Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Babies, Birthdays and Cakes

No, I'm not having a baby, but my friend's co-worker is and guess who got asked to make her baby shower cake??

And no, it's not my birthday either, but a customer at The Sweet Factory definitely got a sweet birthday cake...done in record timing I might add.

The past couple of weeks was spent decorating a lot of cakes... Having a mentioned how much I love decorating cakes? Probably.. but just in case you forgot I thought I'd share with you a few decorating adventures that I've been a part of recently and the recipes they include.

Baby Shower Cake

The decorations on the cake were made to match the shower decorations that my friend Dixie had already bought for her friend.

Birthday Cake
The other afternoon a guy came in to The Sweet Factory for a birthday cake.. I took the order, made the cake that night right before I closed up shop and had an hour to decorate the cake when I got back to shop the next evening before he came to get it. I had to make the icing, filling, decorate and package the cake all in a little under an hour.. impressive right? I can say that now, but at the time I thought I was going to lose my mind..I finished it literally just as he was walking in the store to pick it up.. phheeew. Thank goodness he wanted something flowers, designs, nothing.. just three simple words. These pictures are from my phone (hence the quality) 

The final product.. nothing horribly intricate but in 45 minutes!?
The aftermath...
Deep breath followed by lots of cleaning.

Both of these cakes were Vanilla Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream.. weird.

Vanilla Butter Cake
Recipe from the Mermaid Bakery
Oven: 350 Bake time: 25-30 minutes
Makes 2 or 3 8inch cakes 

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 3/4 cup AP flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pans- grease and dust with flour- and I always line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after every addition. Mix in vanilla.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to butter/sugar/egg mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake bounces back to touch.
Place on cooling rack for about 20 minutes before removing cakes from pan to continue cooling.

Once completely cooled, assemble layers (don't forget to level the tops of your cakes!) and frost with Chocolate Buttercream.

Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup butter
1 cup crisco
8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted 

In a large bowl, cream butter and crisco until smooth and combined.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stopping to stir every 30 seconds- set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, sift cocoa powder and powder sugar- mixing together.
Add cocoa/sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla to butter/crisco and beat on low to medium-low until incorporated.
Slowly pour in cooled chocolate and beat on high for about 3-5 minutes until smooth. 

Happy Baking!