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Big Top giant cupcake recipe?

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Initial post: Dec 16, 2010 5:44:32 AM PST
Harimad says:

Bought the Big Top cupcake molds but the only 'recipe' it includes is to buy 2x cake mixes.

If I want to make my own cake mix, how much do I need? Does anyone have a good recipe?


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2010 7:29:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 16, 2010 7:29:49 AM PST
Grandma says:
1 cake mix is equal to any standard cake recipe that makes 2 9-inch layers. Nearly all cake recipes you'll come across make 2 9-inch layers, so the world is your oyster so to speak. The sky is the limit. You'll never go wrong with 1234 cake, but there are dozens of reliable recipes to choose from. Here are a bunch -

Southern Cakes

Here are a bunch more - Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook

Posted on Dec 18, 2010 11:45:33 AM PST
Harimad says:
Many thanks Grandma - the cake books look delicious!
At the risk of sounding a complete novice (ahem!), what is a 1234 cake?


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2010 12:24:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2010 12:25:58 PM PST
Grandma says:
1234 Cake is a cake recipe that is in about any standard US cookbook. It is the first cake recipe I teach all of my kids and grandkids. Dead easy -

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 eggs
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk

Beat the butter and the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in everything else except the flour & milk. Add the flour and milk alternately in about 3 portions of each one. Beat for two minutes.

Makes 3 9 inch layers or 1 9x13 pan or about 36 cupcakes or 1 10" tube or bundt pan. If you want a fairly sturdy cake similar to pound cake use all purpose flour. If you want a more delicate cake similar to what you would buy in a bakery, use cake flour.

Make sure you fluff up your flour, then scoop and sweep off the excess with a flat edge.

Don't worry about being a complete novice. We all were once. And besides, you can't hold a candle to the young lady who once told me I couldn't be baking a cake because THERE WAS NO BOX!

Posted on Dec 23, 2010 1:18:02 AM PST
Harimad says:
Great - thanks again - I'm in the UK so hadn't heard of the 1234 method!

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 5:59:08 AM PST
Firefly says:
I'm in the US, 62, and never heard of this either. I also didn't now about using AP flour for a "sturdy" cake. I gave up using cake flour long ago b/c it's bleached; now I know why my cakes taste good but are a bit heavy! LOL Supposedly you can sift AP flour to make it more like cake flour, but I don't bother. Definitely fluff it first though. Thanks Grandma for all the tips!
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Posted on Dec 27, 2010 8:53:36 AM PST
Grandma says:
Firefly, some cake recipes are meant to be made with all purpose flour - usually the kind that contains oil instead of butter, often fruit/nuts/raisins and is baked in a 9 x 13 pan. Cake flour won't stand up to the rest of the ingredients.

Most "traditional" cake recipes that are baked in layers use cake flour (not just bleached all purpose) to give a light airiness to the cake. If you don't happen to have any, you can put two tablespoons of cornstarch into your measure, then fill with flour and sift a couple of times to combine for an approximate substitute. Still won't be quite the same as cake flour but close.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 10:01:34 AM PDT
Jessica says:
The 1234 cake method if for a pound cake, very dense and takes a long time to bake. It was one of the first cake methods used in the early days.
-I'm a baker.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2013 10:07:32 AM PDT
Grandma says:
I'm a baker too Jessica - been baking this particular cake well over 60 years and dozens, maybe hundreds more. 1234 is not very dense and doesn't take any longer to bake than any other cake according to whatever pan you happen to bake it in. It will be a bit sturdier if you use all purpose flour than if you use cake flour, but nothing approaching pound cake territory.

Pound cake is indeed one of the first cake recipes. It is in pounds. One pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of flour and one pound of eggs. Properly done, it has a marvelous beautifully fine grain and is a long keeper. My great-aunt used to keep one of these wrapped in a damask linen napkin in the sideboard in the dining room. When company came to call she would slice it off almost paper thin. Luscious!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2013 10:09:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2013 11:28:47 AM PDT
Grandma says:
One other thing Jessica. As a baker I am sure that you know that the "method" refers to the particular way that a cake is put together and that 1234 follows the same "cream butter with sugar" method that is common to all butter cakes.

One of the reasons that old-time recipes for cake baking often don't have the directions written down is that cake baking used to be taught in school as part of Home Economics. There are only 3 basic methods for mixing standard American cakes - the butter method, the sponge method and the one bowl method. Until you get into baking French genoise, most cakes fall into one of those three categories, so if you know how to mix up one you know how to mix up many.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2013 8:37:05 AM PDT
JRJNM says:
At what temperature and for how long do you bake the 1234 cake? Let's say a 9x13 size.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2013 8:39:39 AM PDT
Grandma says:
Bake 1234 at 350F. 3 layers take 20-25 minutes, a 9 x 13 about 35-40, a tube or bundt closer to an hour. When you start to smell the cake baking keep an eye on it. The top will just be light golden, the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and if you touch it lightly near the center no impression will remain.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2013 6:23:37 PM PDT
JRJNM says:
Thanks so much, Grandma! Can't wait to try the 1234 cake :)
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Discussion in:  Baking forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Dec 16, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 27, 2013

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