So, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I came up with this cute idea of making individual Valentine's Day inspired "cakes in a can." It's a great activity for the little ones to get involved in because they're super easy to make and most people already have the ingredients lying around in their pantry.
To get started, you'll need a can. The 15 ounce ones work just fine. With the amount of Chef Boyardee my little one eats, there was no shortage of those lying around in my recycling bin! Make sure you run a can opener over the top to get rid of any sharp edges that may be left. Don't forget to wash it out really well, too! Then, you'll want to spray the inside with some oil and lightly dust it with flour.
In a small bowl, start adding the ingredients listed below. I usually don't have buttermilk, so I made some just by adding a little lemon juice to regular milk. If you prefer chocolate cake instead of yellow, add a little bit of cocoa powder to your batter! Mix up the ingredients really well, pour it all into your prepared can, place the can on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. You'll know it's ready when a skewer inserted all the way in comes out clean.
After you've let it cool in the can for about 5 minutes, run a butter knife along the inside of the can to release the cake. Turn the can upside down on a wire rack and let it cool for another 5 minutes. Then, use a serrated knife (that's a knife with little teeth on it) and slice off the "hump". If you want a two-layer cake, slice your cake in half and add icing in between your layers!
Place it on your plate with the cut side down.
Put a big glop of icing on the top and spread it working your way down.
Decorate with red sprinkles, sugar, or hearts for Valentine's Day.
Cake Ingredients (yields 1 cake in a can):
1/2 c flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp buttermilk (or a little less than 3 tbsp regular milk with a dash of lemon juice)
1 egg yolk (plus a little bit of the white if batter is too thick)
3 tbsp melted butter
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional if you want chocolate cake)