a special feature by *Kim Guerin, Scrumptious Baker

It’s almost time for Mother’s Day, and never too soon to start thinking about that special person in your life. And, while we deliberate about what will make their day unique, moms themselves wonder, “Could it be I’ll get ‘Breakfast in Bed’ consisting of half-frozen waffles, sticky OJ spilling over the tall crystal flute, joining the small puddle of syrup poured enthusiastically over the waffle, bacon, plate AND tray?” Lovely. What will it be? Well, my mom, who is a grandmother now, has kept boxes of Mother’s Day memories: faded construction paper cards that still smell like glue, crumbling corsages, and flower pins made from ShrinkArt (popular again today).
No matter what, she keeps it all.

Her gift from me won’t really be a surprise. After all, I bake. So this year, Mother, Mama, Mom, Mommy will clap her hands, get all teary-eyed, laugh, embarrassed a little, and promise that she has never seen a more beautiful cake in her entire life than the one I present to her. She will say: “This has got to be the most gorgeous thing I have ever laid eyes on! I cannot bear to cut it.” But cut it she will, and later she will slide the piece with the prettiest flower on it into a plastic baggie and hide it in the china cabinet behind the crystal water pitcher. Like I said, she saves every memento! Lovely.

Try this recipe – it’s truly a winner!

White Velvet Cake
(Originally from Cake Decorating for Dummies)
Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Makes: 12 serving | Difficulty: Easy

o    3/4 teaspoon salt
o    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
o    3 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
o    2 1/4 cups vegetable oil
o    2 1/4 cups white sugar
o    3 eggs
o    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
o    1 1/2 cups buttermilk

o    Preheat oven to 350°.
o    Grease and flour two pans and line them with parchment paper.
o    In a large bowl, sift the salt and baking soda over the cake flour, and then stir with a stir the mixture with a balloon whisk. _
o    In another large bowl, mix the oil and sugar together, and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
o    Mix in the vanilla._
o    With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with the flour._
o    Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
o    Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out with moist crumbs attached._
o    Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
o    Run a knife around the edge and then invert onto racks to cool completely and now you are ready to frost!

Tip: You can make the cakes about two weeks ahead of time and freeze them while they are warm to keep in the moistness. Make sure they are in airtight wrapping.  When you are ready to put the cake together, just defrost at room temperature and frost.  The same goes for the frosting, you can do this ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature to use.

Something Sweet for Mom #2

Buttercream Frosting:

1 Cup Softened Butter
1 Cup Shortening
8 Cups of Confectioners’ Sugar
_ cup to 1 cup Heavy Cream**(Depending on how thick you want your frosting and the humidity that day, add the cream to desired consistency)

** To achieve amazing flavors, I use coffee creamers instead of Heavy Cream. If I want a vanilla flavored frosting, I use French Vanilla Creamer. If I want an Irish Crème flavored frosting, I use the Bailey’s Creamers and that way I can get the flavor without the added alcohol. There are so many varieties these days; you can customize the frosting to the season! Eggnog for Christmas or Peppermint for Valentine’s Day!

*Kim Guerin is an administrator by day, passionate baker and creator of all things gooey and glorious by night. Friends and relatives know that birthdays and weddings will bring a most wondrous gift from Kim. She has spent twenty-two years helping visitors to the island of Hilton Head find the perfect vacation property, and the last ten years making some of the most astonishing cakes and cupcakes. You can contact Kim for further ideas or questions.