MUW Chef-in-Training Ainsley Ashcraft: Mini Lemon Cakes

We continue in the MUW kitchen with chef-in-training Ainsley Ashcraft.

Here’s a cake that bakes in a place you would not expect.

You can watch this segment on the April 20 episode of MidMorning with Aundrea.

MUW Culinary Arts Chef-in-Training Ainsley Ashcraft:

Ainsley Ashcraft“Hi, my name is Ainsley Ashcraft and I’m a part of the Culinary Arts Institute at Mississippi University for Women. Today I’m going to be transforming a box of cake mix into incredibly moist miniature lemon bunt cakes. I also made a butterfly cake using the same methods.

I started making these lemon cakes when my oven was broken, and I had told my friends that I was going to make them a cake, so I needed to figure out a way that I can make a cake in my air fryer. So I went and I found this miniature pan that fit into my air fryer, and I got a box of cake mix, and I worked on ways to improve the cake mix so that it would still be really moist coming from the air fryer.

The first thing we’re going to do is add two tablespoons of Greek yogurt. For the lemon cake, I like to do lemon Greek yogurt just to add a little bit of extra lemon flavor. So we’re going to add all of that in. We’re going to add the three eggs that the box called for. I already pre-scrambled those just for ease. We are going to add half a cup of melted butter. The box called for oil, but I like to add butter in place of that. Then we’re going to add one cup of water.

Next, we’re just going to whisk this all together until it’s just combined. You don’t want to overmix it, or the cakes will become rougher and a little bit less moist. Substituting the butter is part of what helps it be an incredibly moist cake, and Greek yogurt also helps the cake to become moister. Once the cake is all combined, I like to use a miniature ladle, because it’s the perfect amount for one of these miniature bunt pans.

So we’re just going to take that. These pans are pre-greased. You want to spray each individual cavity. That way you know that all of the grooves are getting combined. So we’re going to take one ladle. Try not to splash it all over your pan. We’re just going to fill that until it’s about three-fourths of the way filled. You’re going to repeat that process for all of your miniature pans, as well as the butterfly pan if you choose to use one. You’re going to leave that about three-fourths full as well.

You’re going to put it into a preheated oven. For a regular oven, it’s going to be 350. Then for an air fryer, because that’s a convection oven where air moves around within it, you’re going to want to drop the temperature to about 325. For an oven, start checking it at about 10 minutes. You’ll know that they’re done once it starts to pull away from the edge of the pan, it doesn’t jiggle too much whenever you move it, and if you press it lightly, it will spring back instead of leaving an indent.

Then to ice it, you can either use store by icing, a powdered sugar glaze with a little bit of lemon and heavy cream, or you can simply dust powdered sugar over the top of it. It’s all up to your preference. That’s the miniature lemon cakes.”

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