I am so glad that everyone appreciated my post from last week on the Cake Pops that I made for my daughter birthday. I had also promised that I would publish the cake recipe soon but unfortunately I am almost 2 weeks delayed! Better late than never right?
Every year, habitually a few months before my daughter's birthday in October, I begin my frantic search for a cake that I should be whipping up for her. It takes me several days and umpteen phone conversations with my mom and sister to finally settle down with the recipe and design that we think my daughter would love. This year I planned to try out the really cute polka dot cake. The very first time I laid eyes on this design, I knew I had to try it out. Well, I had nailed down what to bake but I was utterly confused on how I should be decorating the cake. The past three years I have been decorating her birthday cake with fondant but this year was a time for a change. I decided to try a Lemon Swiss Meringue Frosting this time. It's very airy and light with just the right hint of lemon to top it off.
Though I started decorating the cake around noon, it gradually began to get dark outside, especially with some storm clouds moving in. The darker it got outside the more upset I started to become as I realized that my natural ambient lighting for the cake photographs was going to be drastically ruined. All my joy and excitement turned into gloom as my focus turned to just wrapping up the decorating ASAP and make the most of whatever lighting that was available. All my great plans of shooting pictures to share the techniques of the cake designs had to be dropped. Finally at around 4pm I was done and I was able to click some pictures of the final product but I was not too enthused about the quality of the pictures at all. Neither was I happy about the cake decoration as it was done at a lightening speed.
Well, it was never supposed to be a day of gloom and with the help of my little bubbly daughter, I was able to shake it off soon as we got set to cut the cake. It was hilarious to see my husband’s expression as he dint have a clue that there was a surprise inside the cake too! Initially I dint tell him how I managed to get those polka dots inside the cake and it was definitely fun and entertaining listening to his supposedly intelligent guesses.
The next day I distributed the cake so some of our close friends. They loved it and their reviews definitely uplifted my spirits. Thank you y'all ;)
Rainbow cake decoration idea from here
Polka Dot cake idea from here
Recipe for lemon swiss meringue frosting mostly adapted from here
Recipe for cake partially adapted from here
Makes two 9 inch cakes plus 40 cake pops
Ingredients for cake and cake pops
2 1/4 cup (4 1/2 sticks) - Butter, softened
4 cups - Sugar
7 - Eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 cups - All-purpose flour
2 Teaspoon - Baking powder
1 Teaspoon - Baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon - Salt
1 1/2 Cup - Buttermilk, room temperature
3 Teaspoons - vanilla extract
Gel food colors (I used green, pink, yellow, purple)
Shortening or butter and Parchment paper to grease and prepare the pan
Cake pop machine or Cake pop pans
2- Round 9 inch cake pans
for cake pops
for cake pops
- Preheat cake pop machine OR Preheat the oven to 350F if you are using a cake pop pan.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next one.
- Mix in buttermilk and vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time until all the ingredients are mixed
- Take 4 bowls and scoop 3/4 cup of batter into each bowl. Keep the remaining batter aside.
- Add food color to each bowls and stir to incorporate it.
- Transfer the colored batter from the 4 bowls into 4 separate zip lock bags
- Cut off one corner of the zip lock bag and fill each well of the cake pop machine with about 1 tablespoon of the colored batter and cook 4 minutes or just until they are just baked. If you are using the cake pop pan the baking time will be very different.
- Let it cool in the fridge
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with with shortening or butter and line it with parchment paper. I always do both.
- Add the cake batter to the two 9 inch cake pans a little more than just enough to cover the bottom of the cake pans
- Place the color cake pops on the batter. I actually ended up putting more cake pops in the batter than shown in the picture below. I used around 16 cake pops in each cake.
- Cover the cake pops with the left over batter
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
Ingredients for Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream
10 large - Egg whites
2-1/2 cups - Sugar
2 1/2 cups - Unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoon - Lemon extract
Pinch of salt
- If you haven’t made this before, I advise that you watch this video as I found it helpful. I dint follow the recipe mentioned in the video though.
- Add egg whites and sugar and whisk it over a pot of water (double boiling technique) but make sure the water is not boiling.
- Whisk continuously until the mixture temperature reaches about 160°F. If you don't have a thermometer just make sure that the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Using an electric or stand mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch. You might achieve this in about 10 minutes.
- Now add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. The mixture might curdle during the process but this is normal so keep mixing and it will come back to a smooth and silky consistency.
- Add lemon extract and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Cake assembly and decoration
Cake board (about 9 inch round)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
6 Gel food color
6 zip lock bags
6 teaspoon of the same kind
- Take the cooled cake and place it on a cake board that is a little less than 9 inches.
- Place the first cake on this board.
- Spoon the swiss meringue buttercream and spread it evenly on the first cake
- Place the second cake on top bottom side up.
- Now spread swiss meringue buttercream on all sides of the cake just enough to cover all the cake. This is called crumb coating.
- Let the crumb coated cake rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Divide the left over swiss meringue buttercream into 6 bowls and add food color and whisk well until the color is completely incorporated
- Fill the zip lock bags with each individual color and cut off roughly a 1/4″ from the tip of each bag.
- Take the crumb coated cake and place on a turntable.
- Before you start decoration the cake please refer this link as it has pictures of each step.
- Measure the height of your cake and using a toothpick divide the height of the cake into 6 equal portions.
- Place each bag of buttercream into a glass and line them up in the order you wish to pipe. This simple tip will keep your workspace tidy as well as helping you keep track of the color order.
- Pipe your first vertical line of dots onto the cake into the 6 marked portions as the guideline to help get even sized dots
- Take a teaspoon and using the back gently swipe each dot evenly to the right or left. Use a spoon for each color and line them in the order you wish to pipe, just like the zip lock bags
- Repeat this process around the circumference of the cake
- Once you have covered the sides, chill the cake for 10 minutes before starting on the top.
- Pipe a circle of dots around the outer top edge and swipe into the center.
- Continue in this manner until finishing with a single dot of color right in the very center. Finish with a single dot.
- Transfer the cake to the cake stand!!!
1st Birthday Cake - Pastel Flower Cake - Confetti Cake with Buttercream
2nd Birthday Cake - Yo Gabba Gabba Cake - Orange cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
3rd Birthday Cake - "Toadstool House" - Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Butter cream Frosting