It was Sandra Egbert who wanted the recipe for a canasta cake; when I published her request last week, I didn’t have my notes and couldn’t remember who asked. Sandra, thanks so much. The Seessel’s canasta cake was my favorite store-bought cake, so I went looking for the recipe and found that we have one in our files, and that many people remember the cake not only from Seessel’s, but also from Goldsmith’s bakery.
My daughter wanted a canasta cake for her birthday a few years ago, so I called Kay Bakery and they made one. The cake was good–very good–but it wasn’t exactly the cake we remembered. We expected more white buttercream and thought that Kay’s cake wasn’t quite as heavy with it as we recalled. I think it’s possible that Kay uses the first recipe, one from our files and the one that is supposed to be the Memphis classic.
But online, I found another recipe, and this one includes actual white buttercream icing. I believe that probably by the time I was buying the cake at Seessel’s and definitely by the time my daughter was eating it, the bakery was using a recipe more like this one. The catch is that it’s for 16 mini-cakes with a poured icing; I’ve adapted it for a 4-layer cake but keep in mind that I haven’t tested it. I’ll want to hear your tips if you make it and eventually we’ll come up with something that is just right. (The 16 mini cakes are cooked in a 12-by-12 pan, cut in 3-inch by 1 1/2-inch cakes, frosted with buttercream then glazed.)
Researching the archives also turned up this info: Old Towne Bakery in Olive Branch also makes a canasta cake. I called to make sure they still make it and asked the young woman on the phone to describe it to me. She used the words I wanted to hear: Chocolate cake, chocolate icing, pecans–and white buttercream.
If you make these cakes, let me know which reminds you more of the old cake. If you want to buy one, call Kay Bakery at 901-767-0780 or Old Towne Bakery at 662-890-7477. You’ll need to order ahead of time.
Libba Barzizza joins a group of folks over the years who have asked for the house salad dressing at Jim’s Place. Any Taras ready to share this?
And a woman named Glenda from North Mississippi wants the recipe for Seessel’s orange chiffon cake. Bless us, we are never going to stop missing our hometown grocery.
Can anyone help? Email [email protected]
Canasta Cake 1
Chocolate cake of your choice
White cream filling:
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 box confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
To make filling: Gradually add milk to flour in small saucepan. Heat over low flame until it forms a thick paste. Cool. Put shortening, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add cooled paste. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla. (The more you beat it the fluffier it gets.) Can be used as filling for layer cakes or as frosting. Any unused portion may be refrigerated in a covered dish.
For icing, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Heat to boiling and pour over powdered sugar and pecans. Mix well and spread on cooled cake.
To make cake like canasta cake, bake your favorite chocolate cake. When layers are cool, cut in half horizontally, making four layers out of two. Fill with white cream filling and frost with chocolate icing.
Source: Files of The Commercial Appeal
Canasta Cake 2
1 Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix
1 1/4 cups strong coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 lbs confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cups shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt dissolved in 2 TBS warm water
Water (as needed to thin icing for spreading or piping)
1/4 cup Hershey’s Especially Dark unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1 to 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar
Pecans (for garnish)
Cake: Mix ingredients and pour into 2 8-inch or 9-inch round prepared cake pans. Bake on 350 degrees until center springs back when touched (box says 26-31 minutes for 8-inch, 24-29 minutes for 9-inch). Remove from pan to rack and cool. Cut in half horizontally to make four layers.
Buttercream: Combine ingredients and whip until fluffy. Pipe or spread a layer of icing onto each layer of cake, including the top, stacking as you go.
Glaze: Combine the cocoa and butter in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until cocoa is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Glaze should coat the spoon and form a crust after sitting for about 5 minutes. Make sure glaze is still pourable but not so hot it melts the buttercream icing.
Pour over cake, spreading if necessary, but keeping a smooth finish. Garnish with dollops of buttercream dotted with pecans.
Note: This recipe was adapted for a full size cake from 16 mini-cakes. Keep this in mind when pouring the icing.
Source: Adapted from recipelink.com
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