Monday, February 27, 2012

Tin Can Cakes: The Epic Struggle

Sometimes we see a project and think, "That's so cool and crafty! We have to try it!" But sometimes, we see a craft and think, "That's kinda goofy... We have to try that!" So it went with our Tin Can Cakes.

We saw the picture below floating around Pinterest and thought it was soooo cute!Ok, so rummaging around the recycling bin to do a little baking may be a little odd, but after a little research we realized that other, more talented bakers use this technique when building sculptural cakes to make things like tree trunks and castle towers. For us, it was more a matter of, "Can you really bake a cake in a tin can? Really??" Turns out you can!

What You Need:
  • Clean, dry tin cans, labels removed
  • Flour
  • Cooking spray
  • Cake batter

We'll start by warning you that our attempt at Tin Can Cakes did not turn out as picture-perfect as the ones that had originally inspired us. But we decided it was better to be honest in our posting and maybe someone can learn from our mistakes. Or at least have a good laugh!

First, preheat your oven to 350 (or whatever your cake batter recipe calls for). Then spray your cans with the cooking spray and then coat the insides with flour. Place them on a cookie sheet. We decided to only make two cakes in cans and used the leftover batter for cupcakes.

Fill your cans no more than halfway full with batter. We did ours about 3/4 full. Mistake #1...

Pop your tray into the oven . The original recipe said to let them bake 15 minutes. We started checking on ours after about 20 minutes, but they weren't fully set and done until about 45 minutes. When they were finally done we realized that perhaps we filled our cans a wee bit too much.

Once they were done a toothpick inserted came out clean, pull the tray out of the oven. Let them sit in their cans for at least 10 minutes, if not more. We didn't wait that long... Mistake #2 (more on that in a minute). After you let them sit, run a butter knife around the edge of the first can - the cake should then slide out pretty easily. As we mentioned before, we didn't wait long enough and our first cake was still too hot and wouldn't stand up. The second one did much better!

So there you have it: our adventure with tin can baking. They may not be pretty but we had a lot of fun! The moral of the story is "When life hands you ugly, falling over tin can cakes, slather them in frosting...."

"...and let the family tear into them!"

In the words of 6-year-old Jack: "A Masterpiece!"

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  1. I love this post! Love the fact that you shared the experience with us even though it wasn't photo-shoot perfect. What fun!!!

  2. This is really cool! I'll have to try it. Thanks!!

  3. I saw that too and thought I can't rad the directions too well even with my granny glasses on (what the kids call my reading glasses) but now I know how to do that..

  4. I love honest...mistake ridden projects! It makes me think that I can do them too. I am totally going to try these!

  5. I made those things too. I actually tried it 3x and it NEVER worked out right. They took FOREVER to bake, they came out super tuff and were just blah! I tried the recipe in the pick and two of my own.

    Glad to see I was not the only one who couldn't get it to work.

  6. That's so funny! Kids are great! They love everything we do - even if we don't.

    I'm having a homemade card swap over on my blog and would love it if you joined us!

  7. Great post... I have been making cakes and breads in tin cans for years... grew up with mom making almost all our cakes and breads that way. We use a lower heat and cook things a bit longer and learning just how full to get the cans can be a trick. My favorite is making quick breads in tin cans.. bake them.. cut out the bottom... push it through.. slice up fancy round pieces... perfect for company

  8. You know, in high school we did that with sweet potato bread. I couldn't remember how to do it. I want to do this with the kids now! But now I get to find a gluten free recipe... lol.

  9. Thanks to your blog I made a perfect birthday cake from cans this week!

  10. Thanx for sharing
    Now that is the size for the cake I want to bake
    Now I know where to find a cake tin this size

  11. HELP, do you know if you can bake a cake in a Pringles can? I want to make the towers for my Grandaughter's birthday cake, and thought hey that would be the right height. Any suggestions other than call the baker? LOL