Growing up, we did not have freshly baked goods in our house. None. At all. My mom is an amazing cook, but a lousy baker. You may think that's a harsh statement, but I'm not divulging anything she won't admit to herself. My mom's idea of dessert is apple fritters, fruit and nuts. Get the picture? Cakes, cookies, and pies were never found at our house.
My mom claims that she used to make cream puffs, but that must have been over 30 years ago, because I certainly don't remember any. And after chatting with my brothers, neither do they.
All this to say that any baking I've attempted, I have learned on my own. And without further ado, today I baked and decorated my very own cake from scratch! Is it perfect? No. But I'm ok with that. The cake is vanilla with a raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. And wow, does it taste great! (At least the scraps do. We still need to serve this to our guests tomorrow.)
3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer, cream butter using the paddle attachment, 2-3 minutes. Incorporate sugar with butter on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high, and mix for 4-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides when necessary, even minute or so. It's creamed when it is lighter in color and texture.
5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are well blended. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
6. Bake the layers for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpike inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Cook cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
8. If not icing the same day, wrap well in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe (Cake Boss)
Yields: 3 cups of frosting
1/2 c solid vegetable shortening
1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 c confectioner's sugar, sifted (approx 1 lb)
2 Tbsp milk
1. Using a stand mixer, cream shortening and butter using the paddle attachment, 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, 1 c at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
2. When all the sugar has been mixed in, the icing will appear dry. Add the milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. Keep the icing in the refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, the icing can be stored for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Royal Icing Drop Flowers Recipe
1/2 box confectioners' sugar (1/2 lb)
1 large egg white (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Food coloring of choice
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, slowly whisk confectioners' sugar, using a whisk attachment, to sift the sugar.
2. Incorporate egg white and beat slowly until combined.
3. Increase speed to high and beat 7-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Slowly mix in lemon juice.
5. Divide icing into three parts. Dye icing as desired to make three colors.
6. Fit a pastry bag with the 2D tip. Fill bag with all three colors so that the colors run from the tip to the top. Do not layer the colors, but stack them side-by-side.
7. Place tip on a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly apply pressure creating a flower. Stop applying pressure and lift tip. Repeat until all of the icing has been used.
8. Allow flowers to dry overnight. Place in an air-tight container until ready to use. Will keep up to three months.
Printer Friendly Recipe
Cake Assembly Instructions
1. Once cake has cooled, dot cardboard cake circle with icing. Place bottom cake layer on top of icing so that it will stay in place. Place cardboard circle with cake on top of a rotating turntable.
2. Trim the tops of both layers to make flat surfaces.
3. Place some buttercream in a pastry bag. To create a dam for the filing, pipe buttercream onto the outer edge of the bottom layer's top. Reserve remaining buttercream in pastry bag. Fill the center with raspberry preserves (use recipe of choice or buy a high-quality brand.)
4. Place top layer, cut side down, on top of buttercream/raspberry filling.
5. Using an angeled spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream around the top and sides of the cake, creating a crumb coat. Don't worry if the icing isn't smooth. It will be smoothed later. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
6. Frost the cake using the remaining buttercream in the bowl. Once buttercream has been applied, hold spatula at a 45-degree angle to smooth out the buttercream.
7. Place cake the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before decorating.
8. To decorate the cake, using the buttercream in the pastry bag fitted with a 2 tip, form little dots around bottom and top rims. To apply flowers and leaves, place a small dot of buttercream behind each flower and leaf to adhere to cake.
9. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container such as the Progressive Collapsible Cake Carrier. Cake can be stored for 2-3 days.