Summer Cakes in Pretty Pastels, Dots and Ruffles...

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In a moment that some would consider to be pure insanity, I decided to impose upon myself the task of baking and decorating not one but three cakes one Saturday....  just for practice and the fun of it.

I've been wanting to try the ever so popular "ruffle" technique, so I came up with a few designs that I thought were pretty, girly and summery.

My first design, "Pearls and Ruffles", reminded me of a lady's vintage dress with a string of pearls, and it was by far, my favorite one that I did that day.  This was a 3-layer chocolate cake, with almond filling and buttercream.  I had actually intended the buttercream to be baby blue, but it ended up as more of a seafoam green, which was still really lovely.



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I named my next design "Sweet Daisies", and this is a tart lemon cake, filled with lemon curd, and covered in lemon buttercream.  I was a little tired by the time I decorated this one, later on that evening, and didn't spend much time trying to smooth out the frosting, so it's a little more "rustic".  I just did a simple design of dots to create the illusion of pretty flowers and daisies all over this little 6-inch cake.



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And the last design, "Pretty in Pink", is another small 6-inch white cake, filled with fresh raspberry filling, and frosted with pink raspberry buttercream.  The rows of ruffles and dots around the sides of the cake remind me of a little girl's summer dress.

In retrospect, I can see areas in each design that I would change or improve the next time, but I think any one of these would be so beautiful for a bridal shower, baby shower, or girl's birthday party!



One Year Ago:    Sweet Potato Chips
Two Years Ago:   Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles with Homemade Lemon Curd



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Summer Cakes in Pretty Pastels, Dots and Ruffles...


“Pearls and Ruffles”

Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Almond Buttercream:

·         2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         4 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tablespoons meringue powder
·         1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
·         4 tablespoons milk

Almond Filling:
·         1 cup almond buttercream (above)
·         8 ounces almond paste

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper also.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and beat for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.  Divide batter between the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire racks, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream and Filling:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for one minute.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder, and with the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time.  Add the almond extract and milk, and beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring, if desired.

Beat one cup of the buttercream with the almond paste until smooth.  Set aside.

Assemble and Decorate:
Remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops, if needed.  Place one of the cakes on a pedestal or cake board and top with half the filling.  Add another cake and top with the rest of the filling.  Add the last cake.  Frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before frosting with a final layer of buttercream.

For the pearls and ruffles, I used a small round tip to pipe white buttercream in rows of small dots, then a medium rose tip to pipe the ruffles in tinted buttercream, from the bottom edge, up to the top center, alongside the dots.  Hold the piping bag with the wide side of the rose tip against the cake, and the narrow side facing out, to create the ruffles.  It’s a good idea to practice on a plate to get a feel for the design, before piping onto the cake.


“Sweet Daisies”

Lemon Cake:

·         ½ box white cake mix
·         2 eggs
·         1/3 cup buttermilk
·         ¼ cup lemon juice
·         ¼ cup oil
·         Zest of 2 lemons

Lemon Buttercream:

·         1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         3 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tablespoon meringue powder
·         Zest and juice of 1 lemon
·         Milk, if needed

Lemon Filling:
·         ½ cup lemon curd

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper also.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat all of the cake ingredients for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.  Divide batter between the pans and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire racks, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for one minute.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder, and with the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time.  Add the lemon zest, juice and milk, and beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring, if desired.

Assemble and Decorate:
Remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops, if needed.  Place one of the cakes on a pedestal or cake board and top with half the lemon curd.  Add another cake and top with the rest of the lemon curd.  Add the last cake.  Frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before frosting with a final layer of buttercream.

I used a small round tip to pipe all the dots around the sides of the cake, for the centers and petals of the daisies.  Then I piped the large daisy on top with the same round tip.



“Pretty in Pink”

White Cake:

·         ½ box white cake mix
·         2 eggs
·         ½ cup whole milk/cream
·         ¼ cup oil
·         1 teaspoon vanilla

Raspberry Buttercream:

·         1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
·         3 cups powdered sugar
·         1 tablespoon meringue powder
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2-3 tablespoons milk

Raspberry Filling:
·         ½ cup raspberry buttercream, above
·         6 ounces fresh raspberries

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper also.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat all of the cake ingredients for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.  Divide batter between the pans and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire racks, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream and Filling:
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and raspberry jam for one minute.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder, and with the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time.  Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring, if desired.

Mix ½ cup of the buttercream with fresh raspberries, for the filling.

Assemble and Decorate:
Remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops, if needed.  Place one of the cakes on a pedestal or cake board and top with half the filling.  Add another cake and top with the rest of the filling.  Add the last cake.  Frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream, and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before frosting with a final layer of buttercream.

For ruffles, I used a small rose tip to pipe the ruffles around the sides of the cake.  Hold the piping bag with the wide side of the rose tip against the cake, and the narrow side facing out, to create the ruffles.  It’s a good idea to practice on a plate to get a feel for the design, before piping onto the cake.  Then I piped the ruffles on top of the cake, starting at the center and moving to the edge.  I then used a small round tip to pipe white buttercream dots between the rows of ruffles.


Recipes and Designs from Curly Girl Kitchen




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