Whether you are running late for a party, forget to pick up dessert for dinner, or just have a sweet tooth, you’ve probably purchased a cake from the store. While store-bought cake is pretty yummy on its own, a little bit of help can take what is often quite a generic and plain cake into something gourmet and delicious. Though the first bite does the job of satisfying your dessert hankering, store-bought cake gets a bit boring. However, with minimum effort, money and time you can feel like you bought a $70 slice of cake. Try at least one of our tips the next time you purchase your cake and be mind-blown.
#1 Easy Layered Cake
Layering your cake is the simplest but most effective trick on this list. Not only do you get to make an absolutely fabulous dessert out of a low-cost, generic cake but, you can also repurpose many ingredients in your house as the ‘jam’ of the dessert. This trick also works well to jazz up boxed cake mix.
To sandwich your cake, either cut one sponge or chocolate cake horizontally or, purchase two cakes. Your filling goes between the cut sides or the tops of the cake—do this to ensure that the most presentable side of the cake is the first part that anyone sees.
You can fill your cake with almost anything that is spreadable—that leaves a world of possibilities so, we’ll guide you through some of our most recommended combinations.
Whipped cream and jam or Nutella layered on either a plain sponge or chocolate cake makes for one of the most decadent combinations. We suggest warming the Nutella either in the microwave or on the stove for easy spreading. Use a fruit liqueur or juice to thin the jam if it is not spreadable enough. Additionally, fresh strawberries and toasted nuts can be sprinkled on the filling for texture and acidity. Whipped cream and jam make a quick and easy Victorian sponge filling.
#2 Ice-Cream Cake
Ice-cream cakes are a lot easier to make than they look. Two ingredients are required: ice-cream and cake—and both can be store-bought. Of course, if you want to get fancier you can use nuts, cookies, fruits, and whipped cream but good old ice-cream and cake are reliably delicious. The hardest part of making an ice-cream cake is waiting.
For assembly, you need at least two thin or halved sponge or chocolate cakes. Leave your choice of ice-cream out of the freezer for at least 20 minutes. The ice-cream needs to be the texture of soft-serve—spreadable but still frozen and holding some form. We advise layering on plastic wrap and a baking sheet for easy transportation of the cake. Spread a thick layer of ice-cream on your first layer of cake, top ice-cream with any extras that you’d like and then spoon another thick layer of ice-cream. Top ice-cream with the last half of cake and freeze for three hours; then, add a dollop of whipped cream if you wish.
This cake isn’t only easy and fully store-bought (zero cooking involved!) but, it’s also extremely flexible and customisable. Many combinations can work—think passion fruit ice-cream and sponge cake, coffee ice-cream and chocolate cake or even cherry coconut ice-cream layered with shredded coconut and sponge cake! Experiment with flavours and textures; the possibilities are endless!
#3 Homemade Toppings
This one requires a little bit of cooking but, we promise it is worth it. Adding homemade toppings to store-bought cakes takes the majority of work out of a fabulous dessert; often, homemade toppings aren’t that difficult to make. One of our favourite toppings is homemade fruit compôte. This is because you can make a fruit compôte out of anything! In a saucepan, cook whatever fruit you have on hand with sugar, water and other flavourings like ginger, cardamom or vanilla. Once the sauce becomes thick, let it cool; spoon over your cake. This works wonderfully well with cheesecakes. Instead of subjecting yourself to the usually more expensive but, cheap-tasting cherry topped cheesecake, top it with your own fruit sauce.
Chocolate sauces are the other easy go-to for homemade toppings. A simple sauce can be made by melting chocolate, either white, milk or dark, with butter in a microwave and then pouring over the cake. To crank up the flavour, you can infuse other ingredients to accentuate the chocolate such as ground cinnamon, rum or instant coffee powder
As an alternative to the more