Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just for Fun Cake

This cake really was, "just for fun." I made it to try out a couple of different techniques. I'll tell you all about those later! When I had some last night after dinner, I thought it looked as if it should be mint chocolate chip flavored, but it's not! It is a delicious moist buttermilk layer cake, buttercream frosting, and my from scratch fondant.

One of the ideas that I wanted to try was wrapping the still warm cakes in plastic wrap. This traps the heat inside the plastic and nature does it's thing with condensation and all, and well, I was trying to see if this would make an even MOISTER buttermilk layer cake. So here they are all wrapped up and cozy:

Here's the Perfect Buttercream Recipe:

1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Butter
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla
6 ounces Milk

I usually forget to take the butter out of the fridge to soften it, so I pop it into the microwave for about 15 seconds. Beat the butter and shortening in the mixing bowl of the Kitchen Aid. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat for a minute or two, scraping down the bowl every so often. Here are my secrets: don't add all the milk at once. Add a little at a time to make sure your frosting doesn't get too soupy. If you don't want slightly off white frosting use clear vanilla extract. This makes enough frosting to cover two layers of an 8" or 9" cake or one sheet cake. Basically, this is enough frosting for one standard cake recipe or 24 cupcakes! The recipe is halved in this picture:

Fondant needs something to stick to. A thin layer of buttercream frosting or melted jam does the trick. Here is the cake, crumb coated with my "Perfect Buttercream":

This fondant was a bit of an experiment as well. I was out of shortening when I made it and substituted a splash of oil instead. It wasn't quite supple enough, I'll share the fondant recipe another time! But I'll tell you the trick to rolling out fondant, use LOTS of powdered sugar. As you will see in the picture, I rolled it out on silpat and used a generous dump truck load of powdered sugar. Powdered sugar under and on top of the fondant helps get it on and off the rolling pin for the big move to the cake (have a bench scraper handy to loosen up any sticky spots):

Rolling the fondant a bit bigger than you anticipate needing, makes it a bit easier to smooth the fondant onto the cake, especially around the bottom edge of the cake. If the fondant is rolled too small it tends to wrinkle around the bottom edge. Hands work well to smooth out the fondant, there's also a neat tool that looks like a trowel made of plastic that works well too (there it is in the picture above). The best tool I've found to trim fondant is a pizza wheel. It works like a charm and doesn't tear the fondant. You can even roll it through some powdered sugar to keep it from sticking.

I wanted to pipe melted chocolate on the cake in a graphic pattern to contrast the muted green fondant. I think that my chocolate was a little too warm and the hole in my parchment paper piping bag was a bit too big. It was a little tricky to get control over the chocolate. I think I probably should have drawn out my design in advance too, but never-the-less it is pretty cute:

I noticed when I looked at this picture, that the colors of the cake reflect the muted browns and greens outside. I can't wait to make a cheery spring time cake!

Here's the 4" Danny DiVito cake to the 6" Arnold Schwartzenagger cake. I call it the "Puffy Cake":


  1. Question, oh Meatless Wonder. Where do all these cakes go? Like, do you guys eat them all? Is it even possible to consume that much cake?

  2. Yup, we eat 'em. We don't eat the cakes people have ordered, that would be mean, and a bad business practice.