Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cake Decorating: The Birthday Cake

Here you go, folks: my birthday cake, my first real try at cake decorating.

The cake: Spice Cake
The icing: Browned Butter Icing
The decorating icing: Wilton Buttercream in a floral theme

Looks good, right? I'm pretty sure it'll taste fantastic, too.


The cakes cooling. Look how perfectly symmetrical!

Spice Cake
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1/4 c. butter
2 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. buttermilk

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour (or use a parchment paper base) two 9-inch round cake pans and set them aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove them from the pan to cool completely. Once cool, frost as desired.

For being an icing novice, not too bad!

Browned Butter Frosting
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

3/4 c. butter
6 c. sifted powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan heat butter over low heat until melted. Continue heating until butter turns a delicate brown. Remove from heat. In a large bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add browned butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium to high speed, adding additional milk if necessary. Makes enough to fill and frost a two-layer cake.
Note: For those of you who don't know (ahem, that was me), browning butter takes a long time. And you need to clarify the butter, too, which means skimming off the creamy solids after the butter has completely melted. If you neglect to do this (ahem, that was me again), just make sure not to let the solids burn. Then pour the whole thing through a coffee filter and you'll end up with the browned butter.

Pretty, right? At least I think so. And it's my cake, after all...

Wilton Buttercream (for decorating)
from The Wilton Way of Cake Decorating

1/6 c. butter
1/6 c. shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/2 lb. sifted powdered sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cool milk

Cream butter and shortening together with an electric mixer. Beat in sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula frequently. Add milk and beat at high speed until it becomes light and fluffy. Keep icing covered with lid or damp cloth and store in refrigerator if not using immediately. Bring to room temperature and rebeat to use again. Tint the icing the colors you need and decorate to your heart's content.

1 comment:

Mike Dodaro said...

Amy, it's beautiful! I'm so sorry I didn't get to try it. Happy Birthday!