Expectant Issue Tutorials

Below are two tutorials related to content found in the Winter 2018 issue, Expectant: a cake and frosting recipe, and templates for the crepe-paper flower.

Image and recipes by Melody Zimmerman

Image and recipes by Melody Zimmerman


As a proponent for all things from scratch, this recipe sometimes makes me feel guilty since it’s based in a cake mix. However, the texture in this cake simply cannot be beat. It is moist, it is creamy, it is really, really bad for your diet. But boy, does it make a good cake. If you prep your ingredients and read the recipe completely before starting, it is very quick to make and doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time. This recipe is also very easy to customize—you can change out the flavorings, add spices, zest, or whatever your creative mind comes up with. My favorite way to eat this cake is to make it exactly as the recipe calls for below, frost it with cream cheese frosting, and then top it all with toasted coconut.

Almond Cream Cake

Makes 9-10 cups of batter, perfect for two 9” round cake pans

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix (Duncan  Hines is the best)

  • 1 c. All-purpose Flour

  • 1 c. White Sugar

  • ½ t. Salt

  • 1 1/3 c. Water

  • 2 T. Oil

  • 1 t. Almond flavoring

  • 1 t. Vanilla

  • 1 c. Sour Cream

  • 4 Large Egg Whites

Start by preheating your oven to 350. Grease your cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. You can use two 9” round cake pans, three 8” round cake pans, or a cupcake pan as well (in which case, just use cupcake liners). Then, prep all of your ingredients and have the egg whites separated in their own bowl.*

Add all of the dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and blend gently with the whisk attachment on your mixer. Add the water, oil, flavorings and sour cream. Stir to incorporate and then beat at med. speed for 2 minutes to aerate the batter. Using a clean and dry mixer, beat the egg whites until they are stiff but still moist. Add them to the batter and gently fold in until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between your pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when you touch it. This can take from 25-30+ minutes, but it is wise to check it at the 20 minute mark and to gently rotate the pans to ensure even baking.  

When the cakes are finished baking, set them on a wire rack to cool completely. You can remove the cakes from their pans to cool as soon as the pans are cool to the touch.  

*If you only have one mixer, start by beating the egg whites to stiff peaks and then set them aside while you mix the remaining ingredients. This way, you won’t have to wash the beaters in the middle of the recipe in order to beat your egg whites.

Best Cream Cheese  Frosting

Makes 4 cups

  • 1 c. Butter

  • 1—8oz. Package of Cream Cheese

  • 2 -3 t. Vanilla

  • 4--4 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar

Cream together softened butter and cream cheese until completely smooth and fluffy--2-5 minutes. Add in vanilla. Add in your powdered sugar, and if possible place a towel over your mixer before mixing to reduce mess. Gently stir in the powdered sugar until completely mixed in. Whip the frosting for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy and white.

Some frosting designs use more than others. This recipe should cover and fill a 9” cake with a decent layer of frosting. However, if you’re adding piped rosettes, or are adding a thick outside layer, another batch or two may be necessary.

crepe-paper flower tutorial

Tutorial supplies

Tutorial supplies

A beautiful crepe-paper hellebore flower!

A beautiful crepe-paper hellebore flower!


Here’s what to do…

Click the button above to download and print a .jpg template for the crepe-paper hellebore flower created by Eva Shorey. The template is formatted for an 8.5x11 sized paper.