I’m always amazed at little ones! How in the world did my then 4yo daughter decide she wanted to learn to play the violin? While being exposed to lots of music I certainly hadn’t suggested she learn to play an instrument let alone a classical one. No worries we got her started and away she went with gusto… Well this post isn’t about music but recently I was asked by my friends to make their 3yo daughter a birthday cake. Apparently she had requested “a raspberry on the inside” birthday cake. I’d never made one before but love a challenge so this is how I did it.
WARNING – Heavy text as some dummy (me) forgot to take progress photos… but it turned out great so bear with me folks.
First off I thought I’d start with a white cake recipe and add my raspberry goodness to it.
White cake mix or this from scratch recipe…
Then To make it Raspberry Flavoured…
Ok.. great but it had to be raspberry flavoured… I could not for the life of me find fresh raspberries that day that weren’t growing fur, so my next best option was a heaping tablespoon of raspberry jam (jelly) with the seeds for authenticity AND I added a 1/3 of a sachet of Raspberry Jello Crystals dissolved into a half cup of water.
I figured it wouldn’t throw off the balance of the cake since it thickens as it sets up. My theory proved right and the cake was relatively dense (with a fine crumb texture like a Madeira or pound cake) but still light and very flavourful.
For this little lady’s cake I made two 6 inch and two 8 inch round cakes to stack.
In between each matching pair I spread a fine layer of raspberry jam (jelly) and then added raspberry cream cheese frosting (my original recipe with some raspberry jello crystals and a small amount of jam added to it).
I placed wooden dowels inside of McDonalds straws into the 8 inch stacked cakes and then placed the 6 inch stacked pair on top.
All of the cakes were covered in my crusting cream cheese frosting prior to stacking as they wanted it smoothed to look like fondant. I then cut out about one hundred or so purple and one hundred or so pink fondant flowers for decoration. This cake was to compliment a Tinkerbell cake topper.
The glitter is edible sparkle glitter. The cake was a lot of work but my friends loved it. Hubby enjoyed the crumbs I had cut off the top so much I made him his very own raspberry cake the next day. It was pretty much gone in an instant. Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions. Happy Baking!
Once people find out you make cakes, look out! I recently made this cake for a friend’s daughter who was turning 17. She wanted a red velvet cake and her favourite colour is turquoise. Those were the sum of the instructions I got. I have daughters so it was pretty easy to come up with a design I thought she’d like. Firstly, I had to research just what was this red velvet cake which has lately become a bit of a National obsession and just what flavour is RED? 😉 After scouring books and asking questions it became apparent that red velvet cake and cream cheese icing are quite often a popular and successful pairing. But I wanted the look of fondant and the taste of cream cheese. As luck would have it I found this fabulous recipe for “Crusting Cream Cheese Buttercream” on the RecipeZaar website courtesy of one of their members. THANKS!
SERVES 1 , 4-5 cups (change servings and units)
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 lbs sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extracts. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. If you want whiter icing, try to use butter without dyes available at most health food stores.
2. This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use 3 pounds of powdered sugar instead.
3. If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing (longer for a thinner icing). Then using your spatula or fondant smoothing tool (this works best)and smooth it with a plain, non-patterned Viva paper towel. To do this, take your paper towel and lay it on your icing (after it crusts) and lightly rub over the paper towel with your hand, spatula or fondant smoothing tool to get a smooth surface. If the icing sticks to the paper towel, you didn’t let it “crust” long enough. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to let it “crust” then try again. If you let it dry too long it will get harder to achieve the smooth look.
4. This recipe will ice, fill and decorate an 8″ double layer cake with icing left over.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I like to use Madagascar)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (I always leave this out)
1 1/2 cups pureed cooked carrots
3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup water (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9 inch layer cake pans line bottom with parchment circle, you can also use pan with removable bottom.
2. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
3. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 40 – 50 mins, until edges have pulled away from sides and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
4. Cool in the pan for a few minutes then on a rack for 3 hours or until completely cool. Fill and stack cakes and frost sides with cream cheese icing. Decorate sides with crushed walnut pieces if desired. I also made some carrots out of coloured marzipan.
Colleen’s Tips – Use at your own peril!
1. I give my cake pans a whack on the counter before I put them in the oven to release any large air bubbles and give the crumb of the cake a finer texture.
2. When my cakes come out of the oven, while hot I push any domed top down to make the cake level. No need to trim with a knife and it makes the cake dense to hold the weight of all that cream cheese!
3. When colouring marzipan (or gumpaste) I first rub my hands with shortening as you would with hand cream. MOST of the time the colours wash straight off with hot soapy water when I’m done.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners/powdered/icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon (optional but it adds a nice kick)
1. Cream together cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly sift in confectioners sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Should be free of lumps.
3. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice if you choose to use it.