

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  70. hihi, thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes!

    wish to check with u if its ok to replace the cake flour with normal plain flour for this cake? thanks!

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  71. Hi Stella, you may replace it with plain flour, but best is to stick with cake flour. hope this helps :)

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  72. Hi,

    On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. On high speed, beat in the remaining yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in the rest of the flour mixture.

    Can you please explain the above.
    I dun understand if you need to mix them one at a time then set aside?
    or add them one by one and mix?

    Thank you.
    Bebe.

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  73. Hi, it means:
    1. add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl, beat on low speed till incorporated.
    2. next, add in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture, beat on medium-speed till incorporated.
    3. next, add in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, beat on low speed till incorporated...
    and so on...
    ie, add, mix, add, mix...hope this helps.

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  74. add, mix, add, mix in the same bowl?

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  75. Ur cake has been on my to do list until today I finally made it for a special occasion . I never saw something I make disappear so quickly . My kids loved my brothers and sisters and my husband . U made my day . I just can't believe it took me 5 yrs from d time it was Posted to find it and try it. Thank u so much for sharing everything was beautiful even I did d ganache .God bless ur son d main reason the cake was made for d first place .
    Sincerely all d way from west Africa .

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  76. Hi, greetings from Singapore! It warms my heart to read your lovely comments! Thanks for trying out this recipe and I am so glad that your family likes it :):)

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  77. Thank you for your recipe. This has been my go-to birthday cake for two years. Easy and yummy!

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