It’s been almost a week since we last hung out. It’s not you, it’s me. No really, life has been getting busy, and I’ve hardly had time to set foot in my kitchen. I wish I could say that I foresee my life getting less busy, but I don’t like lying to you. Alas, I’ll try to keep up.
Last night I had the fantastic opportunity to celebrate the birth of some of my favorite people who made their first appearance in the 80s – so rightfully we had an 80s themed birthday bash for these lovely ladies.Totally awesome.
What birthday party would be complete without cake?! Okay, cake and more cupcakes than could conceivably be consumed by all party-goers.
You may remember (like I would let you forget) the cake I made to announce to my family that Baby T is of the male persuasion.
Yep, that’s the one. As previously stated – this is one of my favorite cakes. Light, fluffy, and versatile. The original cake recipe can be found here at Kitchen Trial and Error, and I have a go-to buttercream that I used which is also very versatile. I doubled both my cake and frosting recipes to make the 48 cupcakes & a 2-layer six inch cake that ended up at the party.
Cake Recipe (for 2 9-inch cakes)
2 1/4 c cake flour
1 c whole milk
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract (side bar – you don’t have to use almond. I’ve replaced this with raspberry, orange, lemon, or just more vanilla)
1 3/4 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature – cut into pieces
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Once everything is combined add in the butter and mix with an electric mixer until you have coarse, wet crumbs.In a separate bowl whisk together milk, egg whites, and extract(s). The plan here is to whip everything together to incorporate some air into the egg whites. Yes, you can do this by hand – just use a whisk until your arm gets tired, and then whisk some more.Not too shabby. Now You’ll add all but 1/4 c of this milk mixture into your butter/flour crumbs and beat on medium speed for about a minute and a half. Then add in the remaining milk mixture and beat for another minute. Technically, all that’s left for you to do is divide up the batter into some prepared 9-inch pans (I prefer parchment and non-stick spray), and bake for 20-25 minutes. When I do cupcakes they usually bake about 15-16 minutes, and a 6-inch cake still takes about 20-25 minutes – just watch your oven.
I got a little creative and decided to stripe my cake.It’s not too difficult, and results in something pretty unique. Before you put the batter in the pan divide it into 2 batches and color as desired with gel coloring. In the center of your prepared pan add 2-3 tablespoons of one of your colored batters. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of your alternate color directly on top of your first batter. Don’t try to spread anything out, it should spread itself out as you work. I did have to level the cake after it baked to keep everything even for stacking, but all-in-all a good experiment.Kind of a stripy, marbled effect. I’ll definitely do it again.
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract (or any extract you’d like to try – for this cake I used a orange & raspberry)
3 c powdered sugar, sifted
1-3 Tbsp milk
Food coloring of your choice (I used Duff’s electric pink, green, and blue)
Start by whipping together the shortening and the butter. I let it go at about medium speed for 5-8 minutes. It should be smooth and pale in color. Add in your vanilla. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, mixing completely before moving on to the next. If you like it really sweet you could add up to 4 cups – just taste as you go.
Once all the sugar is in, add the milk in 1 tablespoon at a time checking for consistency as you go. More milk will obviously equal a softer frosting that will spread more easily, and less will give you something a little stiffer that’s easier for decorating.
If you so desire divide up your frosting per the number of colors you’re using, mix thoroughly, and decorate as you see fit. I tried something new by having 3 colors in one bag before piping. Here’s a neat tutorial on how to do that. You don’t need fancy bags for each color – you can just use saran wrap – kind of like what is seen in this video. The technique I used starts at about 1:45, and instead of putting all three of my colors in one plug I made three separate ones to put into my pastry bag. Considering this was my first go at multi-colored frosting I’d say it turned out pretty dang well.
Just lovely! And more importantly – delicious! I hope you have as much success as I did, and I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do :)
I will vouch for the amazingness of all of this, but especially my awe at the multicolored piping. I honestly bit into a cupcake, stared at the frosting and said, out loud, “I don’t understand how this is even possible!” So PRETTY (and delicious).
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