Tiny Tall Cakes
Believe it or not, we baked these desserts in tin cans.
Prepare one box cake mix batter. Butter and flour three clean 4-inch diameter cans (we used 28-ounce tomato cans). Divide batter among cans, place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. until cake springs back when touched in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely. Remove cakes from cans by running a knife around the edge and tapping gently. (You can cover them with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 5 hours or up to 3 days for easier cutting.)
Cut cakes into layers about 1/2 inch thick, discarding the domed top. Spread each layer with jam, lemon curd, or Meringue Buttercream (recipe link below). Stack to make cakes of different heights. Smooth a thin layer (a "crumb" coating) of buttercream all over each cake and chill for 30 minutes. Frost again with desired color of buttercream, smoothing sides and top. Decorate with piped designs. Makes 3 cakes.
Yield: 10 cups
Prep: 15 mins
Start to Finish: 30 mins
10 large egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved, about 5 min. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers -- you shouldn't feel any sugar crystals.
2. Transfer bowl to the mixer stand with whisk attachment or use a handheld mixer and beat on high until it cools and stiff peaks form, 10 to 12 min.
3. Reduce speed to medium high and add butter a little at a time. (Buttercream may curdle but will become smooth as you continue to beat it.) Add vanilla.
4. Use within a few hours or refrigerate up to a week. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low until smooth. Makes 10 cups.
from Ladies Home Journal..