A cooking and baking journal

My Discovery of Yorkshire Pudding and My First Ever Advent Cake

11/29/09: Tomato Soup Paired with Mini Yorkshire Pudding and Gold Cake for Dessert

Meal details: For the main course I heated 1 1/2 quarts of homemade tomato soup from the freezer and baked some Yorkshire Pudding to eat alongside. For dessert, I made a Gold Cake, filled it with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and traditional buttercream, and frosted an Advent candle on top in honor of it being the First Sunday of the Advent Season.

Defining moments: First time for making and tasting Yorkshire Pudding. Before this week I never even knew what Yorkshire Pudding was! I've heard the name here and there but I always imagined it to be, well, pudding. As in, Jell-O pudding. ;) This was also a memorable Sunday because I frosted a cake using lots of different techniques, piping tips, and frostings.

Recipe sources: The Mini Yorkshire Pudding recipe was created by Danny Boome, the host of Rescue Chef, and came from the Food Network website. I chose this recipe because I am cooking along with the members of the Food Network Chef Cooking Challenge that is being hosted by the writer of the I Blame My Mother blog. Learn more about this fun challenge by clicking here.

The Gold Cake recipe came from Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, copyright 1950. The recipe, which has been rephrased by me, follows:

Gold Cake
Yield: 2 9" layer pans or 13x9" oblong pan

  • 1/4 cup soft shortening
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks (3/8 cup), beaten until thick
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour OR 2 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour cake pans. Cream shortening, butter, and sugar together until fluffy. Blend in egg yolks. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine milk, lemon extract, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and milk mixture alternately to shortening mixture until cake batter is smooth. Pour into cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes for layers OR 35 to 40 minutes for 13x9 pan. Test doneness of cake by inserting toothpick into center of cake; if it comes out clean the cake is done.

I used two kinds of frosting to make this cake. One is called Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the other is a traditional type of buttercream, made with butter, powdered sugar, and milk.
To me, and a good portion of my family, traditional buttercream is a bit too sweet and that is why I wanted to try out a new kind of frosting. The Swiss Meringue recipe was created by DyannBakes.com and I discovered it on YouTube. Visit this website to print out the recipe and view the embedded video. I made a modification to this recipe so please read on to learn more.

The traditional buttercream recipe was also discovered on YouTube and was created by DesignMeACake.com. Take a look at the recipe and video by clicking here. A quick note about this recipe: I noticed that the author of this recipe forget to mention the meringue powder in the written instructions. She does, however, mention it on the video. So for those who are interested in giving this one a go: add the meringue powder to the powdered sugar before mixing it with the butter and shortening.

What I learned: Let me first begin with the Yorkshire Pudding. When I first read through the recipe and looked at the comments it appeared to me that the recipe did not include all the hints and tips from the T.V. show. Too bad I didn't catch it on T.V.! Oh well. I still wanted to try them out so I decided to look around on some websites and blogs to see what other people are doing. I am so glad I did because I learned a lot of valuable information like using oil to grease the muffin pan instead of butter and using 3" wide muffin pans. I should always research the recipe before I try it out!

Now for dessert. Past couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of research on cake decorating and different types of frosting. Here are a couple tips I've accumulated:

  • When piping with buttercream for a few minutes I noticed that it was getting runny and my piping was getting very sloppy. I learned that the frosting was melting because of the heat of my hands so I should place the bag in the refrigerator for a couple minutes. That is why it is so helpful to alternate between two piping bags, one can be kept in the fridge while the other is in use.

  • When I am filling a pastry bag with frosting sometimes I wind up with frosting on the outside. To prevent this I should fold over the edge about two inches, pick up a bit of frosting on the end of my spatula, and insert the frosting as near to the piping tip as possible. And when I am piping, I should always give the bag a quick twist to stop the frosting from coming up to the top of the bag.

A learned a lot more tips and I hope to type a separate post for this. Be expecting it soon! ;D

Any modifications? Yes. I made some to the Yorkshire Pudding and the Swiss Meringue.

For the Pudding--Instead of using butter to grease the muffin pans, I quickly sprayed the pans with cooking spray and filled each muffin hole with a 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil. And the puddings only took 25 minutes to bake.

For the Swiss Meringue--The recipe says to cook the egg whites and sugar until they reach the temperature of 140F. I learned from various sites that egg whites are not cooked until they reach 160F. Read this site to learn more. I want to play it safe, so 160 is my recommendation!

How it tasted? The "Yorkies" were light and had an almost creamy texture. They went very well with the homemade tomato soup, which by the way, my brother thought tasted better than when I first served it. Aw. The Yorkies had no trouble rising for me and I am still perplexed on how they actually rise when there is no leavening agent to be seen. I just started a Kitchen Chemistry class so maybe I'll be learning that bit of science in the near future.

The cake was liked by all, both in flavor and appearance! Yay! It is nice to have that happen after spending a lot of time studying cake decorating. I think it was a good move to use both the Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the traditional kind, because the latter tends to be overly sweet and can overpower the cake. My Papa says to make a chocolate Swiss Meringue next time--just what I was thinking. ;)

How about a 2nd time? Yes. Annemarie said we need to have the Yorkies with gravy, sounds like a plan to me.

Here are my Yorkshire Puddings and not a Jell-O box in sight!

A purple candle in honor of the First Sunday of Advent.

The frosting is ivory in color because I used colored vanilla extract. To achieve a white, white frosting, use clear extract of your choice.

This cake has a lovely gold color because of the addition of egg yolks.

Watching hours of Ace of Cakes, Food Network Cake Challenges, and Cake Boss has finally paid off.


  1. Wow! You had a wonderful dinner! I"ll have to check out your tomato soup as I am alwayslooking for soups that freeze well. I have never had Yorkshire pudding....maybe I should get on board with this as well. The cake is a beautiful gold. Looks like you will have no problem when we post decorated cakes during Duff Goldman's week. AND the kitchen chemistry class sounds interesting. Where are you taking it??

    Thanks for cooking along with FNCCC!!

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you very much for the compliments! Yes, I am looking forward to doing the Ace of Cakes week. :) The kitchen chemistry class I just started is a downloaded course created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and I am doing it here at home. You can learn more about it by visiting this web page:


    There is actual cooking involved so I am hoping to post my "experiments" on this blog next week.


  3. I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your cooking chemistry class!

    Your Yorkshire puddings look wonderful, I'm glad I could help out a little with the "hints unseen" in the recipe =)

    I like your cake tips too... should be helpful for next week!