I’m always hunting around for fun baking projects to do with the grandgirls. Maddie, in particular, is a huge fan of pound cake and delights in choosing different shapes in which to bake them.
When she comes over, she digs through the cupboard to see if there are any new ones to try out. These bugs were a huge hit, particularly when the foil-covered chocolate insects from Williams Sonoma made a gues appearance to enhance the cakes.
- 140 g or 5 oz unsalted butter
- 140 g or 5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 175 g or 7/8 c granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 large eggs
- 80 ml or 1/3 c milk, at room temperature
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy (2 minutes).
- On low speed, beat in the yolk until smooth. With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the whole eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 20 seconds after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and paddle.
- With the mixer running at the lowest speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk in three steps, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; stop when just combined.
- Scrape the bowl one last time, add the vanilla, and mix at medium speed until the batter is smooth and fluffy (20 to 30 seconds).
- Spray the Backyard Bugs pan with a good-quality baking spray containing flour.
- Divide the batter between the cavities in the pan. Tap the pan against the counter to dislodge trapped air (protect your countertop with a cutting board). Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it (20-25 minutes.)
- Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.