I haven’t had a baking gig in a while. And I haven’t really had much free time either. But an opportunity to bake for a small event came from my sweet mother who surprised me when she nominated me as THE person to accomplish this task. I must thank her local bakery for making a cake that stained everyone’s teeth blue.
Her coworker was having a baby shower and they needed a cake. My job was to come up with something that I could keep with a blue and white theme. I proposed a yellow cake with raspberry filling and a fluffy classic white vanilla buttercream frosting.
When the proposal was accepted, I got to work. This cake was meant to feed 30 people so I baked a 9 inch 3 layer cake and threw in a dozen cupcakes for decorating… and greed.
I spied some gorgeous raspberries that were on sale and made the filling a day in advance. Its best to work with a filling that is chilled so it doesn’t seep into the cake when you are building.
The recipe couldn’t be tastier and was so easy to make:
3 cups of fresh raspberries
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Directions: Bring the raspberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar to a low and slow bubble and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool and chill in an air tight container for at least 4 hrs; but overnight is best.
On D-Day…. AKA the day I regretted taking on this job with a bad back… I set aside 6 sticks of butter to soften for Martha’s Classic Vanilla Buttercream. While the butter was softening, I whipped up some classic yellow cake batter via Smitten Kitchen
Because I doubled the recipe, I used my food scale to make sure I had the perfect amount of batter in each cake pan. My plan was to make 3 round cakes and use the rest of the batter to make the cupcakes. The easier way would have been to have utilized 3 cake pans at the same time, but I only have two so my baking time was quadrupled having to wait for the cakes to bake and then bake more and even more with cupcakes…
I think deep down I enjoy the back breaking labor.
Nope… I know I enjoy it.
When the cakes were baking, and my butter was finally soft, I started the frosting. I doubled the frosting to have one batch of white frosting and one batch of baby blue frosting.
I whipped the butter till it was fluffy in my stand mixer over medium. It was already pretty soft so after about 2 minutes, the butter was a gorgeous fluffy texture. I slowly added the confectioner sugar 1/4 cup at a time while the mixer was on medium speed using the paddle attachment. When the sugar was all in, I added the vanilla (and 3 drops of blue food coloring to the 2nd batch). Then, because it was a SAUNA in my apartment from all the baking, I put the frosting in the fridge to chill out for a bit. And waited for what felt like eternity.
I cleaned the mess that I had made to make room for more mess. It was a never ending day of mess. whew.
And before I knew it, the cakes were done. And they were cooled off, trimmed and stacked with thick layers of raspberry filling in between. And applied a crumb layer. The crumb layer is a thin layer of frosting designed to keep all the crumbs from showing in the final product. To help my crumb layer stick, I stuck the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to make sure it stood.
And then I got to work on frosting. I used damn near all of the white frosting on this cake making sure it had a nice amount of frosting and was perfectly even. No one wants to pay for a lop sided cake.
And in the end, I used some of the blue frosting to pipe a design along the bottom of the cake and wrote a nice message for the mommy-to-be. The kitchen was STIFFLING so I put the cake in the cake box and placed it in the fridge.
Here’s a shot my mom sent me from the baby shower…
Now, for the cupcakes, I wanted to make sure that if anyone was without a slice of cake that they would not feel left out of the raspberry goodness. So I placed the rest of the raspberry filling in to piping bag and filled all of the cupcakes with a little of the raspberry goodness.
Using blue frosting and a small rose tip, I piped roses onto the cupcakes hoping they would serve as a delicious decoration to the cake.
If you find yourself unsure of how to use a piping bag while frosting, there are some really great videos on YouTube.
Now, I know it seemed like I hated doing this; but the truth is I LOVE the outcome. In the end, when I see my final product and the smiles on people’s faces, all of the sweat and back pain was worth it. I live to please!
What’s your favorite cake flavor??